2024 Cervelo Aspero front three quarter view

The 2024 Cervelo Aspero sticks to the script with a race-ready formula

Better aerodynamics and more chainring clearance for racing, but also more tire clearance and improved comfort for everyday fun.

James Huang
by James Huang 30.04.2024 Photography by
James Huang
More from James +

The Cervelo Aspero has long been one of my favorite go-fast gravel bikes: stiff and snappy, efficient-feeling, quick-handling yet stable, and nominally aero – so much so that it’s historically been one of the only gravel bikes I could wholeheartedly recommend to friends who were looking for something that could capably pull double-duty as a proper road bike with a second set of wheels and tires. It was pretty capable off-road, too, but it also unapologetically wasn’t a bike for disappearing into the woods for a weekend overnighter (the old tagline was “haul ass, not cargo”). 

Cervelo has today announced a brand-new Aspero, with some of the things you’d expect from a modern gravel rig: more tire clearance, more comfort, fully hidden cable routing, a T47 threaded bottom bracket, UDH. But it’s also retained the key things that made the original such a success with efficient pedaling manners, lots of agility, and supposedly even better aerodynamics. And while this is obviously a subjective assessment, I think it remains one of the prettiest gravel bikes out there. 

Looking for something that’s happy to pull double duty as a bikepacking rig? The new Aspero probably still isn’t for you. But if speed is your thing, Cervelo would like a word. 

2024 Cervelo Aspero rear three-quarter view
Cervelo has (thankfully) softened the ride quality of the Aspero somewhat, particularly up front. It’s still intended to be a go-fast machine for race day, though, so the ride quality remains more firm than plush.

More of the same

The new Cervelo Aspero isn’t a massive transformation compared to either the original Aspero or the newer Aspero 5 – probably a wise move given the popularity of both. In fact, at first glance, one might not notice many of the changes at all. The new Aspero strikes a familiar profile, the tube shapes are very similar, and a lot of the design language carries over wholly intact. It remains a sleek and clean-looking machine, and even the branding remains as minimal as it used to be.

Indeed, the new Aspero is still very much a go-fast gravel bike at heart, and it still looks like the Aspero so many have come to know and love. But that casual first glance would overlook what are ultimately quite a lot of substantive changes. 

2024 Cervelo Aspero seat cluster
The seat tube is shorter than it used to be, leaving more seatpost exposed to flex over bumps.

Although the tube profiles bear a lot of resemblance to before, Cervelo says they’ve actually been tweaked to provide an additional 3 watts of aero gains, presumably at race pace (sorry, Cervelo didn’t provide specifics on this one). The seat tube is a fair bit shorter to expose more seatpost to help boost rider comfort out back, and both the seatstays and chainstays are more dramatically dropped than they used to be. While the down tube very much looks like it’s carried over, it’s actually subtly downsized to soften the ride a bit up front – a good thing since the original Aspero was one of the stiffest-riding gravel bikes I’d ridden in recent memory.

There’s more tire and drivetrain clearance, too.

Officially, the old Aspero could accept 700c gravel tires up to 40 mm-wide (measured width) with the ISO-mandated 6 mm of clearance. On the new bike, that figure bumps up to a more versatile 700×45 mm with the same amount of space. If you read between the lines, that means you can run something smaller with a lot more room for mud and debris to pass through – or something a little bigger if you’re willing to risk some tire rub. Cervelo doesn’t make a big deal of this, but 650b compatibility is also still baked in thanks to flip chips at the fork tips that adjust the rake and maintain the same handling manners with the smaller wheels. In that configuration, Cervelo says you can run 650×47 mm treads. 

2024 Cervelo Aspero chainstay thickness
The reshaped chainstays are a big reason for the boost in both chainring and tire clearance.

