Strengths: Light weight, responsive, great handling at higher speeds
Weaknesses: Frame defects -seat, seat post, the dreaded bottom bracket creaks....
Bought this bike as a Xmas present from the wife early this year. After much research and test rides of a number of bikes, I got the R3 Team SL. Gorgeous looks and sexy lines.
Rode the dry roads in winter and loved the bike. Once warmer weather kiicked in May, am at 8000 ft in the Rockies, really tried out hills, climbs and descents and loved the bike. It seemed a little numb in certain responses, but a great all around speed and fun bike. Was planning on replacing the OK Fulcrums in due course.
Then the creaking started. Found that on uphill climbs a creak/clicking, at first random and then more continuous. Took numerous trips to my lbs in Boulder where I bought the bike and they scratched their heads. Eventually pinned it down to saddle that seemed to creak while in the seat. So we replaced the stock Sella Italia with a "better" Specilaised brand,at at upgrade cost.
Then, in the following weeks the creak was back. Again more trips back and forth to check it out. Now the shop thought it had to be the stem/seatpost since the noise was when in the seat and not when pedalling out of the saddle. Another 2 weeks of waiting for newer model and different seatpost, FSA SLK installed with promises that the problem was licked. The sales folks and mechanic rode the bike for 50 miles, and couldn't duplicate the problem.
Two weeks later, creaking was back.
Back to Boulder again, and now a frame swap. They had another R3 SL Team frame. Another week and everything done. In the meantime the guys loan me a R3 demo which seems fine,but I want what I bought, not the new bland silver colors that seem like anything you can get for 500 at a blah outlet.
Ride the new bike, great and NO creaks. Second week in, I can't believe it, a hint of a creak now and again. Two days of back to back rides (50 miles) and now the steady creaking is back. Still happens when in the sadlle, so what on earth is this?
Back to Boulder and now the lbs guys/girls are as aggravated as I am. How about another Cervelo? NO. I have ZERO confidence in their quality. Then it trickles out that this is a recurring issue, with other buyers......great.
I finally, after 5 months of back and forth and much angst am without a bike and back to square 1. The folks at Boulder Cycle Sport were great and did evertything in their power to fix the problem, but you can't expect them to overcome design / manufacturing flaws.
I miss the looks and handling, but I can't begin to explain the frustartion and irritation with the flawed products. I drove over 1000 miles back and forth to address these issues, and I told the shop I expect Cervelo to reimburse me for the wear and tear, gas and not least my time in almost a dozen trips to get to the bottom of the issue. We'll see if they have any notion of responsibility/culpability in doing what is incumbent to address the matter. My closing comment to the bike shop was that if Cervelo wants its retail customers to be Quality Control agents, then they ought to provide a bike at no charge and cover incidentals.
I bought this machine based on reviews, marketing, images in the grand tours and "reputation". Feel like an idiot especially after two frames and SAME unresolved issue. Cervelo does not have my endorsement and unless they come clean and address the matter, then my advice is "Caveat Emptor"........
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2013
Strengths: 2013 Cervelo R5 Full Carbon Frameset Just 789USD at http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/S3-S5-R5-VWD-Carbon-Frameset/819025_251269430.html
Weaknesses: 2013 Cervelo R5 Full Carbon Frameset Just 789USD at http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/S3-S5-R5-VWD-Carbon-Frameset/819025_251269430.html
2013 Cervelo R5 Full Carbon Frameset Just 789USD at http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/S3-S5-R5-VWD-Carbon-Frameset/819025_251269430.html
Date Reviewed: April 22, 2013
Strengths: Value and versatility
Weaknesses: none so far
Cervelo has upped the ante for 2013. A wonderful machine. Great frame, great components, great specs. The pros are riding this bike in the spring classics because they can. They don't have too. I have been blown away by the way this bike handles and performs for every mile it has been in my quiver. Money well spent.
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2013
Strengths: Stiff, light weight, comfortable ride, great fit
I got this bike, the team R3 2012 / Ultegra in July of 2012. I absolutely love it. I've been riding on it for 9 months now, and still love every ride. I shopped around for a while, and test rode a bunch of bikes. I had a healthy budget, but it was still a budget. So I couldn't go all the way to the top end of spending. After riding a bunch of bikes, this one just fit better than all of the rest. Extremely comfortable. The bike is very responsive. Pedal down, bike forward. no questions. Obviously it's not the most aero bike, but I bought it to ride hills more anyway. The one thing I wish for though is a better wheel set that ships with the bike. the Fulcrum Racing T is ok, but still kind of heavy. I still love this ride though.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: January 24, 2013
Strengths: Acceleration, Stability, Hammering Flats, Climbing, Descending, Power Transfer, Comfort
Weaknesses: Some minor issues with the BBRight cups on my first R3. Cervelo didn't hesitate to replace the frame - see my review below.
I just want to thank Cervelo for their outstanding customer service and great bikes. I have had both an older Soloist Carbon and more recently an R3. I loved both bikes and they were/are both great. I no longer have the Soloist, but still ride the R3 and love it. It is the best bike I have ever ridden and I have been riding off and on for 30 years starting with an old Dave Moutlon Fuso and full Dura-Ace and then on to a Serotta custom steel and carbon, then a Seven Titanium and carbon followed by the Soloist and then the R3. The R3s as many other people have stated over the years is one of the best road bikes ever and I agree. I am also 6'2" and 195 pounds (give or take - Ha!)
I recently had a bottom bracket issue that wasn't entirely Cervelo's fault - I played a role in the problem too. I called Cervelo and explained the situation honestly to them and they unreservedly said they would replace the frame - instantly and no questions asked. They told me I needed to work with a dealer to do the warranty and since I live in a very remote part of California area with no Cervelo dealers nearby, I choose to work with Nytro Multisport in Encinitas, CA. I did not originally buy the bike from Nytro, it came from dealer that no longer carries Cervelos. Anyway, Nytro was awesome. David Hull in their customer service area did an outstanding job helping me and I now have a new 2012 R3 Team frame built-up with Campy components.
The new R3 rides EVEN BETTER than my previous one and can see where Cervelo continues to improve and enhance their bikes with each new generation. This is hands-down the best bike I have ever ridden. Thanks to Cervelo for building great bikes and "standing behind them" too when there is a problem and to Nytro Multisport for being so helpful to me in the warranty replacement process!
Favorite Ride: Old Sherwin Grade and the Round Valley Loop - Bishop, CA
Bike Setup: 58cm 2012 R3 "TEAM" with Campy 11-Speed mix of Super Record, Record and Chorus Components. Wheelbuilder custom DT Swiss wheels with Powertap G3 rear hub and Selle Italia Super Flow SLR saddle.