Tour de France tech: Mark Cavendish’s Custom Cervelo S5

LONGWY, France (CT) – Yeah, we know – it’s stunning, isn’t it? Mark Cavendish, freshly returned from a bout of glandular fever, is piloting this piece of art during this year’s Tour de France. Cav’s Cervelo S5 has had more than a little respray. British company Silverstone Paint Technology (SPT)…

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LONGWY, France (CT) – Yeah, we know – it’s stunning, isn’t it? Mark Cavendish, freshly returned from a bout of glandular fever, is piloting this piece of art during this year’s Tour de France.

Cav’s Cervelo S5 has had more than a little respray. British company Silverstone Paint Technology (SPT) usually sticks within the realms of Formula 1, but it’s amazing to see what their ultralight heat-shielding material can accomplish on the carbon bike.

Beyond paint

Tom Briggs, Cervélo’s lead graphic designer, visited the SPT headquarters in Northamptonshire where he was shown the new heat-shielding material that’s usually applied to the brakes and engines of F1 cars. Covering the S5 in this material resulted in a ‘paint job’ that apparently weighs an unbelievable 1 gram. Cervelo claims the ‘paint’ is an equally unbelievable 10 microns thick.

Because adding paint and clear coat to the material would increase its weight, SPT used dyes to drastically reduce the amount of paint required. With only about a third of the frameset treated with the paint, it reduces the weight of the bike by a claimed 10% of the frame’s overall weight: a whole 75g.

Beyond the treatment (we daren’t call it paint) the bike has Dimension Data’s usual sponsored equipment. Enve supplies the rims and has colour-matched the decals to the frame, while also providing Aero carbon road bars. Keeping the wheels spinning are Chris King R45 hubs, again in a matching anodised green.

The groupset is from Shimano — the latest Dura-Ace 9100 Di2. The only deviations are a KMC X11S chain in gold and a Shimano 9000 series chainset. Fizik supply the saddle, the bar tape comes from Lizard Skin and the final contact point, the pedals, are Shimano Dura-Ace.

On the day we took photos, the bike was shod with tubulars from Continental — the Competition Pro LTDs in 25mm — though that could quickly change due to the unpredictable weather of northern Europe.

Note that Cavendish’s bike isn’t the first time SPT has been involved with Cervelo, as the company worked with British Cycling whom Cervelo supply special T5GB bikes to for Team GB track riders. These were used at the Rio Olympics in August.

Oh, and that treatment? It’s a steal at US$4,000!

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Keeping the Enve wheels spinning are anodised Chris King R45 hubs.
The latest Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9100 groupset is in use. The chain, though, is one of a few deviations from the groupset — a KMC X11SL.
It’s not the tidiest of cable routing for the Di2 junction box that is stashed behind Cav’s saddle. A bit of gaffer tape keeps the cables in place. Many junction boxes are usually found in the stem on road bikes. Cav must think this is a more aero option.
Ceramic Speed supply not just the bottom bracket but also the headsets.
A nice little detail on the Enve SES Aero Road bar. The carbon bars weigh a whispy 233g.
Go-faster racing stripes on the top tube. After all his autobiography is called ‘Boy Racer’.
The precision and detail on the frame is second to none; it’s a pure piece of art. Will Cervelo be producing it as a limited edition in the future? We can only hope.
The Manx flag appears on the inside of the non-drive-side chainstays. Will Cav’s legs be spinning in a similar style to victory?
Cav’s choice of saddle is the Fizik Arione. The seatpost’s layback will also allow some shock absorption due to its flattened spring-like design.
Brakes are again the latest version of Shimano’s Dura-Ace callipers.
Tubulars of choice are the ever-popular Continental Competition Pro LTDs in 25mm.
The rest of the riders also have custom colours on their bikes. Cav also has his name (or a version of his name) included in the graphics.
Enve supply wheels to the whole team, but Cav gets his own custom graphics.
The two-tone fork is just gorgeous.
You couldn’t have got a closer match in green between the bottles and the frame. It’s an impressive piece of work.
Even under the lacquer, you can make out individual carbon pieces that the frame is made from.
The colour scheme is the same design as on other S5s available to the public but just turned up to 11.
Enve supply their carbon road stem with its proprietary GPS computer mount. It’s a slick set up.
Cav’s personal brand logo appears on the top tube.
The bike in all its beauty. The camera can’t convey how stunning it is the daylight. One noticeable change for Cavendish from team sponsored products is the inclusion of a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 series chainset. Rotor is the official chainset sponsors.
The ultimate #BAAW
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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