Cervelo has never been shy when it comes to maximizing tube shapes and the Caledonia is no different. A massive downtube and bottom bracket junction has become a Cervelo signature and the design feature lives on with the Caledonia. As has become all the rage, the Caledonia too relies on the dropped seatstay design with square, tapered chainstays and a nicely tapered top tube.
Proving Cervelo’s investment in the Caledonia platform is the fact that the bike is available in seven different spec iterations. Starting with the $5000 entry model (with Shimano Ultegra) to the $11,000 model (with Shimano Di2 Dura-Ace) with models using every other drivetrain option (sans Campagnolo) in-between.
Our test bike was the second highest spec with a SRAM Red eTap AXS drivetrain with a Ceramic Speed bottom bracket matched with a pair of Zipp 303S wheels mounted with tubeless-ready 28mm Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 tires and a pair of 160mm rotors.
Quick hits on the new Cervélo Caledonia 5 with SRAM Red eTap and Zipp 303S wheels…and all about Chuck Teixeira before I got cut-off.
Posted by Road Bike Action on Sunday, August 23, 2020
Even with the now fashionable dropped seatstays to aid in compliance, rolling with 65psi in the tires, the Cervelo still provided a harsh ride. Not unlike our experience with the Calfee Tetra (RBA, Oct. ’20) where an initial rough ride was altered by simply lowering the tire pressure, it didn’t take long for us to start dropping tire pressure with the Cervelo to lessen the bite felt over rough patches of pavement. Bottom line, from the stiff ride and fast handling front end, this is a purpose-built race bike in the tradition of what Cervelo has always focused on.
As always, SRAM’s reconfigured eTap gear ratios (48/35 x 10-33) helped every old guy feel young and every young guy feel strong by allowing more time in the big ring over a wider range of terrain.
Everyone who threw a leg over the Caledonia was disappointed to learn that for spending ten-large on the bike they’d be left rolling on Zipp’s entry level hoops and not their higher-end FireCrest wheels. What’s with a $10,000 asking price of if not to include better wheels?!
Given that importance that wheels can be on overall performance, the more race oriented riders determined that the better buy would be the $7000 version with the just-as-good-working SRAM Force eTap AXS drivetrain so as to provide leftover cash a more desirable wheel upgrade.
Weight: 17.18 pounds
Sizes: 48, 51, 54 (tested), 56, 58, 61 cm