First Ride: Cervelo C5 Endurance Bike's Kristen Legan shares her first impressions of Cervelo's new C5 Endurance Bike.

Photo: Gruber Images

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Light, agile, and fun to ride—not the words you’d normally associate with an endurance bike. But that’s exactly what came to mind while chasing town line sprints and climbing steep California hills aboard Cervelo’s new C5 endurance bike. The 850-gram frame (including small parts) is a versatile machine that provides a smooth ride without giving up Cervelo’s signature race feel. While Cervelo says it’s unlikely that we’ll see any pros racing the C5 this year (except maybe at Paris-Roubaix), the endurance bike is best-suited for mixed terrain including pavement, gravel, and dirt roads for everyday adventures.

On an unseasonably cool and rainy December day just outside of Napa Valley, Calif., Cervelo introduced its new C-Series line of endurance road bikes. The top-of-the-line C5 Dura-Ace Di2 9070 model that we took out for a spin is equipped with Shimano flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes and employs endurance geometry, including a taller head tube (180mm), longer chain stays (420mm), and a lower bottom bracket (BB drop 75mm).

Founded in 1995 by engineers Phil White and Gérard Vroomen, Cervelo’s first design was a time trial bike, built specifically for Italian cyclist Gianni Bugno. From the P-Series time trial bikes to the S-Series aero road bikes, everything Cervelo offers is built with speed in mind. So when rumors surfaced that the company was adding an endurance road bike to its quiver, we had our doubts. But after a weekend spent aboard the new offering, our assumptions were squashed and this smooth ride quickly won us over.

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