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  1. #1
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    Compare/contrast ride qualities of 2014 S3 and 2014 S-Works Tarmac SL4

    My first road bike was a 2012 R3 Team. Then I got the bike I'm currently riding (2014 S-Works Tarmac SL4). I've always been intrigued by aero bikes, and the S5 was on my initial shortlist, however, I went with the R3 Team because I found the S5 to be too harsh of a ride, and because the R5 wasn't available at my LBS at the time. Now, with the 2014 S3, it seems as if you get the best of both worlds; vertically compliant, torsionally stiff, with some aero benefits.

    Having said all that, I was hoping there were some people here who have ridden both bikes and can comment on the similarities/differences of each bike's respective ride qualities. I'm 70kg and more of a rouleur. Not a pure climber, but I get up inclines faster than most. I don't sprint. I love the way the Tarmac handles and how it's stiff yet comfortable. I'm hoping the S3 has a similar ride because I really want to buy one, but I want a bike that's comparably stiff.

    Thanks again.

  2. #2
    My other bike has knobbys
    Reputation: MercRidnMike's Avatar
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    New S3 = compliance of a R-series bike (or Specialized Roubaix) but only giving up a few grams of drag to the S5 frame.

    It's an S frame, so it is made to go fast and has the fast handling to match (like other S bikes), but it is far more compliant than the S5 (or my S2). I cannot compare directly to a Tarmac (isn't one I've tried), but IMHO the S3's ride was more reminiscent of the Roubaix I had a chance to sling a leg over.
    So 8 times wasn't enough and I'm going back again:my participant page for the 2017 Alberta Ride to Conquer Cancer.

    12 Cervelo S2, 09 Knolly Delirium T, ?? Mercury Road Bike, signed '06 Gary Fisher Cake 2DLX

  3. #3
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    Thanks @mercridnmike. That's very helpful. Much appreciated.

  4. #4
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    I don't know if this will help but.....I had a '13 S5 VWD (stolen) now have a '14 S3. I also have a 2011 S-works SL-3.
    The SL-3 is stiffer in all the right places then an R3 with the exception of seat stay comfort. (I owned a 2008 R3 SL)
    The S3 seems to be 95% of what the S5 offers and 50% or less price tag. It has slightly longer chain stays and the seat stays are similar to the R5 so it rides a little softer then the S5, though I never felt the S5 vwd was too stiff or rough. The S2 is rear end stiff. Spine shaking stiff (ride tubulars with an S2).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantride55 View Post
    The S2 is rear end stiff. Spine shaking stiff (ride tubulars with an S2).
    The 2014+ S2 uses the same frame as the S3 with a different fork. So it should ride just as well in the rear end. Here's a good review of the S3 comparing it to the R3. I'm sure it rides nice for an aero bike but have serious doubts that it rides as well as a Roubaix.

    The Cervelo R3 and S3 | RKP

  6. #6
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    I just saw this now,
    I'll qualify my S2 comment as non-2014 frame set. Anything older had the other seat stays which I found to be a little unforgiving with 23 mm 110- 115 psi clinchers. You ARE correct re: 2014 frame being the same as the S. Dunbar.

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