Cervelo R3 2018 mini review

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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ultyguy
Posts: 2304
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Location: Geneva

by ultyguy

HI weenies,

I was lucky enough to be able to rent a new 2018 Cervelo R3 (ultegra 8000, mavic askium elite) for a week from the good folks at Bike Point in Tenerife and thought I'd share a few thoughts as there's not too much out there on this one just yet.
Image

Me: 180cm, 75kg. Not really a climber but I end up doing a lot of climbing
Normal bike: 56cm Cannondale SuperSix Evo Nano (prev gen) with Campagnolo SR mech and a mix of wheels (shamal, bora etc) with a 110mm stem and 5mm spacers

This bike was a 56 with a 100mm stem (-8 I think, the new cervelo one) so a bit higher stack/reach than I usually have, prob 1cm in either direction. Overall this bike has very light feel in a number of ways, both good and not as good. Even with Askiums the acceleration felt immediate and very easy which is impressive as it was probably 1kg more than my usual ride. In the saddle, comfort is good but roads were really good so hard to tell. Descending, it was definitely a bit 'flightier' than the Cannondale with a less planted feeling. Part of that could be higher stack and reach going on but I think it'd still be there in any case. As for the direct mount brakes, I really don't get what the fuss is, I've always found them lacking the modulation of a single pivot Campagnolo design and the same was felt here. There's a very on/off nature of them IMHO which I don't like. Only other item of note is that the stock FSA seatpost is -25 setback to beware if you don't run a lot of setback, you'll need a 0 or -10 to get the position right.

Overall, I highly rate this bike and reckon the R5 with the lower headtube would probably be perfect for me but for the R3 I'd probably need to go down to a 54 to get everything to work just right. I'd love to try this one with a nice set of wheels as even w/ the Askiums it was a super lively ride.
Last edited by ultyguy on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

freehub
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:23 pm

by freehub

Surprised you prefered your SR brakes to new Ultegra direct mount. I prefer Shimano rim brakes in general to Campy.

Can I ask your personal opinion about the new 8000 shifters compared to your SR Evo which is a great bike btw as you well know.
How was the comfort of the 8000 shifters compared to your Ultrashift Campy SR shifters? Do you wear gloves? Do you find the Ultegra shifters comfortable on the hoods? To me, hood comfort (shift method as well) is pretty vast because new Ultegra and Campy...I ride Campy too...but I haven't spent a lot of time on redesigned 8000 to know if they have done much for hood comfort....Campy shifters being dual durometer and having a friendly shape as you know.

Thanks for your review. To me the R series Cervelo is a bit of Goldylocks...caught between a pure race bike like your Evo and an endurance geometry bike. Both great bikes but different.

by Weenie


wingguy
Posts: 4198
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:43 pm

by wingguy

ultyguy wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:59 am
Overall this bike has very light feel in a number of ways, both good and not as good. Even with Askiums the acceleration felt immediate and very easy which is impressive as it was probably 1kg more than my usual ride.
On my new R5 the same is true. The rock solid BB and chainstays make the bike feel lighter everytime you get out of the saddle on a steep pitch or inside hairpin.
Descending, it was definitely a bit 'flightier' than the Cannondale with a less planted feeling. Part of that could be higher stack and reach going on but I think it'd still be there in any case.
I made the same change from old Evo to new R5 and after a little settling in I love the R series handling. Very light touch needed to turn in, less body language required than on the Evo, but just as planted in mid corner speed. Feels like it's happy leaning more in slower corners if that makes sense.
As for the direct mount brakes, I really don't get what the fuss is, I've always found them lacking the modulation of a single pivot Campagnolo design and the same was felt here. There's a very on/off nature of them IMHO which I don't like.
Not sure what you're talking about here, as the new R-series does not have direct mount brakes :noidea: They are the conventional dual pivot version as you can see in the photo you posted. On the new gen Shimano in general though, they are very sensitive to free stroke. If you set the pads close to the rim they are grabby, on/off and not at all confidence inspiring. Set the pads just a half turn further away so the braking happens with the lever closer to the bar and it's a whole different animal. Smooth, powerful and controllable.


Finally worth noting that although Cervelo didn't really advertise it, the new 2018 R2 also has the new R3 frame with all of the design and geometry updates. Heavy old finishing kit on the complete bike but stonking value for such an good frame.

morganb
Posts: 651
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:30 pm

by morganb

After riding Specialized/Cannondale road geo for so long I thought the same thing about descending on a Cervelo. I could never get to grips with it even after 9 months or so on an S3. It felt super fast in a straight line and built up reasonably light for an aero bike but I could not get it to corner the way I wanted at high speed.

wingguy
Posts: 4198
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:43 pm

by wingguy

morganb wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:11 pm
After riding Specialized/Cannondale road geo for so long I thought the same thing about descending on a Cervelo. I could never get to grips with it even after 9 months or so on an S3.
New R-Series handles very differently to an S3. Different BB-drop, chainstay length, front centre, head-angle, rakes and trails. All tuned to adding high speed stability while keeping a light feel to the turn in. There are more size specific adjustments aimed at keeping the handling consistent through the size run as well.

ultyguy
Posts: 2304
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Location: Geneva

by ultyguy

Freehub- yes, I have always preferred the lever feel of Campag but the new R8000 is a big improvement over 6800/9000 which I have on a training bike fwiw. The rubber feels nice with and without gloves (I did both) and the size is reduced a bit too. Shifting was very good, more tactile than older versions too. I still am not a huge fan of the brakes, too on/off for me but everyone will have their own taste.

wingguy- you’re totally right, not direct mount. As mentioned above, in the time I had them they just didn’t feel as progressive as I like but I’m sure if I rode them another week I’d probably not even notice

Interesting on the new R2 as they’d already done this with the S2/S3, only difference was supposedly lesser fork but even cervelo admitted that even though the fork was cheaper for them to produce, there was no real weight or aero difference. I’m actually considering an S2 now and stripping it down and rebuilding a Campag cause I can get it so cheap as a full 105 build.

