Is Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 Worth Buying? [2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 Review]

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2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 Review

  • Price: $9000
  • Frame: Carbon
  • Tires: 700c×25 carbon
  • Gear: 2×12 Electronic

What we like about it: The ultimate lightweight framework, and top-notch components.

What we don’t like about it: The price is a bit steep.

Rating (4.9/5)

Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2

The Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 is a great all-rounder that, like the Giant TCR, is a road bike that doesn’t keep growing with the times. It’s light enough and comfortable enough for long, steep road climbs or long rides on the flat. In addition, the stiff frame with excellent slight aero design makes it as good for climbing as it looks.

Sure, there are lighter road bikes, and there are aero road bikes, but few have blended the two as well as it has.

Below we break down the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 regarding road riding, road climbing, key features, components and specifications, and other versions.

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Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 Road Riding

Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 Road Riding

About a decade ago, being lightweight on a road bike meant everything. So did the previous generation of the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2, the extreme lightness, and stiffness of which made it trusted by most riders. Regarding the latest generation, Cervelo claims to have reduced the frame weight by 130g, bringing the weight down to 703g for 63 yards. As you can see, such a lightweight frame can still maintain good rigidity is also a very surprising point.

I’m a very light rider and the extreme lightness makes the bike feel techier to me than an aero bike. The first time I got it I couldn’t wait to ride it on a nearby road, not sure if I should attribute it to the beauty of the coastline or the fact that the bike is light. It had a very fast start and I could feel it going fast with just a gentle push and I could get a good view of the surrounding scenery.

One thing that was clear to me was that it was always a race bike. When I rode slowly, I felt the front end was a little too nimble and the bike felt too light, and I don’t think anyone would ride it at 15km/h all the time.

It’s worth noting that the light pedal feels made me want to accelerate very much. Once the bike accelerates to the speed it likes, it becomes increasingly composed and gives me plenty of confidence, and the steering is very precise. My colleague said it could handle even the most demanding corners with ease.

But actual ride reviews tell me that it doesn’t seem to like low-speed riders very much.

Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 Road Climbing

Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 Road Climbing

Lighter frames are often directly categorized as climbing bikes. Indeed, research has shown that lighter frames help us climb long hills better, and the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 is one of those bikes. The lightweight frame makes it ideal for riding uphill road sections, and it has a long front center that allows me to tackle more twisty and winding road climbs.

With this in mind, we launched our challenge around the technical hills of southern Bristol. With flat roads and dense woods on either side, the abundance of uphill and downhill couldn’t have been better for the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2.

I have to say that the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 is a real climber and I felt very refreshed on the climbs. When I pedaled hard up a steep hill, the stout mid-axle as well as the down tube and rear lower fork were very stiff and made my power feel 100% transmitted to the ground. And on some modest climbs, I was able to climb easily without even getting out of the saddle. I rarely find a bike like this in testing, and its various moves all point to it being a dedicated light climber.

Main Features

Frame Group

The frame as a whole is very lightweight, even 130g lighter than the previous one, weighing only 703g for 56 yards. although this is not the lightest, it is amazing enough. That’s not all, it also upgraded its rigidity, which is crazy.

In the previous generation of this bike, some people commented that the Cervelo R5 was difficult to face the bumpy road and the shock absorption ability was not optimistic.

The fork has been redesigned on the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 to ensure lateral rigidity while greatly improving longitudinal compression.

Also, the thick BB area is overbuilt to minimize flex when pedaling. I like to feel this tough delivery on climbs.


The 54-yard frame Stack is only a mere 547mm, which is 1 mm higher than the Canyon Ultimate but 10 mm lower than the Merdia Scultura. this makes the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 very aggressive for a climbing bike.

It also has a very short Reach (380mm) compared to the Canyon Ultimate’s 385mm and the Merdia Scultura’s 395mm, which combined with the steep 73° head tube caused me to feel my toes very close to the front wheel while riding. But I can change to a shorter crank and a longer handlebar, which is very easy to change.

In addition, the short rear dropouts (410mm) of the competitive design fit well, but the seat angle (73°) is not designed to be steep. It is a balance of comfort and athleticism.

Also, the wheelbase is quite balanced, with just a few millimeters difference from bikes like the Trek Emonda and Specialized Aethos.

Components and Specifications

Ultegra Di2 2×12 Drivetrain

Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 Ultegra Di2 2×12 Drivetrain

This is a bold design, as the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 is designed to support electronic shifting only, which eliminates the need for holes in the frame and the need to install cable routing. This is a limitation but further reduces the weight of the frame.

