Despite more recently sitting in the shadows of the brand's aerodynamic-focussed S5 and lightweight R5 models, the Soloist is actually one of Cervélo’s most famous bikes. When it was first launched in the early 2000s, Cervélo pioneered the trend of aerodynamic bike designs – the bike was ridden by WorldTour professionals including the likes of Mark Cavendish.
Today, the Canadian manufacturer has released a refreshed version of the Soloist bike which is aimed at the everyday rider who wants a high-performance, versatile road bike but doesn't have the luxury of professional mechanics or want to have multiple riding options for different terrain. While the Soloist uses similar geometry to the Cervélo R5 and the frameset remains lightweight, there have been some penalties in aerodynamics in order to make the bike suitable for a broad range of riding conditions.
Keeping it simple
The new Soloist has a number of features which make it more suitable and easy to adjust for the everyday rider. It has a cockpit design that allows for standard parts and mechanical cable routing which makes it easier to switch between different bars and stem combinations. The bike also features 34mm of tyre clearance which aligns it with the changing demands of modern cycling – wider tyres can add extra comfort and compliance on tricky terrain. The bike uses the BBrighT-47 bottom bracket standard which Cervélo says maintains stiffness characteristics of the BBRight but simplifies the bottom bracket installation and replacement.
At the front of the bike, Cervélo has left cables running externally from the bars but routed them down the front of the headset spacers where the oversized upper headset bearing and D-shaped steerer allows the space for the cables to route inside the frame. This means both electric and mechanical drivetrains can be used on the bike as well as any brand of bar and stem combination.
Cervélo has worked hard to hit a sweet spot with the Soloist’s geometry, allowing it to sit in between the aero-focussed S5 and Cervélo’s climbing bike which is the R5. The Canadian brand claims that the Soloist is 250 grams lighter than the S5 frame, and 172 grams faster than the R5. Cervélo also has the Caledonia-5 bike in its range which previously seemed like the bike it offered for amateur racers, but Cervélo explains that the geometry of the Soloist is far more aggressive and race-focused than the Caledonia.
This largely comes from the shorter wheelbase which is created by short chainstays and a steeper head tube angle. It also has a higher bottom bracket which should help handling and compliance making the Soloist much more suitable for technical and fast race days. The Soloist also features a new SP27 seatpost which sits in between the R5 D-post and S5 aeropost – lighter than the aero post and faster than the D-post.
What are the options?
The new Soloist comes in three different colourways, Ember, Gold Dust and AlpenGlow (AlpenGlow is only available at 105 level). While the same frameset is used throughout, Cervélo offers six different build options, four of which are electronic with two options each from SRAM and Shimano, and two of which feature Shimano’s mechanical groupsets at the lower end of the price range. Both top level specifications come with Reserve Wheels, while the Force eTap AXS build comes with a power meter (costing £300 more than the Ultegra Di2 option.)
The Soloist frameset is available to buy for £3000, while the cheapest full-build in the range is the Cervélo Soloist 105 which retails for £3500. At the other end of the spectrum is the Soloist Force eTap AXS which costs £7100 for the full bike – including a power meter and Reserve 40/44 carbon wheels. The sizes of the Cervélo Soloist range from 48cm to 61cm.
Find out more on Cervelo's website