Project Liberty: Cervelo S5 VWD
article & images by Nick Salazar
Oct 16, 2013
Hopefully the preceding page gave you some idea of the concept I was after while building this bike. It's meant to be very aero, very light, and very fun to ride. Aside from the unusual choice of an aero base bar in place of drops, I also opted to forego the front derailleur and make this a 1x11 drivetrain. A custom 44-tooth Fibre-Lyte chainring and an 11-28t eleven-speed cassette produce a range of gears pretty similar to those of a 53-39 crankset with a 12-25t cassette. The legendary Sheldon Brown published a very useful gear calculator that helped me figure out the gearing for Liberty. The aforementioned gearing of a 53-39 crank with a 12-25 cassette has a range of gain ratios that goes from 3.2 up to 8.9. Liberty's gearing goes from 3.2 to 8.1, meaning that its hardest gear isn't quite as hard as a 53-12. But its easy gear is exactly the same as a 39-25. I'm very happy with that setup, and that's all that matters for this particular project.
With that out of the way, let's get right down to it. Every part was chosen for its aerodynamic prowess, while trying to keep weight to an absolute minimum. Below is the full build list for Liberty, with some links to relevant pictures in the gallery.
Project Liberty, Build List and Customizations
|Frame/Fork||Cervelo S5 VWD, 54cm - Stripped paint down to nude carbon, added black logos and clear coat only.|
|Rims||Enve 3.4 Tubular|
|Hubs||Dash Cycles Elle + Michelle|
|Tires||Zipp Tangente Tubular (21mm front, 23mm rear)|
|Handlebar||TriRig Alpha - Base bar only/extension hardware plugged with Clamp Nut and alloy bolts|
|Stem||TriRig Sigma +35mm - Replaced all steel fasteners w/ titanium. Replaced aluminum cable cover with custom 3D-printed plastic version w/ carbon fiber fixing bolt|
|Brake Levers||Profile Design ABS Carbon|
|Shifter||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 (Custom) - Disassembled SW-R600, cut wire and re-soldered for extra length. Added custom 3D-printed plastic pips on buttons for better purchase against fingers.|
|Brakes||TriRig Omega - Replaced Front Plate bolts with alloy; replaced steel thru-bolt with titanium.|
|Saddle||Dash Cycles Tri.7 w/ integrated seatpost|
|Crankset||Lightning SL w/ carbon spyder, 165mm|
|Chainring||Fibre-Lyte Custom - One-off 44-tooth chainring with TR logos between each pair of chainring bolts.|
|Chain||Dura-Ace 9000 - Added KMC 11-speed MissingLink for easier installation/disassembly|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Di2 9070 - Replaced all steel fasteners with aluminum or titanium|
|Cassette||Recon one-piece alloy, 11-28t|
|Brake Housing||Alligator iLinks, 5mm|
|Fork Spacer||Chris King alloy, 6mm, Orange|
Of course, the build list isn't the entire story of the components. A lot of them have additional custom work done to keep the weight to a minimum, and the aerodynamic drag down as well. Even my own Omega brakes and Sigma stem got some special treatment, receiving some high-end fasteners and even a 3D-printed cable cover to shed those last few grams. Complete descriptions can be found in the image captions, so be sure to check out the gallery for the full scoop on this bike.
And, because the images and captions really provide all the info you'll need on the build itself, I think we'll leave it at that. When you're ready to hear about the Cervelo S5 itself, hit the jump for my review of that venerable frame.