Compared to the (11-28T) 11-speed system, the 12-speed is designed to be (10-33T) allowing the gears to become sheerer when shifting. So I can shift more smoothly, while the smaller gear ratio allows me to climb steeper hills.

Whenever I’m on a tough climb, I’m thankful to have 12-speed gear.

Shimano Ultegra 8170 Hydraulic Disc Brake

Happily, the latest Ultegera R8170 brake calipers offer stronger modulation, a quieter braking system, and an easier exhaust process than previous generations. Moreover, the faster initial braking point makes it more responsive and manageable. After climbing to the top of a hill, I often need to sprint down the hill quickly, which is a good example of the braking effect of the Shimano Ultegra 8170 Hydraulic Disc. Even when squeezing the disc for a long time, there is no loss of braking ability due to heat decay. The quick cooling can make it not as hot as the previous discs.

New Reserve 34/37mm DT370 Wheelset

The wheelset is Reserve, with different rim heights front and rear, 34mm in the front and 37mm in the rear, while Cervelo claims a weight of 1300g, which is very light indeed, but still not the lightest.

In addition to the height of the wheelset, the internal rim width varies between the wheels, being very wide at 24mm at the front and narrower at 22mm at the rear. this design provides a better balance of stability, weight, and optimal aerodynamics.

Even though it’s a very small change, it still enhances it very nicely. The deep-section wheelset filters out the side wind very well and keeps me from being blown from side to side.

Other versions of Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2

Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2

In this review, we reviewed the 2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 This is a bike that pursues lightweight. In addition to its excellent climbing ability, it is also an extremely well-rounded race bike. I like the ultimate lightweight experience as well as the climbing ability.

I also found its predecessor, 2021, which uses a high front and rear frame wheelset that isn’t suitable for climbing, and an external handlebar alignment design that will undoubtedly have more wind resistance for a bike at this price point. And with a total price tag of $2,150, it’s safe to say that the new generation 2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 is a design that increases performance and reduces the price.

If you want to know more about this bike series test, welcome to follow us.

Learn More: 2022 Cervelo S5 Ultegra Di2 Review- Undoubtedly The Fastest Bike Of The Modern Era

What we like about it

  1. Lightweight frame.
  2. Wheelsets with front and rear fat rings and different frame heights.
  3. Simple alignment design.
  4. Extremely strong hill climbing performance.
  5. Comfortable riding position.
  6. Top-notch drivetrain and braking system.

What we don’t like about it

1, the price is not friendly to the public rider.


  • How is the 2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 drivetrain efficiency? What is the feeling?

The drivetrain feels very efficient, not just in the high rigidity of the frame, but also in the smoothness and fluidity of riding the 2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 on the rougher tarmac. It feels very smooth like it’s floating off the road.

  • Can you tell me the geometry data of the frame and fork?

The 73° head tube angle is very steep and puts my toes very close to the front wheel. Nonetheless, the 2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 will be very stable on high-speed descents and corners, while the 72mm BB drop makes it even more stable. And the 41mm rear fork length is also balanced.

3、What heights does the 2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 fit?

The sizing chart for the 2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 is as follows.

(These sizes are only a general guide, the true fit may vary from person to person and the easiest way to find your size is best to go for a test ride.)

Rider height SIZE
153cm – 167cm 48
165cm – 174cm 51
172cm – 180cm 54
178cm – 186cm 56
184cm – 192cm 58

2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 Specs


Frame carbon 
BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit 
Colors: Lime Black; Five Black
Fork Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork
Bottom Bracket JY-BB 24
Headset FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
Stem Cervélo ST31 Carbon
Handlebar Cervélo HB13 Carbon
Saddle Prologo Scratch M5 PAS TiRox OR Selle Italia FLITE BOOST SuperFlow Ti
Seatpost Cervelo SP24 Seatpost


Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra Di2 8150, 12 spd
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra Di2 8150, 12 spd
Crank Shimano Ultegra 8100 52/36
Shifters Shimano Ultegra Di2 8170, 12 spd
Cassette Shimano Ultegra CS-R8100, 12 spd, 11-30
Chain Shimano CN-M8100, 12 spd
Brakes Shimano Ultegra 8170 Hydraulic Disc


