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the cervélo story

Best bikes. best bike company.

Cervélo Cycles was created in 1995 when two engineers, Phil White and Gérard Vroomen, decided to market their work developing faster time-trial bikes. Having been involved in bicycle and human-powered vehicle design since 1986, they started a bike design from scratch when a top-ranked Italian pro cyclist approached Gérard to design the fastest possible time-trial bike for him.

1995

Cervélo Cycles is born

A top-ranked Italian pro cyclist asks Gérard Vroomen to design the fastest time-trial bike in the world. Having worked on bicycles and human-powered vehicles since 1986, Gérard and fellow Cervélo founder Phil White take up the challenge. They evaluate the competition and set an uncompromising design goal: To create a bicycle that’s unbeatably aerodynamic, yet sacrifices nothing in weight or stiffness. The result, a radical carbon monocoque dubbed the Barrachi, pushes the rules on almost every level and tests extremely well. Athletes in both road racing and triathlon show interest in Phil and Gérard's work, but sponsors are unwilling to support it. The designs are overhauled for practicality and adapted to aluminum.

1996

First product launch

Sporting vintage Italian cycling jerseys, Phil and Gerard launch two time-trial/triathlon models, the Cervélo Eyre and P2, at the Toronto Bike Show.

1998

First victories

Cervélo athletes win triathlons and national time-trial championships in Germany and Canada, race in the triathlon and cycling world championships, and compete in Olympic time trials in Atlanta.

2001

P3 launch

The P3 quickly becomes the standard for triathlons and time trials; it has now won more of these races than any other bike. It is the most popular choice in Ironman racing and time-trialing ever. No wonder it is still the benchmark for the entire bike industry and the most copied bike in history.

2002

Soloist Team launch

Cervélo cements its pioneering status in the pro peloton. A road-race bike that can be adapted for use in time-trial or triathlon, the Soloist features TrueAero and Smartwall design, and becomes the foundation for the S Series.

2003

Cervélo becomes bike supplier to Team CSC

Cervélo is by far the smallest and youngest bike company to supply a team on the elite men’s tour. Over the next three years, Team CSC jumps from 14th place in the world rankings to the pinnacle of the pro cycling world. The partnership lasts for six years.

2005

R3 launch

The Cervélo R3 introduces the Squoval concept still used today. Engineered to optimize strength, stiffness and comfort while offering low weight, the R3 changes many industry standards.

July 2007

teamTBB

Cervélo starts working with this pro triathlon team, which goes on to dominate the international circuit.

July 2007

SLC-SL launch

With the Soloist setting a new standard for aerodynamics and the R3 doing the same for weight, the SLC-SL (Soloist Carbon SuperLight) is designed to give the rider a perfect balance of both. It’s the first aero frame that’s lighter than the vast majority of classic road frames.

October 2007

Chrissie Wellington wins Ironman World Championship

The teamTBB star completes Hawaii’s Kailua-Kona course in 9:08:45. Her incredibly fast bike split is recorded on a Cervélo P2. Wellington successfully defends her title one year later, again on her P2.

January 2008

R3 SL launch

The R3 SL further refines the layup techniques of the R3 to set a new industry-best balance of stiffness, strength and weight.

July 2008

Carlos Sastre wins the Tour de France

The Spaniard’s attack on Alp d'Huez during Stage 17 on his Cervélo R3 SP shows his true GC potential, and earns him the Yellow Jersey. He defends his lead on his P3 time-trial bike, and pedals down the Champs-Élysées a champion.

August 2008

Beijing Olympics

More than 40 athletes earn a total of 10 Olympic medals on Cervélo bikes.

2009

Cervélo TestTeam

Cervélo becomes the first bike manufacturer in the modern era to have its own cycling team at the highest level of racing. Led by 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and sprint star Thor Hushovd, the team quickly builds a name for itself. While it certainly delivers in races, the team also helps Cervélo develop innovative new products.

September 2010

Project California and the R5ca

The Cervélo R5ca wins the Gold Eurobike award at the Eurobike trade show, where Project California is unveiled. The R5ca is built in Cervélo's California facility by company engineers and boasts an incredible 675g frame weight. The R5ca later earns “Best in Show” honours at the Awards for Composites Excellence.

October 2010

UCI World Championships

Cervélo TestTeam riders make big waves: Emma Pooley of the U.K. becomes World Time Trial Champion on her P3, and Thor Hushovd of Norway becomes World Road Race Champion on his S3.

January 2011

S5 Launch

Built on the heritage of the Soloist series, the S5 sets the bar even higher for aerodynamic road bikes. Using BBright, Shielding Seatstays and an extended rear wheel cut-out, the S5 offers improved stiffness and ride comfort with the lowest aerodynamic drag available. In the first year of competition, the S5 is ridden by Thor Hushovd to multiple victories including a long run in the Yellow Jersey at the Tour de France.

January 2012

P5 Launch

The P5 marks the culmination of years of layup and aerodynamic experience and development. Improvements encompass not only aerodynamic shapes, but also system optimization including components, storage and ease of use.

February 2012

Pon Holdings acquires Cervélo Cycles

Cervélo continues to operate independently from the Dutch transportation conglomerate.

May 2012

Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia

The Team Garmin-Barracuda star becomes the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour with an exceptional performance in the climbs on his Cervélo R5ca and in the final time trial on his P5.

2013

Rca launch

The latest Cervélo frame from Project California weighs in at an average of 667 grams (size 54), maintains the R5ca's optimal stiffness, and introduces a new aero profile to Squoval tube shapes. The winner of a JEC Innovation Award, the Rca sets new benchmarks in the lab — and on the road.

July 2014

Cervélo partners with MTN-Qhubeka

Africa’s first Pro Continental team joins forces with Cervélo and Rotor components. The team scores several notable victories while raising money for the Qhubeka Foundation, which brings bicycle mobility to isolated regions of Africa. Six months after the partnership is announced, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung earns a wildcard entry for the 2015 Tour de France, making it the first Africa-based team to compete in the iconic race.

November 2014

Next-generation S5 launch

This entirely new version combines all the aero benefits of the traditional S5 with significantly improved stiffness and ride quality, as well as new race geometry.

April 2015

Cervélo named bike supplier for British Cycling

Five-year partnership sees Cervélo work with the Great Britain Cycling Team to provide frames and develop world-leading track bikes for the Rio and Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

January 2016

Cervélo-Bigla Pro Cycling launches

After providing technical support to the Bigla Pro Cycling Team during the 2015 season, Cervélo becomes a title sponsor for the 2016 UCI women’s season.

January 2016

Dimension Data jumps to WorldTour

The pro team formerly known as MTN-Qhubeka begins its inaugural WorldTour season with big-name additions to its roster, including Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel and Mark Renshaw, riding Cervélo R5, S5 and P5 bikes.