Cervélo is a powerhouse in triathlon and time trial, with a wide range of unique bikes. While their P5X remains in the top spot for tri-specific bikes, there was no down-spec option below $12k – until now. The new P3X starts at $8,000, and is both lighter and stiffer than its big brother thanks to an all-new frame and new manufacturing location.

All images courtesy Cervelo.

Cervélo P3X disc brake triathlon bike

Cervélo has been on a tear lately, having recently introduced their fastest TT bike ever, the new P5 disc brake. It serves as the UCI-legal brethren to the triathlon-specific P5X, which is NOT approved for UCI races. How do you know which one to choose? Here’s the Cliff’s notes from our recent Cervélo coverage:

“If you’re racing long-distance triathlon and need to carry a bunch of stuff, the P5X is faster – due to its efficient storage. If you were to attach all of these things to the outside of a P5, the penalty would be significant. If you ride the P5 in a minimalist fashion (a la 40k TT), it is faster than the P5X.”

That said, where does the new P3X fit in? In a nutshell, it’s a down-spec version of the P5X, using a similar non-UCI-legal design, ample storage, and Shimano Ultegra Di2 components.

The heart of the P3X is an all-new frame that has some significant upgrades compared to the pricier P5X frame set:

  • 16% lighter frame
  • 13% lighter base bar
  • 8% lighter Speed Riser
  • 43% lighter Speedpak Storage
  • 22% lighter seat post and rear hydration mount

The frame improvements come due in-part to a new frame manufacturer and economies of scale. The P5X was manufactured in the USA by Hed Cycling, the new P3X is made in Asia, using resources from parent-company PON Holdings (who owns other reputable brands like Santa Cruz and Focus).

While the basic silhouette looks very similar to the P5X, there are some subtle changes to the downtube, which has less surface area and different storage box.

The P3X uses the Cervélo Speed Riser aerobar system, for quick and easy adjustment and fit. Using a 4mm allen key, you can change your front end height much more quickly than a traditional headset and spacer configuration.

Perhaps the biggest upgrade for the P3X over the pricier P5X is larger tire clearance. While the P5X is only officially approved for 25mm tires, the P3X can handle 28mm rubber.

Like the P5X, the new P3X has four sizes. This is the biggest departure from the new UCI-legal P5, which as five available sizes. The P3X uses their clever online tool, helping prescribe bike size based on the user’s input of stack, reach, and saddle height.

Click to enlarge.

The P3X is available in two build levels of Ultegra Di2, starting at $8,000 and $12,000. Key differences between the two are tires (Continental Grand Prix SL vs 4000 S II), cassette (105 vs Ultegra), and wheels (DT Swiss P1800 Spline 32 Disc vs ARC 1450 DiCut 48/62 Disc). Check out more about the new P3X at the link below.


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3 years ago

Nice looking bike but they’re out of their mind with that price point.

3 years ago

what are you talking about title says cheaper

3 years ago

one could even call it dirt cheap…

3 years ago

ROFL… The “bargain” version is $8000… that is hilarious. There is perhaps no better bike to exemplify what is wrong with both cycling and humanity then this “thing”. Bought by people with too much money and far too high an opinion of themselves.

Kimberly Theiss
Kimberly Theiss
3 years ago

I am looking at the p3x versus p5 2016 – ironman distance and yes I carry water, bike repair kit etc. I am concerned about weight of bike versus p5. I need every minute I can get on bike. My p5 brakes always bleed out and find in shop a lot. thoughts – should I buy the p3x?