What do you do when you have the lightest road frame available, that scores perfect marks in stiffness tests and is good enough to win a Grand Tour? If you’re Cervélo you make it lighter. And stiffer. And aero.
After Ryder Hesjedal won the 2012 Giro d’Italia on board their R5ca, Cervélo asked themselves how could they make it better? After a routine test in the wind tunnel, something they hadn’t considered before as the R5ca wasn’t meant to be an aero frame, they discovered that even with its Squoval tube shapes it had the lowest drag figures for a non-aero frame, even better than classic round tube profiles.
The Squoval tube shapes were never meant to be aero profiles, they had been designed purely for light weight and high stiffness. After discussions with Team Garmin-Sharp they decided to improve on the R5ca by making a stiffer, more aerodynamic frame without adding weight.
Since Cervélo Cycles was created in 1995 by engineers Phil White and Gérard Vroomen, it has become a company associated with the most technologically advanced bikes. They now boast that they have more engineers working for them than bike models and use similar tools and techniques to Formula 1 teams; this is a company far removed from the old artisan style of frame building.
So it was back to the Project California R&D lab, slap bang in the middle of America’s military/industrial/aerospace region. Using their own engineers, composite analysis and mould making tools, Cervélo not only do all the R&D in California but each of the 350 frames will be assembled there in the same labs in which they were conceived… (continued on page 2)>