Bike Check: James Cunnama's Cervélo P5X

The Cervélo P5X triathlon bike was unveiled at Ironman World Championship in October. South African triathlete James Cunnama was one of the lucky few to be racing the new bike at the event.

James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 1.jpg

 

Triathlon events are not governed by the UCI so they are not restricted by the same rules that time trial riders are, meaning that triathlon bikes are free to push the limits and capitalise on developments in technology. The results are wonderfully space-age bikes like the P5X.

 

James Cunnama Cervelo P5x profile.jpg

 

Cervélo claims to have the most aerodynamic bike on the market. Unfortunately, we left our portable wind tunnel at the office on the day of the shoot, so we'll just have to believe them. James explained that the crosswind impact is much better than the older P5 as there is less frame material higher up and towards the back of the bike where you have less control compared to the front wheel.

 

Chatting to James, it is clear that he is a bit of a bike geek and likely the reason that Cervélo and ENVE have had him involved in the development of their products. James's biggest push was tubeless wheels and, for that reason, disk brakes as well. With the P5X and ENVE SES 7.8 wheels, he's gotten just what he wanted.

 

James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 12x.jpg

 

Moving away from rim brakes makes building a wheel much simpler. There are no more concerns about a braking surface and the resulting heat dissipation. Without these factors, ENVE has been able to build a better and more reliable aerodynamic tubeless rim. The brakes on the bike are TRP HY/RD. They feature a hydraulic system on the brake that is mechanically operated, allowing compatibility with existing road brake levers.

 

James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 21.jpg

 

With the wheels, I don’t chop and change too much. The 7.8’s are shallow enough to ride in most crosswinds, probably near a disk wheel in stiffness and light enough for climbing. ENVE are adamant that their wheels are as good as a disk wheel. James Cunnama

 

James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 19.jpg

 

This P5X is set up exactly as it was when James raced at Ironman World Championships in October. Having been unveiled just before the event in Kona, the bike was brand new and it was the first time he had raced on it. Having to keep the bike under wraps meant that he did not have much training time on the bike either. Cervélo, however, were meticulous with mimicking the fit from his previous P5, making the transition seamless.

 

Although the retail P5X is sold with the wireless SRAM Red eTap drive train, James had some compatibility issues with some of his other components and decided to race on Shimano DuraAce Di2 drive parts instead.

 

James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 14.jpg

 

The DuraAce rear derailleur features a CeramicSpeed cage to fit the brand's oversized 17-tooth pulley wheels which claim to reduce friction and save some precious watts. James uses a Rotor 2INPower crankset to measure his power through both crank arms with Rotor's osymetric Qring chainrings. He admits that it is hard to judge the impact that oval rings bring but after fitting them to his bike, he won his next four races including his first Ironman win, so he is sticking to them. The finishing touch on race day is a CeramicSpeed UFO racing chain that is designed to be ridden for only 320 kilometres, but offers superior efficiency.

 

James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 23.jpg
James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 24.jpg

 

The P5X may be a no holds barred professional level racing bike but Cervélo did not feel this meant that they needed to sacrifice practicality for pros and amateurs.

 

James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 2.jpg


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James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 5.jpg


The aero bars are fully adjustable to help riders get that perfect position. The bars also completely disassemble with the loosening of a few bolts. They can also be removed to make the bike flat for easy transportation. The P5X comes with its own travel bike bag to make this process even simpler.

 


James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 4.jpg

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James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 25.jpg

 

Cervélo also looked closely at what triathletes of all levels carry during races and where they prefer to have it on their bikes. The result was space for a bottle on the handlebars, on the seatpost, and within the front triangle. The seatpost mount is specifically designed to keep the bottle as close to the rear of the bike as possible but still cater for varying size bottles and cages.

 


James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 22.jpg

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Spares are stored in compartments within the frame included a removable plastic box in the front triangle (as fitted on James's bike). There is also a bag attachment on the top tube where the rider can store nutrition, and there is even a little separator to keep tablets from getting lost.

 

James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 29.jpg
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James Cunnama Cervelo P5x 30.jpg

 

Full Specification:


  • FrameCervelo P5X 56cm
  • ForkIntegrated P5X (by Cervelo)
  • Rims (Front/Rear)ENVE SES 7.8 disc
  • Hubs (Front/Rear)DT240
  • Tyres (Front/Rear)Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless 25mm
  • HandlebarsIntegrated P5X Cervelo
  • StemIntegrated P5X Cervelo
  • BrakesetTRP HYRD Mechanical/Hydraulic
  • ShiftersShimano DuraAce Di2
  • Front DerailleurShimano DuraAce Di2
  • Rear derailleurShimano DuraAce Di2
  • CassetteShimano DuraAce Di2 11-25T
  • CranksetRotor 2INPower, 170mm
  • ChainringsRotor Qings 54-39T
  • ChainCeramic Speed UFO (racing)
  • Bottom BracketCeramic Speed Pressfit BB
  • PedalsShimano DuraAce SPD
  • SeatpostIntegrated P5X
  • SaddleCobb Plus
  • Bike ComputerGarmin 510
  • Water bottles/cagesX-lab (Torpedo, Gorilla, Sidekick)
  • Computer and PowerGarmin 510 + Rotor 2INPower




26 Comments

BaGearA, Jan 27 2017 11:55

Estimated Retail?

Schmorglebot, Jan 27 2017 11:56

It's looks might not appeal to every taste, but there is something beautiful about a machine designed to do just one thing well... in this case, to go fast!

