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  1. #1
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    Cervelo R5 vs R3

    I have test rode several bikes in pursuit of new toy. My favorite ride at this juncture is the Cervelo R5 with SRAM red/FSA crank but, LBS did not have R3 in my size to test ride. Since I am more recreational rider opposed to racer I am wondering if R3 would fit the bill. From what I understand it is the same frame design with a lower grade CF layup as well as somewhat lower end components (which I am sure are still excellent), consequently considerably less$$$. I would like input from any riders that have been on both. If I buy R3 will I end up wishing I had the R5????????

  2. #2
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    So... a 100 or so grams in the frame and the difference is really SRAM Red vs. Ultegra.

    I rode the 2010 R3 SL and loved it over the 2011 R3, but that's comparing apples and oranges as they were totally different framesets. And even at a discount as a left-over, I still couldn't justify the SL. I eventually bought a Ultegra SL3 Tarmac for less than I could have had the R3..

    I'd say get the R3, and take the savings and buy an awesome wheelset and you'll likely be lighter than the R5 out of the box..

  3. #3
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    I have spent some time on both bikes and ended up buying the Cervelo R5 VWD LTD and it is definitely a different carbon layup. The R3 was a smoother ride and the R5 was a stiffer ride. Both bikes are nice. If you are not a hard core racer the R3 will probably be great.

  4. #4
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    I would...

    By the R3 (great bike and group) and buy some Shimano Dura Ace C24 wheels......Would you rather have stock wheels with Sram Red or top of the line (insert any great wheel set) for the price difference. That is a better buy in my eyes.

    I bet you can get a great deal on wheels to for buying the bike. Just a thought but look at what and why you are spending the extra dough. Ultegra is precise and efficient that is will also last forever.

  5. #5
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    Question. were both of these two bikes running the same wheels and tires, mainly wheels? I'm gonna assume air pressure was similar.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mdrnizd View Post
    I have spent some time on both bikes and ended up buying the Cervelo R5 VWD LTD and it is definitely a different carbon layup. The R3 was a smoother ride and the R5 was a stiffer ride. Both bikes are nice. If you are not a hard core racer the R3 will probably be great.

  6. #6
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    They were running different wheels, but the R5 was running tubeless Dura Ace wheels and the R3 was running Mavic's. In my opinion this should have helped the R5 be less stiff because you can feel the Dura Ace wheels flex some especially when standing and running tubeless.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdrnizd View Post
    They were running different wheels, but the R5 was running tubeless Dura Ace wheels and the R3 was running Mavic's. In my opinion this should have helped the R5 be less stiff because you can feel the Dura Ace wheels flex some especially when standing and running tubeless.
    Not sure were you got your info from but the Shimano wheels are very stiff wheels. The carbon fiber on the outer edge makes them feel very very smooth.

    Also a tubless tire has nothing to do with stiffness in wheels. If you have 80 psi it may feel soft but many I know run there tubeless at 120 PSI....

    To many factors....

  8. #8
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    I am just saying can feel the front end flex when standing up and pedaling. I don't care what is says on paper but I can change the wheels out to my Mavic's and you don't feel that. The Shimano's also on run 16 spokes in the front.

    I run 85-90 psi in my tires and on the Mavic's I run 110. So, with running the R5 and the tubeless tires you should feel a less harsh ride than the R3 on non tubeless but that was not the case.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdrnizd View Post
    If you are not a hard core racer the R3 will probably be great.
    I think the R3 is great for hard core racers too. the R3 was ridden to victory in paris roubaix in 2011, as well as a Tour stage win (farrar). pretty hard core.

  10. #10
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    Ok I get what you are saying....

  11. #11
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    I recently faced the same decision and went with the R3 and better wheels instead of the R5 -- and still came out a few hundred bucks ahead.
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fignon's Barber View Post
    I think the R3 is great for hard core racers too. the R3 was ridden to victory in paris roubaix in 2011, as well as a Tour stage win (farrar). pretty hard core.
    You're right. I should've clarified what I meant better. If you are not looking for the lightest and stiffest bike out there then the R3 will be great.

  13. #13
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    Cervelo provides Fulcrum Racing 7 (I believe) as stock wheels on nearly all their bikes. Clearly these bikes deserve better wheelsets, so figure that in the cost. The local Cervelo dealer has those Fulcrums all over the walls after convincing the buyers to upgrade to Mavics, which he loves to sell. It's a shame that those bikes aren't equipped with Racing 1's, but wheel choice is very personal and they kind of expect you to buy your own wheels. I would do that if they would sell me the Cervelo complete less wheels at $1K less.
    Santa Barbara, CA -- My Photo Site -- My Business Site

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    I recently faced the same decision and went with the R3 and better wheels instead of the R5 -- and still came out a few hundred bucks ahead.
    I would take Ultegra with nice wheels over a Dura Ace/Red group any day of the week.....

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the input, it would appear that the R3 is consensus choice, which frankly I am happy to hear. I do not have enough experience to know my choice of wheels. Do bike stores allow you to test ride wheels? Do they typically have them stocked as demos? I do understand the importance in terms of varying stiffness in ride and weight effect on rolling inertia. I have been considering the competitive cyclist reynolds dv3k's which are $850 if they still have them in stock, as they have been at that price for a few weeks now. Again, thank you for all the valuble input!!

  16. #16
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    Cervelo says that the only difference between those two frames is weight and details. The ride is supposed to be the same, and that's pretty much the feedback we get from test riders using the stock Fulcrum wheels and Vittoria tires.
    Get a better saddle: www.kontactbike.com

  17. #17
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    I ride a 2011 R3 with SRAM Red and love it, to my knowledge the only difference between the R5 and R3 is weight. To me it wasn't worth the extra $$ which I put toward a new wheel set. Good luck and enjoy

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