Cervélo has launched the Áspero 5 as a new go-fast gravel bike that comes as a more aerodynamic and lighter upgrade to the existing Áspero. It’s an uber-premium gravel super bike, with prices from £8,199 / $6,900 / €7,999 to £10,799 / $9,000 / €10,499.
When Cervélo launched the original Áspero back in 2019, I was hugely impressed with its on and off-road speed (you can read my Cervelo Áspero review). ‘Made to haul ass, not cargo’ (in Cervélo’s words), it was a pure gravel racing bike – not a machine for bikepacking or tourists, but one for fans of Cervélo’s race bikes, looking to broaden their horizons.
With that in mind, when we got wind of Cervélo’s new ride, we almost expected the Canadian brand to have gone down the versatility route, as is the case with many of the latest gravel bikes, laden with bikepacking bags.
Instead, Cervélo has doubled-down with the Áspero 5. If you’re familiar with Cervélo’s existing range, think of the standard Áspero as the standard S-Series bike and the new Áspero 5 as the equivalent to the mad-aero S5 WorldTour bike of Primož Roglič, Wout van Aert and co.
Eight things you need to know about the Cervélo Áspero 5
The Áspero 5 frameset is 10 per cent lighter than the standard ÁsperoThe Áspero 5 shaves 32g of drag from the Áspero, according to CerveloIntegrated frame protection saves the down tube from rock and stone strikesThe frame is electronic-only and keeps cables hidden, with fully internal brake hose routingTyre clearance is 45mm with 700c wheels, growing to 51mm with 650b wheelsThree models with SRAM Force AXS, SRAM Red AXS and Shimano GRX Di2All models have power meters and carbon Reserve wheels as standardPrices from £8,199 / $6,900 / €7,999 to £10,799 / $9,000 / €10,499
5 is the magic number
The original Áspero wasn’t exactly antiquated when it came to aerodynamics, with the frame using shapes from Cervélo’s tube library. That in itself consists of thousands of computer-modelled tube profiles, used as the building blocks for future designs, and taking into account a range of variables, including strength, compliance, weight and aerodynamics.
Now, Cervélo claims the 5 takes the Áspero to the next level as a performance-minded gravel bike.
The Áspero 5 retains Cervélo’s ‘trail mixer’ fork dropout to adjust the geometry.Cervélo
The 5 retains the original Áspero’s ‘trail mixer’ fork dropout, with a switchable insert in place of a standard thru-axle dropout to alter the geometry.
The insert tweaks the fork position fore and aft by 5mm, which should make the bike feel the same whether running a relatively slender tyre on a 700c wheel, or a chunky 2-inch tyre on a 650b wheel.
The fork offset switches between 46mm and 51mm on sizes 54 and up. On the 51 frame, it’s between 49mm and 54mm, and on the 48cm frame it’s between 52mm and 57mm, to ensure there are no toe-overlap issues and to keep handling consistent across the sizes.
Best gravel bikesBest gravel bike tyres
The Áspero 5 has symmetrical dropped chainstays to accommodate both 700c and 650b wheel sizes without compromising the frame stiffness.Cervélo
Tyre clearance is a claimed 45mm with 700c wheels (which come as standard), growing to 51mm with 650b wheels.
Unlike most of the framesets offering compatibility with both wheels sizes, including those gravel bikes from Open and 3T, Cervélo hasn’t opted for asymmetric stays (with the driveside chainstay dropping much lower to stay out of the way and give ample clearance for the chain line). Instead, the Áspero 5 uses a double-dropped design.
In terms of fixtures and fittings, there are mounts for two bottle cages (three sets of bolts offer dual positions on the down tube), a bento box mount recessed into the top tube, and a removable front mech mount if you want to go 1x.
More aero, less weight
The Áspero 5 is for riding gravel, fast.Cervélo
The Áspero 5-series frame has been further optimised over the standard Áspero with a claimed 10 per cent reduction in weight.
The original tipped the scales at 1,100g in a 56cm (painted frame with all the mounting hardware in place), so the new frame should dip below the kilo mark.
