The P-Series is a complete update to the famous Cervelo P-bike lineup, taking nods from the top-level P5 Disc. The P-Series Disc 105 is a highly adjustable carbon fiber triathlon bike ideal for short to long course racing, and is a perfect platform for the aspiring triathlete who may want to dip their toes in the sport today, but likely upgrade their components in the future.
The Frameset: The P-Series frame takes design cues from the P5 Disc and S5 Disc. Most noticeable from the prior generation P2 or P3 is the slightly sloping top tube- a design element that allows more riders (with short inseams) to fit the bike. The frame is now designed with disc brakes in mind, using streamlined 12mm bolt-on thru axles and comes with an additional set of 'handled' thru axles for tool-free removal and installation.
The full carbon seatpost mounts to the frame with a single seat post wedge. Use carbon paste and torque to less than 8nm and you'll experience no seatpost slippage. The saddle mount is infinitely adjustable in tilt, while providing significant fore-aft adjustability. An included and seatpost rear bottle mount is tilt and setback adjustable, and can be removed if you would rather not have a bottle behind the saddle.
Cables are managed by a simple opening behind the stem, and derailleur cables run full length housing to a cable stop built into a BB cover. This is a similar, tried and trued system Cervelo has used on prior generations of P-bikes.
Cervelo has stated in the past that a manufacturer's low hanging fruit to improving bicycle aerodynamics is to control the 'add-on' features that most triathletes require: that being bento boxes, water bottles, and rear hydration/storage systems. With that said, Cervelo is now including a proprietary bento box that seamlessly integrates behind the stem, an aerodynamic downtube water bottle, and a rear hydration bracket to mount a single water bottle cage.
The Fit: The updated P-Series frameset has the same stack and reach of the prior generation P2 and P3 bicycles. Nonetheless, the top tube now has a gentle slope. Small riders or riders with a relatively short inseam may struggle to fit the last generation P-bikes due to standover height issue, and this is mostly addressed now with the updated frame design. Cervelo continues their broad range of frame sizes: 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61. More sizes means you're more likely to find your ideal size, versus other brands that may only produce 3 or 4 frame then rely upon the cockpit to hopefully make up the difference.
The Components: Cervelo has stayed with the tried and trued Shimano 105 11 speed derailleurs, cassette (11-30t), and chain. Combined with a compact (50/34t) Shimano RS510 crank, the drivetrain is durable and runs smoothly- mostly due to keeping all drivetrain components within the same family of parts. Simple Microshift shifters sit atop the aerobar extensions, and work well with the 105 drivetrain.
Zipp now handles much of the cockpit with their well made Alumina basebar and aerobar. The armrest cups and aerobar extensions are comfortable and natural. T25 Torx hardware keeps all parts in place and should be highly resistant to stripping out.
The P-Series 105 uses Tektro mechanical brakes and 160mm rotors. The Tektro RX4.1 brake levers include reach adjustment, which will be a welcome feature for riders with smaller hands. Overall the brakes have a highly progressive braking feel- meaning they don't have a distinct "bite" point, instead providing a gradual increase in braking power the more you pull the lever. The Tekro Spyre dual piston mechanical calipers are reliable, easy to setup, highly adjustable, and compatible with Shimano M525/M515 brake pads. We've found that an initial burning-in period with these brakes is very important (as it tends to be with most disc brake systems).
The robust Vision Team 30 wheelset are semi-aerodynamic and tubeless ready. They'll hold up well to daily training and low-key racing. Vittoria Rubino 25c tires (not tubeless) are mounted to the Vision wheelset. Though tire pressure is highly personal, we've been running this setup around 70-85psi depending upon your weight.
Add-Ons: For the first time Cervelo is including their own proprietary accessories for a model not in the "halo" price point like the PX-Series bikes. For the P-Series Disc 105 Cervelo includes a downtube aero bottle, a bento box, and a rear hydration mount integrated into the saddle.