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  1. #1
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    S3 vs. new 2015 S5

    I have a Soloist Carbon from 2008 (before they started calling them S's), and I have loved it to bits. It is time, however, to turn it into a winter bike.

    Been thinking hard about the new 2015 S5. If I get one, it will be the Ultegra build because when I put my Zipp 404s on them, it will be a better bike than the mechanical Dura Ace model with the HEDs for much cheaper.

    I like the idea of the S3 with Ultegra Di2 though. My only concern about the S3 is that it is a bit chunky and heavier than the S5, though I do like the R-series seatstays they put on it.

    On the plus side of the S5 as well is that it is the latest stuff!

    What would you do? S5 Ultegra mechanical or S3 Ultegra Di2?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by sappie66 View Post
    I have a Soloist Carbon from 2008 (before they started calling them S's), and I have loved it to bits. It is time, however, to turn it into a winter bike.

    Been thinking hard about the new 2015 S5. If I get one, it will be the Ultegra build because when I put my Zipp 404s on them, it will be a better bike than the mechanical Dura Ace model with the HEDs for much cheaper.

    I like the idea of the S3 with Ultegra Di2 though. My only concern about the S3 is that it is a bit chunky and heavier than the S5, though I do like the R-series seatstays they put on it.

    On the plus side of the S5 as well is that it is the latest stuff!

    What would you do? S5 Ultegra mechanical or S3 Ultegra Di2?
    Try both.

    Several of the pros ride the S3 (it's more compliant and I think lighter than the S5, which is the chunkier of the two). The aero advantage of the S5 vs. S3 is neglible ~4watts according to Cervelo at 25mph.
    I have an S3, its an amazing bike. Fast and possible to build up to to sub 15lbs (Red 22 and great wheels).
    Cervelo R3 Ultegra 2010

  3. #3
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    Tough call and a money decision too. I'd want to ride the new S5 and compare it to the S3 using the same wheels. My best riding bud is on the S5 Varoomen(sp?) 2013 and a few othe guys have S3s. They all like their bikes but I think the S3 is just a screaming value. The S3 may handle a bit more like a road bike than a straight aero bike. Will you notice the watts shaved? Maybe but I tend to prefer ride quality over more aero.


    I've also heard from speaking to current and former Cervelo dealers that the top shelf model is the way to go if considering the S5 for build quality. I can't back that up but that's the inside scoop.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys.

    Of course I know the best way is to "ride both", and with the same wheels. The trouble is that the 2015 S5 is so new, and my size would be the 48, that all the LBS must order it in and get a deposit from me.

    I surmised that I would be very happy with the S3 because by all accounts and logically, it would be more comfy to ride than my SLC from 2008. I also surmised that the 2015 S5 would be fine for me because I am just fine on my SLC, and that the 2015 S5 is vastly improved from the old S5 re compliance and stiffness, esp the front end.

    And all the improvements on the new S5 is geared towards making it ride like a regular bike as opposed to a compromised aero machine that the old S5 was (apparently).

    So if any of you have ridden the new S5 and have compared it to the 2014 S3, that would be the most helpful.

  5. #5
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    They have different geometry.

    Buy the one that fits you best.
    use a torque wrench

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    They have different geometry.

    Buy the one that fits you best.
    Ah yes, there is that. I was poring over the specs and comparing them to the SLC. I think with spacers and stem length variables, I believe I can dial either bike in pretty good. The S5 would be lower and more aggressive, with a stack of some 5+mm lower. So no slammed stem for me this time around, unless I go S3.

    One cool thing is that my 48cm SLC has toe-overlap, so with the increased front-centre measurement on both the S3 and S5, I won't have that problem any more.

  7. #7
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    I get toe overlap on my 54cm S2 (same frame as the S3.)

  8. #8
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    S3 is all you need.

    It's lighter, cheaper and more comfortable. All you lose by going the S3 is 4w vs the S5.

    It will be a huge improvement over your current SLC.

  9. #9
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    I would go S3 with Di2. Great bike fantastic shifting. My son rides one and loves it (rode R3 before).

  10. #10
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    Yeah, it's a hard decision. One thing though, I am starting to get tired of all those red, black and white bikes out there. My SLC is like that, and so are so many bikes out there. ;)

  11. #11
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    The new S5 frameset is lighter than the S3 frameset. The S5 is going to have a shorter headtube so that may be a factor in your decision. Both bikes are great and have a similar ride to them so whichever one you go with will be a big upgrade!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by neomoz View Post
    S3 is all you need.

    It's lighter, cheaper and more comfortable. All you lose by going the S3 is 4w vs the S5.

    It will be a huge improvement over your current SLC.

    I don't think the 4 watts number is accurate. It refers to the previous S5.
    It's a messy question, too, when you try to fillet out the effect of the new S5's proprietary bars, which are probably going to be part of any actual independent aero tests from here on.
    Then you have to pick a speed for the comparison, maybe have to use data from different tests and different tunnels...
    anyway, bottom line is I don't think there are numbers out there (yet) that you can use.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by thumper8888 View Post
    I don't think the 4 watts number is accurate. It refers to the previous S5.
    New S5 is 4w better than the new S2/S3 at 25mph according to Damon Rinard. The Tour Magazine test of the new S5 vs. S2 backed this up as well.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    New S5 is 4w better than the new S2/S3 at 25mph according to Damon Rinard. The Tour Magazine test of the new S5 vs. S2 backed this up as well.
    Will check the Tour test... they usually seem rational though the German Canyon seems to get a finger on the scale from them.
    Can you cite a source for that Rinard quote? When I google his name and ccervelo and 4 watts I see a host of citations from 2013, whch clearly would be referring to the old S5.
    It's hard to believe that the number didnt change, but I'm all ears...
    Here is here it seem to have come from:
    2014 Cervélo S3 | Bicycling

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  16. #16
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    OK, at this point I'll buy that he said it. But there is a serious disconnect. He pretty clearly said in 2013 that the OLD S5 was 4 watts better than the the-new S3. So, minus the aero bars, is the new S5 no different in drag from the old one? Not even a watt?

  17. #17
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    Well he was the man at who would know at Cervelo (before he left) so I would believe what he says. Elsewhere he says the new S5 frame is quite a bit stiffer/chunkier than the old one and fits 25mm tires so it's sort of an accomplishment that it's no less aero than the previous S5.

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