Strengths: Fast, very responsive, superb handling, durable, even faster, light, climbs, sprints, descends, freight trains the flats. No other bike I've owned makes me feel as fast, like every little bit of effort creates acceleration.
Weaknesses: Lower end components, alloy seat post and heavy low end wheel set really don't do the bike justice. The great responsiveness and ability to accelerate comes at a cost of being overly stiff and rigid at times, it can be harsh on rougher surfaces. The seat post loves to slip and will occasionally make odd noises that make you think its coming from the bottom bracket. My new wheel set, carbon seat post and handle bars have totally improved the ride but at a large cost above the factory parts.
I've owned a range of bikes over the last 18 years in a nearly every material except Ti. This bike is by far my favorite!! I even recently sold off two newer popular brand carbon bikes since they just didn't inspire the confidence and bring a smile to my face like the Soloist. I am honestly worried something may happen to this bike and I will never be able to replace it as Cervelo has scummed to the media hype that a quality alloy bike can't compete with Carbon...bleh, this bike proves it all wrong.
I feel fit is the biggest factor but I've had other bikes with very similar dimensions in different materials yet they still don't perform as well. I used to be apprehensive about descending step curvy mountain roads and never topped 40 mph, then I got this bike and I have recorded descent speeds over 60 mph numerous times and the bike was like a razor, smooth, precise and stable. Perhaps it is a downside the level of confidence this bike gives but I've never had so much fun.
After realizing I wasn't going to find a bike I liked more, I sold off my big name carbon bike and an entry level carbon bike and used the money to update my Soloist's worn out Shimano 105 and heavy wheels. With full SRAM Rival (2012), Ritchey cockpit, carbon single position seat post and hand built custom wheels the bike now sits at 15.82 lbs including pedals, cages and garmin edge 500.
The updated carbon components along with the 3T carbon fork and custom wheels have drastically improved the comfort of this race bike without sacrificing any of the performance. I have done everything from short fast pace club rides to 130 mile/15,000 ft elevation gain rides on this bike and it has never left me wanting.
Similar Products Used: Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Giant, Fuji, Raleigh, Masi
Bike Setup: 2008 56" Aluminum Soloist, 3T Funda Pro fork, DTSwiss rim/240 hubs/Xray spoke wheelset, Full SRAM Rival 2012, Ritchey C260 stem, FSA Pro Wing bars, Carbon single position seatpost, Fizik CX carbon braided saddle, Look Keo carbon/ti pedals.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2012
Strengths: Fast, stiff, light, race oriented! Like am F1 car, this bike is smokeing fast, sprints like a champ, and handles on smoth roads like a dream
Weaknesses: Stiff and race oriented, like an F1 car, if there are bumps in the road, or any type of rough pavement, this bike is not as much fun to ride. This is a lot or bike for a recreational or distance rider.
I recived this bike as a gift to get into road cycleing, it almost backfired! I am a mountainbiker at heart and this is a rough first road bike. It is really stiff, fast and handles like an f1 car. If you are going fast on a smoth road this is the bike to have. I put over7500miles on minebefore i bought a Ti/Cf road bike, costingmuch more. The point is that the Ti bike is MUCH smoother to ride on less than perfect roads, theCerveloisfaster anduses the energy it is given more efficiently. Istill rideboth,butyou need to decide how you are going to ride, if you are intereted infast group rides and crits the S1 is the bike for you. If you are a little older and interested in longer rides the Cervelo will leave you sore and aggrivated. I have put my limit on this bike at 25 miles on Northern roads, anything more and I have soreness and pain, and I can ride my other bike 3 x that distance on a long weekend ride with less discomfort. This bike will beat you up, I would compare it to a Corvette z06, you can drive it on a daily basis, and you can take a trip on it, but at the end of the day, driving in normal traffic, youcwill be much more comfortable in a 911 S, but if you are going to spend more time racing, you will be faster in the z06.
Above comparison aside the build quality is beyond great, i have Ultegra on mine and have tuned it once in 7500 miles, the frame is so stiff that the drivetrain does not ever move, if you live 1000 miles from the nearest shop and have no idea how to tune a bike this is the one for you.
Overall, next winter when you are watching it snow and dreaming of a 70 deg day with sun and new pavement, this is the bike you will dream about, but, given the choice, on the first 40 deg day, when the snow has melted, but it is cold and cloudy, you will want to be riding something more forgiving. If you want a race bike, this bike will not be any of the reason you did not finish first, and you will be thrilled with it, but make sure that your sponsors donate more than usual for your next charity century, because you are going to earn it on this bike.
Overall, like anything else, this bike is a compromise, if you like to do 20 mile sprints this is a top notch ride, but if you say to your friends, " I have to get back to work, lets just do a short 25 miles today, we can do the 50 tomorrow" you will be more comfortable on something more forgiving.
Strengths: Really fast. Smooth and nimble. Seems to corner like its on rails. I have so much more confidence on this bike than any other bike I've ever ridden. Really stiff without a bone jarring, teeth rattling ride. Not plush, but pretty comfortable, especially for an aluminum frame.
Weaknesses: It's not free? Seriously, I can't find any fault with this bike. I guess the seatpost adjustment could be better. But once adjusted, not a problem anymore.
FAST!!! This thing is a rocket. Holy Cow this thing is fast.
Did I mention that it's fast?
I'm climbing hills easier and faster than on my full DA Trek 5500, and the Trek has super stiff Ksyrium SSC SL wheels. It's not even close. The Cervelo is so much easier to ride uphill I might be tempted to sell the Trek and get.....probably a carbon Cervelo.
For those that rated this bike a 1 or 2, WTF are you thinking? Even the crappy design on the seatpost would garner a 3 at least becuase it looks so cool.