2012 Cervelo R5 VWD Vroomen White Design lightweight road bike

For 2012, Cervelo has rebadged the lower two “R” models as R3 and R3 Team and introduced the new R5 VWD (Vroomen-White Design) model between them and the top of the line, insanely expensive (and awesome) R5 CA, which you may know as the sub-700g framed Project California.

Cervelo likes to point out that it only has engineers, not industrial designers. Hence the recently introduced S5’s love-it-or-hate-it design. It, along with the other bikes, are purely about performance. We’ll actually be testing the S5 and the R5/R3 later in the year, but that’s another story.

Back to the R-series bikes. They all have the same frame shape with the “Squoval” (square-oval) tube shapes, the differences and weight savings come from the layup and construction.

The new R5 VWD will be available as a frameset (frame/fork) for $5,000 – half the price of the Project CA model. Frame weight is 750g for a 56, about 50-70g heavier than the PC but still really light. How light? We weighed it and the R5 CA after the break…

2012 Cervelo R5 VWD Vroomen White Design lightweight road bike

Essentially, all of the R-series bikes use the same frame with the pencil thin seatstays and Squoval-shaped downtube. It’s the construction of each that sets them apart. Visually, if they didn’t have the labels, you’d have a hard time differentiating them. The different frames maintain about the same stiffness across all R3 and R5 bikes to achieve a consistent feel, but they drop weight as you go up. All of the R models use a 1-1/4 to 1-3/8 inch tapered headtube.

The R5 VWD frame gets a little different internal layup than the R3 Team with different butting and construction to save about 75g. It comes with the Cervelo SL fork, which is just 290g and they say it’s stiffer than many competitor’s 350g+ forks.

2012 Cervelo R5 VWD Vroomen White Design lightweight road bike

Complete bike with Campagnolo Super Record 11 comes in at 13lbs 4oz.

2012 Cervelo R5CA Project California lightweight road bike

The R5 CA here is built up in a totally blacked out, dream build with Lightweight wheels, SRAM Red and 3T cockpit.

2012 Cervelo R5CA Project California lightweight road bike

Complete bike weight was 12lbs 8oz, but it could get quite a bit lighter if it wanted to.

2012 Cervelo R3 Team lightweight road bike

R3 Team frameset is about 10% lighter than the base R3, with most of the weight  coming from the fork. The R3 Team gets the same 290g SL fork as the R5 VWD and R5 CA, but the base R3 gets last year’s regular fork.

2012 Cervelo R3 Team lightweight road bike

Complete bike is still only 14lbs 11oz.

Frame prices drop as expected down the line. Most of the bikes are available with Red, Dura-Ace, Di2, all the way down to a Rival group option for the base R3. They’ll also have the Super Record VWD pictured in this post.

2012 Cervelo R5CA Project California lightweight road bike

One thing to keep in mind as you’re figuring out how to afford one of these is that they use Cervelo’s BBRight bottom bracket design. It’s an asymmetric shape that pushes the non-drive side out to create a wider, stiffer base. It requires BBRight cranksets, but considering the available drivetrain options on the complete bikes, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of choices. It’s more of an issue if you were simply planning on upgrading your frame and putting your current kit on it…you’ll at least need a new crankset.

2012 Cervelo BBRight bottom bracket explanation


  1. I’d like to see a bike weighed that’s actually complete…meaning with pedals, cages and a computer of some kind. That would be more realistic. Otherwise just leave it at the frame weight, its easy enough to deduce from that how light a build it could be.

  2. @ Gillis…Jeez, I like many, find it pretty damn easy to figure out what adding a set of pedals & cages, plus computer would add to those bikes hmmmm R5CA with Red as pictured…12lb8oz…hmmmm…I’ll add 130 gr for a set of Speedplay Nanogram pedals….hell, I’ll even toss on a set of Speedplay Nanograms cages…2 x19gr…and now that I’m broke & can, now, only afford a Cateye Strada HW @45gr…
    There you go…that was damn easy and not very confusing…Is that realistic enough?… Only took me a couple minutes flipping through a catalogue. Add the weight of 3 items to the total weight shown…gives me a pretty damn accurate idea of what the complete bike would weigh….a lot quicker than adding up every single component… I can look at the weight…quickly add 1/2lb (if I have some coin in the bank), or (3/4lb if I want to keep some food in the fridge) and come up with a workable weight for the bike ready to roll.
    I think you’re bitching for the sake of bitching…

  3. @Mick: it looks like you’re bitching as much as I am, actually more.

    My point is/was that manufacturers use those false weights for marketing to give guys who care a hard-on. It’s a joke, sure its weighs XXlbs now, but by the time you bring it home, put on the pedals, cages, computer, a saddle that’s actually comfortable to sit on, wheels you can afford to use (ie not Lightweights), its well above the printed weight.

  4. @Gillis

    Mick is right. How do you figure it’s harder to add in the weights of a computer, cages, etc, than to add that and an entire groupset, wheels and finishing kit? It’s not like they’re hiding frame weights, they’re in the first paragraph.

    I agree that if you build an R5 with 105, Aksiums, and a Brooks B17 it will weigh considerably more than the pictured bike, but I think it’s nice that they say (with a scale), “hey, this bike in the picture? This is what it weighs.”

  5. I also agree with Mike – I think it’s GREAT that these bikes have been weighed pretty much complete – much better than just frame weight unless you have an AWFUL lot of time on your hands to be able to work out each component and it’s weight! I’ve been dying to know what the approx weight difference is between the new R3 and R5 given the considerable difference in price – and now I know, thanks to BikeRumor !!!

  6. Since the marketeers play to the lowest common denominator, it should be fairly easy to outwit them and figure out what a bike weighs. Critical thinking is a useful tool. If a person sees a bike advertised as weighing 13 lbs without pedals, cages, and the like and that person then gets upset when after they build their version of that bike it doesn’t weigh 13 lbs, well…..they get what they deserve.

  7. Between the comments on this post and the comments on the Specialized post…it’s like a knitting circle. Sheesh..lighten up Francis.

  8. BBRight equipped frames are compatible with most cranksets from Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo, etc and only require the specific BBRIGHT adapter cups supplied by Cervelo. See BBRight.net for the long list of compatible cranksets and the requisite adapter cups.

  9. I’m glad they show weights on complete bikes. Also, they gave frame weights too. So, EVERYONE should be happy. You are just mad because you are fat and slow. 🙂

    That black bike needs some color on it….just a tad (red cables?) And, why not SRAM Red Black Ed.?

    Lightweight wheels are not realistic for 99% of the riders out there but it’s cool to see them on the “dream build” type rides such as this.


    Although, I mentioned something about aesthetics of the black bike, this is not purely about art. When you spend upwards of $5-7k for a bike you have now bought a well crafted MACHINE. Become one with it through riding the $h!t out of it. Become the Samari with the sword. Jimmy Page with the guitar…well, you get the picture…

What do you think?