My Cervelo, just back and still dirty after 65km this morning. Bellissima.
As some of you will remember, I purchased my Cervelo R3 this summer (August, to be exact) and have now had the opportunity to put about 2000kms on it, so I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to provide my many readers with what could be called a 'long term review'.
Hopefully my review will be slightly less affected by 'new bike syndrome' which, I must admit, did color my initial review...
First the bits I really, really like.
The bottom bracket area. Fantastic rigidity.
1. The rigidity of the bottom bracket area is simply phenomenal. Every single nanojoule of energy (and, not to boast, but I produce several dozen in an all out sprint) goes to the cranks/pedals. Nothing is wasted in frame flex. I stand by the statement I made in my initial post about the bike; I climb at least one tooth harder thanks to this frame.
2. The weight. Or rather, lack thereof. We are talking about a sub-1000 gram frameset. I thought all reasonably light road bikes would feel more or less the same. I was wrong. You actually notice how much lighter (at least in my case) this bike is. It does go up hills easier!
The Funda. Does the job very, very well.
3. The 3t Funda fork. Quite frankly, the Funda did not inspire a great deal of confidence the first time I laid eyes on it. But I have to admit that the steering is very good and, once again, the rigidity is just fine - no lost energy up front. I also wondered if the width of the forks would be an issue on gusty days - sail effect and flighty handling and all that, but absolutely not. Rock solid. The steering is spot on.
Selle San Marco Mantra. Comfy for my bum and all the rest of the goods down there. Happy Pete.
4. The Selle San Marco Mantra seat. Fine, not strictly part of the frame, but hey, I purchased it with the frame, so... Very comfy for my rear end, with no numbness or other ill effects. The seat is graced with an absolutely massive 'prostate hole' which does its job quite well. The red highlights on the nose of the saddle have 'bled' a bit, which does not make me too happy, but if that is the price to pay for a comfy saddle, then so be it.
5. The Campagnolo bits. If you are here, you have probably figured out that I am partial to Campagnolo components. The bike currently has a hodgepodge of Campagnolo Chorus and Record (all 10v) bits. They are sublime. Perfect. Nothing to add there. And the Record Red bits are now on their way to being mounted on this bike. Heheh... what is better than perfect? Nirvana?
Now, the not so great bits...
How short? This short...
5. Short seat stays. I had read about this before purchasing the frame, but did not realise just how short they are. I have to make a conscious effort not to 'hit' the stays with my feet on the pedal upstroke. I guess that this is a result of the fact that the stays flare out quite markedly - it is not a deal breaker, but this is clearly something that riders with big feet (I wear a European 45 shoe) in relatively small sizes (mine is a 54) have to take into consideration. I know, I know, changing them would mean having to completely rework the geometry and handling, but hey, it is something that bothers me a bit.
6. Fork clearance. As I stated above, I love the fork. I do however, dislike the minimal clearance that it provides. I seriously doubt that I would be in a position to mount 25mm clinchers, something that I might like to do in the winter for a wee bit of extra comfort and puncture protection. For a bike that advertises its prowess in winning races like the Paris-Roubaix, I would have hoped for slightly more thought provided to light 'off roading' potential. Heck, they are even introducing bits of rough gravel road at the Giro...
So there you have it. Overall, I am extremely pleased with the R3 and find it to be a frameset that is fantastically above my capabilities as a rider. I can feel it yawning when I (think I) am hammering up a short steep hill. It handles well. It looks great. I get very positive comments at coffee stops (always a good thing).
So, if you have the opportunity, test ride one. I think you will end up owning one.
What to say? I love to ride! I commute daily here in Rome, and am fortunate enough to have the time to ride regularly on my road bike whenever the weather permits.
Married, my wife allows me to indulge far too much in my delusions of cycling grandeur, with two wonderful daughters who are still young enough to believe that their dad is cool.
All in all, life is good.