Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 Review
- MSRP: $3,100
- Frame: Carbon
- Tires: 700cx38c
- Groupset: SRAM Apex 1
- Drivetrain: 1×11
What we like about it: If you want to pursue wild driving and extreme speed, challenge all kinds of terrain and explore your limits, we believe the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 will let you find the answer.
What we don’t like about it: The too-stiff construction causes it to go for fast rather than comfortable.
It is well known that gravel bikes are designed to be able to glide fast and support as many jumps as possible. However, the designers of the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 had stronger ambitions, aiming to help one gravel riding enthusiast after another to win the KOM, PR, and FKT. Thus, the Aspero, which generously introduces a variety of technologies, will satisfy the hardy rider who seeks speed on unpaved roads.
To its credit, the Trail adjustment allows the front tire to respond more quickly to the rider’s choices, which is critical for high-speed handling. And the Cervelo is also equipped with a “Trail Mixer” that allows the body to handle various tire shapes without losing handling performance by replacing the front and rear parts of the forks. Because of the thoughtful Cervelo design, the Aspero fits most 700cx42mm or 650bx49mm wheel/tire combinations, giving the user plenty of room for choice and versatility.
Here’s a breakdown of the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1’s ride, key features, components and specifications, and other versions.
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Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 Gravel Riding
For this review, we also went to the unpaved road on the edge of town for a ride test.
Here I fully felt Cervelo’s full sincerity.
Although there is no shock, the All-Carbon fork and Cervelo Road Saddle are enough to comfort me. Because still can feel the obvious damping effect, after all, I once rode other brands of gravel bike through this road when I had felt the deep malice of the road.
What impressed me the most was its speed. I was able to fly up quickly with a few casual pedals, which made me feel very comfortable. I believe that the SRAM Apex 1 power system is of great credit.
At the same time, the extremely responsive handling gave me great confidence, which brings me to the excellent control of the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1. Yes, the inverted chip in the fork (we call it the Trail Mixer) allows the rider to choose the right trail for their needs, but admittedly, the lack of a shock system makes the bumps feel real to me as well.
Admittedly, the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 is not designed to satisfy our strolls on the trails, but to pursue the limits and racing. That’s right, it’s for people who truly love gravel culture.
Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 General Riding
Although the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1’s ambition is not to be a road bike, it has the same characteristics of a road bike as gravel. After all, in the eyes of the general public, it looks no different from a road bike.
I have also tried to ride it on the tarmac and it is very comfortable. Because it has a more comfortable geometry than the average road bike.
But if you have to compare speeds, I must also tell you responsibly that it does not perform as well as competing road bikes in the same price range. After all, professional bikes are hard to reach, and flat and long conquests are not its strong point.
But in fact, it wasn’t as slow as I thought it would be – after all, its SRAM Apex 1 is an old friend of road bikes. With its aerodynamic and streamlined design, I could still hear the wind “susu” in my ears.
It’s also a good choice if you want to use it additionally for commuting to work. If so, I recommend the 700cx42mm wheelset, it will make you feel faster and more comfortable.
I have to admit, the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 with its full carbon frame and fork is really cool and very beautiful. The all-black color body and components, and aerodynamic profile with hidden internal alignment make the whole bike look very elegant.
It’s worth mentioning that the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 supports dropper seat posts. You can replace it if you have this need.
In addition, there are three water bottle holder mounting holes left on the frame, which riders can freely choose to install to ensure sufficient energy replenishment in the field.
Not only does the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 follow the Cervelo Aspero in terms of frame and aesthetic profile, but the radical geometry is also similar to it.
The shorter Reach (397mm, 56cm yard) allows the rider to have a more upright riding position and a wider field of vision to tackle complex gravel roads.
Perhaps it is considered that the short Reach will give the rider lose more balance. So a lower BB Height (273mm, 56cm yard) was taken to ensure the bike has better stability on rough roads.
When it comes to the geometry of the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1, it’s important to mention the inverted chip in the fork (we call it the Trail Mixer). By switching the front and rear inserts of the fork, you can choose a fork offset of ±5mm to accommodate changes in handling due to tire changes.
So when you choose a different tire, you will also have a different Trail, 58.6(700C) / 58.1(650B), to improve the rider’s handling.
Components and Specifications
SRAM Apex 1 Drivetrain
To adapt to the rough and gravel roads, the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 has also put a lot of effort into the choice of drivetrain.
First, the SRAM Apex 1 is light enough in weight and superbly priced for the money that Cervelo has chosen to be its faithful companion. Secondly, the SRAM Apex 1’s large shifting range allows you to conquer almost all the gravel hills and city roads. Finally, the PC-1110 chain also features X-Sync technology that works well with the discs, cassette, and rear derailleur to achieve precise shifting and reduce the risk of chain loss.
So, with the SRAM Apex 1 to protect you, you can enjoy your gravel ride to the fullest.
SRAM Apex HRD Brakes
One of the secrets to the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1’s riding pleasure is the braking power that gives confidence and safety. It also means that you can sprint boldly anywhere. As you know the SRAM Apex 1 Hydraulic Disc can be braked at any time, and maybe that’s the beauty of hydraulic discs.
At first, I was just amazed at the braking efficiency of the SRAM Apex 1 Hydraulic Disc, but as it accompanied me through many places in the United States, the thousands of miles of instant braking and stopping company made me realize that quality was also one of the important reasons why the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 was chosen.
Panaracer Gravel King SK Tires
The Panaracer Gravel King SK exceeds expectations as a dedicated tire for gravel bikes. Vacuum tires are essential for adventure biking, both to greatly reduce the risk of blowouts and to allow you to safely run the low pressures needed for trail riding (35 psi, depending on terrain and rider weight). At the same time, it is fast on slick roads.
