Cervelo P1(2011 Model): 50km review

Had an irresistible deal on a new old stock(NOS) Cervelo P1 by one of the bike shops in Singapore. So I bought it without much thought. Its an 2011 model size 48cm which meant that it uses the ultra rare and hard to find tires for 650c.  Mine came with everything stock listed on the Cervelo website with the exception of the wheels which came with the Easton Vista instead of the Shimano R500.The bike was formerly known as the P2k if I am not wrong.

First appearance, I was dwarfed by how small it looks and was even wondering at whether I can fit within the bike (which is a size 48cm) upon opening up the package and fixing the general shape up, I realized that I could fit it! Could not finish up the cabling and wiring by myself as I do not have a cable cutter, so I sent it to my friendly local bike shop where they finished it up in 2 hours for me on the same day! Also learn alot about bicycle installation and maintenance as I fixed some of the parts wrongly. It is a super excruciating painful and anal job that requires lots of patience and dexterity as well.

Here are the boxes all packed up and nice with everything inside I think. In fact while the manufacturer supplied way too much brake cables and housing,and not enough of the shifter housing, which meant that I had to go fix it up at the bike shop.

That’s for use for another time as I do not not have the tires with me.

The Bike before first assembly. Looks really small.


After about 2 hours of painful work.Gave up as I do not have the required tools.


Finished product with the cables all hidden underneath the aerobars. Felt abit stretched out.

So I went for a ride with it after the build up. First impression was it was hard to accelerate and has very sluggish control. This was probably due to its weight and the 130mm stem that I installed.However,after reaching 37-38kph, it was easy to maintain the speed and frankly rather fun to ride in. Side winds from vehicles was a scary affair as it is a little more unstable than a road bike. Still, it is a fast and aerodynamic machine, when properly utilized.

Equipment Review

Frame,Fork,Seatpost

The main difference between the S1 and the P1 is
1.The Cut-out for the rear wheel
2.The lack of a downtube bottle cage
3.The carbon 3T carbon Funda Pro Fork vs the aluminum Cervelo TT fork

Fork is way fatter than I expected, and the lack of carbon fork means its will be a harsher ride.Still, the shape of the fork is the same of the higher end P series fork with the main difference being the material and the size.It  is aero-foil shaped to cut through the wind and though not very responsive, the bike is wind tunneled tested to provide the optimum amount of drag as compared to other aero bikes out inthe market.

The lack of Rear derailleur hanger however is a disappointment. I know time trial bikes are not designed to be out in an open road race but still many cyclists still ride in a group be on a tt bike or road bike. The lack of the hanger means that high speed crashes are going to be an expensive affair as it will affect the rear derailleur directly.

While the lack of the downtube water bottle holder might make it more aerodynamic,I still prefer getting the bottle from the downt ube instead of the seat tube.Still not used to getting water from there.

Seat post given is the 2 position type. Abit heavy but good for finding either a 75 or 78 degree position. And since its sharp,It wont have difficult cutting fruits should you lack a knife.

Cockpit: Vision Team Base bar and Vision Team  “J” bend Aero bars

First thoughts, internal routing through the base bar and the aerobars are a pain in the ass. Its a tight fit and takes an awful amount of work to do it. After installation,the complicated routing looks neat and does not affect the shifting! I take great pleasure in noticing why Cervelo has chosen this alloy bars as the stock bars.The effort Vision takes to having an aerodynamic look is apparent, from the aero-foiled shaped base bar to the aero-foiled shaped spacers! A lack of adjustablilty  of aero bar length is a small price to pay for such fine work from Vision.Arm-pads can be adjusted to 3 different areas to fit varying shoulder lengths.

Wheels and Tires: Easton Vista and Vittoria Rubino Pro

While I like the quietness of the free hub of the Easton Vista, I am not too impressed with the weight. it weights just as much as the Racing Zero with tires on. Still, I believe Cervelo meant it as a stock wheel just for the bike to roll off the sales floor.Nothing much to comment as its weight is apparent when accelerating off from start.

The inclusion of the Rubino Pro is a surprise for me because it is not really considered a “stock” tire. It lasts almost forever and it is puncture proof. Better than some other stock tires by other manufacturers where it lacks puncture protection and lasts for just a while. Definitely wont be changing tires for quite some time (maybe a year or 2)

Groupset,Brakes
Ultegra 6600 Derailleurs, FSA Gossamer Compact Crank, Dura Ace shifter,Cervelo “mach” brakes

Groupset is good given Shimano build quality and quality control but the crank is a let down. I wished Cervelo would have speced a standard crank instead of a compact crank.I’m already using 50X12 when cruising at 36-37.FSA stuffs are good for now but it does not feel very stiff.I suppose this comes at a trade off given the difference in Tri and TT riding styles.

Brakes look like some 105/Tektro spin off. Works fine and perfectly with the provided Vision brake handle.

Saddle : San Marco Ponza TT
Any saddles that does not numb nuts is a good saddle. As at point of writing, the saddle does not numb nuts and feels okay. It looks heavy, but I have not yet measured the weight of the saddle.It has tons of padding at the front;critical for resting family jewels for the ride ahead.

Conclusion
Overall a good bike made by the leader in aerodynamic bike research. Though some equipment choices are questionable.Frame is very aerodynamic for a metal frame and i suspect it might even beat other “aero” carbon bike frame in the wind tunnel.Still for the price I paid, it is a very very good deal and it is definitely worth much more.

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About sadisticnoob

A poor guy attempting to skim on bike parts
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2 Responses to Cervelo P1(2011 Model): 50km review

  1. Kamal says:

    We have the same bike! I too got it from the TBB clearance sale. The price was too good to resist (but I’m sure you know that already) and I was looking for a tri bike that would fit a shorty like myself. Being alu, the ride is harsh, but I guess I’m too pampered by my carbon road bike. I have about 700km on the bike so far and it’s been a blast! 🙂

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