Over three years; 180 hours in the wind tunnel; 14,500 photos; countless interviews, comparisons and deliberations… it took all this and much more for bike giants Cervélo to launch the P5X, which they have proclaimed ‘the ultimate triathlon bike’.

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Cervélo P5X launches at Kona

With the top-specced Sram Red eTap version coming in at a whopping £13.5K, we were eager to see how the bike performed at the European launch event in Andalusia, Spain, where we were talked through the initial concepts, research, the build and testimony from athletes in great detail.

Cervélo were keen to stress that this bike was very much what they believed to be the ultimate ‘triathlon’ bike as opposed to time trial (for TT Cervélo have released a new P5 model), and there are numerous differences.

Cervélo P5 Six Di2 triathlon bike review

Consequently the presentation was heavily balanced towards nutrition and storage on the P5X, where we learnt that the brand analysed thousands and thousands of athlete photos to determine the most popular combination of fluid and nutrition storage on-bike – it was mostly this that determined the shape of the bike, rather than the engineers simply deciding to create a ‘beam bike’ – the geometry was built around what Cervélo believed would be the best for the greatest number of riders with regards to bottle, nutrition and tool storage.

An early design concept of the P5X shows that Cervélo didn’t set out just to create a ‘beam bike’; the bike took shape based on research and what they believed was the fastest and best  

The bike is also incredibly adjustable, and you can add or remove storage options according to your preference. Cervélo claim none of the storage boxes alter the aerodynamics.

Cervélo claim disc brakes are better in every condition, and say they are soon releasing a white paper to show why they are no less, and perhaps even faster than rim brakes. “Disc brakes free up the frame design, you’re not having to build the front end around a brake caliper. From a net result it ends up been more aerodynamic, so building with a disc you end up with a more aerodynamic system. Disc brakes themselves might not be more aero, but you get a bike that’s overall more aero.”