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R3 Disc Road Frameset
Few road framesets represent that quintessential all-arounder quite like the R3 Disc Road Frameset from Cervelo. Built for the cobbled classics, 3-week Grand Tours, or your fiercely competitive Tuesday night group ride, the R3's blend of lightness, responsiveness, and comfort make it an awesome companion on your most heroic rides. Thanks to Cervelo's extensive research and development and its feedback from top-level cyclists, the R3 boasts some impressive stiffness to weight numbers and provides near-telepathic handling down tricky descents.
The R3 is no stranger to the limelight. Consistently a winner in bike shootouts and with numerous editor choice awards to its credit, it also has a Tour victory to its palmarès under Carlos Sastre and was the first bike to enter the Roubaix velodrome under the likes of Cancellara, O'Grady, and Vansummeren. This tells us a few things. The frameset is durable enough to handle brutal cobbled roads, it's light enough to scale hors catégorie climbs, and it's comfortable enough for a 3-week stage race or a 6+ hour one-day classic.
There's no need to fear any climb when aboard the R3. The frameset is built using special carbon layups and construction techniques, allowing Cervelo to reduce the frame's weight while making it stiffer at key points. This remarkable stiffness to weight ratio means the R3 is agile and responds instantly to pedaling efforts and tracks through turns with authority. Cervelo uses advanced engineering software like Finite Element Analysis (FEA) that allows it to better understand exactly how each layer of carbon fiber is working and if it's being used properly. Its carbon expertise prescribes a specific frame layup by placing hundreds of individually cut plies of carbon in a mold in a certain order and orientation. By precisely cutting these plies, the frame is able to be made lighter while still achieving the desired strength and reliability.
And because different areas of a frame experience different loads while climbing, sprinting, and descending, to better cope with these forces, Cervelo creates different layups by placing the fibers at different angles in specific areas for the desired metrics. In addition to reducing weight, maximizing strength and stiffness, it's also instrumental in how comfortable the bike is to ride and it's backed up with extensive in-house testing and real-world experience.
The carbon layup is one area where Cervelo addresses the comfort issue. Another lies in its Elite Fit Road geometry, slotting in right between its Pro Fit Road on the R5 and S-Series bikes, and the Endurance Fit of its C-Series bikes. As such, it focuses on efficiency an allows for an easy setup of a variety of fits without compromising on comfort. Sure, its aggressive enough to race on, and often is, but not so much so that it's uncomfortable on all-day jaunts or stage races. As an added bonus, it clears 28mm wide tires where the added volume adds comfort and traction while reducing rolling resistance.
Returning Cervélo features include its BBright bottom bracket and Squoval Max tubing. It developed the wider BBright standard in an effort to increase stiffness by taking advantage of the real estate at the bottom bracket shell, seat tube, down tube, and chainstay. Additionally, it plays well with all major crank standards. Squoval Max tubing allows the design engineers the ability to use the best attributes of a square and oval shape to improve the bike's ride quality while minimizing weight and maximizing stiffness. Additionally, while not as out-and-out aero as its S-Series lineup, tube shapes and internal cable routing do serve as some aero tricks up its sleeve when you're driving off the front of the pace line.
Cervelo frames constantly evolve and the brand constantly scrutinizes materials, shapes, and layups in an effort to boost stiffness, improve ride quality, and drop grams. Compared to previous generation R3s, this version is 16 percent lighter, has a 16-gram reduction in aero drag, and it's 4 percent stiffer at the head tube and bottom bracket to channel all of your power directly to your rear wheel and descend with confidence.
Finally, we love the small details that make a Cervelo a Cervelo. Things like its Future-Proof Cable Management system allows for full compatibility across mechanical, electronic, and hydraulic brake and derailleur systems. Its interchangeable cable stops snap into the frame and is easily swapped out by hand to accommodate different builds. And for those that prefer tried and true mechanical shifting, you'll appreciate its Reduced-Friction BB Guide, which maintains a consistent curve for each cable path that avoids extreme bends or kinks. The result is significantly reduced friction, easier setup, smoother shifting, and longer service intervals.