SeanvR, Jan 27 2017 12:01

I'm reporting this pornographic material!

koukie, Jan 27 2017 12:05

Interesting, a chain that can only be ridden for 320km.

 

Edit: I see after the 320km the special coating is off.

Schnavel, Jan 27 2017 12:14

Wow! 

 

Now that's a bike! Looks like it could be from the movie "Tron"

T-Bob, Jan 27 2017 12:15

Looks amazing and those jocky wheels are massive! I'm still surprised that they haven't integrated a riders water / juice / whatever and you still have bottle holders sticking out here and there like an after thought when everything has been thought about for aerodynamics.  

Nick, Jan 27 2017 12:16

Estimated Retail?

 

With eTap and the Enve wheels, I believe international retail is $15,000. Not sure what that will translate to locally.

Mongoose!, Jan 27 2017 12:27

Think of beaut

What is the weight?

and most important... does it rattle on rough tar roads? :ph34r:

Theo187, Jan 27 2017 12:34

Don't think that I would like to have one but it is a beautiful looking machine.

shaper, Jan 27 2017 12:35

Looks amazing and those jocky wheels are massive! I'm still surprised that they haven't integrated a riders water / juice / whatever and you still have bottle holders sticking out here and there like an after thought when everything has been thought about for aerodynamics.  

Problem with integrating hydration, once you have drunk the contents it it is just taking up space and difficult to fill when on the move, these guys do not stop to refil... so when you are on the bike for 4:30 - 5hrs is easier to drink the bottle, toss it at a water station litter point and grab another which is handed to you by volunteers

Shebeen, Jan 27 2017 12:59

Looks amazing and those jocky wheels are massive! I'm still surprised that they haven't integrated a riders water / juice / whatever and you still have bottle holders sticking out here and there like an after thought when everything has been thought about for aerodynamics.  

yup. with all that hollow tubing available. even if it's an effort getting it in, you don't mind taking a bit of time setting these bikes up.

Erroli8a8, Jan 27 2017 01:20

the image of the non drive side crank. is that a crack in the frame I see?

popcorn_skollie, Jan 27 2017 04:56

Warp speed Mr Sulu. 

 

Aye Sir. Engaging warp speed.

 

Warp 1. Sir.

 

Warp 2...

 

Sulu wait. Is that the..

 

Warp 3.. the what sir?

 

The sun Sulu is that the

 

Warp 4

 

Sun.

 

Aye Sir warp 5

 

Sulu have you lost it?

 

Warp 6

 

Sulu!

 

Warp 7

 

We need to shrug off this speed!

 

Warp 8.

 

Now! Mr Sulu!

 

Warp 9...

 

Aye sir..

 

9.6

 

Sulu!

 

9.7

 

Engaging evasive maneuvers sir.

 

Time warp speed at 9.8...

 

Sir...

 

Hang on....

Oakley360, Jan 27 2017 05:00

the image of the non drive side crank. is that a crack in the frame I see?

looks like a massive crack.

And what is up with the Mechanically driven hydraulic disc brakes(so it seems to me)

I have also recently bitten the bullet to get a TT machine and have to say they are not light at all (at least mine does not rattle) - but man these machines goes well!!

Nick, Jan 27 2017 05:27

the image of the non drive side crank. is that a crack in the frame I see?

 

I really don't think it's a crack. We got very intimate with the bike and didn't notice anything at the time. 

 

Another angle, although a line is still clearly visible, I think it's something in the construction rather than a failure. There are similar lines throughout the bike.

 

James Cunnama Cervelo P5X crank 1.jpg

 

James is racing this bike on Sunday.

'Dale, Jan 27 2017 06:25

Two triathletes passed me on this beast of a bike last weekend

 

It ain't pretty

But sure is quite an evolution (re-evolution of) of a frame

Rocket-Boy, Jan 27 2017 08:38


And what is up with the Mechanically driven hydraulic disc brakes(so it seems to me)
 

Its mentioned in the article, those are used for compatibility with non-hydro brake levers. The bike is originally designed with etap but he couldnt use it because of compatibility reasons, the etap would have have hydro brakes so these were most likely used as a compromise. 

 

I think that bike is flippen sexy.

Jaco-fiets, Jan 28 2017 12:27

I can appreciate the purpose built meticulous engineering that went into designing this machine.

 

Having said that it is still fugly as fug

Paulst12, Jan 28 2017 01:34

Nothing special... Quintana Roo have been making than design since Moses played scrumhalf for Egypt

'Dale, Jan 28 2017 02:38

I can appreciate the purpose built meticulous engineering that went into designing this machine.

Having said that it is still fugly as fug


Yip
Rather gimme the Canyon 😇

Kalahari Vegmot, Jan 28 2017 04:25

Zipp was way ahead of ya'll...
images.jpg

shaper, Jan 28 2017 08:34

Saw it close up today as well as 2 others at EL70.3. Looks better close up than in pictures

Jaco-fiets, Jan 28 2017 08:52

Nothing special... Quintana Roo have been making than design since Moses played scrumhalf for Egypt

K@K funny

fabs, Jan 29 2017 07:22

mmmm?  lots of space to hide electric motors 

Shebeen, Jan 30 2017 09:50


And what is up with the Mechanically driven hydraulic disc brakes(so it seems to me)

 

Same thought from me. Surely if you're going to have wire levers, why not just have mechanical discs all round...not like the brakes get used much anyway?