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Garmin Sharp Cervelo R5 2014

Garmin Sharp Cervelo R5 2014

Garmin Sharp Cervelo R5 2014
Pieter Van Pietersen

Garmin Sharp is using a Cervelo R3/ S3 / R5/ S5 frames, Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels, Dura-Ace Di2 components and of course, Garmin Vector pedals.

Cervelo S3 and R3 frames were being used at the 2014 Tour of Flanders.

Cervelo make about the best frames in the peloton, so these riders have some little advantage.

Picture courtesy of Cervelo marketing.

The bike components used by Garmin Sharp are listed below.

R5 2014

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Cervelo R5 2014 Complete Bike

I used to own a Cervelo R3 and it was a great bike. I know that the differences are subtle, but I felt less road buzz and less tired on the R3 after 5 hours in the saddle. I'm a fan.

The R5 is a very light frame. It is 200g lighter than the Cervelo S5 (that's the aero model).

It has excellent aerodynamic properties. Despite not being designed mainly for aerodynamics, it would still beat the Canyon Aeroad CF, Neil Pryde Alize, Ridley Noah Fast and Storck Aernario. Those are all aero focused frames. To put it in perspective, however, we are looking at a difference of around 1 minute over 4+ hours.

Weight: 1250g frame and forks

RRP in USD: $10000 with Di2 and Fulcrum wheels

Cosmic Carbone Ultimate Tubular

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Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate Tubular Wheels

A good looking pair of wheels from reliable manufacturer Mavic.

The braking surface has Mavic's TgMAX treatment which translates to better wear and better braking in the wet. It does work, so hats off to Mavic.

You don't get fancy carbon hubs or ceramic bearings. You'd expect it for this sort of high end wheel, although to be fair, ceramic bearings run in dirty conditions actually create more drag than steel bearings, so there's not much in it.

The wheels are designed to be used with the Mavic Yksion Pro Tubular Griplink (front) / Powerlink (rear), although any tubular tire will work fine.

The weight is on the heavy side for this price range. For similar money you could buy wheels from the Lightweight brand (for example) which are 545g lighter. That difference will be felt when accelerating and even when you pick up your bike.

Weight: 1645g

RRP in USD: EURO 2900

The CXR-80 (the deep version of these wheels) in tubular format sells for $2560 and the clincher version sells for $2012 (surprisingly, same weight).


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Garmin Vector Power meter

This is a new pedal-based system. It is light, portable between bikes, measures left and right leg power and of course, you can change the batteries yourself. However, it is probably most susceptible to crash damage as the pedals always make contact when the bike is dropped. Garmin have worked hard to provide protection for the sensors, but I can't help thinking about the impact pedals can get.

The pedals are manufactured by Exustar and have had extra material added to help protect the strain gauges in the axle. Regardless, bearings will wear, especially if being run in the rain.

The unit took something like 4 years to get to market, but as a result the product appears to be reliable from the start. Well done Garmin for waiting to get it right.

Pros: Reliable from product launch, light, portable, L-R measurement, integrates well with Garmin units

Cons: Expensive, located in a place that's easy to damage, you are stuck with Exustar pedals which will wear. How long will the bearings last?

Weight: 401g without cleats

RRP in USD: $1699

The pedals alone sell for $1699 everywhere at the moment. No sign of price reductions.

Dura-Ace Di2 ST-9070 - 11 Speed

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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 ST-9070 - 11 Speed Levers

I'm glad to report that the Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2 levers are interchangable.
The Ultegra levers look just as good, and are 76g heavier for the pair, but you will save about $350 (half price).

Both levers use the E-tube wiring system. You need to ensure that all firmware is up-to-date to get everything to work together properly. To do this you will either need to:

1) Take it to your local bike shop to upgrade.

2) Buy an internal BCR2 seatpost Di2 battery. The charger doubles as a PC connector so you can use e-Tube software at home. The charger and battery costs about $250.

3) Buy a PCE1 PC Interface Device for about $250.
This plugs into a laptop USB port and a lever port.
You then update using e-Tube software.

Shimano did think one thing to push you to upgrade. Part SW-7972 are little buttons that are mounted on the inside of your bars under the hoods, and allow you to bang it into the 11 sprocket without coming off the drops. You can't fit these to the Ultegra levers.