- Cervelo's all-around disc brake machine for cobbles and climbs
- Carbon lay-up and tube shapes provide comfort, responsiveness, and low weight
- A proven Grand Tour and Classics winner
- Elite Road Fit geo is efficient and comfortable
- Squoval Max tube shaping blends stiffness with aerodynamics
- Internal routing is electronic, mechanical, and hydro ready
- Generous tire clearance for up to 28mm rubber
- BBright shell channels pedaling watts into forward momentum
- Item #CVL000J
- Frame Material
- Wheel Size
- R3 Disc
- Head Tube Diameter
- 1-1/8 - 1.5in tapered
- Headset Included
- FSA IS2
- Bottom Bracket Type
- Cable Routing
- Front Derailleur Mount
- Derailleur Pull
- Brake Type
- Flat-Mount Disc
- Compatible Components
- Electronic, Mechnical drivetrains
- Cervelo Carbon SP19
- Seatpost Diameter
- Front Axle
- 12mm Thru-Axle
- Rear Axle
- 12 x 142mm
- Recommended Use
- road cycling
- Manufacturer Warranty
What do you think about this product?
November 24, 2020
Not the poor man's R5
- I've put it through the wringer
- Size Bought
- 5` 8"
- 145 lbs
There's a lot of confusion about this bike, but it really is a different beast than the R5. The molds are different, which is enough to tell you it's not an R5 made with cheaper materials. The weight difference is tiny. And the R5 has a brand new geometry, "pro", which I took Cervelo to mean, that bike is not for me. So the R3 really is a different beast, a road bike that is not for racers in the sense that it prioritizes comfort. Of course you could race it, but that's precisely not the point. The R3 is also more practical, with an old school seat clamp and a non- proprietary post. In short, it is the Cervelo for the rest of us.
September 12, 2019
- I've used it several times
I have had the Cervelo R3 disc to ride for the last week. Reasonably light (for a disc bike) smooth, clearance for 28c tires which are my jam and if you arenât on 28âs then you are missing out on life, and stable. Handling is agile, quick without being nervous. I hit 59.9 mph which is 96.4 kph which sounds even more impressive and it never felt even remotely unstable. I was super impressed, especially because this was a 51cm frame, slightly smaller than my normal pick. Cerveloâs focus on geometry with equal and excellent handling across all sizes was evident, typically your smaller and larger sizes suffer, but not with Cervelo.
March 1, 2020
Do you think there is enough room for 30c tires?
October 17, 2020
On my R3D a 28mm Schwalbe Pro 1 tubeless tire on a 25mm rim fits with about 5mm clearance on the rear. That is as close I would run on my bike.
June 20, 2019
If Goldilocks rode a bike, it'd be an R3
- I've used it several times
Cervelo makes bikes for people who know what they're doing. They're known for making the lightest, stiffest, most aero, etc. offerings on the market, and for taking a no-compromise approach to design. Cervelos of yesteryear were undeniably quick, but you had to be willing to endure a mercilessly stiff ride. This R3 was incredibly stiff and lively, but it was also one of the smoothest race bikes I have ever ridden. Witchcraft? Probably. Cervelo seems to have cracked the code to the code to the laterally stiff/vertically compliant riddle. Without an engineering degree, I can't aptly explain why, but as a rider, I can tell you that they nailed it. If you're reading this, there is an excellent chance that you're cross-shopping this with the R5. If you want one of the lightest, best handling race bikes in the galaxy, and you're willing to pay for it, it's the bike for you. If you want to be slightly more upright, and land a sweet deal, the R3 is the ticket! All in all, I'm extremely impressed. At $3k for the frameset, I'd buy this over almost anything else. As far as sizing goes, I'm 5'11, and while the 56 that I rode felt almost perfect, I could have gone down to a 54. Feel free to reach out to me directly at email@example.com if you have any questions!