Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cervelo R3: First Impressions


Initial thoughts on the Cervelo R3 are starting to pour in but let me back up first and start from the beginning. I am 5'8", 155lbs, ride a size 54 & happily married. Previous bike is a Cannondale CAAD 10 (aluminium) with SRAM Rival. I've been on aluminium for 10 years with some one-off super long rides on high end carbon frames. I actually really like the CAAD 10. For the dollar it's one of the best bikes you can buy. Just when you thought you had me pegged as a Cannondale man I go and sweep the rug out from under ya! Enter...2014 Cervelo R3 with Di2 Ultegra (same hoops). Let's start with the fit. The R3 geometry is not the same. I don't want to bore you with numbers so I'll just say the head tube is taller and the wheelbase is shorter. Worried about transferring fit? Don't be. The fellas at The Bike Route are super PRO.

Have you seen this bike fit jig at TBR?

In the bike fit galaxy the bottom bracket is the sun.

Saddle height, tilt & distance in relation to bottom bracket. Check.

Tip of saddle to handlebar. Check.

My measurements. Check.

Had to swap out to a straight post since I run a neutral (no setback) saddle position.

 The reach is almost dialed but because of the taller head tube the drop is a little shy.

BAM! Dialed within millimeters. 

I've been getting a lot of questions about the new steed. I hope this short term and the forth coming long term review will be able to answer them. If not, shoot me an email or leave a comment. So...the first word that pops into my mind is...wait for it...muted. That's right, muted. Not sound though, road vibration. I liken it to when I put on Continental Gatorskins (25c) and run super low pressures during the winter riding season. The old bike was noticeably more comfortable after making the switch. This spring I actually considered racing with the hefty Gatorskins because of the improved comfort. The wider, durable tires at super low pressures absorbed discrepancies in the road. Now I have the same characteristics but the frame is doing the absorbing. All that to say this bike feels smooth. Very smooooooth. But at 155 lbs muting road vibration has never been a big concern. Lighter riders can get away with bikes that are more rigid. What I am most interested in, is the following: How does the bike feel when I stand up out of the saddle and sprint up a short punchy climb? How does the bike feel when I wind-up for that city limit sprint? When you dive into a corner at 40+ how much confidence do I have in what's underneath me?

Initially I can say that the the Cervelo R3 has passed my at first glance questions with flying colors but the interesting thing is I have so many other impressions from areas I did not previously consider. So...how does the bike respond when throwing down on a short punchy climb? Instantaneously. There is a distinct sharpness to how the bike jumps when I jump. How does the bike respond when I wind-up to sprint? Well, at one point I felt the rear wheel pop up slightly. That's how connected the bike feels when I move. Very cool. What about bombing descents with technical turns? I have 100% confidence and that brings me to the front end of this bike. The front end really jumped out at me. It feels stiffer, more sure. This must be part of where that precision and responsiveness feel comes from. Particularly when sprinting out of the saddle. Okay...I'm talking about stiffness this, stiffness that, blah blah blah I know...but KEEP IN MIND the bike is super smooth all the same. Nothing new, right? Crabone fibre works. You don't say. Well, I've been on some super high end carbon frames on long rides (100+ miles) and could not tell enough of difference to be wowed. Sure, better, but no wow factor, just better. The R3 has some wow factor but lets not get carried away. I need more miles to have a complete perspective. Stay tuned...

Want to know what has changed with the 2014 Cervelo R3?
  • sub 1000g frame (size 56)
  • 24% increase in stiffness at the head tube
  • 8%  increase in stiffness (it was already top of it's class) at the bottom bracket
  • 63% increase in aesthetic appeal in new paint scheme (okay, that's my add) 



Clearance for a Mavic Griplink 25c tire mounted to Mavic wheels. Frame size 54.

Conti. Gatorskin 25c mounted to Mavic wheels. Frame size 54.

36 comments:

Gustavo Gomez said...

I understand your pain trying to make the bike more comfortable. I own three different wheelsets and they all feel different. After doing testing with so many tires and miles, these are my personal preference. From least comfortable to most comfortable: Mavic sls, Zipp 404,tubeless dura ace. If you want something comfortable, do it all, I would go tubeless with 20 ml Stan sealant. They do not go flat during the winter, you can race the tubeless, and the tires are super comfortable with regular pressure. The Michelin pro 4 comp is the best front and rear tire for clinchers.

Gustavo Gomez said...

I use Hutchinson for my tubeless setup. The Mavic are the most uncomfortable because the rim width. The Zipp is the widest but it has a deep profile so they tend to be stiff. The dura ace has a wide profile and tubeless which makes the best combination. For a 100 miles, I would definitely leave the Mavic at home.

Robin Grunnagle said...

G, thanks for the tips. I love the Michi Pro's. Great tires. I am still not sold/confident in going tubeless on the road. Mental thing, I know. I still might experiment with the Gatorskins or something similar for racing. Those things are heavy though!

Robin Grunnagle said...

