The Cervelo Caledonia is a truly stunning bike
We all know the saying “you can’t have you cake, and eat it too”. For the longest
time it’s been true, but it’s becoming less and less so these days. If your cake is a stiff and fast frame, and eating it is light weight and comfort, then you really can have your cake and eat it too with the new Cervelo Caledonia and Caledonia-5. Built to be the bike for your biggest, stupidest rides, the Caledonia picks up where the C-Series left off. Cherry picking tubes from their library of tried and tested shapes, Cervelo were able to build a bike that’s fast yet comfortable, stiff yet light, for the racer and weekend warrior alike.
With big aero-shaped tubes, a meticulous layup using different carbon modulus and big chunky sections around the bottom bracket and head tube, the Caledonia is stiff and fast. Beautiful to look at and fully modern, the use of disc brakes means the Caledonia can run tires up to 34mm wide, meaning a smooth ride, if you want it. With more relaxed geometry than the race-oriented R5 and lots of room for adjustment, the Caledonia is the bike for those that can’t or don’t want to get into that aggressive fit and want something more comfortable. Is the Caledonia the ultimate all-round bike? It just might be.
Aero tubes and a relaxed fit means a fast bike that you can ride all day
Frame and Finish
Typical of Cervelo, the Caledonia is a stunning bike to look at. The way that hourglass head tube runs perfectly into the aero-profile down tube for example is elegant and clean. It’s clear that the folks at Cervelo put a lot of thought and design time into this frame, evidenced not only by the shaping of the frame itself but the small details therein. Things such as a round 27.2mm seat tube and and standard 1,1/8″ steerer tube meaning it’s possible to run any combination of standard seatpost, stem and handlebars, allowing the rider to get the perfect fit from their preferred components brand, or simply to easily adjust the fit on the standard parts without needing a bike mechanic.
The Caledonia features tidy internal cable routing inside the frame with only one cable entry at the top of the down-tube, without the complexity of a fully-integrated system. Compatible with mechanical, Di2 and wireless drivetrains, with flat-mount disc brake mounts, 12mm thru axles front and rear and clearance for 34mm tires with fenders, the Caledona is a thoroughly modern bike with little in the way of proprietary standards. The Caledonia-5 is a little different but we’ll talk more about that later on in the article.
The Caledonia has room for a top-tube bag, but is stealthy without.
Speaking of fenders, the Caledonia and Caledonia-5 feature completely hidden fender mounts at the fork and frame axles that are completely removable, keeping a clean look in summer, and maintaining versatility the rest of the year. The cherry on the cake are the mounts for a top tube bag that can be covered when not in use and an out-front computer and light mount integrated into the stem faceplate. Summer speedster – check. Year-round mule – check.
The Caledonia-5 completely hidden cables
Geometry-wise, the Caledonia is certainly more of an endurance bike than say the R5, however with some slightly non-traditional tweaks. With a 580mm stack and a 387mm reach in a 56cm, it's a little more comfort-oriented than a pure race bike. With relatively neutral numbers like this it should be easy for most people to find a fit that works for them without being at the extreme end of the spectrum.
With a 72º head tube angle, a fork offset that results in a 60mm trail measurement and a low-ish bb drop at 74mm, it should be stable at speed without being too slow to react to rider input. To fit the bigger tires and fenders, wheelbase is 1012.3mm with a 415mm chainstay. Not crazy long but again further adding to stability.
From 105 level upwards, Cervelo have every build covered
Riding The Caledonia
The Caledonia was designed to be the bike for every rider, in every situation. The neutral geometry numbers mean a comfortable, efficient fit without being overly aggressive or overly laid back, leaving the rider room to focus on the road ahead.
The longer wheelbase and front-center means plenty of stability at speed, wanting to stay on the straight and narrow, rather than being super fast handling. It also means no toe overlap on most sizes, even with large tires. Something most riders will be thankful for.
One of the most noticeable things about the Caledonia is the frame stiffness and the immediacy of acceleration when you put the power down. The Caledonia feels fast, and does a great job of feeling like a race bike for us mere mortals - because we all want to feel like a hero when we stamp on the pedals.
The chunky aero downtube means two things: it’s stiff, and it’s fast
The versatility of the Caledonia 5 is what makes this a truly unique bike - the way Cervelo have managed to produce a bike that feels almost like a race machine, in a package that's a little easier for the rest of us to get along with. It's a bike that you could grab for virtually any ride and know that it's the right choice. Whether it's a beer run after work or an all-day epic taking in a little gravel here, a little tarmac there. Combining the best of the get-up-and-go of the R5 and the clearance of the Aspero and geometry of an endurance bike, the Caledonia still has performance at its core.
Caledonia-5 is the top-end version of the Caledonia - the cherry on top of what would already be a top shelf bike for most brands. Sharing identical tube shapes and geometry, Caledonia owners don't need to feel like they're missing out on anything while those that want to spend the extra can get something a little extra-special.
Using the same formula as the regular Caledonia, the Caledonia-5 is simply a more refined version. With the same tube shapes and geometry used throughout, the Caledonia 5 is all about taking the things to the next level. Running a fully integrated cockpit without a hose or cable to be seen, the Caledonia-5 boasts even cleaner lines than the regular Caledonia with some aero gains to be made whilst also saving around 100g in frame weight.
The integrated out-front mount is a nice touch
One further trick up the Caledonia-5’s sleeve is it’s D-shaped carbon seatpost for just that little bit more comfortable ride, as well as a carbon handlebars further reducing weight and damping road buzz at the front of the bike.
Spec and Pricing
The Caledonia is available with a carbon frame only and for 2022 comes in a mild or a wild colourway - Gloss Black or Oasis for the Caledonia, and Matt Black and Oasis for the 5. While Cervelo is a premium brand and the bikes reflect that, there is a spec level to suit most riders. The Caledonia starts with a Shimano 105 spec 11 speed bike, moving up is the Ultegra 11sp with full upgraded groupset. Next is the Rival eTap AXS with Sram's entry level wireless group, and topping out with the Ultegra Di2 12sp build. All Caledonia bikes come with aluminum wheels and finishing kit and Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 30mm tires.