Cervélo ZHT-5

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
Gearing Type
19.6, 20.08 lb
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Cervélo ZHT-5. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

13 reasons to buy

  • Experts unanimously praise the "impressive" compliance and fatigue-reducing comfort.
  • The Cervélo ZHT-5 has a "seriously stiff and tough" BSA threaded bottom bracket.
  • Cervélo provides a "no questions asked" lifetime warranty with the frame.
  • The frame has no rider weight limit.
  • An expert says climbing is "effortless" due to the low weight and seated geometry.
  • All testers note the frame's responsiveness, launching forward with "every watt you push."
  • A reviewer relishes the precise and forgiving downhill performance, with "lots of traction" for leaning into corners.
  • Experts enjoy the performance on "tight, winding" singletrack and the ease of taking aggressive lines.
  • The Reserve carbon rims (top two builds) are "more compliant than most race wheels."
  • Two experts feel the ZHT-5 is a great option for long-distance riding.
  • The frame's balance of efficiency and comfort is the standout feature for one tester.
  • A tester appreciates the inclusion of Maxxis Recon Race tires, which provide "predictable grip" on wet trails.
  • The agile ZHT-5 changes direction "with playful ease."

4 reasons not to buy

  • Experts feel this is an expensive bike, especially the top build.
  • The ZHT-5 lacks a dropper post but has routing for one.
  • The 2.4" tires have higher rolling resistance than typical XC tire widths.
  • One expert feels the 160mm brake rotors are too small, especially for heavy riders.

Bottom line

Cervélo's ZHT-5 is a cross-country hardtail available in three builds. It receives high marks from reviewers who laud the balance of compliance and responsiveness, impressive handling on tight trails, and forgiving downhill performance. Fatigue-reducing comfort and "effortless" climbing make the ZHT-5 suited to long-distance riding. The top-end builds also make solid race machines with their Reserve carbon wheels and electronic drivetrains. Despite the ZHT-5's well-rounded performance, experts feel there are better-value options on the market.

Expert Reviews

89/100 based on 4 rated expert reviews
This review has been given a score. Read more here

Cervelo’s New MTB: ZHT-5 Exclusive Live Ride Review

It’s actually a really fun, versatile cross-country bike, whether that means racing to you or just putting in a lot of miles for a lot of smiles…

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This review has been given a score. Read more here
Canadian Cycling Magazine

Review: Cervélo ZHT-5

… the ZHT-5 does what Cervélo’s always done best: it focuses on refining a design to do one thing extremely well, in this case, that’s delivering a lightweight frame that balances comfort and speed.

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Bike Perfect

Cervélo ZHT-5 XX1 AXS First Ride Review – The Road Royalty Brand’s Dirt Debut

Cervélo’s brand-new hardtail mixes blistering lightweight race speed with outstanding grip and fatigue-soothing forgiveness to make an awesome race-day or all-day distance and summit shrinker for those with deep pockets or cost-no-object podium priorities.

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Bike Magazin

Cervélo ZHT-5 Test [German]

On the downhill, Cervelo’s first mountain bike demonstrates balanced and uncomplicated handling. Thanks to the combination of a long reach, compact rear end, and steep steering angle, the ZHT-5 steers directly and can be easily maneuvered through tight corners.

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Cervelo ZHT-5 Race First Ride Review

… the ZHT-5 combines explosive climbing speed and shocking acceleration with significantly boosted grip and nuanced, fatigue-soothing flow, which makes it one of the finest premium speed/distance hardtails available right now.

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Cervélo ZHT-5 Test: Rigid, Reactive, Fast [Italian]

We can summarize the new Cervélo in three simple words: Rigid, Responsive, Fast.

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Test | Cervélo ZHT-5: Hardtail With Race Genes… [Dutch]

With regard to riding characteristics, Cervélo succeeds brilliantly in its goal with the ZHT-5 based on geometry and stiffness; it is a very fast cross-country hardtail. The ZHT-5 challenges you to keep the speed high on both straight strips and tight singletrack.

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Test | Cervélo ZHT-5: With Discretion [French]

This ZHT-5 is a good bike, but given what Cervélo is releasing on the road or in cyclocross, we say to ourselves that they should be able to offer us things that are even a notch above in the near future.

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Cervélo ZHT-5 Test [German]

To our surprise, the ZHT-5 proved to be a guarantee of fun with plenty of potential and great fun on the descents, despite its less progressive geometry values.

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User Ratings

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Compared to other bikes

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Cervélo ZHT-5 in comparison to averages

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