Cervelo P2C


The Bike: 2008 Cervelo P2C
Size: 52cm
Miles to Date: 600
The Rider: Bikenfool
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 163

From the top
Cervelo dominates the triathlon world, and with good reason. With a long-term and significant investment in bike aerodynamics, the company has found a way to produce extraordinarily efficient bikes that are also stunning values (a P2C with Shimano Ultegra derailleurs and R500 wheels is available for $2,500). The P2C has the same front-triangle geometry as the Tour-taming Cervelo P3C, with internal cable routing and a rear that has all the high-end aero touches, including a -teardrop seatpost and tucked rear wheel.

Fast standing still...

Fast standing still...

On the road, it’s easy to settle into an aero position and churn for long, flat stretches without fatiguing. With intuitive handling in corners and on sharp descents, and balanced acceleration on steep climbs, I never have to think about what to do next. The bike just feels right. And superfast.

The design:
The P2C is a fully molded carbon fiber bike with Cervelo’s meticulous attention to aerodynamic detail including their proprietary head tube configuration, frame member thickness and profile. The P2C has Cervelo’s lifetime warranty, a testimony to the time and expense Cervelo has put into durability and fatigue testing on their molded carbon frames. This testing and durability is one reason professional triathletes often buy Cervelos.

Aero Carbon

Aero Carbon

The details…
The cockpit is a well-conceived aerobar set-up and I feel Cervelo really got this right. Cervelo uses the FSA/Visiontech ski bend aero extensions on the P2C. They also use the excellent aluminum FSA/Visiontech base bar which I like better than the carbon version due to better stiffness. FSA crab-claw brake lever is an aerodynamic gem. It has a nice feel, is oh-so-aero/narrow and looks quite zoot. Cervelo uses a Tektro caliper branded by Cervelo that is absolutely proven. Braking is adequate on the Zipp 404’s but feels stronger on regular rims.

Like airplane controls...

Like airplane controls...

The fork on the Cervelo P2C is the Wolf CL, a nicely done carbon fiber fork with aerodynamic blades and sturdy dropouts. It uses a reliable and easy to cut alloy steer tube. Cable routing on the P2C is aerodynamically excellent and mechanically adequate. It was among the industry standard until Felt introduced its luxurious fully guided internal cable routing on the B2 platform. The cable routing on the P2C is clean and gets the job done but if you have ever threaded cables through a frame you know this can be tricky.

Zipp...

Zipp...

The seatpost is a massive wing shaped aerodynamic Cervelo variable geometry post. This is a fine design that is easy to adjust, light and reliable. The 7 centimeter depth of the seatpost makes attaching things to it tricky. It took me a little to mount an X-Lab X-Wing setup (Non-Cervelo Model). The P2C comes with the Selle Italia SLR T1 style saddle made by Selle Italia for Cervelo. I switched this out for a Fizik Arione. This has proven to be a fine choice and very comfortable for long rides in the aero position.

Stadium seating...

Stadium seating...

The P2C comes with base Shimano R500 wheels that are fine for winter/training rides. I switched them out for a set Zipp 404 tubulars that I found on Craig’s list for a song. For the riding season, I am using these as my everyday wheels and running VITTORIA  Triathlon Evo CS Tubulars with Stans sealant. In the winter, I will put the stock wheels back on for nasty days and the trainer. Overall, I really like the Zipp 404’s and the weight difference over the stock is staggering. On minor note, to me, the carbon braking surface produces a slighly vague when compared to traditional surfaces. I am running Zipp Carbon brake pads but still like the feel of traditional wheels/brakes better. I think it is an aquired taste.

Nice Detail...

Nice Detail...

My P2C was spec’d with the Ultegra kit. Shifting is good as long as you don’t compare it to a Dura-Ace setup. While generally producing a positive feel, the shifting does happen smoothly but with less of a mechanical feel. The Ultegra components do feel slightly slower when looking for a quick gear change. No issues with loosing the chain.

The Ride:
Did I say this bike is fast? This bike is fast. I have the cock pit pretty tight and whether in the aero position or upright the bike is very comfortable. In the aero position, it feels like every watt of power is being transferred. Further more, for what ever reason, it feels like I am generating more watts on this bike than on the Orbea Orca. The handling is very good and the ride feels super stable in the aero position even when avoiding minor road obstacles. One minor annoying note, The FSA crab-claw brake levers vibrate/rattle driving me nuts. I actually wrapped thread around the pivots and got the noise to stop.

E for excellent...

E for excellent...

Verdict: Sweet bike at a sweet price
I could not be more pleased with this bike. It has the fit and finish of a Ferrari, basically looks fast even when sitting still and is very comfortable for long rides.

Responses

  1. […] Cervelo P2C […]


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