2012 Cervelo S5 vs 2016 Cervelo S2
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  1. #1
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    2012 Cervelo S5 vs 2016 Cervelo S2

    Hello All,

    New rider here. I have a question for those much wiser than myself...

    I'll try to keep this brief and get to the point quickly.

    I bought a used 2012 Cervelo S5 (ultegra components, reynolds assualt aero wheels) as my initial bike. I have been riding that bike for the last few weeks... no problems.

    I ran across a deal on a used 2016 Cervelo S2 (shimano 105 components, stock wheels, base model) for under $1K. The guy had bought it new about 4 months ago and already upgraded to something else so he was ready to get rid of it. Needless to say, I bought it. My original intent was to put the S2 on a trainer and ride the S5 mostly.

    On a whim today, I decided to take the S2 out for a spin on my normal route near my house. This was the first time I have ridden it on the road.

    From the beginning of the ride, I immediately felt like the S2 was faster... quicker to respond and what I perceived to be less effort to go faster than I do on my S5.

    At the beginning, I thought maybe I was just having a good day.

    But, the feeling continued...

    I did my normal loop that consistently takes me 30 minutes to complete on the S5. I figured I'd see if it was my imagination once I completed the loop and checked my time.

    I finish the loop in 28:30... a full 1:30 faster than I consistently do on my S5.

    All of that background to ask this question...

    Is it possible that a base model 2016 Cervelo S2 is considerably faster than a 2012 Cervelo S5 with upgrades?

    If not, I'm thinking I should take the S5 in for a tune up and see if they can identify any issues.

    Any feedback you all can provide would be MUCH appreciated.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Not possible that it was the bike. Maybe the fit is different?
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply and feedback.

    They are both 58cm frames. I'm only aware of three items being different....

    1. The stem is shorter on the S2

    2. The seat is lower on the S2 (based on your response, this might be the culprit)

    3. Gearing on the S2 is goes much lower than the S5.

    Do you think seat height can make that big of a difference?

  4. #4
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    I just went and did the "heel test" to check the seat height. My heel didn't touch on the S5. The S2 seemed about right.

    I measured from the center of the peddle to the middle of the saddle on both bikes. The S5 is 1.5 inches higher than the S2.

    Based on your feedback about it might be the fit, I think I need to lower the seat on the S5 (looks like I will have to get the seat post cut).

    I'd love to hear your thoughts about if you think that would make a big difference in feel when comparing the two bikes.

  5. #5
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Yes, small changes can make big differences. That's why we measure fitting dimensions in mm and not inches.
    I work for some bike racers
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    and a bunch of skateboards

  6. #6
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    Makes perfect sense.

    Thanks so much for you help. I really appreciate it!

  7. #7
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    5% is a significant improvement. A difference in the fit can definitely have an impact, but 5% over such a short ride? Odd. That could also be explained as random and lost in the wash... A single trial may not be useful apart from the start of many trials. Wind, sleep, alcohol, who knows? Odd that you would finish a ride with such precision so regularly that the 5% difference isnít a simple margin for error finding...
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  8. #8
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    I went on one of my 1 of 3 standard rides, only I was going long... over a mountain. Going up (for an hour) I was taking it easy not thinking too much about setting a fast time as I was going longer than I ever had before.
    When I posted to Strava, I had a PR on the climb. Normally I keep track of the sections going up and focus on counting them off, I wasn't even thinking of them that day.
    I had a full to the max (not normal) camelback, maybe that was it! ... i still ran out of water before I got back to the van.
    BANNED

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for the replies and feedback.

    I took the S5 in to the shop yesterday and got professionally fitted. They made several changes to include...

    a shorter stem
    moved the saddle back quite a bit
    changed the angle of the handlebars
    adjusted the saddle height

    I've only ridden the bike for a short loop around the bike shop neighborhood. What little I rode, everything felt a lot better. It felt like I was more efficient and in a more powerful position after they made the changes.

    I left the bike at the shop to have a couple of maintenance items taken care of but will pick it up later this week. Interested to see how these adjustments feel after a longer ride.... anxious to try it out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    5% is a significant improvement. A difference in the fit can definitely have an impact, but 5% over such a short ride? Odd. That could also be explained as random and lost in the wash... A single trial may not be useful apart from the start of many trials. Wind, sleep, alcohol, who knows? Odd that you would finish a ride with such precision so regularly that the 5% difference isnít a simple margin for error finding...
    Depending on the speed, that time difference could easily represent more than a 10% increase in power.

    To the OP - get the bikes set up exactly the same for saddle height, saddle setback, reach to bars, etc. and then figure out any speed differences. The difference in saddle height could make a big difference all by itself. If you want to get more rigorous in your testing, swap wheels between the bikes and do repeated rides.

    And then understand that depending on wind, temperature, humidity, and just how you are feeling on the day, a single ride is often a meaningless comparison. Back when I rode weekly time trials I would easily see a one minute variation week-to-week due to environmental factors and how I was feeling.

  11. #11
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    Thanks again for all feedback.

    Quick update on the situation.

    I got professionally fitted and the shop made the changes on my S5.

    Picked up the bike after a few days and took it for a ride around my usual loop (same loop mentioned in the original post). Everything felt much better and I felt less fatigued. Funny enough, I finished the loop in 28:30 which is the same time I had done on the S2 but hadn't been able to do on the S5. After the fitting, now I was able to do that same time on the S5.

    I dropped the S2 off yesterday and had the shop transfer the measurements from the S5 to the S2. I just got it back today and plan to take it for a longer ride tomorrow.

    What I learned from this experience and the feedback you guys gave.... Get professionally fitted

    Thanks again for everyone's help. Have a good weekend!

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