To their credit, the Alexrims Boondocks-7D rims and Panaracer Gravel King SK also support inner tubes, so riders can choose their own.
But I prefer the Panaracer Gravel King SK, ZSG (Zero Slip Grip). I am satisfied with its performance in both straight lines and corners because it has excellent grip and the natural rubber compound is very wear-resistant.
Other versions of Cervelo Aspero
The Cervelo Aspero Rival XPLR eTap AXS 1 is also part of the Cervelo Aspero series and shares the same frame and geometry as the latter. However, considering that there will always be a need for riders with an extreme need for speed, the Cervelo Aspero Rival XPLR eTap AXS 1 has been upgraded on the groupset.
First, SRAM Rival XPLR eTap AXS 12 spd wireless electronic shifting with faster and more agile shifting means, got the title of Cervelo Aspero Rival XPLR eTap AXS 1.
Secondly, the better gear ratio also gives the Cervelo Aspero Rival XPLR eTap AXS 1 more speed. At the same time, the SRAM Rival HRD makes the rider feel more at home.
Finally, if you’re looking for the ultimate in speed and feel, the Cervelo Aspero Rival XPLR eTap AXS 1 is well worth getting. If you’re on a budget, the super-priced Cervelo Aspero 1 is a great choice.
All in all, there are many more Cervelo Aspero models, all with top-notch configurations and great value for money. If you are interested, you can keep following us, and we will bring more real riding reviews.
What we like about it
- High-quality carbon frame and fork, not only light but also strong and durable.
- The pursuit of speed is its core competency, designed for gravel riding enthusiasts.
- The fork is equipped with a “Trail Mixer”, which gives the bike more wheelset options and a wider range of applications.
- The gravel-specific Panaracer Gravel King SK tires are quite durable and ready to go with you on the long haul.
- SRAM Apex 1, the 11-speed drivetrain with SRAM Apex HRD, is simple and fast, both for movement and braking.
- The fully concealed internal alignment makes for a low enough profile and a more aerodynamic appearance.
- It is easier to go uphill compared to similar bikes.
What we don’t like about it
- Being too stiff is its strength, and equally its weakness, meaning that in mountain riding, you are trading comfort for more speed.
- What is the tire size of the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1?
The Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 has a tire size of 700x38c and is compatible with the 650b x 49mm wheelset.
- What is the drivetrain of the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1?
The drivetrain of the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 is the SSRAM Apex 1, 1 × 11 speed.
- What are the brakes on the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1?
The brakes on the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 are SRAM Apex HRD.
Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 Specs
|carbon Colors: Purple Sunset; Satin Black
|Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered Áspero Fork with Adjustable Trail
|FSA IS2 1-1/8 x 1-1/2
|Easton EA50 Alloy OR Cervélo Alloy
|Easton EA50 AX Alloy
|Cervelo Road Saddle OR Selle Italia MODEL X Superflow FeC Alloy
|Easton EA50 Alloy
|Alexrims Boondocks-7D, 28h (F), 28h (R), 24mm IW, 6-Bolt, Tubeless Ready
|Panaracer Gravel King SK Sport Folding 700×38 60tpi
|SRAM Apex 1
|SRAM Apex 1 40T
|SRAM Apex 1 HRD, 11 spd
|SRAM PG-1130, 11 spd, 11-42
|SRAM PC-1110, 11spd
|SRAM Apex HRD
|BMC URS TWO
|1 × 11
|SRAM APEX HRDHydraulic Disc
|Marin Gestalt X11
|1 × 11
|Shimano GRX Hydraulic
|Ibis Hakka MX GRX
|1 × 11
|Shimano GRX RX810, Hydraulic Disc
|27.5″ x 2.1″ or700c x 40mm
|Cervélo Áspero GRX RX810
|2 × 11
|Shimano GRX RX810, Hydraulic Disc
|700x38C Or 650b x 49mm
BMC URS TWO vs Cervelo Aspero Apex 1
I have to admit, I was a little impressed with the TCC damping technology of the BMC URS TWO. But the thought of its more aggressive geometry is still a bit of a turn-off for me.
Although I am the speedy type who seeks to push my limits, I prefer my challenges to be done in a more comfortable sitting position.
If the BMC URS TWO tried to abandon its aggressive geometry, I might consider buying it. But at the moment, I prefer the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 which satisfies me in both speed and seating position.
Marin Gestalt X11 vs Cervelo Aspero Apex 1
Although the Marin Gestalt X11 has a comfortable geometry, in my real-world riding experience, the Marin Gestalt X11 didn’t seem to wow me much. Even with the smoother-feeling Shimano GRX drivetrain and brakes, the Marin Gestalt X11 does not have an advantage over the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 in terms of speed.
Overall, I feel that the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 is slightly better than the others in terms of value for money.
Ibis Hakka MX GRX vs Cervelo Aspero Apex 1
Although the Ibis Hakka MX GRX supports two sizes of tires like the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1, the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 has more maneuverability for riders facing different sizes of tires thanks to the Trail Mixer, increasing the rider’s margin of error in handling.
But we have to admit that the Ibis Hakka MX GRX has a more comfortable geometry. Therefore it may be suitable for players who are looking for comfort and are not overly demanding of speed.
And if you are more after your speed, definitely Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 has a higher cost performance.
Cervelo Aspero GRX RX810 vs Cervelo Aspero Apex 1
There is nothing more memorable about the Cervelo Aspero GRX RX810 than the speed that it prides itself on. I have to admit, its speed is inseparable from the Shimano GRX, the 2×11-speed drivetrain is to blame. Although it has the same materials and geometry as the Cervelo Aspero Apex 1, it has a very different speed performance.
If you care about speed and want a wider range of speed options, go for the Cervelo Aspero GRX RX810. I’m sure it won’t disappoint you.
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