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Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:41 pm
by Ypsylon
Page 10 of the Cervelo tech presentation "What function does this form follow?"

"Normally suppliers include an inflated safety zone around their components, so as to avoid the interference any frame misalignement could create. Knowith Cervélo's high level of quality, they shared their real specifications with us. This allowed us to run the frame closer to their components (thereby increasing the size and stiffness of the chainstays) without any risk of interference."


Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:13 pm
by Chip 'oyler
pharding wrote:
currieinahurry wrote:could we have some pics of the troubled area please? to see how tight the clearance is

This shows you how massive the chainstays are on the S3. ... detail.pdf

I had to double check when I looked at these that I wasn't looking at a close-up of some ugly Beetles mandibles.

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:13 pm
by Weenie

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:53 pm
by SushiJoe
Chip 'oyler wrote:
I had to double check when I looked at these that I wasn't looking at a close-up of some ugly Beetles mandibles.

Yeah I'm not diggin' those beefy stays so much.

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:37 pm
by ras11
This is what happens when you start trading performance for integration/compatibility. People get their underwear in knots. This stuff happens when both Campy and Cervelo were working independently into the same space.

IMHO these bikes are WAY over engineered. I ride 9spd on a Ti frame, and I can still go faster than almost everyone I know on a Cervelo, Scott, Trek, etc.. Strangely, most of the guys who hurt me, and pay for their bikes, ride Cannondales and generic aluminum frames. My point is that a lot of this integration crap is unnecessary.

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:54 am
by dolophonic
you tell them Ras11 !

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:36 am
by 2002SaecoReplica
Jeeze, you guys missed one of the most crucial parts...

The best thing to do is have the shop you purchase your S3 from test the frame before they sell it to you.

So, they want a shop to purchase a S3(which will cost the shop probably $3800 or around that but probably more) and hope that the campy fits? And what if it doesn't? Try and sell the customer Sram or Shimano?

In the end there is a good chance that the shop could be on the hook for a really expensive frame. This is especially troubling considering the economic climate we're in where the number of people with the disposable income to buy a S3 is getting smaller by the day.

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:38 am
by 2002SaecoReplica

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:27 am
by Starter
The people I feel bad for are the ones who've shelled out for this year's S3... because if there's one thing you can take to the bank, it's that Cervelo is going to redesign next years version to alleviate the problem.

So in a few years anyone selling an S3 will hear the question: "this is a (2010, 2011 etc) right? It will work with Campy?" Ad nauseum.

Kind of like anybody selling a Cervelo today hears: "This has the replacement fork on it, right?" :lol:

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:45 am
by mtbnoob
I really didn't like what they did with the 08 and 09 R3 in terms of the seatpost/seatube diameter. I wasn't impressed with their selection of forks that required starnuts as well. It wasn't a bad bike but I'm glad I sold it for a Prince.

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:44 pm
by Thom_y
Starter wrote:So in a few years anyone selling an S3 will hear the question: "this is a (2010, 2011 etc) right? It will work with Campy?" Ad nauseum.

THey will have to invent code names for the various iterations of the S3, similar to the MacBook (Powerbooks)... e.g. Late 2008, vs original vs. 15" Ti vs. 15" Al...

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:38 pm
by Zepher
Blimey - can now see why some wheels won't work with those stays as well as potential crank arm issues.

Thankfully not an issue on my R3, which I'm not in the least bit tempted to change

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:23 am
by cervelo
I apologize that this discussion has been going on and I have not responded until now. I was not aware that my reply to a Cervélo customer was posted a public forum and that my words are being questioned. I regret that I could not have posted here earlier to help ease everyone’s concerns.

Please allow me to clarify my words for everyone's benefit. The S3 can have clearance issues in 2 places with certain components.

1. Specific to the aero chain stay, the non-drive side spokes of wheels that have a wide flange width can come close to the chain stay.

The form of the aero chain stay’s shape is based on the function that we witnessed in the wind tunnel. The aero chain stay shape has less drag than the original SLC chain stay shape and does a good job of cutting down the drag of the system. Cervélo has always been a company that strives to push the envelope in terms of performance. In this case the performance advantage only limits the owner in a few wheelsets they can use. We know the S3 will work with the world’s fastest aero wheels. It seems more beneficial have the our aero chain stays and lower drag with a limited selection of wheels (that are still the fastest wheels available on the market) than to have higher drag with the ability to use more (and less aerodynamic) wheels.

