Many people will remember the original Cervelo Soloist making a name for itself in the Grand Tours of the early 2000s... well now it's back for 2022/23, designed to balance aerodynamics and weight for "modern road racers" who demand a bike which is both "fast and light". Is this what happens when a Cervelo R5 and S5 get left alone in a room together?
What is the new Soloist?
The best way of explaining where the Soloist sits in Cervelo's range is in the brand's own words:
"Far from being pros-only, the new Soloist has been designed for the week-in, week-out amateur racer. It balances lightweight and aerodynamic performance to deliver a bike that really is just right."
Cervelo goes on to say that the "Soloist comes in a hair lighter than the S5, but significantly more aerodynamic than the R5." Although we're not given exact figures for either, to get an idea of the Soloist's lightness the brand says it is "...about 250g heavier than R5, and 250g lighter than S5".
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So whilst the S5 goes about collecting Tour de France points jerseys, and the R5 is busy in the Alps, the Soloist is designed for those of us who can only justify having one road racing bike in the garage. Cervelo says the Soloist is both easy to work on and easy to travel with, and can stand up to being passed around between team members throughout the course of the season. Unlike many of the latest bike releases, it can also accommodate both mechanical and electronic groupsets.
The tech details
At the heart of the new Soloist, Cervelo has opted for a "BBRighT-47" bottom bracket. This is in many ways a larger version of the BSA threaded bottom bracket and aims to eliminate the creaking often associated with poorly fitted (and manufactured) push-fit bottom brackets. Cervelo says another reason for opting for threaded is the ease of swapping it out.
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As with nearly all of the latest bikes, the cables/hoses are now integrated for "improved aerodynamics". Unlike on some bikes, including the Cervelo S5, the cables are not routed through the stem, and instead are held under the stem akin to the system used on the Specialized Tarmac SL7 and new Giant Propel. This allows the stem to be removed or changed without needing to bleed the brakes, which is beneficial not only for position changes but also transportation.
The new frame features more clearance than most road race bikes with space for up to 34mm tyres (measured). Cervelo has also considered the frame clearance for the latest super-wide wheelsets.
The handling geometry has been lifted directly from the R5 climbing race bike to create what Cervelo says is a platform with "poise, stability, and precision".
This is a tried and tested formula from Cervelo, and is identical to the R5 that we reviewed recently.
Review: Cervelo R5 Force eTap AXS 2022
Pricing and Availability
The Soloist is available in six sizes, from 48cm up to 61cm and in three different colourways: Embers, Alpenglow and Gold Dust shown from left to right above. (Alpenglow is only available in the frameset and 105 mechanical builds)
Cervelo will offer six groupset options as well as the option to purchase the frameset only although it's not yet clear which bikes if any will be available to purchase at launch...
- Soloist Force eTap AXS (£7,100)
- Soloist Ultegra R8170 Di2 (£6,800)
- Soloist Rival eTap AXS (£5,000)
- Soloist 105 Di2 (£5,000)
- Soloist Ultegra (£4,500)
- Soloist 105 (£3,500)
- Frameset Only (£3,000)
These RRPs are significantly less than the equivalent S5 and R5 builds; for example, an S5 or R5 equipped with Force eTap AXS would cost you £2,500 or £1,400 more than the equivalent Soloist build respectively.
The 105 mechanical build comes with alloy Alexrims wheels, Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tyres, Cervelo's own brand alloy bars and as with all the builds a Cervelo ST36 stem.
105 Di2 and Sram Rival AXS builds not only benefit from the additional gear but Vittoria Corsa N.EXT tyres and Fulcrum Racing 600DB wheels.
Meanwhile, Shimano R8100 Ultegra Di2 and Sram Force AXS builds once again to get Vittoria Corsa N.EXT tyres but get carbon wheels in the form of Reserve 44s and lighter AB07 bars.
Full build specs can be found at www.cervelo.com
Would you consider the Soloist as your one bike for all rides? Let us know in the comments section below...
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