Dilemma: '15 Cervelo S3 or '15 Felt AR1

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by tranzformer

I am having a dilemma. I am moving to a new frame and have a hard time deciding between a S3 or a AR1. I haven't had a chance to ride either as the Felt AR is very hard to find locally and the Cervelo dealer doesn't have a S3 in my size.

There seem to be pros and cons for both but I think both would be great bikes. Just looking for some advice for me to consider that I might not have thought of.

I like the simplicity of the Felt paint scheme a lot. However, I wish the rear brake wasn't under the BB from a mechanical standpoint. I like that the Cervelo is in the standard position. BB30 vs. BBRight, not sure if either route is going to sway me. Comfort, both are suppose to be comfortable. Aero, both should be at the top of the class. Maybe one is faster but I can't tell a difference. Price, Cervelo frameset is a few hundred cheaper which is nice, but not a huge enough difference to make a deal. Both brands are rare around here, so both would be unique. Cervelo has 9mm more stack, but I will be able to get my position dialed in on either frame as neither geometry is too drastic from each other in my size.

So help! Any ideas regarding picking between them?

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by cajer

Cervelo is coming out with something new at eurobike. Maybe a new S5? So it maybe a good idea to wait a few weeks.

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by g32ecs

I have 2 teamates that have the S3 and 1 with an S5 and I'm a new 2015 AR3 owner. The Cervelo trio love their bikes.

Seriously, bike buying to me is "whoever's Kool Aid you'd like to sip". Both are marketed as aero bikes, sexy and look fast.

While I was shopping for a new bike I didn't bother looking at Cervelos because there's a TON of them around my area. I didn't want to be "one" of them (same with Trek and Specialized). Very elitist mentality but that's just the way I think. I did do some "research" and Kool Aid sipping and came up with the AR3 with my limited budget. I couldve gotten an AR1 but I wanted some new wheels too. The extra stiffness from the Textreme won't probably matter to me since I'd like a little bit more forgiving ride and I'm not a "power" guy.

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by djconnel

Geometry is a lot different, I think. Recommend plotting stack versus reach then comparing with your coordinates. Felt F series is about the lowest/longest out there while Cervelo is the tallest (competition for that with Trek H2 geometry).

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by tranzformer

Thanks guys for the responses!

@ caner, Yeah I have heard that as well, but the S5 really isn't in my price range. New one would be even further from it would be my guess. Really looking for something in the sweet spot of $2000-2500 USD for an aero road frame set. The S3 and AR1 seem like the best bang for the buck for me from what I can tell.

@g32ecs, Cervelo's are great bikes. I had a Soloist Team (S1) that I got rid of a few years ago. I wish I had still had, but had to make room for other things. Was a great frame. I have been drinking the Cervelo "Kool Aid" since then you can say. But I also think Felt makes great bikes and they have become one of my favorite bike manufacturers.

@ DJ, the geometry is close enough for me that it won't really matter. Cervelo S3: stack 555/reach 378 vs. Felt AR stack 546/reach 383. Just means I would need a 10mm spacer under the stem on the Felt vs. none on the Cervelo and the 5mm reach is a wash as I will be able to fix that base on the handlebars I pick for the build. Those stack and reach figures are close enough that it doesn't matter. Too often cyclists make a big deal about geometry (stack and reach) and then go into the whole custom frame thing, when really if you are an average size athlete, you can fit just about 99% of the frames out there. So as I said, the geometry is a wash for me.

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