As for chainrings, standard road double cranksets with outer rings up to 52T will fit on the new Aspero thanks to that wispy-thin chainstay section. Single-ring cranks using a road-standard chainline will fit chainrings up to 46T, while ones using a 47.5 mm chainline (aka SRAM “Wide”) will accept 52T rings.  

Following the lead of the Aspero 5 front is the now-requisite headset cable routing, which tidies up the cockpit area and makes it easier to mount handlebar bags. Cervelo at least doesn’t route the lines through the inside of the stem or bars so changing either isn’t the headache that it could be, and since the new Aspero uses the same kidney bean-shaped steerer tube found on the Aspero 5, R5, R5-CX, and Soloist, it’s compatible with the same suite of stems and headset parts. 

Other changes are more practical in nature.

The new Aspero gets a T47 threaded bottom bracket for more straightforward servicing as compared to the previous press-fit setup, but Cervelo is sticking with its BBright asymmetrical shell design that requires mismatched cups with one bearing residing inside the shell and the other outside of it. The oversized bearing resides inside the shell on the non-driveside and outside of it on the other, meaning the new Aspero will still use mismatched cups. While that sounds like a pain, multiple companies offer such a thing so it’s not like you have to buy two bottom brackets, plus there’s some merit to Cervelo’s argument for BBright in general in that it creates a lot of width for the adjoining tubes without impinging too much on drivetrain clearance.

2024 Cervelo Aspero T47 bottom bracket cups
Cervelo is sticking with its trademark asymmetrical bottom bracket format, but now with T47 threaded cups. The non-driveside cup shown here houses the bearing inside the shell, while the bearing sits outboard on the other side.

Further back, the addition of SRAM’s Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) offers compatibility with that company’s latest Transmission wireless electronic rear derailleurs (not to mention whatever else is rumored to be up SRAM’s sleeve in the coming months). And if you’d prefer not to deal with batteries at all, the new bike is still compatible with both mechanical and electronic drivetrains.

In another nod to sanity, the new Aspero will also carry on with an entirely standard 27.2 mm round seatpost, secured with a good-old-fashioned external aluminum collar. Perhaps all hope isn’t lost after all.

Even with the slightly more generous tire clearance, the paucity of mounts provides some indication as to the Aspero’s sporting intentions. There are two bottle mounts inside the front triangle in the usual spots, a third on the underside of the down tube, and a bag mount on the upper side of the top tube, but that’s it. There are no fender or rack mounts, nor any cargo mounts on the fork blades. 

Need to carry more? Wear a pack – ideally an aero one.

2024 Cervelo Aspero top tube bag cover
There are mounts in the top tube for a feed bag, but if you don’t plan on using one, there’s also a very neat-looking cover to conceal the holes.

Aside from a modest 5 mm increase in chainstay length, frame geometry is identical to the current Aspero family right down to the millimeter for each of the six available frame sizes. Cervelo was a pretty early proponent of the long reach dimensions you now find so often on today’s more progressive and off-road-minded gravel machines. But whereas most of those bikes pair the long top tube with a slack front end, the Aspero is comparatively steep with a 71-72° head tube angle and trail figures in the low 60s, which Cervelo says offers the stability benefits of a long front center without steering like an ocean freighter.

Weight hasn’t changed much. Cervelo says a new 56 cm Aspero frame tips the scales at 1,141 g plus 452 g for the matching all-carbon fork. That’s about 50 g heavier than the outgoing Aspero and just under 200 g heavier than the Aspero 5, but still competitive for the segment.

Models and pricing

Cervelo is offering the new Aspero in a bunch of different build kits. 

The Aspero Rival XPLR AXS 1 sits at the top of the range with a SRAM Rival XPLR AXS wireless electronic groupset and Reserve 40/44 mm carbon wheels. Claimed weight for a complete medium bike is 8.65 kg (19.07 lb), and retail price is US$5,500 / AU$8,000 / £5,200 / €5,800.