Mavic's are stiff but that is why I like them. Particularly at the hub. I think running super light Mavic wheels like I have and a good wide tire at lower pressure might be the perfect balance. Going to experiment. With the Cervelo frame it will be like driving a super fast Cadillac.

Gustavo Gomez said...

I was nervous when I decided to try the Tubeless setup but after two years with absolutely no issues during the winter or summer, I am a believer. For racing or riding around Northwest Arkansas, you can't go wrong with any of the wheelsets, however; mountain training camp in Jasper (less than great pavement)... Definitely no Mavics for me.

Robin Grunnagle said...

Thanks G, I will take into account.

Christopher Mackay said...

Hey. Thanks for the review. Your bike looks great. Really considering one myself. just had a quick shot of one and would agree that it is very very smooth!!! You could easily spend hours in the saddle.

I'm just not sure what size to go for! I am 5'10" and the LBS is recommending a 54. But it just feels a little cramped. Possibly because I currently ride a cannondale 56! Maybe the cervelo 54 is what a road bike is meant to feel like. I have no point of comparisson. Your setup looks very much in proportion however. What length of stem do you have?

Robin Grunnagle said...

Hi Christopher, the stem length is 115 mm 8 degrees +/-. My CAAD10 is a 54 and I have a 120 mm 10 degrees +/- on it. The guys at the shop said the Ultegra brake hoods are longer than SRAM so they wanted me to try the 115 stem first. I actually really like the fit so far and probably won't change a thing. I need to put some more miles in though. I have heard that some of the Garmin-Sharp pros go a frame size down in an effort to get their body lower. I have also heard of folks riding a frame size up. At 5'10" I'd lean more towards a 56. You should definitely test ride both sizes. Stem length can be adjusted and tuned to what kind of rider you are. If you are looking to be as aero as possible or looking for more comfort. Or somewhere in between. One thing to consider is the wheelbase which changes how the bike handles. It will be different between sizes.

Christopher Mackay said...

Thanks Robin,

It's a tough choice. Just about everything I read and everyone I talk to says I should go with a 54. And I understand that sizing down is the thing to do generally. But it just didn't feel quite right. Maybe a longer stem will make all the difference. I thought that the 54 r3 (also tried a Focus Izalco). Would feel really aggressive compared to my 56 cannondale synapse but it really didn't. So much so that I could see myself having to definitely slam the stem on the 54 r3 to avoid feeling like I am sitting very upright, whereas I need a couple of spacers on the 56 synapse. But like I said, a longer stem may do the trick. Also quite liked the sram force on the focus so may go for that with the r3 rather than the stock ultegra... mmmmm.... decisions decisions.... thanks again. I'll keep my eye out for any further blogging on your R3!!!

Christopher Mackay said...

Thanks Robin,

It's a tough choice. Just about everything I read and everyone I talk to says I should go with a 54. And I understand that sizing down is the thing to do generally. But it just didn't feel quite right. Maybe a longer stem will make all the difference. I thought that the 54 r3 (also tried a Focus Izalco). Would feel really aggressive compared to my 56 cannondale synapse but it really didn't. So much so that I could see myself having to definitely slam the stem on the 54 r3 to avoid feeling like I am sitting very upright, whereas I need a couple of spacers on the 56 synapse. But like I said, a longer stem may do the trick. Also quite liked the sram force on the focus so may go for that with the r3 rather than the stock ultegra... mmmmm.... decisions decisions.... thanks again. I'll keep my eye out for any further blogging on your R3!!!

Anonymous said...

Have you ran 25c tires on your 2014 R3?

Robin Grunnagle said...

I am currently running Mavic's Griplinks that are 25C. Measured they are bit smaller. I have also run a Gatorskin 25c in the rear with no issues.

Robin Grunnagle said...

Anonymous, you got be curious. I put my wheel with a Gatorskin 25c on the front it clears the fork. It's tight but clears.

Anonymous said...

That means it will probably rub under load while riding? I'm trying to decide between the R3 and the R5, the latter is advertised as being able to handle 25C tires. My 2011 R3 will not handle 25Cs.

Robin Grunnagle said...

Anonymous, a valid concern. I have updated this post with a photo (end of post) of the clearance for the Mavic 25c tire. The tire doesn't rub. However when the tire is wet it picks up small rocks which do rub. Not sure how it would be using one of the wider rim profile wheels. Good choices between the R3 & R5. My neighbor is on the R5 and loves it.

Anonymous said...

Odd, the picture isn't loading for me. Thanks for checking out this issue. I called Cervelo but unfortunately they weren't much help. They said that 2014s would, but I have seen conflicting reports. Ad far as I can tell the R3 likely will fit small 25s, ie, tires that aren't much larger than 23s. I may just have to save my money for the R5.

Robin Grunnagle said...

Anonymous, scroll up to the bottom of the original post. The photos are posted under the STRAVA link. I also just included a shot of the Conti. Gatorskin 25c clearance as well. Keep in mind the frame is a size 54 and the wheels are not wide rims. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

So the clearance in the front is the issue? No issues with clearance in the back? Do you have any issues with rubbing on the fork with either 25c tire?

