2011 Cervelo RS or S-Works frameset?

sonny73 Posts: 2,203
edited April 2011 in Road buying advice
This may seem like a no brainer in some regard but I would genuinely appreciate your input on which frameset to go for.
I was looking at getting an RS, in fact literally just about to get it when I was presented with the possibility of getting an S-Works Tarmac for the same money (long story).

I already have an old Tarmac and the geometry of the S-Works is identical and so the comfort in position terms will be spot on. I was looking at the RS as I like Cervelo's and geometry wise it is their most comfortable ride (that and the price compared to their other models).

So really my question is will the S-Works be too unforgiving a ride in terms of stiffness and as I don't race is it really worth having it if it is and as such would the RS be better suited to my riding habits; I ride about 4 times a week, 20 - 60 miles average per ride and do the odd sportive and an annual holiday in the mountains of Europe.
Asthetically I like them both so that's not a problem.


  • TMR
    TMR Posts: 3,986
    I think they'll both be too stiff for you; the S-Works especially so.

    Would you consider the Roubaix?
  • sonny73
    sonny73 Posts: 2,203
    Thanks for that, I am leaning away from the S-Works. I'm used to my Tarmac and find that super comfy so haven't really thought about a Roubaix, I also figured the Cervelo at least wouldn't be too stiff.
    Tbh stiffness isn’t a major problem, just I had a mate say the S-Works will be ultra stiff and may be too much so for my purposes, despite the fact I ride very hard, whereas the Cervelo would be a more forgiving ride.
  • It sounds to me like the RS would suit your needs better than the S-works.
    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer
  • Hi there, i have been riding my sl3 for nearly a month now ( built up over the winter months) and have clocked up 250 miles so far, i can only compare the ride to a scott addict r1 and a trek madone 6.9 which i have also ridden. For me the s works feels more stable ,but the ride does feel firm to say the least ,bear in mind that this is a pure race bike and with the quality of our roads at the moment you will feel every bump.But im very pleased and impressed with it , it absolutely flies along and climbs like a mountain goat . I cant compare it to the cervelo ,but i dont think you would be dissapointed with the sl3 frame , hope this helps
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    Out of those two, the Cervelo RS would be my choice ...
  • turnerjohn
    turnerjohn Posts: 1,069
    main brand or something hand made (yes I know top Spesh are hand made!) quality and different ? ....RS EVERY time :D
  • Ciclicasati
    Ciclicasati Posts: 740
    Not sure if they're hand made...
  • rozzer32
    rozzer32 Posts: 3,825
    If you could stretch to it then how about a Cervelo R3?

    I have just got one and WOW, super stiff and soooo comfy. When you read about the pencil thin seat stays taking vibration you just think it's marketing jazz, but they really do.

    If you couldn't get an R3 then I would take the RS.
    ***** Pro Tour Pundit Champion 2020, 2018, 2017 & 2011 *****
  • AndyD2574
    AndyD2574 Posts: 1,034
    RS without a doubt.

    Super fast and super comfy............allows you to run with no spacers.

    See far too many bikes with a stack of spacers?????................dont have to with teh RS as its head tube slightly taller.
    Specialized S Works Venge
    Argon18 E114
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  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    The taller head tube is THE reason I would go for the RS .... just a shame they do just a white/red colourscheme, awful ....
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    I love my 2009 RS, and the taller head tube doesn't mean you're giving much in terms of stiffness around the bottom bracket.

    The ride quality is sublime though, it takes the worst of Britain's roads in its stride but still climbs well and descends with precision. I've nothing against the S-Works, but for all day comfort without sacrificing performance - RS every time.
  • sonny73
    sonny73 Posts: 2,203
    Thanks for the replies chaps, much appreciated. I checked the geometry and amazingly the S-Works has the taller head tube!! But still I think I am leaning heavily towards the RS and your words have helped.
  • Cervelo - but then I am biased.
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  • bristolpete
    bristolpete Posts: 2,255
    I built up my S-works frame just two weeks ago and have put 250 miles in it already. Superb bike, really fast, light and stiff but not too stiff. It is a very comfy bike and I rode it for 100 miles last Sunday no problem. I had a Cervelo S3 which was a lot stiffer at the rear but would say the R3/RS would ride akin to the S-works for stiffness.

    Either way, great bikes and I hear good things about the Cervelo frames. Personally I love stiff bikes and dont suffer on them as magazines and reviews suggest. The 548 toptube is ideal for me as I have short legs, long torso and often have trouble finding a decent fit and I dont want to go down the hand built route just yet.

    In short, I am over the moon with my S-works frame. Brilliant.

    My bike is in the your bike section.
  • izza
    izza Posts: 1,561

    In short, I am over the moon with my S-works frame. Brilliant.

  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178

    I am biased, but I think the RS looks sporty, even with a taller headtube. It has allowed me to ride with zero spacers and still be comfortable[/img]
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    Just wish they still did a selection of colours, your black/silver one is nice ....
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    Agreed - I quite like the new white finish, but I wouldn't swap it for mine.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    So do I take it it's second hand, or have you just built it up with a NOS frame?
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    I picked the frame up second hand about 12 months ago and built it up from there, adding newer parts along the way. The latest addition is the Fizik Versus saddle - so far so good!
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    Been thinking about the Aliante versus myself, glad to hear Arione VS is working out for you so far!
  • airwise
    airwise Posts: 241
    I sold an R3SL and replaced it with an SL3 last Summer. Big Mistake. The Specialized is like riding a plank of wood and about as interesting. It lasted a month or so.

    Get the Cervelo although it will make people assume you are in the financial services industry.
  • yaya
    yaya Posts: 411
    Just picked up a 2009 RS frame on eBay to replace my trusty 2007 CR1 Pro. Needed the plusher ride

    Will build it over the next 2-3 weeks as time allows. Will need new bars and tape (Black or White?) and possibly a different saddle...got a Max Flite Gel Airflow which is OK for upto 3 hrs then the pain kicks in...

    "Finding the right saddle is the holy grail of the cyclist - good luck! This may take some time ..."

    possibly the best bike slogan ever made up:-)