GORGEOUS LOOKSHIGH-END SPEC
FAST RIDE QUALITY
STIFF FOR LONG OFF-ROAD DAYS
MORE SUITED T O W I D E - OPEN GRAVEL THAN TECHY SINGLETRACK
It’s more common to find gravel bikes marketed as do-it-all machines, capable of everything from multi-day bike-packing trips to offbeat, off-road adventures than it is to find them touting increased aerodynamics and a lower weight.
However, in Cervélo’s words the Aspero-5, launched earlier in 2021, is a bike designed to “haul ass, not cargo” and is unashamedly marketed as a racing bike for off-road roadies.
This design is a melting pot of tube shapes that are distinctively ‘Cervélo’ and drawn from the likes of the Cervélo Caledonia, R3 and S5 – all pedigree bikes in their own right.
Although it hasn’t changed in its looks since the Aspero’s first appearance back in 2019, Cervélo says the Aspero-5 is 32 grams of drag more aerodynamic and weighs 10% less.
While the brand claims there have been savings via the frame’s tube shaping, most of the effiiencies are the result of completely integrated cable routing.
The bike’s geometry continues the story of a chassis built for off-road riding but tuned for going fast. The Aspero-5 has a relatively steep head angle of 72°. That’s half a degree steeper than the Specialized Diverge but a wheelbase of 1,027mm in a size large is a fair whack shorter than the equivalent Specialized model. This makes it punchy and fast but a touch less stable at high speed.
Cervélo’s TrailMixer system, a switchable dropout that tweaks the fork’s position by 5mm, remains from the original Aspero, allowing you to run either a 700c wheel or a 650b wheel with a chunkier tyre without altering the geometry. Like the former, the bike can accommodate 45mm tyres but that increases to 50mm when in 650b form.
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