Cervelo R3-SL Road Bike

R3-SL

  • Weight: 840 grams (1.85 pounds)
  • Cervelo optimizes the carbon lay-up in the R3 with stiffening plies added to the sides of the tubes where they have the greatest effect in resisting bending. They are feathered to distribute the loads into the structure. They also add more plies to the bottom of the down tube, the head tube and the top tube to distribute the loads from potential head-tube impacts. And, they also add Kevlar to prevent catastrophic failure.
  • Cervelo's Squoval (square/oval) down tube and chainstays are optimized for the highest-possible stiffness-to-weight ratio.
  • The R3 features some of the most amazing seatstays on any bike. They are a true testament to the design skills of Cervelo's engineers. Because of Cervelo's Squoval chainstays, the seatstays only need to provide torsional stiffness. So, the R3's act as leaf springs in the vertical plane for the ultimate combination of strength, comfort, stiffness and lightness.

  • User Reviews (22)

    Showing 1-10 of 22  
    Keith   Road Racer [Nov 15, 2013]
    Strength:

    Light weight, comfortable, stiff, compliant, excellent tracking, durable

    Weakness:

    Shifting problems with Campagnolo's rear derailleur. I have heard this is a problem with other Cervelo's as well. My R3 front derailleur had slow shift problems. Other brands worked flawlessly.

    I have had this bike for 5 years and plan on riding it till I can't anymore. This frame fits like a glove and is everything I possibly could want in a frame - stiff, comfortable, tracks excellently, power oes straight to the rear wheel.

    Similar Products Used: Bianchi, Specialized
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    brianmorrissmith   Road Racer [Dec 03, 2010]
    Strength:

    Light, Stiff, compliant

    Weakness:

    Expensive

    Finally, I have found the bike with the right stiffness without the harshness. I compare this to the many specialized and giants that I have ridden. I had an 08 Tarmac SWorks and it was a great ride. It is one I could grow old with and may go back to. However, at 38, I am looking to take my group rides and turn them into training sessions for races. I feel like the R3 will give me a slight advantage due to the stiffness. I rode an 09 Tarmac Pro last season. It was super stiff. It was not as comfortable as the 08 Tarmac. However, I noticed that it was too harsh over time. So, I found an 09 TCR Advanced and rode it for a month. It was much more compliant but it seemed to wobble at the headset and bottom bracket when I rode. I couldnt stand that feeling. So, my quest for the R3 was on. I picked up the R3 SL from Ebay for 2800 bucks with Dura Ace Groupo. I rode it today and it lived up to everything I imagined. It is the lightest bike I have owned. The 08 Sworks seemed to be close in weight but not as stiff. Anyway, my goal was to provide a little comparison between the bikes I have ridden.

    Btw, I'm 5'8 with a 31" inseam and am riding a small. It feels just right. I thought it might be a bit small but it isn't.

    Ride hard.

    Similar Products Used: Tarmac Pro and Sworks, 09 TCR Advanced.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    steven55   Road Racer [Sep 04, 2010]
    Strength:

    Climbs like a billy goat and fits perfect- stunning paint job -unfortunately they only made 50 R-3sl's in this color. Very comfortable ride with veloflex Roubaix tires on it

    Weakness:

    Toe overlap on the 51cm but the short wheelbase is probably what makes it go on the climbs- just have to be aware of the overlap

    This is for a 2008 Tour De France special edition commemorative model in Black and Yellow after Sastros won the tour. I have a trek 5.9 sl and used that before this but the cervelo is a very serious climbing bike. When you accelerate on the R3sl it takes off right now - you better hang on because it almost feels like it is going to go with or without you. We have some steep grades in southern ohio-15-20 plus and it eats them up.It will close any gap in a heartbeat on a climb or the flat-you still need the engine to sustain it but it will help you most definitely. The zipp 303 tubies help but i have had them on the trek too and it did not perform like on the R3. Ver fast on the descents and effortless on the flats. I am pretty picky with fit and I must say it fits me like a glove. I am 5'8 and 140 pounds and a 51 fits me perfect with a 100 stem. It feels very light at 14.3 pounds but a few friends have them built up a little different and come in at 12.7 dressed out. A real keeper, not to mention a very smooth ride.

