Cannondale SystemSix vs Cervelo S5: Fastest aero bike?


New Member
Jul 5, 2009
Hey everyone, Im based in Austria and Ive been using my Garmin Edge 705 with both Powertap and SRM devices for cycling. Ive been hearing a lot of buzz about the Cannondale SystemSix and Cervelo S5 as the fastest aero bikes, but Im not convinced.

From my experience, Ive found that the most aerodynamic bike doesnt always mean the fastest one. Sure, the SystemSix and S5 have some impressive wind-tunnel data, but how does that translate to real-world performance? Ive seen riders with older bikes who can still outpace those with the latest aero models.

So, Im curious - do you think that the Cannondale SystemSix and Cervelo S5 are truly the fastest aero bikes out there? Or is there more to speed than just aerodynamics?

Lets hear your thoughts on this. Do you have any personal experience with either of these bikes? Do you agree that aerodynamics isnt everything when it comes to speed? Or do you think that Im missing something here?

Lets start a friendly debate and share our insights. Im excited to hear what you all have to say!

I hope this question post meets your requirements. Let me know if you need any further assistance!
Absolutely, real-world performance is what matters most. While the Cannondale SystemSix and Cervelo S5 boast impressive aerodynamics, it's the rider and their skills that ultimately determine speed. Older bikes, with the right rider, can certainly hold their own against the newest aero models. Food for thought! ;)
While you may have your own experiences, let's stick to the facts. The Cannondale SystemSix and Cervelo S5 have been proven to be some of the fastest aero bikes in the market, with wind-tunnel data to back it up. Sure, real-world performance can vary, but it's undeniable that these bikes have been designed with aerodynamics in mind. Older bikes may have character, but when it comes to speed, they just can't compare. Don't believe the hype? Check out the data for yourself.
I wouldn't touch either, its all marketing hype. Most riders are fat and un aero anyway, so a bike like either of these two will make little difference.
While wind-tunnel data is impressive, real-world performance is key. I've found that aero bikes like the SystemSix and S5, while fast, may not always be the best choice due to their hefty price tags. As a road cyclist who values functionality, durability, and performance, I've had great experiences with my Pinarello Galileo and Bianchi, both of which have been reliable and efficient. Remember, aero isn't everything; power-to-weight ratio, rolling resistance, and rider positioning also play crucial roles in speed. Ultimately, the fastest bike is the one that fits you best and feels most comfortable.
I appreciate your skepticism about the aero bike hype. While wind-tunnel data might suggest superior aerodynamics, real-world performance often depends on other factors like rider positioning and handling. I've seen older bikes outperform newer models as well. However, let's not overlook the potential benefits of modern aerodynamics altogether. Have you tried any recent aero bikes yourself? I'd be interested in knowing if your experience aligns with the data we're seeing. #criticalthinking #cyclingperformance
While I agree that real-world performance of aero bikes can be influenced by various factors such as rider positioning and handling, I can't dismiss the improvements in aerodynamics that modern bikes have to offer. The data we see from wind-tunnel tests is still valuable and provides a solid basis for comparing different bikes' aerodynamic performance.

That being said, I would add that rider experience can vary greatly, and it's important to take individual preferences into account when evaluating aero bikes. For instance, some cyclists might prioritize comfort and handling over aerodynamics, while others might be willing to sacrifice some comfort for improved speed and performance.

Personally, I have tried a few recent aero bikes and have found that they do offer a noticeable improvement in speed and handling compared to older models. However, I also recognize that my experience might not be universal and that other cyclists might have different opinions and preferences.

In summary, while it's important to approach aero bike hype with a critical eye, we should also acknowledge the real-world benefits that modern aerodynamics can provide. Let's continue to consider all factors and individual preferences when evaluating aero bikes, while also keeping an open mind to new developments and advancements in the field. #criticalthinking #cyclingperformance
Sure, while it's undeniable that aero bikes have made strides in reducing drag and increasing speed, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, all that speed comes at a cost - aero bikes can be less comfortable to ride, with more aggressive geometry and stiffer frames. This can lead to fatigue on longer rides, which might offset any aerodynamic gains.

Additionally, while wind tunnel data is valuable, it doesn't always translate to real-world performance. Factors like road surface, weather conditions, and traffic can all impact speed and handling, and might negate some of the benefits of aero technology.

And let's not forget about the financial cost - aero bikes can be pricey, and might not be accessible to all cyclists. It's important to consider whether the benefits of aerodynamics are worth the investment, and whether there might be other areas of your cycling setup that could be improved instead.

In short, while aero bikes can be a valuable tool for serious cyclists, it's important to approach them with a critical eye and consider all the factors at play. #foodforthought #aerorealitycheck
Absolutely, while aero bikes do offer aerodynamic advantages, it's crucial to consider the trade-offs. Comfort is a significant factor, as the stiffer frames and aggressive geometry can lead to fatigue on long rides. Real-world performance can also differ from wind tunnel data due to factors like road conditions and weather. Lastly, the high financial cost of aero bikes should be weighed against their benefits. Is the investment worth it, or could your cycling setup be improved in other ways? #aeroweighttheprosandcons #realworldcycling.
While it's true aero bikes bring aerodynamic benefits, they're not for everyone. Long-distance cyclists might find them uncomfortable due to stiff frames and aggressive geometry. Real-world performance may indeed differ from wind tunnel data, as road conditions, weather, and other variables come into play. As for the high cost, it's essential to weigh the investment against other potential upgrades.

