Cervelo is launching the P5, their next pro-level triathlon bike, on Jan. 18, 2012. The details are still sketchy, but Cervelo has alluded to two substantial differences between the P5 and its predecessors, the P3 and P4.
Cervelo says the P5 will be built with, “an easier-to-live-with geometry and position” than the P4. The Canadian company has historically built their top-shelf bikes with geometry designed for extremely aggressive positions. The P1 and P2, their lower-priced tri bikes, have geometry schemes designed for more upright riding styles than the P3 and P4. The dramatic differences in geometry between the more aerodynamic models and the cheaper versions implied that Cervelo’s fastest bikes were designed for the fastest athletes, the ones capable of riding aggressive positions.
Cervelo showed the first signs that their geometry design philosophy is changing with the release of their new premier aero road bike this summer, the S5. It is designed to accommodate more conservative positions than its predecessor, the S3. This change was a decision to prioritize the needs of amateur cyclists over the needs of ProTour racers. This move to more upright geometry—shorter reach length and taller stack height—appears to have influenced the P5 as well.
The second fundamental change that Cervelo is willing to divulge is that the P5 will be available in two frameset models. Basically, they are making two different versions of the same bike. Cervelo supplies bikes to ProTour road cycling teams and the bikes they race are tightly legislated by the UCI, the international governing body of road cycling. The policies these road racers have to follow restrict their positions—saddle tip must be at least 5cm behind the bottom bracket—and the tube shapes of their bikes. Frame tubes cannot be more than 3-times deeper than they are wide. Triathletes have no such restrictions. Creating two different models allows Cervelo to produce the best possible bike for time trialists and triathletes.
In addition to those specific details, Cervelo says the P5 will have a revised braking system and, “An aerodynamically optimized design that has been engineered and tested in the wind tunnel to be faster than any bike on the road.”