    Similar Products Used: Trek 5.9 sl; Litespeed vortex; Colnago c-50(rode too rough and heavy)-sold it
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    2wheelsonly   Recreational Rider [May 19, 2010]
    Strength:

    It's super light, stiff, and yet still absorbs the bumps really well. Plus, did I mention how sexy it was?

    Weakness:

    Toe overlap

    Actually a 2010 model year. Review may be a little biased since this was my dream bike, but I'll try to compare it with my Felt (which I loved). The thing I noticed about this bike immediately was how incredibly light it is. Even with my saddle bag moved over, it was still noticeably lighter than my F4. How does this translate in the ride you ask? Well, the hill climbing is notably improved as a result with GPS stats to support. With the addition of the Eastons, I'm now able to climb up the hills with the faster guys (despite being a sprinter) with a lot less difficulty. Coming from Shimano Ultegras to SRAM Red, it took a while to get used to I must say but I now LOVE the Red. It's definitely not as quiet, but when you shift, you know you shifted. Plus, the group as a whole is incredibly sexy. The smoothness in the cranks is also noticeable over the Ultegras. It feels like I'm churning ultra soft butter with my feet. On sprints, the bike feels very snappy yet ultra compliant where each stroke seems to transfer power efficiently without feeling the least bit unstable. I've also taken it up to 50 mph, and no signs of instability at speeds either. And the cornering, the only limitation I found was my own (because I didn't want to push too hard since the bike is still fairly new). After 400+ miles on it, I realized how much more a bike after my Felt could be.

    Similar Products Used: 2006 Giant TCR Limited
    2008 Felt F4
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Danny-VR   Recreational Rider [May 01, 2010]
    Strength:

    Plush ride
    Lateral stiffness
    Fast, fast, very fast
    VERY LIGHT (6720 grams with Garmin 705 Edge mounted)

    Weakness:

    Watch out for toe-lap

    What can I say, this bike fly's, every time you stroke the pedals means power and speed.
    My weak back is holding much better than on my former Trek OCLV 5500, PLUSH ride!
    I got the 2009 black color with silver decals combined with the campagnolo carbon from the super record groupo looks great!
    The bike didn't came cheap but it's worth every penny.
    Did I mentioned that the bike is very light, in one word i'm very HAPPY!

    Similar Products Used: Trek OCLV 5500
    Trek ZR2000
    Eddy Merckx MX Leader
    Concorde Alu
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    cdesmet   Recreational Rider [Oct 14, 2009]
    Strength:

    versatility, comfort, stiff, precise: it's like a Porsche

    Weakness:

    finish of paint could be better

    best bike I've ridden. I have mounted it to weigh less than 6kg with Lightweigth Ventoux wheelset, Camp Record group, Zipp, Nano Speedplay. I have done some 25000km now and it performs in all circumstances be it flat, hilly or during the Tour of Flanders. Super bike

    Similar Products Used: Colnago C40
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    gottaluvhills   Recreational Rider [Sep 28, 2009]
    Strength:

    Lateral stiffness, stable downhill, vertical compliance.

    Weakness:

    The one problem I've encountered is toe overlap, but the other gains outweigh this one weakness.

    The frame is a bit expensive, but worth every penny.

    I'm a short rider (5'4") and was looking for a bike with a shorter reach. Cervelo is one of the few mfg. that have a shorter reach and still run 700c wheels. I'm able to ride this bike with a 90mm stem and it fits perfectly. Road a century on it this past weekend and the bike road like a dream. This bike opened my eyes to lateral stiffness, it literally lunges forward with each stroke. Downhill the bike is crazy stable, just lean and the bike goes. On my old bike, my arse would be sore riding on bumpy roads whereas the R3SL absorbs the vibrations.