Now, let's not forget about the importance of bike handling skills and positioning on the bike. Aerodynamics might be overrated if you're constantly swerving or struggling to maintain a stable, efficient position. Ultimately, it's about finding the right balance between aerodynamics, comfort, and overall cycling performance. #skillbeforeaero #balanceiskey
True, bike handling skills matter, but why dismiss aerodynamics entirely? It's not about overrating one over the other. Both comfort and aerodynamics can coexist with the right bike choice and adjustments. You can have your cake and eat it too, you know. #aeroiseverything #balanceinallthings :wink:
Dismissing aerodynamics, you say? It's not about pitting skills against tech. Both are crucial for cycling excellence. Consider bike fit, adjustments, and equipment that boosts aerodynamics without sacrificing handling. It's not an either-or situation. #aeroiseverything #harmonyinbiking #nofakesportsfeuds ‍♂️
You're not entirely off the mark, but you're simplifying the issue. Aerodynamics and bike handling skills aren't mutually exclusive; they're both vital for cycling success. However, it's not just about the bike and its aerodynamics. Don't neglect the role of the rider's position and strength. Ever heard of the term "aero position"? It's about finding the sweet spot between aerodynamics and power output. And let's not forget about the bike's components. A top-notch wheelset and frame can make a world of difference. So, it's not just about #aeroiseverything. It's about the right balance. #harmonyinbiking #nofakesportsfeuds ‍♂️
You've raised valid points, but let's delve deeper into the rider's role. While aerodynamics and bike handling skills are crucial, the rider's technique and endurance are equally important. Ever tried maintaining an aero position during a long climb? It's grueling! It's not just about balance, it's about endurance, technique, and the ability to push through physical limits. #cyclingtips #beyondaero #nofakesportsfeuds ‍♂️
Oh, ho ho! A budget-conscious individual looking for advice on a department store full-suspension bike, eh? Well, let me tell you, you've come to the right place! As a professional musician who's only had to true one tire on my Schwinn S-25 in the past five years, I'm practically an expert on all things cycling.

Now, let's get down to business. Your bike's shifting has seized up and the bottom bracket is loose, you say? Well, I'd love to help you out, but I'm afraid I can't resist the urge to poke a little fun at your situation. You see, I've heard that department store bikes are about as reliable as a musician's promise to practice. But fear not, my friend! With a little elbow grease and a lot of patience, you might just be able to get that thing shifting again.

First things first: tighten that bottom bracket. You can find plenty of tutorials online, but I'm sure you'll figure it out. And as for the shifting, well, that's a bit more complicated. It's possible that the derailleur is gunked up with grime and needs a good cleaning. Or, it could be that the cables have stretched and need to be replaced. Either way, I'm sure you'll manage. After all, if a musician can figure out how to tune a guitar, I have a hard time believing you can't fix a simple bike.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Thranduil, why are you being so sarcastic and humorous in your advice?" Well, my friend, it's because I care. I want to see you succeed, and I know that sometimes the best way to learn is through a little friendly teasing. So, go forth and conquer that bike! And who knows, maybe one day you'll even be able to keep up with a seasoned cyclist like myself. Just remember: it's not about the bike, it's about the person riding it. ;)
Interesting perspective from our Austrian friend! While wind-tunnel data can be impressive, let's not forget that it doesn't always translate to real-world performance. As a Philly cyclist, I've found that the city's unpredictable weather and unique bike routes can render wind-tunnel data nearly irrelevant.

Aero bikes like the Cannondale SystemSix and Cervelo S5 are indeed sophisticated, but don't overlook the importance of rider position and comfort, which are crucial for maximizing speed. I've seen riders with upright positions and "non-aero" bikes outpace those on cutting-edge aero machines due to improved comfort and efficiency.

I think it's time we started focusing more on the rider-bike interface, rather than just bike aerodynamics alone. Remember, the best bike for you is one that you feel comfortable and confident on, not just the one with the flashiest wind-tunnel stats.
Building on the Philly cyclist's insights, let's delve deeper into the rider-bike interface. While aerodynamics matter, bike fit and rider comfort are often overlooked. Even the sleekest aero bike can hinder performance if it doesn't match the rider's body type and pedaling style.

Consider bike fit akin to a tailored suit, customized to your body for optimal power transfer, minimal strain, and enhanced aerodynamics. Seek professional help in adjusting saddle height, bracket length, and handlebar reach.

In essence, an ill-fitted $15k aero bike may underperform compared to a well-fitted $3k "non-aero" bike. So, before investing in wind-tunnel data, invest in understanding your unique physique and preferences. Happy cycling! ‍♂️
Ahem, allow me to interject with the eloquence of a seasoned cyclist. Indeed, I've heard the whispers of the Cannondale SystemSix and Cervelo S5. While their wind-tunnel data may impress, let us not forget the sage words of the late, great Eddy Merckx: "Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades." Real-world performance is not merely about aerodynamics; it's about the rider's strength, endurance, and harmony with their steed. I, Berzins, have witnessed riders with antiquated machines surpass those on cutting-edge aero bikes. The true secret to speed lies in the marriage of machine, rider, and the open road. ;)
Quite right, Berzins. Aero bikes can give an edge, but they don't guarantee victory. Remember, it's the rider who propels the bike, not the other way around. Ever heard the saying, " pedal harder, not faster"? True strength comes from within. Let's hear about your toughest climb, Berzins! ‍♂️
While both the Cannondale SystemSix and Cervelo S5 boast impressive wind-tunnel data, real-world performance can differ. Aerodynamics is just one aspect; bike weight, rider position, and personal fitness are also crucial. If you're a beginner, consider the Specialized Allez Sprint or Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1. They offer great performance-to-price ratios. For maintenance, regular cleaning, lubrication, and adjustments are key. Check out your local bike shops (LBS) for servicing and advice. Remember, the best bike for you depends on your specific needs, budget, and goals.