2011 Cervelo s3
Bikes | 1986 Nishiki Intl | 1999 Fuji Team | 1994 Steelman | 1998 Turner | 1990 Steelman | 2000 Hunter Cross | Teschner | Scott Plasma | Cervelo R3 | SRAM Red | Cervelo S3 | Home
Aero Road Bike Revolution: Cervelo S3
Teschner SC7000: What started it all
It is a beautiful and very stiff bike that climbs well and weighed in at just under 15 pounds. The first time I rode it, I had an "a ha" moment. It was incredible! However, the stiff ride tended to be fatiguing for me over 50 miles. And as full carbon bikes came on to the scene, new possibilities emerged.
Frame Weight: 1275 grams
Built up, with aero bars, it came in at just a hair under 16 pounds. The frame weighed in just 1175 grams, 100 grams lighter than the Teschner. Comfort on the bike is very good; but the stock fork felt jarring. I later replaced it with an Easton EC90SLX and it is now much more comfortable. Descending, for a tri bike, is surprisingly good with less kick-back compared to the Teschner on bumpy descents.
Speed-wise, the aero tubes seem to make a dramatic and noticeable difference; the Plasma is faster. It holds speed and accelerates from 25 to 28+ mph better than any bike I've ridden. Even riding in the drops, acceleration at speed is markedly impressive. However, when climbing, the bike somehow seems to disperse energy. In fact, standing on the pedals seems to make it worse. Living in the SF Bay Area, the terrain demands climbing, so even if you have a tri bike, it's got to climb. I've found that this bike likes to be coaxed and not pushed--it rewards smooth spinning.
Frame Weight: 1175 grams
This 56cm frame weighed 900 grams even. Using this uber-light foundation, I was able to build it to a remarkable 13 pounds, 13 ounces, as featured here in this series from roadbikereview.
Sure enough, the R3 simply feels awesome to ride. It climbs effortlessly, spinning smoothly in or out of the saddle. I set all new hillclimb PRs on this bike and it has made me want to ride more. Descending is supremely confident, a huge leg up for guys like me who are tentative on the downhills. In a word, fantastic! However, the R3 has a flaw. At speeds over 23 mph, it simply does not accelerate as fast as the Plasma. I found it noticeably more challenging to go from 25 to 28 mph even compared to the Plasma when in the drops and out of the aero bars. Could aerodynamics really play that much of a difference?
Frame Weight: 900 grams
2011 CERVELO S3
On paper, this bike seems like the ultimate combination of hillclimbing capability, light weight (1050 grams claimed for the frame), in addition to aerodynamics. It seems to be the ultimate "do anything" bike, great for hill climbing, sprinting, and even triathlon (especially with the optional reversible seatpost).
I debated over buying this frame for over a year. Finally, upon getting a bonus from work, I made the call to my standby, Gebhard at Veloro Bicycles to order up a frame.
CERVELO S3 - the build
All the wind sees:
Stiffness: Massive bottom bracket and chainstays for stiffness
Set up: Shifter cable routing. Required three adjustments to get it right.
Frame Weight: 1079 grams (actual)
plus aero-ness? Optional reversible seatpost for triathlons? It makes sense that the bike you train on should be the one you race on at triathlons. This seems to be the best of both worlds. Check out how it won the recent review.
Is this the ultimate "do anything" bike? Great hillclimbing, light weight, plus aero-ness? Optional reversible seatpost for triathlons? It makes sense that the bike you train on should be the one you race on at triathlons. This seems to be the best of both worlds. Check out how it won the recent review.
As equipped, 14lbs 3 oz. Adding Hed Clip-light aerobars, 15 pounds even.
With Hed aerobars and Hed Jet 60/90 wheels, 16 pounds, 1 ounce.
Cervelo S3 Build Report: 14lbs 3 oz