The Cervélo Áspero GRX RX815 Di2 is made for those who love speed and chasing KOMs. With an electronic 2x drivetrain and a classic two-piece cockpit, it should maintain good all-round capabilities. How does the bike with its flip-flop paint finish fare against the competition?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best gravel bike 2022 – 19 models on test

Cervélo Áspero GRX Di2 | 8.37 kg in size 58 | Manufacturer’s website

The Cervélo Áspero GRX RX815 Di2 is closely related to the Cervélo Áspero-5 Force eTap AXS 1 (read review here) which we tested just under a year ago. The key difference is the carbon layup of the frame, with the more expensive Áspero-5 saving about 150 g compared to our € 6,699 test bike, which weighs 8.37 kg in size 58. Unlike the Áspero-5, the cables at the front aren’t completely integrated but run to the crown of the fork and the outside of the down tube. This makes it easier to change handlebars or stem, but visually it means a bit more mess. It is also easier to attach handlebar bags without cables in the way. Other than that, our test bike has nothing to be ashamed of – quite the contrary.

For the gears, Cervélo rely on a Shimano GRX RX815 Di2 drivetrain, which impresses with lightning-fast shifts and hoods that fit perfectly in the hand. However, over bumpy ground, it can sometimes be a challenge to hit the small shift buttons accurately. The 2×11 transmission with 48/31 t chainrings at the front and an 11–34 t cassette at the rear runs out of range for long, steep climbs. On the other hand, sufficient reserves are provided by the Shimano GRX BR-RX810 brakes with 160 mm rotors at the front and rear, thus ensuring the required level of safety. High-quality Easton components in the form of the EC70 carbon seat post and 440 mm EA70 AX handlebar provide the contact points. With its excellent ergonomics and generous flare, the handlebar ensures full control and further increases the feeling of safety.

Screwed, not pressed!
The Cervélo Áspero has a threaded bottom bracket. We like that because it makes servicing a little easier.
Gravel foundation
With their inside width of 24 mm, the Reserve 32 wheels are generous and offer very good support for voluminous gravel tires.
Plenty of grip
The Panaracer GravelKing SK tires convince with a lot of grip in corners – especially on hard-packed gravel and forest roads. Unfortunately, they aren’t the most efficient tires and sap a little more energy at high speeds.

Cervélo Áspero GRX Di2

€ 6,699


Seatpost Easton EC70 Carbon
Brakes Shimano GRX BR-RX810 160/160 mm
Drivetrain Shimano GRX RX815 Di2 2x11
Stem Cervélo ST32 Alloy 100 mm
Handlebar Easton EA70 AX Carbon 440 mm
Wheelset Reserve 32
Tires Panaracer GravelKing SK 700 x 38C

Technical Data

Size 48 51 54 56 58 61
Weight 8.37 kg

Specific Features

unrivalled paint job
lightning-fast Shimano GRX RX815 Di2 2×11 electronic drivetrain
neatly hidden bosses for a bolt-on top tube pouch
large down tube protector

There are attachment points for a top tube bag under the cover. The cover protects them from dirt and improves the appearance of the bike.
Protect what you love!
We really like the frame protector on the down tube, protecting the frame in a place that is particularly susceptible to scratches and damage. There are even mounting points for another bottle on top.
Different size, same handling
There’s a flip chip in the fork dropouts. When using smaller 650B wheels, this is rotated to move the axle backwards, keeping the fork trail the same, maintaining handling across wheel sizes.

A paint finish that is second to none. Shimmering pink or gleaming gold, depending on the angle of view – the Áspero is a hit even when stationary!

Size 48 51 54 56 58 61
Top tube 512 mm 532 mm 553 mm 575 mm 591 mm 608 mm
Head tube 83 mm 107 mm 133 mm 159 mm 188 mm 214 mm
Head angle 71.0° 71.5° 72.0° 72.0° 72.0° 72.0°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.0° 73.5° 73.0° 73.0° 73.0°
Chainstays 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm
BB Drop 79 mm 79 mm 76 mm 76 mm 74 mm 74 mm
Wheelbase 990 mm 1,000 mm 1,010 mm 1,027 mm 1,046 mm 1,063 mm
Reach 370 mm 379 mm 388 mm 397 mm 406 mm 415 mm
Stack 505 mm 530 mm 555 mm 580 mm 605 mm 630 mm
Helmet KASK VALEGRO | Glasses Alba Optics ANVMA | Jersey !Solid Second Hand
Pants Rapha Core Cargo Bib | Shoes Giro Sector | Socks VOID Performance Sock 16

