1000km Review – 2014 Cervelo S3

It's back, even faster than before.
It’s back, even faster than before.

I’ve been riding around on the new 2014 S3 for a couple of weeks now and it really has been rather enjoyable.

I was split for a long time on whether to ride an R-series bike (a classic road bike never goes out of style) or jump on an S-series aero bike.  After the use of many advanced decision making tools that included random straw polls and the flipping of a coin, the S3 won out.

If they are offering “free speed” from the aero advantage of the new frame, who was I to say no?

You can read the actual technical things about the S3 here, so I won’t go into them.

As Nic Cage would say, “That’s high praise.”

My bike is a 51cm S3, stock Ultegra 11 mechanical spec, as seen on the website.  The only thing I changed was the stem cause I wanted to use a 110mm one.

This is a fast bike.  Even with limited riding fitness, I could feel the air rush by when I put the power down on the pedals as the S3 ate up the road.  Down hills, the front end is solid and handling very stable.  On the flats, you can feel the S3 wants to go faster.  Unfortunately, my mind has been willing but the legs are taking some time to get moving.

If an aero bike is not suited for climbing, then no one told the S3.  So far, it has pranced up the hills very well!  I’m sure I could have picked a manlier word than ‘pranced’.  I’ll update this point if I ever get to take the S3 up a mountain.

That's mine!
That’s mine!

As always, the shifting with the Ultregra 11 group set is predictably good and reliable.  The Cervelo road bikes are spec-ed with Rotor 3DF cranksets and semi-compact 52/36 chainrings.  The 52/36 combination took some getting used to but has been fine to ride otherwise.

The S3 Ultegra 11 (mechanical) retails for $6350, that’s quite a deal on a Pro Tour level bike.  It is a sweet looking ride packed with all the aero features you could want.  Thanks to a rear triangle borrowed from the RCA & R5, you also get a bike that is high up on the comfort scale.

Looking forward to throw some clip-on bars on the S3 at my next triathlon!


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