The Nuts And Bolts Of Cervélo P5X

This is basically all the information you require to know about the Cervélo P5X.

Many people have been talking about it, and some have seen leaked images over the past week, so you may have gotten a glimpse of it.

This bike is a stark contrast to Cervélo’s previous time trial bikes; it was built from scratch exclusively for triathlon competitions.

Frame design

The most noticeable feature of the bike is its form.

Starting in 2013, engineers were given a blank sheet of paper to design something and they tested the pressure of certain areas of the bike. They found out that the main load was between the head tube, bottom bracket, and saddle, particularly along the top tube and downtube in a straight line.

It was notable that the least amount of loading was located in the region of the seat tube.

Using the provided information, the design department created multiple designs for the frame, resulting in a frame that resembled the original design concept made by White/Vroomen in 1995.

Is it a beam bike? Technically no, say the engineers at Cervélo.

Richard Matthews, the primary engineer on the endeavour, remarked, “The original beam bicycles were developed to move up and down along the upper frame for a smoother ride, yet this came with the trade-off of steadiness and the capacity to transfer power efficiently.”

Our carbon monocoque frame is so robust in its construction that it has minimal deformation, no more than 1mm for someone who weighs 75kg.


Once Cervélo approved the proposed frame concept, they reached out to the deceased Steve Hed to ask his company to offer the necessary knowledge in composite production.

I accept the challenge–every P5X cycling frame has already been made and will be continually produced, in Minnesota by Hed Cycling. Forming the entire frame at once eliminates the need for any extra glues or components that would ordinarily be necessary to make a total frame out of its different parts.

It was obvious that Greg Alexander, the Hed engineer, was enthusiastic about the venture. The method of shaping we use gives us the power to put the carbon fibre and bladder specifically where we want them to be during the procedure.

This stops carbon from moving when under pressure, which helps maintain the material’s natural sturdiness in its original position. The beneficial aspect of the all-black front-end carbon exterior of the frame is that you can clearly observe the quality of manufacture, there is no need for additional aesthetic putty.

We take pride in being a part of the accomplishment of constructing a more rigid frame without seat stays or a seat tube than what was previously made.

It is crucial to note that this frame has a warranty that covers its use with training programs like Zwift and TrainerRoad. This phenomenon is not something that happens with other producers, demonstrating the sturdiness of both the frame and production.


The Cervélo design team, headed by David Killing, saw that most “superbikes” didn’t have much flexibility in terms of adjustments, so they decided to design a front-end setup with not just aerodynamics in mind, but also allowing it to be easily adjusted in every direction.

To advance the design of aero bars, they got aero assistance from Enve, who devised a system that broke new ground.

Kevin Nelson of Enve stated that the undertaking was quite intriguing. The difficulty with any type of aerodynamic handlebar is that it must offer both an aerodynamic shape and a comfortable fit. Collaborating with Cervelo enabled both the frame and the fork to be altered to enable diverse configurations which grant more modification opportunities compared to an aftermarket notion. I believe that, altogether, Cervelo’s ambitions have been met by their design.

An adjustable riser post that uses a wedge clamp system, like those used on many seat posts, allows aero bars to be quickly and easily set and fine-tuned in just thirty seconds with a single 4mm bolt.

You can easily alter the posture of the aero bars by simply adjusting the two bolts that join them together. A ramp-like pattern can be seen on the rear side of the clasp to permit precise alteration ranging from -5 to +15 degrees.

The elbow pads bracket can be rotated, giving it a forward or backward position, and providing an overall change in the front and back. A plastic fastening device is positioned when the bracket is facing forward to manage the cables and protect them from the wind.

Fine-tuning can be done using evenly spaced holes to allow for a shift of up to 14mm or turning the pads, which are installed at a slant, to attain an additional 20mm of adjustment.

There are four elbow pad width settings. There is a two-tier design to the bracket, with 28mm between the bolt holes in each row and the pads contain two rows of openings 17mm from one another. The pads can be moved in or out to provide a comfortable transition from the elbow to the hand.

The extensions are suitable for even the tallest cyclists, and they can be trimmed at each end to form a ski-bend grip configuration or a traditional s-shaped bend. The extensions have a large range of fore/aft adjustability.

The plastic protective housing for either SRAM or Shimano electrical systems is located at the rear of the increasing post. The protective covering of this item has an innovative see-through window in it, allowing participants to look at their power levels without taking off the control unit.

This is where it gets really interesting.

The aero bars are two halves that fit together in the middle and are securely fastened with a four-bolt clamp.

Once the clamp is taken off, the aero bars easily collapse, which tends to simplify the process of packing the bike for transport, all the while maintaining the necessary stiffness and strength for firm control.

A neoprene sheath is given to ensure the rods remain steady and do not come into contact with the frame while on the move. The base bar has a curved arc which can be reversed so the rider has the choice of brake handle location, either below or above.


Enve designed a fork with a pre-determined length for the steerer tube that matches the necessities of each frame size.

The steerer is narrower at the bottom and has a 1 1/2 inch and a 1 1/8 inch bore diameter. The brake cable passes entirely through the forking mechanism and is visible at the brake mount, just above it.

A shaped mast at the front of the fork supports the aerobar base, which is held firmly in place by two side bolts. This also creates space for the movable peg and grip arrangement.

