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TECH NEWS

Cervélo S3 Disc launched - faster, stiffer and more aero than current S3

New bike is stiffer, more aero and lighter than current S3 with rim brakes

With no fanfare, Canadian bike brand Cervélo has unveiled its brand new S3 Disc road bike. 

It’s the first disc-equipped aero bike from the company, following its release of the R3 Disc two years ago and the C5 endurance disc road bike earlier this year. 

- The fastest aero road bikes

cervelo s3 disc 2.jpg

Cervélo says it has redesigned the S3 Disc and made the frame 9% stiffer and more aerodynamic, finding a 2 watt saving over the current rim brake model. The switch to disc brakes has also allowed the Cervélo engineers to reduce the frame weight by a claimed 40g. 

The new bike uses 12mm thru-axles front and rear, which contributes to the increased frame stiffness, with a claimed 8% increase in head tube stiffness and 9% bottom bracket stiffness. There’s also room for up to 25mm tyres in the new frame and fork.

- Review: Cervélo C5 Dura-Ace Disc

Cervélo S3 Disc  4.png

It has reshaped the profile of the fork blades to reduce pressure around the back of the crown, which provides some of the aerodynamic savings over the current S3. The company claims a 2 watt drag reduction over the current S3 fork. 

At the back of the frame, the seatstays and chainstays have been completely redesigned, with lessons learnt from the Cervélo R3 Disc and airfoil profiles borrowed from its Rca frame, along with new dropouts that incorporate the 142x12mm thru-axle. Cervélo says it hasalso increased stiffness at the bottom bracket.

The new S3 Disc retains the same Dropped Downtube as the current S3 that uses a chopped trailing edge to improve airflow that also makes water bottles a part of the bike’s airfoil design. There’s the same future-proofed cable routing system as found on all other Cervélo frames, with the cables and hoses entering the side of the down tube. It’s Di2 compatible, naturally, with the battery positioned inside the down tube with access through the bottom bracket guide mounting hole.

Cervélo S3 Disc  5.png

“We’ve taken everything that makes the S3 such an aero class leader and made it stronger, stiffer and ultimately, faster,” says Cervélo. “Cervélo only launches a new bike when significant performance gains have been made, and by integrating our disc-brake technologies into the world championship-winning S3 we have done exactly that. 

“The S3 Disc is stiffer and more aerodynamic than its rim-brake counterpart while continuing to make the most of the lightweight design rooted in our Project California research facility. All of this translates to superior handling and control, giving you the confidence to pull away from the peloton or put the hurt on a Saturday morning group ride.”

cervelo s3 disc.jpg

The new Cervélo S3 Disc joins the Specialized Venge Vias Disc as one of the few disc-equipped aero bikes, and we fully expect to start seeing a lot more over the next year or two. Cervélo’s claims for aero improvements despite the addition of disc brakes also tallies with the aero claims made by Specialized for the new Venge, which says the disc brake Venge has the same drag numbers as the rim brake model.

David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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