Robin Grunnagle said...

Anonymous, I raced a crit last week with a 25c Gatorskin (course is notorious for flats) on the rear with no issues. I'll double check for signs of rubbing on the rear. I do not have any issues with the tire rubbing on the front but occasionally a wet tire will pick up fine rocks and scrape the inside of the fork. Keep in mind the tires are mounted to standard Mavic rims.

Anonymous said...

I'm running Aeolus 3s, which are 27mm wide, I'm assuming that there would be issues running wide rims with 25c on the R3, which has me learning toward the R5.

Robin Grunnagle said...

Anonymous, yes I think it definitely could be an issue (the Aeoulus 3's on the R3). Based on feedback friends who own the R5 it should be a great bike. Good luck!

Patrick F said...

Hi Robin, great pictures of both your R3 and the fitting-jig! I have questions about both: you mentioned your height and obviously riding a 54cm R3, but what is your saddle height as depicted? And the distance from your saddle (either the nose or the sitting-area) to the center of the handlebar? I am asking because I rode an older Cervelo with the original geometry, finding the newer geometry quite different though the metrics say they are very similar. Now, who made that beautiful jig? I have seen others, the ones used by teams and how much they cost; I am looking to build one for our fit studio. Thanks,
Patrick

Robin Grunnagle said...

Hi Patrick, thanks for your questions. Saddle height is 74mm from center of BB to top of saddle. Reach is 53.5mm from tip of saddle to center of handlebar. I am currently running a 120mm stem. The bike fit jig was fabricated locally in NWA. I might be able to put you in touch with the designer if you are interested.

Patrick said...

Thanks for the info, Robin! Yes, I would like to talk with the designer; let me know how you would like to exchange contact info.

Thanks again,
Patrick

Robin Grunnagle said...

Patrick, you can email me at yogrunny@gmail.com I will put you in contact with Ben who will be able to tell you more about the bike fit jig.

Thanks,
Robin

ninest123 said...

coach factory outlet
adidas yeezy
fitflop sandals
adidas yeezy
hermes bags
fred perry
kate spade
coach outlet online
burberry outlet
ralph lauren outlet
mt0725

liuchunkai said...

20180713lck
jordan shoes
pandora charms sale clearance
fila sneakers
michael kors outlet online
michael kors outlet clearance
canada goose outlet
balmain jeans
nike air huarache
air jordan shoes
mont blanc pens
20180713lck

Pansys Silvaz said...

qzz0723
soccer shoes
pandora
true religion jeans
uggs outlet
isabel marant shoes
christian louboutin outlet
oakley sunglasses
canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet
furla handbags

ww we w said...

goyard wallet
lebron 10
goyard
yeezy shoes
jordan shoes
russell westbrook shoes
adidas tubular shadow
gucci belts
off white clothing
hermes handbags

Bilibili said...

Red Bottom for Women
Pandora Jewelry Official Site
Kyrie Shoes
Jordan Retro 11
Nike Air Max 270
Jordan 4 Retro
Pandora
Jordans 11
Jordan 11
Pandora Jewelry
Rodney20181203

Coqicoqi said...

Red Bottom Shoes For Women
Jordan 11 For Sale
Jordan 4
Air Jordan 9
Pandora Jewelry Official Site
Pandora Jewelry Official Site
Jordan Retro 11
Air Jordan Retro 11
Pandora Outlet
Yeezy boost 350 v2
Ryan20190310

Hualala said...

Pandora Outlet
Jordan 11
Air Max 270
Pandora Jewelry Official Site
Jordan Retro 9
Jordan Retro 11
Air Jordan 11
Yeezy boost 350 v2
Kyrie Irving Shoes
Pandora Charms Outlet
Paul20190317

Hualala said...

Air Jordan Retro 9
Red Bottom Shoes
Air Jordan Retro 11
Kyrie 3 Shoes
Jordan 11
Pandora Jewelry Outlet
Pandora Jewelry Official Site
Pandora Jewelry Official Site
Jordan Retro 11
Paul20190325

Hualala said...

Air Jordan 4
Red Bottom Shoes For Women
Air Max 270
Pandora
Air Jordan Retro 11
Jordan 11
Jordan 11
Pandora Charms Outlet
Nike Air Max 270
Pandora Jewelry
Paul20190408

Hualala said...

Pandora Jewelry
Jordan 4 Retro
Kyrie Shoes
Nike Air Max 270
Red Bottom Shoes
Jordan 11 For Sale
Jordan Retro 11
Yeezy boost 350 v2
Pandora Outlet
Pandora Jewelry
Paul20190418

yanmaneee said...

jordan 6
nike air max 2018
russell westbrook shoes
yeezy boost 350 v2
air yeezy
balenciaga shoes
jimmy choo shoes
jordan shoes
coach outlet
kobe 11