For the last five years, I've been riding a 2009 Specialized Allez. It started as a local sale item. As I rode more, I upgraded it into the gold bike seen below, hanging on the wall.


It's been an excellent bike, but along the way, the headset bearings cracked into pieces and ruined the fork. What better excuse for a new bike?

I ride mostly in Houston, which is flat as can be. As controversial as it may be in the cycling world, I'm a firm believer in the advantages of selecting equipment based on its aerodynamic performance. I analyzed as many tests and opinions as I could find for months and determined the aerodynamically highest performing frame is the 2015+ Cervélo S5.

I then put together a build list of components which I also believed had the highest aero performance: TriRig brakes, SRAM 1x drivetrain, Cervélo aerobars, and Flo 60 Carbon Clincher wheels.

Despite my lack of experience, I was determined to complete the build on my own. I purchased the tools I thought I'd need. I photographed and weighed everything along the way.

Here's a table summarizing the hand-written notes above:

Component Weight (grams) Notes
Frame 982 2015 Cervelo S5 size 51
Rear Wheel 838 Flo 60 Carbon Clincher w/ 11-spd hub
Front Wheel 695 Flo 60 Carbon Clincher
Crankset 644 SRAM Force1, 52T chainring, 165mm cranks
Pedals 438 PowerTap P1 w/ AAA batteries
Fork 367 Cervelo S5, uncut, with insert and star nut
Chain 277 SRAM PC-1170
Handlebar 264 Cervelo 40cm aerobars
Rear Derailleur 259 SRAM Force 1 Medium Cage
Rear Cassette 257 SRAM PG-1170, 11-spd, 11-28T
Seat 245 Fizik Arione Versus K:ium
Tires 211 Continental GP4000SII 23mm (211g for 1 tire; used front and rear)
Seatpost 196 Cervel S5 cut to 317mm with seat clamp and wedge
Right Brake/Shift Lever 159 SRAM Force 22 DoubleTap Control
Rear brake 150 TriRig Omega X, Flo pads, Cervelo bracket, spacers for fitment
Wheels Mfg. Bottom Bracket 149 Model: BBright-Out-for-SRAM, threaded alloy cups, angular bearings
Bar finishing 136 Lizardskin DSP 3.2, Fizik gel, Fyxation bar ends. Weight includes both sides.
Stem 127 FSA OS-99 Csi 100mm -6 deg, with bolts and faceplate
Front Brake 121 TriRig Omega X, Flo brake pads
Left Brake Lever 117 SRAM CX1, brake only
Tubes 71 Vittoria Latex 51mm stem (71g for 1 tube; used front and rear
Wheel Skewer 53 Flo Cycling
Bottle Cage 28 Arundel Dave-O
Misc 556 Cabling, Garmin mount, bolts, whatever else I forgot
TOTAL 7,340 ----------

I hope you enjoy this rather extensively (perhaps excessively) documented account.

I wanted to purchase just the frame, but my local shop (Bay Area Cycling in Pasadena, TX) offered me a great deal on the Cervélo aerobars and FSA OS-99 Csi stem. The bike was actually fully assembled with Ultegra 6800, Rotor crankset, and Mavic wheels, so the mechanics disassembled the bike before I could pick it up. It looked like this when I got it home:

Apologies for the messy garage, but I'm also in the middle of a kitchen remodel, so everything is a bit out of sorts around the house.

Originally I was going to use the Ultegra 6800 group off of my old bike, but I've been wanting to try SRAM's 1x road offering since it was offered on Specialized's "Lunch Race" Venge last year. This seemed the perfect opportunity to try it out. 

I have the old TriRig Omega SV's on my triathlon bike. They look good, but don't stop particularly well with the tiny brake levers on that bike. I decided to give the new Omega X's a try anyway. The design is improved and I'm trying to eliminate every single watt of drag that I can. This is the stack of new parts and tools I ordered for the occasion: 

I wanted to weigh the components individually, so I disassembled (most) of the bike.

Cervelo uses a bottom bracket standard known as "BBright". It's a asymmetrically wider PressFit 30, which means it accepts cranks that are 30mm in diameter, and at least 79mm wide (compared with 68mm of a standard BSA or BB30). The bearings are pressed into cups that are pressed into the carbon frame. Cervelo presses in the Rotor Pressfit 4630 cups/bearings at the factory, and the bike is sold with Rotor BBright specific cranks.

But I didn't want to run Rotor cranks. SRAM GXP cranks are wide enough, but have a tapered crank diameter that is 24mm on the drive side, and 22mm on the non-drive side. My options were to use adapters that sit in the Rotor bearings, like these from Wheels Mfg: adapters, or remove the Rotor system completely and install a bracket that was properly size for the frame and the crank, like this one: BBright -> GXP BB. I generally don't like adapters if the proper solution exists, so I opted for the harder route.

The proper tool for the removal job is the Park Tool BBT-30.3. You slide it in and hammer away. Definitely not an appealing thought for my brand new carbon frame, but I set about doing it anyway.

There was way too much flex in the system while hammering on the stand, that I couldn't believe it was done this way. I called my local bike shop to chat about it, and indeed, they use a second person from behind to hold the frame steady while the other smashes away. Yikes.

I didn't have a second person, nor did I like that idea, so I remove the bike from the stand and jigged it up on the ground, making sure to support the back side of the frame around the BB area as close I could while still allowing the BB to come out.

I commenced hammering. Uncomfortably hard. The bike shop mechanics assured me that the area is quite strong and my only real risk was if I missed the tool and hammered directly on the frame. It still felt terrible, but finally the cup released.

Some sort of accordion spacer lives in the middle.

Flipped over to repeat on the other side. Success! This was the operation that I was dreading the most; I was thankful to have it behind me.

Seatpost weighed. I couldn't get a photo of the frame on the scale without it tipping over.

Frame weight with rear derailleur hanger and a couple titanium bolts was 982g.

Ready to be built back up.

Check out: Part 2.