The Cervélo R3 Ultegra bike is both a bike that compete with the best pro's are riding while still a great bargain.
Shimano Ultegra, in this case the eleven-speed 6800 version, is always in that special place where it's good enough for pro use, but priced to be affordable for most everyone. It seems that Ultegra is forever inching closer to Dura-Ace, and as it does this, Shimano is putting Ultegra ahead of older Dura-Ace. The brakes are powerful and have a light touch. The shifters and hoods are ergonomically shaped for long-riding comfort and easy movement.
These go to eleven(-speed), so you have both a wide-range 11-25 cassette with small jumps between the extremes.
Cervélo's long-time partner, Rotor supplies the semi-compact 52/36 3DF crankset. As Rotor helped design the BBright standard, the crank mates perfectly with the BBright bottom bracket that Cervélo employs.
That BBright setup is one of the keys to understanding this R3. The oversized shape contributes to making the bike 8% stiffer at the bottom bracket, which means more of your energy goes into propelling the bike. Another place where Cervélo improved the R3 is at the head tube. By employing a tapered steerer tube, going from 1 1/8" to 1 3/8" they were able to make the head 24% stiffer, which translates into the fork staying in place more easily, which means that the bike tracks turns better.
Another key feature is the updated Squoval tubing. No longer Squoval 2, this is Squoval 3, which, has been shaped to be more aerodynamic while still retaining the rest of its ride qualities. The 3 series means that the leading edges and trailing curves have been adjusted so that this non-aero road frame now takes seven fewer watts to power, making it as aero as many aero bikes you'll find on the market today. Even with these changes, Cervélo didn't let comfort suffer; the pencil-thin stays provide plenty of give to smooth out rough roads—the R3 is the preferred team ride at Paris-Roubaix for a reason.
Something that is easy to overlook is sizing. The frame sizes are named following the convention of virtual horizontal top tube lengths, but they're just a guide. The better numbers are found in the stack and reach measurements. Cervélo engineers wanted to make sure that each bike was taller and longer than the previous, so it would be easy to figure out which one to pull for depending on your dimensions.
The bike is complete and ready to roll, whether it's for racing or riding. The Fulcrum Racing 5.5 wheels are ready for whatever dance you want to take them to. And if, someday in the future, you want to switch to electronic shifting or hydraulic braking, the R3 will be ready for that, too. Just pull out the cable stops and insert plugs and the bike will be ready.
Bottom Bracket Rotor PF-30
Brake Calipers Shimano Ultegra 6800
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 6800, 11-25
Chain Shimano HG700
Crankset Rotor 3D30 BBright, 52/36
Fork Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R3 Fork
Frame Material Monocoque Carbon
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra 6800
Handlebar FSA Energy Compact
Headset FSA IS2 1-1/8 X 1-3/8"
Pedals Not Included
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra 6800
Saddle Fizik Antares
Seatpost FSA SLK
Shifters / Levers Shimano Ultegra 6800
Stem FSA SLK
Tires Mavic Aksion, 700x25c
Wheel - Front Mavic Aksium S
Wheel - Rear Mavic Aksium S