Herewith the 1st in a series on the 2011 Cervelo S5/R3 drop out. This design only ran for a short period in 2011 due to it’s inadequate support for the hanger. This design was a major flaw and subsequently withdrawn at the end of 2011 and re-designed to the current more robust hanger.

Whats wrong with the 2011 drop out?

When the wheel is clamped in position the dropout is held firm and should work without problems, There is a caveat to this – The thin extended end of the drop out and hanger is still vulnerable to side/ rear or front impacts of ANY kind. The hanger design simply does not support the fragile carbon ‘lip’. To make matters worse they also drilled a hole for the screw through that section leaving precious little carbon to withstand a trauma! I don’t know about SRAM but it is well known that Campag does not work well on this model. This is due to the flex in the carbon drop out as Campag uses a bit more tension in gear changes then the other brands.

Can it be fixed?

Yes – We now produce a re-moulded repair under extreme pressure in the same manner as the manufacturer. Don’t be tempted to glue carbon in this area. It will simply not work…trust me. Injection moulding the carbon  delivers the all important ‘binding’ needed to keep it rigid. With a very generous donation of an R3 rear section we were able to trial various processes before we achieved a successful result. You might be thinking why it’s not possible to simply beef up the area with more carbon? The simple answer is that there is no lateral space. Dropouts must be a prescribed width in order to achieve the full range of gears. The derailleur does not extend enough to accommodate the extra carbon. All this plus the narrow (stupid it has to be said) hanger simply does not have enough purchase under the skewer unlike the upgraded one.

How can I protect what I have?

I strongly suggest ensuring that your chosen bike shop completely understands the 2011 Cervelo dropout issue before re-aligning the rear mech during it’s service. If in doubt, ask the bike shop to analyse the alignment with the correct tool, remove the hanger, bend and re-fit until it is 90% correct. Small adjustments can then be made on the frame with the wheel clamped. NEVER fit the rear dérailleur to the hanger without the rear wheel clamped on. I get many 2011 models with cracked dropouts due to the inexperience with this model.

..In PART 2 we look at upgrading the 2011 dropout to a 2012 dropout. See you next time!


Jonathan: Cervelo S5 2011 dropout repair‘Bike is great , did 20 miles on her every day this week – thank you for keeping her ‘alive’ !