The S2 pioneered carbon aero road bicycles. Our experience in building aerodynamic frames without losing focus on weight, stiffness, strength AND comfort, has been proven with multiple wins on the cobblestones. Introduced in 2009, the S2 remains a vital part of the S-series and still offers a true aero value today.
Strengths: This bike is comfortable, great cornering, and the aero frame cuts through the air like crazy!
Weaknesses: The SRAM Rival components are middle of the road, but still quality components.I am planning on upgrading to Force with Red shifters.
Overall, a great bike. Cannot fail with this bike!
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: February 6, 2013
Strengths: The bike is stiff, fast, very repsonsive and I love the geometry. The geometry allows me to spend more time in the drops while feeling relatively comfortable. My bike is equipped with full Ultegra and I like the overall solid feel and dependability of the frame and components. To me, it's the best bang for the buck when it comes to a true race machine.
Weaknesses: The only weakness is the components. Current 2013 model comes with sram rival components and cheap, heavy wheels. If you can upgrade to carbon wheels that will maximize the aero features of the frame then you have a dream machine. The original S2 for the Cervelo Test Team came with durace components and Zipp wheels and any reviews that were done at that time had either ultegra or durace components and deep dish carbon wheels that worked well with the bikes geometry. So the good news you can replicate a similiar build if you want to go to that expense.
Overall a great bike not matter what components you have on the bike. You will simply enjoy the ride and feedback you get from the road and the ability to go fast. The bike is very responsive to your effort and energy you put into the bike. I also love the "emotion" of the brand. Cervelo has done a great job telling it's "story".
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2012
Strengths: (1) it is stiff for power transfer, (2) it corners well (I like the geometry)… really well, (3) I guess the aero shape is good, but I cannot discern the advantage when riding, trust the science.
Weaknesses: The non drive chain stay got a crack in it, but Cervelo sent me a new frame for free after minimal arguing. Out of the box, the frame weighed in at 1,120 grams (size 54 cm) with nothing but the derailer hanger. I guess that is a little heavy, but 90% of cyclist who worry about their bike’s weight should worry more about their body weight. Built with pedals and carbon wheels & sram force the bike weighs 16 pounds.
Bottom line, I’ve had good race results on this bike. I think my legs had more to do with the results than the bike, but the bike didn’t hurt because it is a race machine. The geometry, stiffness, tube shapes; everything is designed for the races. If you are more of a recreational rider, I would go with an R3, because you will get plenty of performance, but more comfort. The S2 isn’t known for comfort, but I’d rather have the feedback from the road than compliance when taking a corner in a crit. Also if you are a recreational rider you’d get a higher head tube on the R3 rather than running a bunch of spacers on the S2 and watering down its race geometry.
The extra weight of the frame for the aero tubing doesn’t bother me much, because it is static and compared to a full water bottle or excess body fat, the weight is negligible. I guess the aero tubes are good, but if aero dynamics are a concern spend your money on deep section carbon wheels and your time doing yoga to reach a low handle bar position.
I’d recommend this bike no problem… if you have a good shop to work with on warranty, fit, and maintenance. A quality shop should be the biggest consideration, buy whatever the best shop in town sells. If my shop sold Cannondale, I would buy the CAAD10 next and get just as good of a frame, but they don’t, so it will be a Madone next.
Similar Products Used: Cervelo R3, Trek Madone, Klein Pro XX
Bike Setup: Sram Force and Reynolds DV3K
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: November 26, 2012
Strengths: Great overall race bike. Stiff, Aero, Lightweight. Can be used for crits, long road races, and tri's/tt with aerobars/2-position seat post.
Weaknesses: At 2013 MSRP of $2k for frameset, none when compared to other competitors in that price range. Maybe that the S2 is becoming dated (has been out as the soloist carbon since 2006).
Owned a 2009 Cervelo S2 from May 2010 to early 2012. Paid $1,999 for frameset on sale at Competitive Cyclist (yeah when they used to sell Cervelo's). 2013 S2 MSRP is set at $2k. Back in 2009-2010, they were at least $3,100. Same frame, but pricing has come down because model has been out for awhile and there are better and lighter aero frames now on the market. Back in 2010 I bought the frame because I was curious about the aero-bike frame phenomena. Built the frame up with a mix of dura ace and FSA components. Over the course of 2 years I probably put about 10k miles on the frame as I shared training and racing b/w this frame and another Cervelo frame.
Frame is a very solid performer. BB and front end stiffness is solid. Frame is not super comfortable/compliant for longer rides, but feels good at high speeds and is relatively comfortable for a no-nonsense aero race performer. Considering weight, the frame is probably mid-pack when compared to other 2013 aero frames. Probably considered a bit heavy as compared to other non-aero carbon frames on the market, but is priced accordingly.
One thing that is important to note is that the frame is basically unchanged since the soloist carbon (name prior to S2) was launched back in 2006ish. I think the only thing that is different is the fork and some cable routing changes. In terms of lastest-and-greatest bike technology, S2 is becoming a bit dated (although it was basically the frame that started the whole aero frame craze...yeah that's 7 years ago).
