You might be familiar with Cervelo’s R5, their flagship light-weight road race machine, but what about the R3? They both have highly tuned ride characteristics. They both ride smoothly and they’re both highly capable of translating leg muscle into massive amounts of speed. These R Series frames even share the same molds, producing identical external frame profiles. It’s what’s inside the frame that counts. The main difference between these models involves the arrangement and quality of carbon used to produce the bike. Aficionados recognize these words and know that the differences can be both small and big. Small in that the R3 is 99% as amazing as the R5, but that one percent could be 100% of why you’re buying the R5. However, at $5,000 for an R5 frameset versus $2,000 for the R3 ($3750 for the complete R3 Shimano Ultegra 6800 build), the R3 offers tremendous performance and value. So, let’s talk about the R3. The ride quality of Cervelo’s 2014 R3 is superb. The highly compliant seatstays smooth out the chip seal asphalt found on so many of our favorite roads. The asymmetrical BBRight bottom bracket shell help move power through the oversized chainstays without loss. To top it off, you can even run a clean, internal Di2 setup thanks to Cervelo’s Future-Proof cable port system. For 2014 Cervelo retained the oversized but not huge 1-1/8 upper and 1-3/8 lower headtube with integrated bearings. However, with the Squoval 3 redesign and revised carbon layup, the headtube became substantially stiffer than the previous years model. This helps the bike descend confidently, allowing you to fearlessly plant that front end into those high speed corners. In fact, the entire frame is incrementally stiffer compared to the 2013 R3 without sacrificing comfort. Cervelo pioneered the the off-center BBRight standard, which allows the chainstays to be as far apart as possible while keeping the Q-factor in check. This is accomplished by taking the PF30 bottom bracket design and moving the left hand bearing 11mm outboard and keeping the drive side bearing in its normal position. However, this requires a crank with an elongated 30mm spindle. Rotor is producing these BBRight spindled cranks for Cervelo, and the rings mounted to these shift very well with Shimano’s 11 speed chain. You can also run an adapter from Wheels Manufacturing or a completely different Rotor bottom bracket designed for a 24mm spindle allowing you to run a Shimano crank if you so desire. In the shop we have several R3 bikes set up with a full Shimano 6800 series Ultegra 11s drivetrains, save for the crank. The Fulcrum 5.5 wheels and FSA components round out this build offering great bang-for-the-buck. If you’re looking to take one for a spin, or interested in a different Cervelo, swing by the shop! We have the S3 and S5 in stock, as well as the R5, so come take a peek! Frame geometry can be downloaded here.