As for aerodynamics, fine-tuning the frame’s tube shapes, along with the newly-designed internal cable routing, has resulted in a 32g reduction in drag, according to Cervélo.
Now, there’s not a lot of info in Cervélo’s press pack to quantify that number (we’ve asked!) but if you’re wondering why you should even care about aerodynamics on a gravel bike, this is Cervélo’s take…
“If you’ve battled a headwind across an open prairie, the [32g] of drag you’ll save with the Áspero 5 come as a welcome respite,” reads Cervélo’s press material. “Most gravel racing is done without the benefit of a WorldTour peloton— or WorldTour tactics — and when it’s your nose in the wind all day, it’s nice to know your bike’s shouldering a bit of the load.”
Whether that matters to you is another thing – the same goes for the aero credentials of any bike – but it does provide an insight into how Cervélo is aiming this bike at gravel racing, rather than bridleway bimbling.
Keeping it clean
The Áspero 5’s front-end is fully internal, thanks to the updated frame and a new cockpit.Cervélo
Cervélo has cleaned up the Áspero 5 with fully internal routing, along with a new handlebar and stem. “Lower drag, less to snag”, is Cervélo’s philosophy here, and the cable-free design is key to the bike’s aero claims.
The front-end of the Áspero 5 introduces an all-new gravel bar (the AB09F) with 80mm of reach, 121mm of drop, a 16-degree flare and four degrees of sweep. It’s available in widths from 38mm to 44cm.
It works in conjunction with the Áspero 5’s alloy ST32 stem to route brake hoses and wires through the bar, in to the stem and down the head tube. Everything sits in the front of the C-shaped steerer tube, in a channel that uses a guiding spacer above a traditional headset (a similar design using a ‘D’ shaped steerer is also found on Cervélo’s Caledonia 5).
The Áspero’s fit is pretty adjustable, with the new ST32 stem available in lengths between 70mm and 130mm. It’s also flippable if you want a lower or taller effective stack. The headset spacers are split to make it easy to alter the handlebar height without the need to disconnect the hydraulics, which should make the Áspero 5 easier to pack for travel.
Cervélo Áspero 5 geometry
485154565861Seat angle (degrees)74.57473.5737373Head angle (degrees)7171.572727272Chainstay length (cm)424242424242Front centre (cm) (rwd/fwd)57.7/58.2 58.7/59.259.7/60.261.4/61.963.1/63.764.8/65.4Seat tube (cm)46.449.95355.557.860.2Top tube (cm)188.8.131.527.559.160.8Head tube (cm)8.310.713.315.918.821.4Fork offset (cm) (rwd/fwd)5.2/5.7 4.9/5.44.6/5.14.6/5.14.6/5.14.6/5.1Fork length (cm)38.538.538.538.538.538.5Bottom bracket drop (cm)7.857.8184.108.40.2067.35Wheelbase (mm) (rwd/fwd)984/990 994/1,0001,005/1,0101,022/1,0271,041/1,0461,058/1,063Standover (cm)6973.276.478.881.483.8Stack (cm)50.55355.55860.563Reach (cm)3737.938.839.740.641.5
Cervélo Áspero 5 range and prices
The Áspero 5 is very much a premium offering from Cervélo and is available in three build options.
At the top, there’s a SRAM Red eTap AXS bike in a 1x configuration (36t chainring, 10-36t cassette), with a Red AXS power meter as standard and coming ready-fitted with a CeramicSpeed OSPW upgrade on the rear mech.
Next is a 2x option with Shimano’s GRX RX815 Di2 groupset (48/31t crankset, 11-34t cassette), with a 4iiii DS power meter.
Completing the three-bike line-up is a 1x SRAM Force AXS model (36t chainring, 10-36t cassette) complete with a Force AXS crank-based power meter.