Storage and Hydration

The P5X has enough capacity to last throughout a journey across the nation. That may not be an accurate description, but you can certainly fit all that you need for a 112-mile journey. The Smartpak is a container for nutritional items which is located at the back of the stem on the upper tube.

Most of the space inside this two-story area is located within the frame and provides sufficient room for a few bars and gels.

A pill holder is available so you don’t have to worry about your sodium tablets or ibuprofen moving inside your bag. The Smartpak can be taken out if you would rather race in shorter courses and don’t need the extra space.

The Speed case storage space can be taken off and attached to the bike’s lowest tube.

It’s possible to attach a water bottle to the Speed case and the design won’t make much of a difference to aerodynamics even if it’s a regular round container. You don’t need to make use of the Speed case if you want to, you can just attach a bottle cage to the frame.

The Stealth Box is incorporated into the structure and can be found in the gap between the crankset and the front tire, as opposed to the Speed case. This is a likely spot to keep flat tire maintenance materials such as additional tubes, inflating cylinders and tire wrenches.

You could take away the Stealth Box and have space for storing items from the bottom part of the frame upwards. This would be a great spot to keep a raincoat or warm mittens in case the weather changes and it starts to rain while on a bike ride.

The P5X has three spots to attach bottles; on the aero bars, underneath the downtube, and on the back of the seat.

This bicycle is equipped with the needed mounts for hydration, however, the cages are not provided, so if you would like a sleeker look, you will have to buy an extra hydration system such as the XLAB Torpedo Versa.

The support behind the riding seat can be changed and modified, enabling the horseback rider to adjust the slant of the enclosure.

Front End

Cervélo joined forces with ENVE to make the fork, base bar and extensions. We really appreciate having the option to customize the stack of the armrests with a component similar to a seat post.

You will need a 4mm Allen wrench to raise or reduce the post which fits into the framework and permits 112mm of vertical change. This is a really big advantage for triathletes who are constantly adjusting the way their bike fits.

It could be a huge job to make the same modification to other superbikes, including the P5.

You can raise the angle of the ENVE extensions that come with the bike to 12 degrees, which will make them higher about the armrests.

You can mount the base bar so that either the bars curve up or down, depending on if you want a more comfortable or intense grip.

The noteworthy feature of these bars is that they are capable of being separated in two, which makes transporting your bike simpler. Furthermore, if you buy the personalized Biknd case, that will help make moving your bike even easier.

Disc Brakes

Cervélo placed disc brakes on the P5X for two primary motives. The initial benefit of the frame redesign was the capability to provide more freedom in creating a shape that would optimize the bike’s aerodynamics. Second, discs provide more stopping power than rim brakes.

The P5X possesses TRP Hy/Rd direct mounting automatic brakes with regular automated levers. Front and rear wheels have 160mm rotors and the front has a 12×100 axle while the rear has a 12×142 axle.

HED Partnership

Alongside collaborating with ENVE for the head of the cycle, Cervélo developed a connection with HED Cycling for the creation of the frame.

The business situated in Minnesota has had a reputation for a considerable length of time for having a speciality in carbon, anyway, the P5X is the first-historically speaking outline ever delivered by HED. Examine the bicycle carefully and you will notice a splendidly completed single-directional carbon frame that is free from any imperfections.

The Numbers

Cervélo’s testing demonstrated that the P5X has a 25% higher stiffness at the head tube as opposed to the P5. The one-piece monocoque frame design and thru-axles in the wheels are the cause of this enhancement.

The P5X is a bit bulkier than the P5, but the difference in weight is only 13 per cent when all of the necessary items for an Ironman race are included.

When looking at the Cervélo, which wasn’t expected to weigh significantly less than the P5, the fact that it ended up weighing 13 per cent less is quite impressive.

During the experiment in the wind tunnel, the P5X was faster than the P5 at all angles except for +15 degrees.

The P5X outperformed all other bicycles Cervélo examined, including some of the most popular models sold. The San Diego Wind Tunnel was utilized to conduct tests and Cervélo engineers invested approximately 180 hours into the project.

Sizing and Fit

The P5X will come in four different sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large. The aero bars feature a sliding post which provides plenty of room for adjustment, making all sizes suitable for a broad fit range.

Cervélo created a sizing tool on its website to help people identify their appropriate size depending on their fit measurements. It doesn’t matter if you like to sit in a cushioned seat that is low to the ground or if you prefer a higher seat, the P5X can likely fit your needs.


When you first look at the P5X compared to a typical double-diamond bike, it is natural to assume that the “beam” design must have some sort of downside. Why have not more bicycles been built using this approach if it really creates a faster and more rigid vehicle?

The Cervélo engineers flinch when they hear it referred to as a ‘beam bike.’ Softride is an example of a type of bicycle with a bendable component located at the junction of the seat post. This is not the case with the P5X.

The single-piece frame construction is actually more rigid than the P5 at the top and bottom of the cyclist’s tube. At the point where the seat post is connected, the usual cyclist won’t feel any flexibility or movement of roughly 1 millimetre while riding.

We made an effort to be aware of how the bike handled but it stayed rigid when we encountered bumps and went around turns. You feel connected to this bike instantly. We had two opportunities to give the P5X a try during the blustery conditions in Kona, and we were very pleased with how quickly it got up to speed and how steady it stayed.


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