Cervelo P2 review

The latest P2 is Cervelo’s starter for a 10

BikeRadar score4/5

Cervelo’s P2 is its entry-level time trial bike. It has a slim hourglass head tube with a huge junction behind it, a wind-cheating minimal frontal area and the fork crown recessed within the dropped down tube – eliminating the drag-causing gap between front tyre and frame.

    Cervelo’s giant seat tube shrouds the rear wheel and is far wider than its 23mm rubber, morphing into slim stays that shield the rear brake. The P2 uses conventional FSA calipers, which have a positive action and ample ability and they’re a cinch to maintain too. We found that the frame’s cable routing worked better with the rear brake on the right, avoiding tight bends and constant rubbing against the head tube from running it UK style.

    The huge seat tube shields the rear wheel:
    The huge seat tube shields the rear wheel:

    The huge seat tube shields the rear wheel

    The 11-speed 105 gearing, Dura-Ace shifters and FSA chainset work well, and the 52/36 rings and 11-28 cassette give a sensible gear spread. Immense power transmission stems from the huge BBright bottom bracket shell and massive asymmetric chainstays. At 40cm, the short stays give the P2 rapid response, but they do make the chainline severe when using the inner sprockets.

    Besides frame fit, cockpit adjustment is the most crucial factor in getting the most from a time trial bike, and Cervelo has nailed it with a complete Profile Design setup that is simple to adjust, has great ergonomics, comfortable armrests and internal cabling. The near vertical seatpost has 90mm of sliding seat clamp adjustment in addition to the rails of Fizik’s Tri 2 saddle.

    Internal cable routing reduces drag:
    Internal cable routing reduces drag:

    Internal cable routing reduces drag

    Shimano’s RS wheels are modest, but they’re taut enough to exploit the P2’s acceleration and can be coaxed along at a fair lick on the flat, though they are neither gravity- nor wind-defiant. Even so, the frame’s astonishing comfort shines – most TT bikes focus on speed at the expense of comfort, but the P2 gives you both with no concessions. Such suppleness helps the wheels follow road contours more closely, and delivers sublime handling that in turn breeds confidence and greater speed.

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Robin Wilmott

    Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
    Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
    • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
    • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
    • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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