Next up is the Aspero Apex XPLR AXS 1 with SRAM’s latest Apex XPLR AXS wireless electronic groupset and Fulcrum Rapid Red 300 aluminum wheels for US$4,300 / AU$5,500 / £4,200 / €4,900. Claimed weight is 9.05-9.22 kg, depending on color.

The Aspero GRX RX820 is the top mechanical groupset with a Shimano GRX RX820 2×12 groupset, Fulcrum Rapid Red 300 aluminum wheels. Claimed weight is 9.26 kg (20.41 lb), and retail price is US$4,000 / AU$5,300 / £4,400 / €4,900.

2024 Cervelo Aspero side view
It’s quite interesting that the top Aspero model only comes outfitted with SRAM Rival XPLR AXS.

Meanwhile, the Aspero GRX RX610 comes with Shimano’s second-tier 2×12 mechanical drivetrain and Alexrims Boondocks 7D aluminum wheels for US$3,600 / AU$4,500 / £3,100 / €3,700. Claimed weight is 9.86 kg (21.74 lb).

Interested in SRAM’s new 1×12 mechanical Apex groupset? Then there’s the Aspero Apex XPLR 1, which also includes the Alexrims Boondocks 7D aluminum wheelset for US$3,500 / AU$4,400 / £3,100 / €3,600. Claimed weight is 9.36 kg (20.64 lb).

If you want a Shimano mechanical drivetrain on a budget and would prefer a 1x setup, there’s the Aspero GRX RX610 1 with a 1x mechanical groupset and those Alexrims Boondocks 7D aluminum wheels for US$3,200 / AU$4,100 / £3,000 / €3,700. Claimed weight is 9.66 kg (21.30 lb).

Most of the complete models will be offered in “Sea Ice” (aka white) and “Woodsmoke” (aka blue) colors, while the the Aspero GRX RX610 will be offered in “Peaches and Cream” as well.

DIYers will get a frameset option, too, in all three color options. Retail price is US$2,500 / €2,800 (sorry, Aussies and Brits, it doesn’t look like Cervelo will offer framesets in those regions).

2024 Cervelo Aspero framesets
Fancy a bare frameset instead? Have at it.

Notice anything missing?

Cervelo may be offering the new Aspero in a variety of different build kits, but it seems telling that the range tops out at a relatively modest price point with SRAM Rival XPLR AXS. SRAM’s new Red XPLR groupset is rumored to be just around the corner, as is Shimano’s new GRX Di2, so perhaps those will be added later. But given the Aspero isn’t even available with SRAM Force XPLR AXS, my guess is Cervelo plans to maintain the standard Aspero as its midrange option, and will instead roll out an update for the higher-end Aspero 5 sooner than later with those upper-end build kits. 

And what would that Aspero 5 look like? If history is anything to go by, it’ll use the same mold as the regular Aspero, but with a fancier carbon fiber blend that’ll lop off a couple hundred grams and some flashier paint jobs – and although Cervelo hasn’t leaned this way otherwise, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were offered with a one-piece integrated carbon fiber cockpit. 

We’ll know either way soon enough.

First impressions

Cervelo sent a 54 cm Aspero Rival XPLR AXS 1 sample for me to try out a few weeks ago, which tipped the scales at 8.46 kg (18.65 lb) without pedals or accessories – right inline with claims. 

Unfortunately, between being gone for a week for the Sea Otter Classic (plus another overnight trip), a stubbornly persistent bout of bronchitis, and most recently, a debilitating couple of days of muscle spasms in my lower back, I sadly haven’t been able to ride the thing at all, aside from heading a few blocks down the road for the photo shoot.

So how’s the new Aspero ride? Sorry, I’ve got no idea. But if only based on the updated features, my familiarity with the geometry, and Cervelo’s claims of a more comfortable ride, I’ve little reason to suspect this new Aspero will be any less popular than the outgoing one. 

Stay tuned for more – hopefully soon.

More information can be found at

What did you think of this story?