Cycling News

First look at the new Cervélo Áspero


The new Cervélo Áspero is faster. Changes to the frame and (mostly) hiding the hoses have improved drag by 3 W. The bike has some other enhancements that come following feedback the company has gathered since the frame debuted in 2019. The new Áspero has more tire clearance. It also manages vibrations sent through its tubes better. The improved ride feel doesn’t come from any elastomers or mechanical solutions. “What it always comes down to is what’s the fastest because that’s our ethos: to make riders faster,” says Maria Benson, director of product at Cervélo. “We believe adjusting carbon layups and the ride quality of the frame itself has a better benefit for a rider who is concerned about getting to the finish line the quickest than a widget or suspension system.”

What kind of gravel bike is the Cervélo Áspero?

If you look at the spectrum of gravel bikes—with fast, race-oriented rigs on one end and more comfortable bikepacking haulers on the other—the Áspero is firmly at the racing end of the range. While it has a few well-placed mounts, including two for a top-tube bag that comes with the bike, the frame is pretty modest in the attachments department, as you’d expect from a speedy setup. The fit of the bike lets you get into an efficient, watt-maximizing pedalling position. The handling is responsive on roads of all kinds and nicely nimble on trails.

SRAM Rival AXS 12-speed shifter on the Cervélo Áspero. Image: Nick Iwanyshyn

Changes to the Cervélo Áspero frame

While the new frame retains its focus on speed, it gains some features meant to increase your comfort on long, hard gravel rides. The down tube has a slimmer profile, adding compliance. The seatstays connect to a lower position on the seat tube. That modification exposes more seatpost and seat tube to add the kind of flex that keeps a rider more comfortable. (The lower seatstays can also add aero gains.) The top tube has more of a slope to it, creating a better standover height. The seat tube’s rear wheel cutout is more pronounced on the new Áspero.

Cervélo Áspero
On the new Cervélo Áspero, the top tube has a greater slope than the previous model. Also, the seatstays meet the seat tube a little lower down. Image: Nick Iwanyshyn

The chainstays are 5 mm longer, bringing their length to 425 mm. Other than that change, the geometry figures on the new Áspero are the same as the old one: same head-tube angle, same…

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