Overall, Dura-Ace or Ultegra, these are beautiful shifters which feel superb in your hands and of course brake and shift perfectly.

Weight: 237g pair

RRP in USD: $861 pair

The Shifter set (left and right shifters) sells for $699. The Ultegra ST-6870 Di2 STI Lever Set is $349

Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070 - 11 Speed

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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070 - 11 Speed Rear Derailleur

Like the front derailleur, this is a slick bit of kit. Faultless shifting yet again.

If you go with the Ultegra version, you'll have an extra 43g of bulbous motor popping out at you. Ugly.
I recommend the Dura-Ace version, although preferably as part of an entire bike as buying individual parts is expensive.

Weight: 217g

RRP in USD: $830

The Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070 sells for $534.
The Di2 Ultegra RD-6870-GS Rear Derailleur at $280 is cheaper, but bulkier.

Flow 130

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Rotor Flow 130 Cranks

These are designed to be aerodynamic. The claimed difference is 26.4 seconds over 180km, which I'd say is nothing worth worrying about. Save yourself $250 and get the standard 3D model, which is the same weight.

They are used mainly on Garmin Cervelo TT bikes but also on the road bikes.

Weight: 563g (no chainrings, 175mm cranks)

RRP in USD: $650

Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070 - 11 Speed

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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070 - 11 Speed Front Derailleur

Well it has to be said, this is a pretty sexy derailleur. Shifting with Di2 is faultless. I sometimes find myself shifting up and down gears just for the fun of it. I like the little electric motor sound. I feel like a cyborg.

The Ultegra version is 162g, so 48g heavier, and has added bulk. But it is about half the price.

Let's face it, the Ultegra version shifts perfectly, and makes total sense. But the Dura-Ace version is the one you should get.

Weight: 114g

RRP in USD: $559

You can buy a Dura-Ace Di2 front derailleur for $350 here. You will certainly get the best deal by buying a whole bike with Di2 fitted, or getting a groupset.

Consider the Ultegra Di2 option for $211.

Edge 810

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Garmin Edge 810 GPS

It costs 50% more than the Edge 510 but for that you get a larger screen which shows routes. That's very useful if you're in a new area and you just want to keep riding. Stopping to look at your phone map every 5 minutes is a pain. However, it doesn't come with the GLONASS chip (the Russian GPS system), so it is less accurate than the 510.

Apart from the price, there's an 18g weight penalty and battery life is 17 hours compared to 20 hours.

The main reason to get an 810 over a 510 is for the maps feature. You can see a map of where you are and where you need to go. Be careful to buy the version with maps installed (Garmin City Navigator), although you can download free maps from the Open Street Maps Project.

There isn't a huge amount of difference between the 810 and the 800. The case is the same, screen is the same, functionality is the same. Only the Bluetooth tracking feature is new.

Otherwise, another excellent Garmin device that is waterproof, has long-lasting batteries, shock proof, light and small enough to look good on your handlebars. A must have for Strava enthusiasts.

Weight: 98g

RRP in USD: $500

The Edge 810 sells for $500 although if you need the bundle (HR strap and cadence sensor) it is $700 or $566 here.

The Edge 800 now represents excellent value, since it is essentially the same. You can get it for $280.

Dura-Ace BR-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace BR-9000 Brakes

These brakes work well, are fairly light, easy to clean, and the pads are not expensive. Nothing bad to report here. The Shimano pads are also very easy to swap out, which is useful if swapping between aluminum and carbon rims.

A direct-mount version of the rear brake can be purchased. This is for attachment to the bottom bracket for a more aero effect, e.g. BR-9010

Weight: 293g front and rear

RRP in USD: $401

These brakes sell for $282 for the set (Black/Silver). Make sure you are buying a front and rear brake set, and not just a single brake.


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3T STYLUS-25 LTD Seat Post

Light and good looking. Take great care with torque, as I've seen these crack despite careful clamping.

The seat clamp mechanism is excellent, secured with a left and right bolt and without serrations so you can get your saddle angle exactly right.

The STYLUS-25 has 25mm of rearward offset, which suits a lot of people. If you prefer to have a more forward position (perhaps combined with low bars) then choose the STYLUS-0.

You could pay $100 for the Aluminium version (225g) but it doesn't look half as good as the LTD.