And there’s even more on hand: the Panaracer GravelKing SK tires have decent grip in corners as well as traction under acceleration and braking. At 700x38C, they form a nice U on the Reserve 32 carbon wheels, which, with an inner width of 24 mm, form a solid basis for gravel riding and ensure that the tire inflates larger than the specs would suggest, measuring in at 41 well-supported millimetres. However, the Panaracer tires don’t hit a home run because where there is praise for grip and traction, efficiency takes a back seat: the more compact the ground becomes, the more the tires feel like they are sucking away some energy. Here the Áspero isn’t on par with the Specialized S-Works Crux. That’s a pity, because a bike so focussed on speed will likely find itself being thrashed over asphalt roads sooner or later. Nonetheless, acceleration and traction remain very good.

When it comes to comfort, the Cervélo Áspero GRX RX815 Di2 reflects the concept of a fast gravel racer. The bike is firm, stiff and designed for propulsion rather than maximum damping. This filters vibrations and small impacts well, but coarse impacts are transmitted directly to the contact points.

If you want more comfort, you should make full use of the maximum tire clearance of 45 mm. Overall, the Cervélo stands out neither negatively nor positively for its comfort, which is a good thing for a bike in its category. The riding position is sporty and stretched and motivates you to ride quickly.

Tuning tip: more voluminous tires with more comfort and better efficiency

The handling of the Cervélo Áspero GRX RX815 Di2 is also sporty – almost too sporty. The bike is very direct, which makes for a reactive front end when riding slowly. The relatively wide handlebars exacerbate this feeling, especially when sitting in the saddle. At medium speeds, this handling leaves the rear end trailing behind the very agile front. If you accelerate even further, where the bike feels most comfortable anyway, it holds its line, can be handled more intuitively, and becomes sufficiently smooth while always retaining its agility. While for beginners that means it can feel nervous, for gravel experts, it enables razor-sharp and precise handling with lightning-fast cornering. Either way, the Cervélo’s handling isn’t made for relaxed one-handed cruising taking in sweeping views of the landscape. It wants to be guided with two steady hands to burn its way along the gravel highways.

Riding Characteristics



  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Fun factor

  1. boring
  2. lively


  1. firm
  2. comfortable

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data

Áspero GRX Di2

Size: 48 51 54 56 58 61
Weight: 8.37 kg
Price: € 6,699

Indended Use

Smooth tarmac 1
Allroad/Gravel 2
Everyday/Commuting 3

Cervélo Áspero GRX RX815 Di2 conclusion

The Cervélo Áspero GRX RX815 Di2 is a gravel race bike intended primarily for hardpack and is made for fast rides on American-style gravel. Experienced riders who like to ride fast and like fast turns will get their money’s worth here. While the bike also masters flow trails acceptably well, there are better alternatives for bikepacking, underbiking or all-road use. Its range of use is too narrow to beat the best all-rounders.


  • performance and ergonomics of the Shimano GRX RX815 Di2 drivetrain
  • generous protection on the down tube
  • carving fun on hardpack
  • brilliant paint job


  • vague handling when riding slowly
  • limited mounting points

You can find out more about at

The testfield

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best gravel bike 2022 – 19 models on test

All bikes on review: 3T Exploro Ultra (Click for review) | BMC URS LT ONE (Click for review) | Cannondale SuperSix EVO SE (Click for review) | Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension (Click for review) | Cervélo Áspero GRX Di2 | CUBE Nuroad C:62 SLT (Click for review) | Curve Kevin of Steel III (Click for review) | Falkenjagd Aristos R (Click for review) | Felt Breed 20 (Click for review) | FOCUS ATLAS 6.8 (Click for review) | GIANT Revolt Advanced 0 (Click for review) | OPEN WI.DE. (Click for review) | Ridley Kanzo Fast (Click for review) | ROSE BACKROAD EKAR LTD (Click for review) | SCOTT Addict Gravel Tuned (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Crux (Click for review) | Stelbel Nina XCr (Click for review) | Storck GRIX.2 Platinum (Click for review) | Wilier Rave SLR (Click for review)

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Words: Photos: Benjamin Topf, Peter Walker