Cervélo Áspero 5 Red eTap AXS 1
The flagship Red AXS bike comes in ‘lime shimmer’.CervéloPrice: £10,799 / $9,000 / €10,499Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon Tapered Áspero Fork with Adjustable TrailHeadset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2Thru-axles: Cervélo Indexed Thru-Axles w/ Lever 12×100/142Wheels: Reserve 32mm DT350 XDR: 24h (F) 24h (R); 24mm IW; Centre-Lock; Tubeless ReadyTyres: Panaracer Gravel King SK Folding 700×38Crankset: SRAM Red AXS 1 with Power Meter 36TBottom bracket: SRAM DUBChain: SRAM RedFront derailleur: N/ARear derailleur: Sram Red eTap AXS Max Wide 12 spdCassette: SRAM Force 12s XG1270; 10-36Shifters: SRAM RED eTap AXS HRD 12 spdHandlebar: Carbon AB09 16deg Flared CarbonStem: Cervélo ST32 AlloyBrake calipers: SRAM Red HRDBrake levers: SRAM Red HRDBrake rotors: SRAM CenterLine XR 160mmSaddle: Prologo Dimension NACK 27.2 CarbonSeatpost: Cervélo SP19Accessories: Ceramic Speed OSPW, Cervélo Faceplate Front Computer/ Accessory Mount; Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount; Smartpak 400A Top Tube Storage Bag
Cervélo Áspero 5 GRX RX815 Di2
Like the Force AXS bike, the 2x GRX Di2 model comes in a muted black.Cervélo
Or there’s this much wilder ‘purple sunset’ colourway.CervéloPrice: £8,699 / $7,100 / €8,499Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon Tapered Áspero Fork with Adjustable TrailHeadset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2Thru-axles: Cervélo Indexed Thru-Axles w/ Lever 12×100/142Wheels: Reserve 32mm DT350 XDR: 24h (F) 24h (R); 24mm IW; Centre-Lock; Tubeless ReadyTyres: Panaracer Gravel King SK Folding 700×38Crankset: Shimano GRX 810 48/31Bottom bracket: JY-BB 24Chain: Shimano CN-HG701, 11 spdFront derailleur: Shimano GRX 815 Di2, 11 spdRear derailleur: Shimano GRX 815 Di2, 11 spdCassette: Shimano HG800, 11 spd, 11-34Shifters: Shimano GRX RX815 Di2, 11spdHandlebar: Carbon AB09 16deg Flared CarbonStem: Cervélo ST32 AlloyBrake calipers: Shimano GRX RX815 Hydraulic DiscBrake levers: Shimano GRX RX815 Hydraulic DiscBrake rotors: Shimano SM-RT800, 160mmSaddle: Prologo Dimension NACK 27.2 CarbonSeatpost: Cervélo SP19Accessories: Cervélo Faceplate Front Computer/ Accessory Mount; Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount; Smartpak 400A Top Tube Storage Bag
Cervélo Áspero 5 Force eTap AXS 1
The Áspero 5 Force AXS comes in understated black and silver.Cervélo
This ‘purple sunset’ finish has much more punch to it.CervéloPrice: £8,199 / $9,000 / €7,999Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon Tapered Áspero Fork with Adjustable TrailHeadset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2Thru-axles: Cervélo Indexed Thru-Axles w/ Lever 12×100/142Wheels: Reserve 32mm DT350 XDR: 24h (F) 24h (R); 24mm IW; Centre-Lock; Tubeless ReadyTyres: Panaracer Gravel King SK Folding 700×38Crankset: SRAM Force AXS 1 with Power Meter 36TBottom bracket: SRAM DUBChain: SRAM ForceFront derailleur: N/ARear derailleur: Sram Force eTap AXS Max Wide 12 spdCassette: SRAM Force 12s XG1270; 10-36Shifters: SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD 12 spdHandlebar: Carbon AB09 16deg Flared CarbonStem: Cervélo ST32 AlloyBrake calipers: SRAM Force HRDBrake levers: SRAM Force HRDBrake rotors: SRAM CenterLine XR 160mmSaddle: Prologo Dimension NACK 27.2 CarbonSeatpost: Cervélo SP19Accessories: Cervélo Faceplate Front Computer/ Accessory Mount; Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount; Smartpak 400A Top Tube Storage Bag