Cervelo R3 for Racing/ Climbing?

iron-clover Posts: 737
edited February 2014 in Road buying advice
Hi Guys and Gals,

I've had my first proper season of racing and time-trialling last year on my trusty Trek 1.1 (which is admittedly a little too small) with some light wheels but now I'm looking to upgrade. I quite enjoy climbing and seem to do best when the going gets vertical, and seem to be able to accelerate well out of corners etc so I've been looking around for a machine that has the potential to come up light (I'd probably upgrade over the coming years!).

Although I'd like the riding position to be on the racier side, I'm also after something that you could also ride the occasional century without being beaten up. The Cervelo R3 seems to tick the boxes, although the Trek Madone 4.5 (perhaps a little sedate from reviews) and Giant TCR Advanced also look pretty tasty.

Bearing in mind the much higher cost of the R3 over its competitors, does anyone have any experience with the R3 or have any other suggestions for a quality climber/ racer.



  • The R3 is a great option for what you are looking for, and it is hard to fault it on much other than price. I have not ridden the latest R3 with Squoval3 (a touch of aero, like the Trek), but I have ridden the R5 (which is pretty much the same, with a different carbon layup for a lighter weight). The R5 is a light, fast bike that offers a smooth ride, and I am sure that the R3 is no different.

    However, I highly recommend also checking out the Kestral Legend. I rode the Legend SL with SRAM Red last year, and I was blown away at how great of a bike that it is. The Legend was as impressive as the R5. I actually like it better that the R5, but a big part of that could have been the wheels (Cervelo specs their bikes with pretty low end wheels). I don't know what country you are in, but an Ultegra build Legend comes in at $1000 less than a similar R3.

    Note: That build uses an Oval Concepts crank, which is their 'house brand' Normally, I would consider that a negative, but the crank is built for them by Praxis Works, which is a company that I quite like. They make some very good products.

    Obviously, your best bet is to ride a bunch of bikes and see for yourself which one feels right.
  • Hi

    I was recently in a similar position to you. Test rode the Cervelo R3 (as well as a few others, Madone, Supersix) and it was a great bike, very responsive and fun to ride. Some good deals around now also. I rode the 2013 R3 not the new one qith the squoval tubes as price difference is pretty high. I ended up getting a Cervelo S5. Much better for racing, amazing to ride (have just done an 80miler and it didn't feel uncomfortable at all). I actually got the S5 for pretty much the same price as the R3 with a much better spec so it was a no brainer in the end.

    Both the R3 and S5 were fantastic on the test rides though. You can't go wrong with any of the bikes you mentioned.
  • New Madones are unfortunately a little too harsh for my liking. The stiffness is there, but they don't have the pliancy of the older models. I would say the R3 is similar in feel and that the R5 rides better.

    At these price points, a SuperSix would be my choice.