Cervélo R5 vs. Cervélo R2

Cervélo R5: $10,400 vs. Cervélo R2: $2,650


If someone handed you the keys to a Ferrari, would you be able to get all the performance out of the car that it is designed to give? Having a Cervélo R5 dropped off in the Disher’s bike rack was kind of like that. You know you are onto something pretty special and you wish you had the skills to exploit it.

The R5 is Cervélo’s top flight road bike (just below its pro RCA line), a carbon framed cheetah that explodes off a startline like no other bike I’ve ridden.

Light, agile and kitted out with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic shifting, the R5 provides as silky a road ride as you can get, from the rubber on the pavement to the silent shifting chain. I’ve ridden Cannondale, Felt, Specialized and other great bikes, but the R5 just felt different.

Quick off the start, smooth up the hills and in complete control on 75km/h descents, the R5 is a dream machine. It claims a 7.4 watt aero advantage thanks to Cervélo’s unique Squoval (squared oval) frame tubes. That’s nice, but the shape of the rider may have something to do with aero as well.

At more than $10,000, Cervélo isn’t giving away these babies, but if budget is no obstacle, every cyclist should at least take a test ride. Since budget is an issue for me, I also rode the R2 during the same stretch.

Another great ride but certainly not as responsive as the big brother. Equipped with Shimano 105, shifting is mechanically clean, but there is a noticeable difference in comfort and performance. I will say this, the white R2 is a sexy beast. It gets lots of oohs and aahs from the ride crowd and at a quarter the price of the R5, its value is undeniable.

– Ed Disher