2. The clearance between the chain stay and the inner chain ring bolts of certain cranks.

The S3’s design is based on the SLC, a frame which had its final design established in late 2004. That was a couple of years before Campy developed the Ultra Torque design. The clearance between the aero carbon bikes (P2, P3, P4, SLC, SLC-SL, S2, S3) and the Campy Ultra Torque cranks are all the same. This not just specific to the 2009 Super Record group; I commented on the Super Record group in my initial reply to Paul as that was the question that was posed to me. These bikes are based on the same chain stay/BB designs. The S3 chain stays in the crank area do not differ to those of the other aero carbon bikes and only change after they pass the crank. It is simply a fact that the clearance that our aero carbon bikes’ chain stays (which were designed in 2004) built up with Campy cranks (which were designed in 2006) have less clearance than our aero carbon bikes’ chain stays built up with Shimano, SRAM and other crank manufacturer’s products. We are not the only manufacturer than has had this issue with the Ultra Torque’s design.

This is not to say that our aero carbon frames cannot be used with Campy Ultra Torque BBs. Many Cervélo carbon bikes have been built up successfully with Campy Ultra Torque BB with no issue. It has been done in the past and will be done again in the future. The S3 is not any different than any of these frames.

Please understand ALL manufactured parts, produced by ANY company will have some variability in their manufacture. Cervélo’s QC measurement for acceptable chain stay variance is quite small, and in line with other bicycle companies. Though the variance itself is a very small measurement, it is only significant when it amounts to a sizeable percentage or proportion of the actual clearance gap between the chain stay and the chain ring bolts. Additionally, this is only one half of the equation. The crank has variability as well:

1. How shallow the chain ring bolts sit in their bore,
2. How deep the crank bearing sits in the BB cup
3. How true the chain rings run.

Again these variances are not typically a issue unless they constitute a significant percentage or proportion of the gap between the chain stay and the chain ring bolts. When both extremes are brought together, the issue is more of a concern. The fact that the Campy’s Ultra Torque crank axle joins in the middle of the BB makes things more difficult. If the center fixing bolt loosens off, the crank has significantly more chain ring drift than a crank with an axle that extends all the way through both BB cups.

Compatibility depends a few measurements when the clearance between the chain stay and the chain ring bolts are as close as they are. I hope now you can see why I commented that the S3 may or may not work for Paul. I would rather be open about the possibility that the S3 may not work for Paul than to have him surprised after the point of purchase.

To comment on other points that we brought up in this posting the Campy Ultra Torque clearance issue mentioned above is not a due to frames with excessive alignment issue. The frames that experience this are within normal QC values and better than most values out in the market. The fact that some posters have taken some liberty in saying this issue is based on Cervélo shipping out substandard frames or that Cervélo employs a loose QC standard is incorrect and baseless.

Clearance between the chain ring bolts and the chain stay is not based on frame size. All of our bikes use the same chain stay dimensions for a given model. The 48 does not have a greater likelihood of having this issue than the 51, 54, 56, 58 or 61.

Cervélo works very closely with our dealer base. A dealer is never on “the hook” as we will always work with a dealer in extreme situations. The responsibility of the manufacturer and the dealer is to prevent these extreme situations from happening when they can.

In terms of considering a redesign one first has to quantify the issue. First we could ask how many framesets we sel? This figure is a small fraction of the Shimano and Sram bikes we sell. Of all the framesets on the market how many are built with Campy? This number is quite low (and surprisingly just as low on average in Europe as in North America). Then how many of them will be built with a part that might have a compatibility issue, and finally narrow down to the real number of how many will have a compatibility issue. Ultimately, we then need to determine if this number is worth a redesign that may affect the performance of all those riders that are unaffected by this compatibility issue. At this time, I do not know that answer, but you can be assured that our engineers are aware that this issue exists and will determine whether a redesign makes sense.

I believe the initial release of the Super Record group has been much stronger than any other Campy groups have been. This may be a reason that some are just becoming concerned with an issue that has been around since the release of the Campy Ultra Torque crank in 2007.

If anyone has any questions on this topic please feel free to contact me directly at



Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:54 am
by Starter
Hmm. Long post with a lot of info.

If I deciphered it all correctly, Cervelo frames in general (not just the S3) have issues with Campy cranks because Cervelo doesn't make a frame with a chainstay/BB design newer than half a decade.

Additionally, the S3 won't work with all wheels. But if it won't work with the wheel you want it to, never fear, because said wheel isn't what Cervelo determines to be fast enough for the frame anyway.

I don't know... if I was a Cervelo owner, I think I'd just want to hear:

"We're aware of the compatibility problems our frames have with one of the three major component makers, and with S3's issues with various wheels. We dropped the ball, and we're going to make it right."

Seems like that's not the case- if your bike is incompatible, so be it. But don't worry. Cervelo engineers are working very hard with the sales and marketing department to figure out if a redesign is profitable or not.

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:05 am
by jkrocket

easy solution to a problem that never really existed.

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:05 am
by Weenie

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:10 am
by sakic
can we have a list of the most aero, fastest wheels in the world please?