Cervelo can do no wrong. Hot on the heels of several major victories in the Tour de France and Beijing Olympics, and the unveiling of the all-new and slipperyer S3 at Eurobike, the company has launched the P4.
The P4 is the successor to the P3, itself no slouch and a bike that has many time trials, triathlons and Iron Man events under its belt, so following up with an even more aerodynamic bike would undoubtedly be no easy feat.
It was in the wind tunnel that Cervelo honed the P4, with two months of intensive testing in the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel, which has created a bike that manages to be even faster than is predecessor. So what’s different then?
To go faster than the P3, Cervelo has headed down the integration route, developing a custom fork that fits seamlessly into the head and downtube. Up top, custom headset spacers create a smooth transition to the 3T Ventus tri-bar. Towards the rear, Cervelo has moved the rear brake from the seat stays to a position behind the bottom bracket, concealing the caliper entirely in the chainstays, removing it entirely from the passage of air. Furthermore, Cervelo claim their own design caliper is 30% lighter thtan Dura-Ace, while offering the same level of power and modulation.
Nearly every tube profile has been tinkered with to find increases in aero performance, with tyre clearances fine tuned in the wind tunnel. Cables are routed internally and, as seen on the S3, an access port covered with a cap sits at the top of the downtube. Asymmetric chainstays are aero shaped to improve airflow and reduce turbulence, and the seat stays, now free of the brake caliper, have been moved forward.
But perhaps the biggest aesthetic departure is the shaped water bottle nestling in the bottom of the down tube and seat stay. It’s a 570ml water bottle that is designed in harmony with the frame, and disturbs the airflow much less than a standard water bottle we’d imagine. Additionally, Cervelo designers reckon the P4 is actually faster with the bottle in place.
“The P4 is the biggest leap we have ever made in aero bike technology,” says Phil White, co-founder of Cervélo. “The P series has evolved significantly over the last decade, making it a real challenge to keep finding improvements. With the P4, the mandate was to make it significantly faster than the P3 while achieving equivalent or better performance relative to stiffness, power transmission, low weight and comfort. I’m pleased to report that we have met those goals.”
Availability is expected for December. More info then and prices soon.