Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cervelo R3... the first ride

Just back from her first ride...

Yup, there she is. Just back from the inaugural ride. So, what's my first impression?

Wow. It's that simple.

I am coming from a seven year old De Rosa Planet, a nice frame in its day, full alu with a carbon fork and upper chainstays. While pretty light when it was produced, the tradeoff was rigidity, or lack thereof. This was noticeable when riding out of the saddle uphill or in a sprint, and unfortunately also made itself felt downhill, where it was quite skittish at speed.

'Squoval' downtube. It's huge.

Not the R3. The massive bottom bracket area does not flex. Not even with all of my (not inconsiderable) weight and (rather minimal) power. It. Does. Not. Budge. Which means that I was able to climb the small hills on my inaugural ride one to two gears higher than normal.

The bottom bracket area. And first grease stain... ugh.

The handling is also excellent. It is much more stable than my old De Rosa on downhills (I have yet to reach massive speeds, only reached about 60 km/h today) and the best thing I can say is that by km 30 in the ride I was no longer conscious that this was on a new bike and my first ride. I was perfectly comfortable riding no-hands, drinking while at speed on downhills, etc.

Having said this, after years on a noodle frame, I did feel the rigidity when riding on Rome's miserable roads. The seat stays may be carefully studied by a super engineering team to be rigid yet vertically compliant (or so the Cervelo marketing spin tells us) but you do feel the road. This is a race bike, so that makes sense. Caveat emptor to potential buyers who want comfort. Look elsewhere for a plush ride.

The components are straight off my old bike. Modifications will be forthcoming (this bike is screaming for carbon Record 10 speed levers, black Record brakes and, if I can sneak them past the wife, a Neutron wheelset). So I have little to report beyond the fact that Campagnolo 10 speed continues to impress with its awesomeness. So let me wow you with a few pics of bike porn... (at least, for me).

Deda Newton stem and bars. Note the Cervelo cap on the stem. Nice touch.

San Marco Mantra saddle. Comfort for my bum and prostate, all in one! Happy Pete!

Tecno Tubo Torino (that's 3T to you) Funda fork. Delicious.

Ahh... Campagnolo Record Titanium. Bellissimo.

Front view. Very Euro Pro, in my humble opinion.

Just to prove that there is silliness in the best families... look at the service sticker on the top tube. Yes, white text on white paint. A wee bit difficult to read. LOL.

So, my overall first impression is that this is really, really great performance package. It is a fabulous race bike, well above my limits at the current time. On the basis of ogling and one flat ride in traffic choked Rome, I strongly recommend this to anyone looking for a high performance frame, one do-it-all bike.

I will do a full, bore you to death review in a few weeks when I have a few more kms under my belt...

A parting beauty shot. Simply gorgeous.


  1. Absolutely delicious....drooooool

  2. Grazie. I concur! When will I be able to comment on your new bike purchase, 100poundsago?