Similar products used include Cervelo S3 and R3. These are both great comparison frames to the S2 because one is Aero (S3) and one is at the same price point (R3). First the S3. The S2 is a bit heavier than the S3 with essientially the same aero profile (eventhough the Cervelo literature states that the S3 is x% more aero with its aero rear end). I will say, that aside from the overall look of the two bikes, the bikes ride very differently. The S3 is a pro-tour high end frame that (with it's narrow seat stays) is comfortable for the long rides/races. It also feels more lively than the S2 when climbing. The S2 is a more in-your-face type of race machine. S3 has been discontinued and replaced by the S5 team or VWD. S3 MSRP is more than twice the 2013 MSRP for the S2. It is not twice the bike. Considering the R3 and the S2, to me is a better comparison. This comparison is aero vs non-aero at the same price point ($2k). S2 feels fast, R3 feels light, but actual race times would be similar. You really can't go wrong with either. And now, 2013's are in the CAAD 10 price point. I personally don't feel that S2's aero profile makes a noticeable difference when compared to the R3 in actual race performance (due to the fact that most races are in a bunch protected from the wind anyway). But if you were going to go on a break, I assume the aero S2 is better. Climbing performance goes to the R3.
One important thing to point out is that the S2 may be the most versatile mid/high-end carbon frame for mass use. If you are going to buy only one bike and want to do triathlons, crits, rr's, TT's century rides, etc....the S2 is a good choice. You can clamp-on a set of aerobars and use the S2/S3 compatible optional 2-postion seat post set at the forward position and your crit bike is now a tt bike and a tri bike. S2 is a serious contender for an all around bike for all types of biking and racing.
Overall, S2/Soloist Carbon is a great/solid performer. It revolutionized the aero road-bike marketplace. If you can pick one up for a good price (look for sale prices), you will not be disappointed. However, and for what it's worth, I since sold my 2009 S2 and 2011 S3 and continue to race/ride a Cervelo R3. I'm over the aero bike phenomena. Traditional bikes just fit my riding style better. If you are considering the S2, don't buy it over a traditional shaped bike, because it is aero, buy it only if you can get a good deal, and only if it fits your riding style (after you test-ride a correct size).
Strengths: Fast, Responsive, more comfortable than lead to believe.
Top notch frame design and attention to detail
Weaknesses: None really, maybe since the S3 is no longer, the S2 should just be replaced to be the S3 instead with the thinner seatstays that resemble that of the R3.
I have had this bike for over a year now. I am mostly a mountain biker (single speed racer), but I appreciate a good riding bike regardless of discipline. Through my purchasing process, I have test rode the Specialized Tarmac SL3, Scott Addict R1, R3 & FOIL 20, Felt AR-3 &F-3, Cervelo R3 & R5 for kicks, and one BMC within the price range (Sub-$5k w/ Ultegra or better). I did not like at all the way the Scott bikes rode...very little compliance. The Cervelo R3 felt good, but I wanted a standard BB, and like the aero advantage of the S2 and versatility of being able to be a tri bike. Having previously been on a LBS race team...I had considerable discounts available to me on Specialized and Scott. The Tarmac SL3 just didn't speak to me what so ever. It did stuff well, but there was no "WOW!!!" factor associated with the ride. It did everything well..and I think the Specialized paint designer needs to be replaced, their schemes have became so uninteresting. Not that I can say the Cervelos look amazing...they speak in other ways. The bike that actually impressed me the most was the ride quality was the Felt F3 which took a lot of weighing tradeoffs. Pure speed and aero advantage of the S2 or road dampening above all else of the F3. In the end, Cervelo maintains resale value, and the speed and versatility of the S2 just made more sense. Upon purchasing, and a RETUL pro fit, it has proven to have been the right choice! The bike has absolutely been problem free, and an absolute pleasure to ride. There is all the "get up and go" you could ask for in acceleration, It climbs well, and it holds its speed well. Crosswinds don't phase it much, but you actually feel it slice through a headwind. Even though it doesn't have the BBRight bottom bracket (a feature I didn't want anyways) it is still incredibly stiff at the BB. The 3T Futura Pro fork dampens well, and the one piece aero post is a set and forget affair.
Because this review is about the S2, I really don't want to elaborate on the components outside the frameset, but it all works in harmony. The Fulcrum 7s are a surprisingly solid OEM wheel, but after a year..I am replacing them with ROL Race SLs based on raving reviews. The Ultegra works...not much else to say.
I apologize about the review being a bit long winded, but I know a lot of people shop and compare, and smaller details mentioned can make the difference in offering a confirmation on what is applicable to the person.
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Synapse, Cannondale SIX Carbon is what I owned, Bikes demoed mentioned above. My demos were pretty basic but I spend a minimum of 2hr, 20-40mi on each demo bike.
Bike Setup: Cervelo S2 51cm, Black and Red
Ultegra Group, but I am toying with the Idea to go to SRAM Force.
Performance Bike Carbon bar upgrade...very comfy bar with lots of hand positions.
Lizard Skin tape (red)
Fulcrum Racing 7 (being replaced with ROL Race SL's as I type this)
Continental GP4000s tires
Fizik Aliante Twin-Flex KIUM rail saddle (white, but I have a black one I thought about replacing with)
SRAM Red cassette
Speed Play Zero Stainless pedals (red)