Cervélo jumps into cyclocross with electronic-only R5-CX

The R5-CX is Cervélo's first cyclocross bike, and it takes cues from the highly successful R5 road bike.

Photo: Cervélo

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Cervélo has never officially had a cyclocross bike until today.

We spotted the Cervélo R5-CX frame under seven-time world champion Marianne Vos at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup Waterloo, but Cervélo declined to speak about the new bike until today.

Also read: Vos wins World Cup opener on prototype Cervélo R5-CX cyclocross bike

In 2007, Cervélo created a one-off bike for Jonathan Page — the Cervélo R3 Cross — however, the bike never made it into production.

Signing on as bike sponsor with Jumbo-Visma prompted the need for a cyclocross bike, with the likes of Vos and three-time world ’cross champion Wout van Aert on the team.

Vos has been racing a prototype of this bike in the early 2021-22 cyclocross season, and van Aert is scheduled to make his ‘cross season debut on December 4, on the Cervélo R5-CX.

With many design cues from the R5, the same bike that van Aert, Sepp Kuss, Primoz Roglic, and Vos raced on the road in 2021, the Cervélo R5-CX has a bottom bracket that is 11mm higher the road version of the bike.

The D-shaped seat post ensures no sideways slippage when the bike inevitably goes down on mud or dirt. (Photo: Greg Kaplan)

This design not only accommodates the racing demands of cyclocross, but also a need for power washing and frequent maintenance, something which Cervélo addressed by using a T47 size opening for the threaded, BBRight bottom bracket.

The D-shaped seatpost (remember “squoval” from a decade ago?) offers compliance, as well as no chance for the seatpost to pivot in the seat tube should the rider slip and fall while racing.

The new ‘cross bike only accommodates electronic drivetrains, which Cervélo claims limits the number of openings in the frame into which dirt, water, or mud can penetrate. The R5-CX only comes in a disc-brake version.

The bike will launch next summer, and Cervélo doesn’t want to commit to U.S. pricing yet.

“I’m hesitant to discuss builds and dollars with seven months ahead of us,” said Cervélo brand manager Sarah Taylor.

The 2022 Cervélo R5-CX will be available in 51, 54, 56, and 58cm sizes as a complete bike or frame.

Marianne Vos was testing — and winning on — a near-final prototype of the Cervélo R5-CX during the early part of the 2021 ‘cross season. (Photo: Greg Kaplan)

At launch, Cervélo said only sizes 51cm and 58cm — used by Vos and van Aert, respectively — will be available.

Don’t expect to see frame bosses for bags or other accessories; this is a ‘cross racing bike — not a gravel bike — according to Cervélo.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.