Rims New Reserve 34/37mm DT370, 24h (F), 24h (R), 22.6mm IW (F), 21.6mm IW (R), Center-Lock, Tubeless Ready OR New Reserve 34/37mm Zipp 76/176 HG, 24h (F), 24h (R ), 22.6mm IW (F), 21.6mm IW (R), Center-Lock, Tubeless Ready
Tires Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 25c


Comparison Table

Bicycles Price Drivetrain Brakes Tires Click view
2023 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 9 Di2 $10549 Dura-Ace Di2 2×12  Shimano Dura Ace Di2 R9270 Hydro Disc Schwalbe Pro One, 700 x 25C Click View
Scott Addict RC Pro $9999 Dura-Ace Di2 2×12 Shimano BR-R9270 Hydro Disc Schwalbe PRO ONE Microskin 700×28C Click View
Bianchi Specialissima – Ultegra Di2 $9600 Ultegra Di2 2×12 Shimano Ultegra Di2 Hydro Disc Pirelli P ZERO™ Race 700×35 (35c to 40c) Click View
Cervelo R5 Red eTap AXS $13000 Red eTap 2×12 SRAM Red HRD Hydro Disc Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 700×25c  Click View

2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 vs 2023 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 9 Di2

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 9 Di2

The Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 9 Di2 is an ultra-lightweight bike focused on climbing, at just 6.8kg, it is even lighter than the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 reviewed here. This gives it a lot of support for its climbing performance.

But comparing the geometry, and in real-world riding, I found that the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 has a shorter forward reach (380mm) and a steeper head tube angle (73°). This makes it easier to power and the frame will be stiffer. This is critical to the energy consumption ratio when climbing.

However, the latter is equipped with higher-end components and a more compressed frame. This will be more suitable for smaller players, but taller players may cause the seat tube to be pulled too high and lose some stability.

learn more: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 8 Aero Review [2023]- A Bike That Combines Road-Climbing And Racing

2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 vs 2022 Scott Addict RC Pro

Scott Addict RC Pro

The Scott Addict RC Pro has Shimano’s top-of-the-line Dura-Ace components and is equipped with a ZIPP 303 SE wheelset. All this proves that this is an excellent lightweight and comprehensive road bike.

In terms of components, the Scott Addict RC Pro uses Shimano’s top-of-the-line kit. The Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 is the next top-of-the-line kit, and all other components have slight upgrades, so the price will be relatively expensive.

Compared to the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2, the Scott Addict RC Pro has a very low Stack (548mm), a difference of 24mm, which allows the Scott Addict RC Pro to go for more all-round performance. The Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2, on the other hand, will focus on climbing performance. How to choose needs to be selected for your usual riding habits.

Learn more: 2023 The Best Gravel Bike (High-end Version)

2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 vs 2022 Bianchi Specialissima – Ultegra Di2

Bianchi Specialissima - Ultegra Di2

Both bikes use the same level of Shimano and the next best Ultegra, but the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 uses a version with one more gear, which gives it a more dense handling feel especially on uphill sections.

On another note, the geometry of the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 has a very high standover height but is otherwise almost identical, so it will have a better overall performance. The Bianchi Specialissima – Ultegra Di2, on the other hand, is designed with a low stand-up height. This gives the frame more strength and better performance when cranking the bike uphill. But in practice, I think the stiffer frame of the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 completely cancels out this advantage.

Bianchi Specialissima – Ultegra Di2 12V Review [2022]- What Makes It Worth $10,000?

2022 Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 vs 2022 Cervelo R5 Red eTap AXS

Cervelo R5 Red eTap AXS

The two bikes are a comparison of the same frame from the same period, the difference being in the components. As their names suggest, the Cervelo R5 Ultegra Di2 uses Shimano’s next-to-top electronic gearing, while the R5 Red eTap AXS uses SRAM’s top gearing.

There is a very large price difference between the two shifting systems, and this is a direct result of the $4,000 difference between the two bikes. There’s no doubt that the SRAM Red eTap AXS has an unbeatable feel, but it’s up to you whether you’re willing to pay up to $4,000 to upgrade.

For a gravel bike, the Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 Suspension 1by is excellent in terms of damping. The RockShox Rudy 30 fork absorbs vibrations effectively and has 10mm more travel than the Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon.

It also comes with a dropper design that the Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon does not have. This makes it much easier and more comfortable when you ride on gravel roads. The Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 Suspension 1by is definitely at the top of the list for me in terms of how these bikes feel to me on actual rides.

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