Yesterday we took a close look at Cervélo’s new top S5 aero road bike, with its fully integrated front end & split stem design. But for road riders looking for a slippery, aero ride without going overboard on the integration or even price, the more affordable S3 still looks like a fast, premium aero road bike, plus it also offers the choice or rim or disc brakes.

2019 Cervélo S3 carbon aero road bike

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models

Cervelo just called the S5 the fastest bike in the world, making incremental aero gains over the previous generation. But the new S3 makes even larger aero & weight gains over its predecessor too. It also looks surprisingly similar to the last bike we heard make that World’s Best claim, especially in that fluorescent green version. That’s not to detract from either bike, which each go about aero with the own unique approach. But it just further backs up Cervelo’s comment that it is getting harder to eke out more aerodynamic gains with each redesign as bikes approach #PeakAero.

The new Cervelo S3 is also More Aero, Stiffer, and even Lighter

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models

While the new S5 cut 5W off its predecessor, the new S3 does even better, shaving 13W off the previous S3 Disc and 7W off the previous rim brake S3. That partly comes down to revised tube shaping especially in the headtube of the new bike, but also due to the new fully internal cable routing and the smoother integrations between the fork crown & downtube.

Like the S5, the S3 also gets a stiffer bottom bracket for improved power transfer. But Cervelo talks about stiffness more as balancing BB stiffness with headtube stiffness so power output feel matches that of the bike’s handling as well.

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models
2019 Cervélo S3 Disc brake frameset

The new S3 also shaves around 68g of the old disc version (no weight savings apparently for the rim brake bike.) That’s not a huge difference, but the same revised tube shaping and carbon layup that make the bike stiffer, also allowed Cervelo to shed some extra weight.

New Cervelo S3 aero road bike – Geometry

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models

Like its big brother, the new S3 mostly carries over geometry from its predecessor, while also getting the same trail figure across all sizes and additional size-specific bottom bracket drop for most consistent handling for all riders.

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models geometry

Headtube & seattube angles are the same as the S5, but the S3 features slightly higher stack and slightly shorter reach for a more comfortable, still aero fit.

The new S3 also retains that larger 61cm frame size that the S5 eliminated.

2019 Cervelo S3 aero road bike – Tech Details

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models

Like the more expensive bike, the S3 features a frame, fork, stem & handlebar all design to work together to neatly integrate cables.

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models

How that works appears to be external grooves in the Cervelo AB09 handlebar that extend beyond the clamping area into the stem.

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models

Then, even mechanical shift cables and the rear brake somehow make their way inside the frame. Cervelo doesn’t talk up the mechanic-friendliness of the S3’s routing, so we’d have to assume that it isn’t going to be as fun of a bike to set up.

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models

The new S3 uses a 1 1/4″ to 1 3/8″ tapered steerer, gets a BBRight bottom bracket, and a proprietary aero carbon seatpost with a hidden clamp. They also feature two-position water bottle bosses on the down tube for riding with a single bottle.

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models

The rim brake bike uses direct mount calipers on the traditional locations on the front of the fork & upper seatstays, with QR dropouts. The disc brake version gets 12mm thru-axles and flat mount disc calipers.

2019 Cervelo S3 aero road bike – Pricing & Availability

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models
2019 Cervélo S3 Rim brake frameset

The new S3 is available with both rim brake & disc brake variants, both as either a framesets or one of two complete builds. No matter if you prefer rim or disc brakes, either carbon frameset will cost you $4200 including frame, fork, headset, seatpost, stem & handlebar – with the disc frame in fluoro green/black and the rim brake frame in black/red.

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models
2019 Cervélo S3 Ultegra Disc

All of the complete bike builds feature complete Shimano Ultegra groupsets – either mechanical or electronic shift. An Ultegra mechanical rim brake bike will cost $5000 with alloy DT wheels, while the Ultegra Di2 rim brake bike sells for $6500 and gets 48mm deep carbon clinchers from Novatec. (Sorry, Cervelo hasn’t shared complete rim brake bike pictures with us yet.)

2019 Cervélo S3 Cervelo S3 carbon aero road bike, aero fast in rim brake or disc brake models
2019 Cervélo S3 Ultegra Di2 Disc

The Ultegra mechanical disc brake bike retails for $5500 with the alloy DT wheels, and for $7000 for the Ultegra Di2 disc brake bike with a disc brake version of the same Novatec carbon clinchers.

Cervelo.com

18 COMMENTS

  1. Nice note on the slightly different stack and reach while being mostly the same otherwise. That riser stem thing on the S5 has to add quite a bit of effective stack. I’m curious which one would actually go lower up front when you consider the ‘standard’ stem on the S3. I’m guessing there’s got to be some pro-only stem thing coming up, otherwise we are going to see the pro riders choosing the S3 over the S5….again.

    That 58 S3 is just about my dream geometry for something I could slam the stem on top of the headset for…since I need a slightly higher front end. Very nice!

    • “That riser stem thing on the S5 has to add quite a bit of effective stack”

      It looks taller, but a normal stem centers about 30-35mm above the top of the headset. The proprietary Cervelo bar/stem does away with all of that material. It probably equals out.

    • If this bike lost 2cm out of the stack i could consider it. I really love it other wise. The last iteration was preferred by many pros because it was more comfortable and predictable then the s5 but still maintained a big (not the biggest) aero advantage. My 2002 cdale caad7 has a reach of 393 and a stack of 55. Id have to go down to a 54 and run a 15cm stem to make this work.
      but hey degencob rides a 15 so i guess tha makes it normal.
      😉

  2. What about wheel width? Did I missed it in the article? I think in these days it should be always included in a text about a bike presentation. So, what is max. width for wheels for the S3?

    • Cervelo claims the max tire size for the S3 and S5 are 700×28’s. I’m highly skeptical of this only because i was in a shop this past week that had a brand new builty up S5 Ultegra Disc on the floor in a size 56. The Riviera and Black color was beautiful. The bike was wearing 25mm Conti Grand Prix Race tires and there was extremely little room left either between the front fork blades or the curved portion of the seatpost. I find it hard to believe that any legitimate 28mm tire would fit, but Cervelo claims it does. For this type of aero frame why would anyone want to run 28’s or more??? If you truly want to do that go with a C3, C5, or an R3 or R5.

  3. Saves weight? Eeuh, did i miss it, or didn’t you even mention the weight?
    It’s not even on Cervelo’s website…. Ridiculous.

    • They don’t come exactly ship. The hub are good value but wheels are quite expensive. It’s no zipp for sure but zipp went insane a long time ago. That bike is not exactly cheap neither but there might be some interesting deals some day.

  4. S3 is a MUCH better looking and handling bike than the S5. Save your hard-earned cash and buy the S3. In fact, if handling and ride quality is what you’re after (duh), go with any of the R-series bikes. Those frames are what defined Cervelo (2006 R3 redefined carbon design). Those are my 2.5 cents worth…:)

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