‘Stronger, stiffer, faster’ is the overused tagline for the new World Championship-winning Cervélo S3, the latest Disc Ultegra Di2 model takes on disc brakes for the first time. But despite the ability to jockey for space at the front of the peloton, this bike lacked certain crucial elements.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What’s the best road bike for Mallorca?

Cervélo S3 Disc Ultegra Di2 | 7.78 kg | € 7,299

A bold-looking bike with its oversize aero design, the Cervélo S3 Disc Ultegra Di2 is certainly no wallflower – and nor does it act like one. With superb stiffness, the frame transmits power expertly to the road, accelerating with force and demonstrating an ability to hold and change lines seamlessly at high speeds thanks to the distinctive Enve wheelset. With a 35 mm deep rim at the front and a 45 mm rim at the rear, the bike tears along flat tarmac without fear of crosswinds. However, the presence of the fairly average 23 mm Continental Grand Sport Race SL tires stands at odds with the rest of this irrefutably high-end bike, especially considering its € 7,299 asking price.

“A bold-looking bike with its oversize aero design, the Cervélo S3 Disc is certainly no wallflower.”

The 7.78 kg S3 Disc cuts a noble figure on the climbs, but the flex in the aero cockpit is more of a hindrance for out-of-the-saddle efforts and offers little in the way of confidence when taking quick turns on descents. This is alleviated somewhat by the stiffness of the fork that keeps the bike on track while braking. On longer test rides we’d have liked a bit more comfort from the back end of the bike.

Helmet POC Octal Avip | Glasses Oakley Jawbraker | Jersey Isadore Long Sleeve Jersey | Gilet Bontrager Race Windhsell Vest | Bibs Isadore Climbers Bib Shorts | Socks The Wonderful Socks TWS#1 | Shoes Fizik R4B Uomo

But while the bike rides well (aside from the sketchiness of the bars), there’s a sense that the Cervélo is missing some love for detail. The conventional stem and flat aero bars have a design that screams wind-slicing ability, but the lack of integration results in an untidy finish and you’ll struggle to fit a bike light or anything else on the bars. It’ll be a harrowing sight that you’ll be faced with on every ride. The seat clamp proved another sore point as it failed to tighten sufficiently. Commanding such a steep price, these strike us as features that should be sorted. In terms of visuals, the shininess of the red, dark blue and black is – contrary to popular opinion – actually a mix that works on this bike to lend it some serious panache.

The Cervélo S3 Disc Ultegra Di2 in detail

Drivetrain Shimano Ultegra Di2 Hydraulic
Wheelset ENVE SES 3.4 for Cévelo
Brakes Shimano Ultegra Disc
Tires Continental Grand Sport Race, 700x23C
Weight 7.78 kg
Price € 7,299
More Info cervelo.com

The Marmite amongst cockpits
between those who love the option to customize and those who prefer full integration and a tidier look. Either way, we’d prefer to avoid the flex of these aero bars while taking corners and sprinting.
The seatpost clamp doesn’t deliver the required performance.
A lesson in efficiency
a bottom bracket more massive would be a rarity.
Full aero
We love this burly aero design of the S3 Disc, but certain features are missing a love for detail.

Geometry
Cervélo S3 Disc Ultegra Di2

Conclusion

So who is this bike actually suited to? The easy answer would be riders who appreciate a handsome frame with an aero attitude and the freedom to set up the cockpit how they like. After all, despite our complaints, full integration does limit easy customization. However, in this group test there are other bikes with a better performance and overall concept at a more attractive price.

Strengths

+ Frame
+ Acceleration

Weaknesses

– No love for details
– Seatpost clamp
– A not-so-considered spec

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What’s the best road bike for Mallorca?

All bikes in test: BMC Teammachine SLR01Cannondale SuperSix Evo HiMod Ultegra Di2 DiscCanyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc 8.0 Di2Festka Spectre Space Odyssey EditionGiant TCR Advanced Pro DiscHeroïn H1 Limited EditionLapierre Xelius SL 700 UltimateRose X-Lite CDX 8800 | Standert. KreissägeStelbel AntenoreTrek Madone 9.5 Ultegra Di2


This article belongs to the GRAN FONDO Issue #004. For the full interactive experience we recommend reading it in our magazine app for iPhone & iPad – it’s awesome – and free!

Words: Robin Schmitt, Manuel Buck, Benjamin Topf Photos: Julian Mittelstädt, Valentin Rühl