Cervelo brought their test ride wagon through town yesterday so I jumped at the chance to go out and pound on someone else’s expensive bike. I and Joel took a couple of S3s up Smithfield Canyon. Cervelo calls the S3 the fastest bike in the peleton due to it’s aerodynamic design. The guys at the demo claimed a 15 watt savings. Their site says 10. I wondered how big of a difference it could make.
Turns out it makes a big difference. I normally ride a Madone 6.9 which is a pretty nice ride. The S3 felt faster. It is a bike that flies. Now the S3 comes with Zipp 404s while I ride XXX Lites. I’d really like to throw those wheels on my bike and get a feel for the ride difference (I’m thinking I might need some wheels for Christmas).
We had a great time. The fit on the S3 was great. I was frequently surprised at how fast I was going given the power output. I have a good feel for how fast I should be going at a given effort and the difference was noticeable. It is a super light bike. It is an incredibly fun bike. It accelerated fast. It was easy to keep going fast. However, it sends up a lot more road noise than some of the other super bikes I’ve ridden (like my Madone or a Time). It wasn’t as comfortable as my current bike but on shorter rides old guys like me wouldn’t notice/care.
Would I buy this bike? I think so. It was a heck of a lot of fun and I think I would buy it just for that. However, it’s probably a couple down on my list. My next bike will likely be a custom titanium from Carl Strong. Someday I’d like to buy one from Crumpton or Calfee. You don’t drop 7-10k on a bike everyday and so in that class there is a lot of incredible hardware to choose from. Also, I feel like for the money those bikes deserve a higher place in the queue. The Cervelo is made in China and is rumored to have a few quality problems. In the end the ride and the fun is what matters but those factors being equal I’d pick the higher quality bike with the sexier pedigree.