Is this the Cervelo P5 (or PX)?

 Oct 5, 2011 article & images by Nick Salazar

This wind-tunnel prototype might be a hint of what the Cervelo P5 (or PX) will look like.

I may have just seen the new Cervelo P5 (or PX, or whatever it will be called). At least, I've seen what led to its development. Let me back up.

"Wind-tunnel-tested" and "Wind-tunnel-developed" are phrases we hear a LOT in the world of triathlon bikes. Every company claims they've done their homework, so to speak. But I don't think anyone backs up their claims as seriously as Cervelo does. These guys practically live at the wind tunnel. So it was a great surprise when I saw Phil White, co-founder of the company, sitting under a small Cervelo tent in the Ironman Village at the expo for the World Championships in Kona.

And he brought something AMAZING with him.

Sitting quite conspicuously in the tent, surrounded by four completely blank white frames of previous Cervelo TT bikes, was what Phil called the "Wind Tunnel Test Mule." It's a steel scaffolding to which their engineers can bolt prototyped parts, making it easy to run different scenarios with different parts attached. It truly allows them to develop the frame using the wind tunnel.

I think the video below, and the gallery that accompanies it, will speak for itself. Enjoy the speculation, and according to Phil White, we'll see something official closer to December or January.

Tags » cervelo,  hawaii2011,  p5bike
  • Cervelo Co-Founder Phil White is a laid-back kind of guy with a lot of love for bicycle engineering.
  • Phil White with his so-called Test Mule for the wind tunnel.
  • It looks like Cervelo has tested some extremely slick integrated front-ends.  I hope something like this made the final bike.
  • SLA-prototyped parts are marked with sharpie for identification.
  • I'm very excited to see what Cervelo does with this bike.
  • Another shot of this awesome-looking test front end.
  • This chainstay looks a lot like that of the P4.
  • The red parts are where bondo material was used to smooth out the laser-sintered prototype parts, which come out a little rough.
  • This iteration had an English-threaded bottom bracket, but I'd bet that Cervelo puts on a BBRight on their final bike.
  • The single riser looks like it may be more aero than two risers (one beneath each armcup), but Phil was quick to remind me that things that intuitively seem like they would be faster don't always pan out that way with a rider on board.
  • This particular rear-end was very interesting, and didn't feature Cervelo's signature curved seat tube.
  • Parts are smoothed together with silver tape to keep the wind tunnel findings closer to what the reality would be with one smooth carbon form.
  • A box of prototype parts waiting to be put on the bike. Cervelo swapped out one or two parts every day or two just to keep thing interesting.
  • Is this what the final bike will look like?  Only time will tell.  The final bike is due early next year.
  • The parts bolt on quickly and easily for wind tunnel testing.
  • Without all the parts attached, you can see how the prototyped parts affix to the bike.

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