Weight: 140g for 28cm

RRP in USD: $400

The 3T Stylus 25 LTD (Carbon) is selling for $374 here

Dura-Ace CS-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000 Cassette

Available in 11-23, 11-28, 12-28, 11-25 and 12-25t

The largest 4 sprockets are made from titanium to reduce weight.

These sprockets are mounted on a carbon spider. There have been reports of these spiders collapsing due to rider power. This may well have been resolved by Mar 2014.

The CS-9000 11-23 version is 1g heavier than the CS-7900 version but you get the bonus 11th sprocket. Apparently an additional sprocket makes your ride that little bit smoother. I don't notice anything.

I've not noticed if wear is any better between Dura-Ace and Ultegra. I tend to keep my chains clean and change them 3-4 time per year, so I get good sprocket wear on both types.

Weight: 163g 11-23

RRP in USD: $360

You'll need a new one of these at least every year, even if you keep your chain clean. The price of cassettes has really rocketed over the last 10 years. The CS-9000 sells for $208 (12-25T) or $201.23 here, which is a decent saving over retail price.

Look to the 6800 Ultegra 11-Speed Cassette, 11-28T at $80 for your training wheels. I've found that the Ultegra wears just as well and shifts just as well but is a few grams heavier.


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3T ERGONOVA Handlebars

You can pay an $400 for the LTD version which is 18g lighter), or $105 for the PRO version which is made from aluminium and 67g heavier (265g for 42cm). The ERGONOVA has a short drop of 123mm compared with the standard 3T 139mm. That's good if you want to avoid spacers below your stem for the pro look but still want to be able to ride on the drops.

Other bars available to the 3T sponsored riders are the ERGOSUM $400 , which also has a short drop (128mm) with a flattened section for your hand on the drops, the ROTUNDO which is a deeper drop bar at 139mm and TORNOVA $420 which is deep - 139mm but also has a wide platform up top.

Finally, there are the more sculpted AERONOVA (short drop) and AEROTUNDO (deep drop) bars. These have aero styling on the tops.

Remember that 3T bar width is specified center-to-center at hoods. Drops flare by 2 and are approx 1/2 inch / 1 cm wider at bar end.

Weight: 198g (42cm)

RRP in USD: $325

Eronova Pro (Aluminium) selling for $105 here , ERGONOVA Team (Carbon) $282 or $268 here.


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Fi'zi:k Antares Saddle

A little bit lighter than the Aliante and Arione, but there's not much in it.

This saddle is supposed to be for those of "middle spine flexibility", i.e. you can almost touch your toes.

Weight: 189g

RRP in USD: $195

An Antares with K:ium rails (189g)is selling at $120 here and the Red/ Black team version for $230 here (also 189g).


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A solid performing stem. Why use carbon when aluminium can be stiffer, lighter and cheaper?

The bolts are titanium, which saves a few grams over steel, but makes them weaker. Torque carefully!

If buying, go for the 17 degree version, so your stem will be parallel with the ground.

Weight: 127g for 110mm

RRP in USD: $109.95

The ARX-TEAM sells for $97 with a -17deg angle or for $71.33 at Wiggle


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Arundel Mandible Bottle Cage

Mandible is the top Arundel model, made with a foam core. It has the most secure grip of the range. Weight is low, and these cages are in use for the cobbled classic races (Paris-Roubaix, Flanders), so should work well for everyday riders.

Weight: 28g

RRP in USD: $75

The Mandible sells for $55 - $70 depending on color or $59.55 for any color (white, black or grey is all you got.)

Dura-Ace CN-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000 Chain

This is an 11 speed chain. The old Shimano chains were the best wearing in tests. This 11 speed chain shouldn't wear any faster than the excellent 10 speed versions as the rivets are similar. I get about 5000 dry km per chain. Make sure you follow good chain maintenance procedures to maximize wear.

DA chains used to require being mounted in one direction, but this has now changed - they can be mounted any way. I imagine this is because so many muppets were not reading the very CLEAR instructions supplied by Shimano, then complaining about a noisy drive chain and poor shifting.

Shimano has also removed the slots that were drilled into the inner plates, yet the chain, being narrower, is 23g lighter. It isn't much, but it all adds up.

Weight: 243g for 114 links

RRP in USD: $58

The Dura-Ace 11 speed chain sells for $47 here or $41 here.


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