Cervélo offers up the S3 in two flavors, reflecting the divide on components these days. The Shimano Ultegra bike is the choice for people looking for lighter weight, less thinking, greater confidence shifting sheaved in heavy gloves, an even better bargain.
Shimano Ultegra 6800 eleven-speed is a great group. The differences between it and the top-of-the-line Dura-Ace 9000 are pretty small. The shifting and braking both have been dramatically improved, with a lighter touch yielding greater response, and better ergonomics making everything easier to hold and actuate.
The departure from the group comes mainly at the crank. The Rotor 3DF BBright 52/36 is specified because it is not only stiffer and lighter than just about anything on the market, but also because it utilizes the BBright thru-axle standard that Cervélo pioneered with Rotor. Larger diameter shell allows for a 30mm spindle, which is lighter and stiffer than a 24mm spindle. And the wider dimension yields even more system stiffness as well as allowing for more manipulation of carbon-fiber to improve frame strength, stiffness, and aerodynamics. That it's so wide helps with the aero transitions you see in the down tube. The fatter shape with the flatter trailing edge at the bottom helps the water bottles (you ride with water bottles, so Cervélo tested with water bottles) act as part of the aero shaping.
The BBright is of a piece with the 1 1/8" to 1 3/8" tapered steerer that the fork employs. Both are early fruits of Cervélo's Project California, which initially yielded the R5ca. The tapered steerer, when combined with the right head tube and fork crown, results in a bike with greater lateral front-end stiffness and still with an excellent ride feel. The bike is 16% laterally stiffer than the previous S3, which means it's easier than ever to corner.
Another fruit of Cervélo's work on other frames are the S3's thin seat stays. These might sacrifice a bike to aerodynamics, but offer a huge improvement in comfort thanks to their ability to better deal with road vibrations.
And, as with the rest of the Cervélo line, the S3 is sized with a great emphasis on stack and reach dimensions. Cervélo tried to take the fog surrounding frame sizes away by analyzing body dimensions. The result is a frame lineup that gets progressively taller and longer, so it's easier to find a frame that fits you, be you long-legged or long-torsoed.
The S3 also comes with internal Future Proof cable routing. Internal for an aero frame is a given; exposed cables add drag. But future-proofing is another story. The internal cable stops for the mechanical brake and shift systems can be pulled and replaced with plugs for hydraulic brakes and electronic shifting. For the shifting, you'll also have to pull the plugs in place for the wires to exit, and mount a battery. The battery mounts are already installed at the bottom of the down tube.
The Cervélo S3 Ultegra Bike offers an aero bike for self-sponsored racers that competes against the best on a budget.
|Headset||FSA IS3 1-1/8 x 1-3/8"|
|Rims/Wheels||Mavic Cosmic Elite S|
|Tires||Mavic Yksion Comp 120 tpi 700x23mm|
|Crankset||Rotor 3DF BBright™ 52/36|
|Bottom Bracket||BBright™ PF-30|
|Chain||Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 spd|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 spd|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 spd|
|Rear Cogs||Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 spd 11-25|
|Shifters||Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 spd|
|Handlebars||3T Ergonova Pro|
|Stem||3T ARX Pro|
|Seat Post||Cervélo Aero (1 position)|