2013 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Bikes

Cervélo P5-Three
$6,000, Cervelo.com
The draw: Translates speed in the lab to speed on the road

While many top-end bikes are becoming more complicated, Cervélo’s flagship is easier to use and more functional than any of its predecessors. While Cervélo’s two prior top-level tri bikes had geometry optimized for pro-level cyclists, the P5 is suited to positions ridden by the thousands of people that fill the transition area. Many bikes can be adjusted and corrected to fit many triathletes, but this frame does it better. Eliminating the need for gigantic spacer stacks contributes to the bike’s highly reactive ride feel and outstanding performance in a recent wind tunnel test conducted by the editors of Triathlete. Cornering feels steady and not excessively quick. Traveling with this machine is simple and easy, although cable routing requires a careful hand. The P5-Three has an external front brake while the P5-Six uses a fairing extending off the front of the headtube, complicating the design and saving a few grams of drag. Although Cervélo didn’t integrate hydration or storage, the company provided information to X-Lab, Dark Speed Works and other hydration brands, which have designed a host of accessories to complement the bike. The P5’s combination of speed, ride quality and function is unbeatable today.

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