Cervélo's R3 has long been a popular choice for cyclists wanting an all-round light and stiff bike. It's often categorised as a climber's bike but it's equally at home on the cobbles, with a string of professional race victories to its name. For 2014 the R3 has been given a substantial update, with the latest iteration of the Squoval tubes, first seen on the RCA and R5.
Road.cc editor Tony had a chat with Damon Rinard, Cervélo's senior engineer on their Advanced Technology Team, about the new R3 in this video.
Squoval 3, Cervélo's name for rounded square tube profile, has long been a feature of the R-series bikes. The latest version goes down the aero route with a sculpted leading edge. As with the R5, Cervélo claim this new tube shape offers a saving of 7.4 watts compared to the old Squoval tube shape.
The frame weight remains about the same at a claimed 980g (for a 56cm with all hardware). Cervélo reckons it’s lighter and more aero than many manufacturers' road frames, including the last year’s Tour de France winning bike.
Cable routing is fully compatible with all hydraulic and mechanical rim brakes, and shifting systems driven by gear cables, electronic wires and… hydraulic pipes. Well, that’s what Damian said. We’ve not heard of any groupset manufacturer working on a hydraulic groupset, yet, but most bike manufacturers, and especially designers, usually get a look at future product lines many years before they’re released to the public.
If, say, SRAM is working on a hydraulic shifting groupset - they have developed the hydro brake levers already, and don't look likely to offer an electronic groupset any time soon - they would need to give frame manufacturers a heads up so they can ensure their frames are compatible. Most manufacturers are now making sure their frames are future proofed, with easily adaptable internal routing. It'll be interesting to see where this goes in the next couple of years.
Anyway, back to the R3. Prices for the range have been released, a Shimano 105 build will be the most affordable option with a price of £1,999. There will be Ultegra Di2 for £4199, Ultegra mechanical option at £3099, and new R3 will also be available as a frameset for £1699.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.