    Similar Products Used: Trek 5900, Giant TCR C0, Pinarello Prince SL, Specialized Roubaix
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    TWinzell   Recreational Rider [Jul 27, 2009]
    Strength:

    Super light and stiff. Fits well but I have max spacers on the steerer tube and a very short stem. I love the stock 3T carbon bars and stem. No problems with build or paint quality so far. Hed Bastogne wheels seem to be a deal (fairly aero, light and durable so far; bought a new take-off set for $400.00).

    Weakness:

    About as aerodynamic as a brick but that's no surprise. Normally I wouldn't spend this amount on a bike but I got a deal as the economy was in the dumps and a rep had a demo bill to pay.

    First a little about me. I'm pushing 50 and started riding when my knee wouldn't allow me to run any more. I'm tall (6'0") and fairly light (156 to 165) so I like a light bike. I also have long legs for my height so I was attracted to the claim that Cervelo racers all ride stock frames that can be adjusted to accomodate their measurements.
    I ride solo or with my wife ocasionally but generally I like fast group rides. There are some seriously fast people here and I need all the help I can get. Since I live in Florida and ride on relatively smooth roads, my first choice for a new bike was the SLC-SL. As I waited for one on ebay I broadened my search and found a rep selling a lightly used demo 2008 R3SL. I purchased it and rode it as equipped for a while then found a great deal on an SLC-SL frame and built it up using DA7800 from my old Cannondale. I bought a new compact crank putting the new ceramic BB on the SLC and the crank on the R3. Otherwise they're very similar in setup. The R3 as claimed is very light, accelerates efficiently and soaks up bumps and road noise better than my SLC or Cann. Six 13. I had a professional bike fit done after buying the R3 and even though I'm still getting used to a different pedal stroke and using different muscles I'm faster than ever.
    I have an enviable quandary on which bike to pick for any given ride so generally if it's perfect weather or I'm going to ride solo or have long stints on the front of a group I take the SLC. If the weather is rainy, windy or unknown, or I'll be riding on rough roads or sitting in a group I'll take the R3.
    If I had to pick only one bike to own it would be the R3SL.

    Similar Products Used: Trek 5900, 2005 & 2006 Cannondale Six 13, two CAAD7s and CAAD8, Cervelo SLC-SL
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    kevin32   Road Racer [Jun 24, 2009]
    Strength:

    Stiff, light, responsive, comfortable geometry.

    Weakness:

    Might be too stiff for some. All depends on your personal preferences. I've had smoother riding bikes, but there is always a sacrifice somewhere.

    All around great bike for racing. It's everything people say and Cervelo advertises, very stiff, very light, responsive, fairly smooth and climbs like a goat. My only negative (not that I would call it a negative) is that the ride is likely a bit harsh if you are not used to riding a race bike. I ride roughly 200-250 miles per week and prefer a stiff ride, but if your looking for a touring bike, then I would suggest looking elsewhere. If your looking for a stiff race bike, then you should put the R3-SL in your top three list of bikes to ride. I actually prefer my Cervelo SLC-SL to the R3, but that's just me.

    FYI: I believe even the mighty Carlos Sastre switched from the R3-SL to the S3 for the 09 Giro. Guess he like the blend of both.

    Similar Products Used: Cervelo SLC-SL, BMC Pro Machine, Pinarello Paris, Specialized S-works Roubaix.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    bryin   Recreational Rider [Apr 29, 2009]
    Strength:

    Light, stiff, handles great and a lifetime warranty....

    Weakness:

    Not free....

    What can I say about a R3SL that has not been said? If you like to ride fast get this bike. It is probably the best all- around race bike. I got a great deal on left over 2008 from Bothell Bike. Great service from Bothell. If you are going to get a new bike check out Bothell, great prices and perfect cst service.

    Similar Products Used: Trek, Bianchi, Argon, Paramount, Litespeed, Klein, Cannondale, Merckx, all most everything...
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Showing 1-10 of 22  

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