Brand new Cervélo Caledonia looks to blend performance and comfort
The Cervélo Caledonia is the brand new bike from the Canadian company, with capacity for wide tyres, a performance carbon frame and fully integrated cable routing, it promises to blur the line between the endurance and performance road bike categories.
The new Caledonia is a bike born from a number of different sources, the first being Toronto’s infamously tough and broken tarmac. According to the brand, staff had gradually stuffed their R-Series bike with wider and wider tyres until they reached capacity.
They found they needed a bike fast enough for sign sprints on their group rides and races (expect to see Team Sunweb aboard it for this year’s classics) but also stable enough over rough and broken ground. It needed to be some part Cervélo Aspero and some part R-series and it needed to recognise that some riders want to ride fast without ever pinning a number on their back.
So, the Caledonia was born, a bike which treads a fine line between performance and comfort. Of course, the Cervélo C-series did fill that gap for a number of years and it remains in the line. However, the Cervélo Caledonia is more performance orientated than those bikes.
There are two ranges being launched; the Cervélo Caledonia-5 and the Caledonia; but more on their distinctions later on.
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When Cervélo designed the Caledonia, it had Paris-Roubaix in mind, a race where faster and faster handling doesn’t necessarily mean winning. On rough and broken ground, stability and control are by far more valued traits in any bike’s handling.
As such, the Caledonia is around 5-10mm longer than Cervélo’s R-series bike and it has a lower bottom bracket, too. It has a longer head tube that’s a degree slacker than it’s stable mates and an increase in fork trail should slow the bike’s handling down, according to the Canadian brand.
You’d be correct in pointing out the bike’s similarities to the brand’s Cervélo S3 model, and after all this is Cervélo, what would a bike be without at least some aerodynamic flourishes.
The characteristically “Cervélo” shape is informed by the brand’s tube library; a centre of previously tested shapes and designs that Cervélo knows work; hence it carrying the characteristics of the brand’s other bikes.
However, the bike’s tubing, although aerodynamic in shape also had to enhance the bike’s comfort, with Cervélo saying it wanted to avoid a reliance on “gimmicks” to add comfort – think elastometers, flex zones, etcetera. The bike is as stiff as the Aspero, and less stiff than both the R and S-Series bikes. In fact, broad parts of its design were inspired by the R3 Mud, a team only race bike ridden to victory in 2011.
Of course, comfort will also be added via the capacity for a maximum of 34mm tyres, and the bikes will come shipped with 30mm Vittoria Zafiro tyres as standard – on our launch model these measured 32mm on the new Reserve wheels.
Cervélo has also included a degree of fit flexibility via bearing cap adjustment. The bearing cap, which sits below the stem and its steerers, is available in a 7mm size or a 22mm size.
The premium Caledonia-5 models all feature a completely integrated front end without any cables on show. The cables route in the channels underneath the AB09 bar before running through the stem and into the steerer.
This latter is an evolution, according to Cervélo, of that which is used on its S-Series bikes. Whereas those models use a tension rod and a quill stem, the Caledonia has a D-shaped steerer, with the cut away on the front to allow the cables to run down the inside of the head tube. The bike’s also come with split spacers for easier adjustment.
This is one of the key differences between the Caledonia-5 and the Caledonia ranges, with the latter losing the front end integration of the more premium models.
While the Caledonia-5 models come with plenty of wheel options (models are available with both ENVE and Zipp wheels at the top end and DT Swiss and AlexRims lower down), the real story is the bike’s Reserve wheels.
Born out of a collaboration between the mountain bike brand Santa Cruz and Cervélo, the Reserve carbon wheels specced have a 35mm profile and are tubeless ready as standard. Cervélo said we can expect to see 50mm options arriving soon.
Previously I said there were two different ranges of Caledonia, the Caledonia-5 and the Caledonia. Both use the same carbon fibre, and the real differences between the two are the lack of front end integration and a round handlebar and seatpost rather than the AB09 bar and d-shaped post. The Caledonia also has Bento box mounts on the top tube.
The frame weighs a claimed 1031g and 432g for the fork – Cervélo says the weight difference is roughly 100g. Both ranges feature hidden fender mounts, too.
For more information you can see the Cervélo Caledonia here
We’ll be back soon with a full review on the bike so keep your eyes peeled!
This content was originally published here.
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