Does aero matter? Yeah. Aero matters.
Like, REALLY matters. Seriously. Pay attention to this. If you care about going fast, then you need to care about aero. Aerodynamic optimization is one of the most important things a rider can do to optimize their performance. We’d say it is right up there with training, nutrition, recovery, “pre-hab,” and bike fit.
The pros spend a LOT of time and energy paying attention to the finer points of aerodynamics., but can doing so make a big difference for the rest of us? Absolutely.
We recently sat down with Collin C., the proud new owner of a brand new Cervelo S5 to get his take on the difference an aero bike can make.
You already had a pretty bad ass bike... What prompted the need for an S5?
Well I had a 2016 S5 so I know how awesome that bike was and I knew this one could only be better. I have been riding an S Works Tarmac SL6 for the past year and a half and absolutely loved it. That being said, I was looking to get back on an aero bike since the majority of the riding I do is better suited for one. I was between the Trek Madone, the new S Works Venge, and this new S5. All great bikes, but the S5 I feel is just the ultimate aero bike and let's be honest it's the coolest too.
Your first ride was a big one. We rode the Fountain Hills loop under Arizona summer sun and 40% humidity. Lots of climbing. Lots of descending. Lots of twists and turns. How did the Cervelo perform?
Having lived in Florida most of my life the weather and humidity wasn't a huge issue. The first climb was Dynamite which I was fully expecting to be slower on against my old Tarmac. However, the bike tracked right up with no issue, both seated and standing on it. The same for all the hills in Fountain Hills, there was no real noticeable difference in climbing ability. The highlight of the ride was going down Nine Mile Hill. Just an absolute bullet and so stable never once having a nervous twitch or bounce.
I seem to remember you saying during the rollers on the Rio Verde section, “Dude. It feels like we are easy spinning at 14mph… We’re going 24!” So having an aero bike is a big performance boost?
In the past aero bikes were great on flats, but garbage on hills so the performance kind of equaled out. But now, and especially with this S5, the climbing is vastly improved making it the perfect bike.
Speaking of a performance boost, you upgraded the BB and derailleur pulleys to Ceramic Speed. Smooth like butter?
Honestly I wasn't expecting much from them. I had Ceramicspeed BB bearings in my Tarmac so I knew what that was like. But adding the pulleys just made the whole system work, like you said, like butter. Well worth it.
Tell me about that stem/handlebar. Obviously, it looks cool... But how are the ergonomics?
Yeah it's the big draw to the S5 it's awesome. You're really not going to notice the stem a lot when you're riding unless you're looking at it. I actually found a new position I liked with my hands on top then my thumbs actually sit on top of the stem under the bar. Then riding this morning I went for a sprint and had so much confidence throwing it side to side with the extra stability. That could be all mental but for me that is just as important.
Last one. Describe your new ride in five words or less.
Dude, this bike is fast.
Editor’s note #1: Aero really does matter more than you think it does. Check out our Aero Services page, or give us a call at 480-699-5358 to learn more about aero, or to find out how to score a new S5 for yourself!
Editor’s note #2: It is always a good idea to get your #Fit1st ***before*** you buy a new bike, but it is especially important to do so before you buy a bike like the S5. That sexy, fully-integrated front end? Yeah, it’s not inexpensive to have rebuilt. The parts alone will run you several hundred, and that doesn’t include running new hydraulic cables. Find out how much your new bike will actually cost, and what it will feel like before you commit. Check out the video below to learn more about what the Cyclologic #Fit1st process is like.