Cervelo S3: First Ride review

Cervelo S3 bike
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The S3 clearly holds comfort in pretty low regard. It's a real racer's bike - a thoroughbred, but if you want to race like a scalded cat, it's a superb bike to do it on, and I suspect you'll love every minute, if that's your style.£3,499.99 (frame, fork, h/set, seatpost)

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Incredibly stiff ride

  • +

    Looks great

  • +


Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Stiff ride may not suit everyone

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Cervélo was one of the first bike manufacturers to really drive the ‘aero road' sector, with its Soloist models. S-Series is the blanket term for its current range of three drag-reducing performance road frames, of which the S3 is top of the shop.

>>> Cervelo Bikes: S-Series, R-Series, P-Series, T-Series and C-Series explained 

Our test bike was decked out in Shimano Dura-Ace finery, with a finishing kit comprising PRO's Vibe 7S stem and Vibe Monocoque carbon bars. DT Swiss 66mm section RRC 725R and 625F carbon wheels with Continental Competition 22 tubulars provided the rolling stock.

An enviable spec then, and looking like the bee's knees, but I was immediately aware of something other than pleasing aesthetics.

On my hypothetical stiffness chart, I needed to invent a new category for the S3. The combination of an incredibly stiff frame and a spec that toed the same line, resulted in the stiffest ride feel I've ever experienced.

It's no wonder it's so popular with the ProTour riders like Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler. You really get a sense of all your power delivery being converted into speed, plus the handling is tip-top with it - nothing seems willing to budge beneath you.

I'd challenge the statement that Cervélo's ‘Razor-thin' seatstays do a good job of aiding rider comfort.

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