Geo is always a funny one as there’s so many variables to how a bike feels, position being a big one too. I run a 77.5 saddle height and 3.5cm setback, 55cm reach from tip to c bars and 10-11cm drop. Best handling bikes for me has been my SS evo but my absolute all time fav geo is Ridley which runs a pretty small bb drop, go figure. The Ridley I feel you could just steer with your hips, telepathic.


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freehub
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:23 pm

by freehub

ultyguy wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:39 pm
Freehub- yes, I have always preferred the lever feel of Campag but the new R8000 is a big improvement over 6800/9000 which I have on a training bike fwiw. The rubber feels nice with and without gloves (I did both) and the size is reduced a bit too. Shifting was very good, more tactile than older versions too. I still am not a huge fan of the brakes, too on/off for me but everyone will have their own taste.

wingguy- you’re totally right, not direct mount. As mentioned above, in the time I had them they just didn’t feel as progressive as I like but I’m sure if I rode them another week I’d probably not even notice

Interesting on the new R2 as they’d already done this with the S2/S3, only difference was supposedly lesser fork but even cervelo admitted that even though the fork was cheaper for them to produce, there was no real weight or aero difference. I’m actually considering an S2 now and stripping it down and rebuilding a Campag cause I can get it so cheap as a full 105 build.

Geo is always a funny one as there’s so many variables to how a bike feels, position being a big one too. I run a 77.5 saddle height and 3.5cm setback, 55cm reach from tip to c bars and 10-11cm drop. Best handling bikes for me has been my SS evo but my absolute all time fav geo is Ridley which runs a pretty small bb drop, go figure. The Ridley I feel you could just steer with your hips, telepathic.


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Thanks for the comments comparing new 8000 shifters to Campy SR. Sounds like Shimano is warming up to ergos matter when it comes to hood comfort when Campy has been dual durometer for almost 10 years now with UT.

I will tell you as good as the R-series bike is, the S-series Cervelo has stolen a lot of sales away from the R. Reason is, Cervelo largely solved the riddle with ride quality with the slippery S-series....S being cake and eating it too unlike the previous S bike which rattled fillings. So totalling understand you wanting to build a S bike up.

We share the same saddle height at 77.5cm. I am 184cm and curious what your height is because I am on a 58 and prefer quite a bit more saddle setback and less handlebar drop.

Thanks again.

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Lewn777
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

I'm renting a newer version of the same bike from the same place.

I would say the bike seems very heavy for a rim brake bike, maybe 8.5kg. That's probably due to the entry level DT Swiss R1800 wheels and groupset.

Personally I don't like the bikes handling. Long head tubes aren't my thing just spec a bike with a more connected short head tube and choose not to slam it or slam it according to your flexibility. I also feel the bikes' handling didn't suit me compared to other bikes I own and have ridden and I particularly dislike the feel of the back end over 70kmh, felt disnonnected and skittish, almost scary. You could say that was down to tires and wheels, but given this is DTSwiss an Conti GP it's unlikely.

All in all it's a good bike, but not one that would ever be the top of my list if shopping for a new machine.

ultyguy
Posts: 2304
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Location: Geneva

by ultyguy

Yeah I ended up getting an R5 cheap in the sales at the end of last year to get the same feel with a shorter head tube and a bit lighter and maybe edgier.

I’ll be back to Tenerife riding the same rental bike in a week, just hope I get more good weather!


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torob
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:28 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

by torob

Finally worth noting that although Cervelo didn't really advertise it, the new 2018 R2 also has the new R3 frame with all of the design and geometry updates. Heavy old finishing kit on the complete bike but stonking value for such an good frame.
I read somewhere that the layup is different on the R2 and because of that, something like 100grams heavier.
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Stueys
Posts: 248
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:12 pm

by Stueys

I came from a canyon (2012) to the last iteration of r5 and it felt rock solid compared to the canyon which was basically a full on city bike. Having said that cervelo tend to like their short chain stays which gives you a nice punchy feeling on acceleration/climbs plus an instant reaction when steering from the hips but doesn’t do much to encourage the ‘locked down, stable feeling you want when the speed lifts.

Be interested to try the new r5, apparently they specifically went after improving high speed stability.

RossLB
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:18 am

by RossLB

I have two R3s - a 2016 rim brake and have just bought a 2018 disc brake R3, both 51cm. When I was looking for a new bike recently, I realised that I loved the R3 so much that I just wanted to get another one, rather than try something different with a geometry that might not work as well.

I found the comments on the R3 feeling "skittish" surprising, since I am a very ordinary bike handler and a very nervous descender. Yet I feel far more confident on descents on the R3 than I have on any other bike I have owned, which has included a couple of Treks, a Look, a couple of Pinarellos, a Scott, a Colnago and a Ridley. My R3 disc/Dura Ace with bottle cages and pedals weighs 7.5kg.

by Weenie


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