This guide provides a detailed sizing chart to help you find your ideal Cervelo R5 bike size.
According to Bike Radar, Cervélo has revised the R5 geometry to be more race-oriented, with the stack dropping by 8mm and having a slightly longer reach, improving its aerodynamic profile.
Consider the Cervelo Caledonia if you’re after a bike with a more comfortable (endurance) geometry.
Based on Cervelo’s sizing, there are six frame sizes available for cyclists with heights from 5’0″ to 6’4″ (152 to 193cm).
|Cervelo R5 size||Rider height (in)||Rider height (cm)|
|48||5’0″ – 5’4″||152 – 163|
|51||5’2″ – 5’6″||157 – 168|
|54||5’6″ – 5’9″||167 – 175|
|56||5’9″ – 5’11”||175 – 180|
|58||5’11” – 6’1″||180 – 185|
|61||6’1″ – 6’4″||185 – 193|
Important factors to consider besides height
Beyond the sizing chart, there’s more to a good fit than height. Here are important things to consider from my experience working at the bike shop, helping hundreds of past customers get their right bike size.
Cervelo sizing vs. other brands
The Cervelo R5 is sized by values such as 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, and 61.
These values provide a general indication of the frame size. However, they may not be consistent across other bike brands. What constitutes a size 51 in a Cervelo R5 could be different in another brand that uses a similar sizing, such as Cannondale or Specialized.
Thus, relying on these values alone can be misleading.
Understand the stack and reach measurements
If you have a bike that fits you well and is comfortable, use that as a reference point. Find out its Stack and Reach measurements and compare them against the Cervelo R5’s measurements.
According to Natalie Collins, a professional bike fitter and owner of Pedal Fit in Denver, CO;
Stack and Reach are the new standards for describing bicycle sizes, and are more useful measures for comparing frames than traditional sizing.
- Reach is the horizontal distance from the bottom bracket to the center of the head tube. It determines how stretched or compact your riding position will be. A longer reach results in a more stretched-out, aggressive riding posture, while a shorter reach promotes a more upright position.
- Stack is the vertical distance from the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube. Stack height influences how high your handlebars will be relative to your saddle. A higher stack leads to a more upright riding position, which can be more comfortable, especially for longer rides, older riders, and those with less flexibility on the lower back.
The Stack and Reach measurements can be found on the Cervelo R5’s frame geometry chart below.
Size up or down, if in between sizes?
Compared to other brands, the sizing for Cervelo R5 is relatively straightforward. However, there will be some cyclists that fall right on the upper end of the smaller size and lower end of the larger size.
If that’s you, there are many things to consider, such as your legs-to-torso proportions and the final look of the bike, taking into consideration the number of spacers, stem length, and the amount of exposed seatpost.
Generally, I’d recommend sizing down (go for the smaller of two sizes) for most cyclists.
It’s easier to make a smaller frame bigger than vice versa. The smaller R5 frame has more room to extend reach using a longer stem and to increase stack with spacers. However, there is a limit to these corrective measures to avoid having too many spacers (30mm+) or too much exposed seatpost, which makes the R5 look out of proportion.
The smaller frame is also stiffer, more maneuverable, and marginally lighter. If set up right, it’ll have more exposed seatpost, leading to more comfort due to increased seatpost flex.
If you have a normal legs-to-torso proportion, choosing the smaller size would be a better choice.
- If you have longer legs with a shorter torso, consider sizing up to avoid having too much exposed seatpost. The Cervelo SP24 seatpost is 400mm long and has a minimum insertion length to ensure safety.
- If you have shorter legs with a longer torso, consider sizing down and using a longer stem to extend reach.
Test ride before you buy
Visit your local Cervelo dealer to try both sizes to get a feel for what suits you best. Most large Cervelo dealers can provide a test ride if they have a bike in your size in their demo fleet.
Cervelo R5 frame geometry (2018-2023)
- Years: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
- Models: Cervelo R5
- Frame material: Carbon
The frame geometry measurements are explained in this article.
|Rider Height (cm)||150 to 160||160 to 168||168 to 176||176 to 184||184 to 192||192 to 196|
|Rider Height (ft)||4’11″ to 5’2″||5’2″ to 5’6″||5’6″ to 5’9″||5’9″ to 6’0”||6’0” to 6’3″||6’3″ to 6’5″|
|Top Tube (mm)||515||531||548||564||581||598|
|Head Tube Angle||71°||72°||73°||73°||73°||73°|
|Front Center (mm)||574||576||578||594||611||628|
|BB Drop (mm)||74.5||74.5||72||72||69.5||69.5|
|Head Tube (mm)||93||114||137||163||192||218|
|Seat Tube Angle||73°||73°||73°||73°||73°||73°|
|Standover Height (mm)||695||724||755||778||800||824|
|Fork Offset (mm)||57.5||51.5||45.5||45.5||45.5||45.5|
Bernard Lu has 7+ years of experience working in a bicycle shop, overseeing the retail and workshop operations. He’s a qualified bicycle mechanic who understands a cyclist’s needs and speaks the same cycling lingo.
If you meet him at the cafe, he will happily talk to you for hours about all the intricacies of bikes and cycling tech. Just buy him a coffee next time you see him.