2011 Cervelo S3 Review
Cervelo is known worldwide for its cutting edge technology and top of the line performance. The S3 is no exception. I tested the S3, which was equipped with the SRAM Red groupo, Zipp's 404 tubular wheel set, Fi'zi:k's Arione saddle and Rotor cranks.
Roadcycling.com reviews the 2011 Cervélo S3 road bike.
In my 12 years of riding and racing I have heard nothing but good comments about Cervelo bicycles and I was looking forward to reviewing the latest Cervelo S3. Cervelo is known worldwide for its cutting edge technology and top of the line performance. The S3 is no exception. I tested the S3, which was equipped with the SRAM Red groupo, Zipp's 404 tubular wheel set, Fi'zi:k's Arione saddle and Rotor cranks.
In the area where our office is located it seems the wind is always blowing hard, with few trees on the open prairie to offer protection for cyclists. For my first test ride with the S3 I picked a flat stretch of road on the prairie. The wind was blowing 20-25 mph and was mostly a dead-on cross wind. My goal was to do an hour tempo ride with some 2-minute intervals at the end. The first thing I noticed was how easily the S3 is pushed laterally when riding in the cross winds, I had to fight to keep the S3 upright any time I turned into the crosswind. The S3 has a wide down tube (3") which really catches the crosswind; the bike is also equipped with Zipp 404 wheels that are high profile. Combine the two together with high crosswinds and you are going to have a bit of a fight on your hands. Even a crosshead wind tended to push the bike a little.
When it came time to do the 2-minute intervals I picked a more sheltered area from the wind so the lateral pushing I had been experiencing wasn't a problem. I had my power meter on and as I hit the gas on the first interval my first thought was: This is a fast bike! I wasn't surprised when I looked at my power meter and it confirmed my feeling.
After I finished the ride I downloaded my ride data and I could see I was able to generate more power during the tempo (+12 watt average) and interval (+8-10 watt average) portion of the ride than I was able to do with the bike I normally ride during these same type of rides. Some other things I noticed during this ride were: 1) the comfort of the ride, the road I did the tempo ride on is rough and has numerous cracks that can beat you up. The S3 really dampened the harshness of the road and made the ride comfortable so much so I was able to produce higher power numbers than I normally do. 2) When I was doing the intervals I noticed how rigid the rear of the S3 was. When I stomped on the pedals the Cervelo S3 really responded quickly. I could see the extra power in my power meter CPU immediately.
The next test I put the Cervelo S3 through was my criterium test. A short course around a city block that provides me with the same conditions you might experience in a criterium, including high speed corners