Cervélo’s R3 is a race-bred stalwart of the WorldTour. For 2017, the company has spent ample effort to place disc brakes on the trusted frame. It offers a surprising amount of snap, a solid road feel, and a smooth ride. That’s a tough package to compete with.
That being said, the geometry is a bit more upright than you might think, especially when compared to a typical race machine. It boasts a rather tall 173-millimeter head tube, 73.5-degree head tube angle, and 73-degree seat tube angle.
Out on the road it offers an encouraging, nimble ride. On hilly, twisty terrain the R3 Disc is a joy to ride — quickly accelerating out of corners and turning with precision. To top it off, because of the new design of the frame (the slender seat stays now flow into the seat-tube for a much wider, stiffer platform) and the use of disc brakes, Cervélo was able to take advantage of wide HED Ardennes Plus disc wheels that improve comfort. It allows the bike to perform admirably on rougher surfaces, especially with the 25mm Continental tires. In fact, if we had our way, we’d spec the bike with even wider rubber.
The parts spec balances price with performance, and the return on investment is impressive. With an Ultegra drivetrain, FSA cockpit and crankset, and those HED wheels, you do away with the flash of more expensive components, but compromise virtually nothing on performance.