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Cervélo’s P3 can stand on its own. It has a pedigree that is hard to beat, with victories in the most prestigious timed events around the world, be it in bike racing or triathlon. But it’s success was eclipsed by Cervélo’s P5, and some of the genius behind the newest, greatest steed, has been shared with the older platform.
They reworked the P3, from head to tail, tugging, slimming, expanding, and more. The fork has a tapered steerer, with 1 1/8” at the top and 1 3/8” at the bottom. Not every timed event bike has this, and it’s a pity they don’t. The larger bearing makes for a more predictable ride, with better tracking in corners and better hewing to a straight line when standing on the pedals. Some companies worry that the larger diameter means more frontal area: Cervélo solved the problem by better integrating the fork crown with the downtube and elongating the material behind the head tube to smooth out air flow.
But there’s more. The downtube drops to better hug the front wheel, keeping the air wide as it transitions from the front wheel to the bike. At the bottom is a BBright bottom bracket, which provided Cervélo with not only a stiffer crank, but a wider easel in which to shape the carbon for maximum stiffness and aerodynamics, and minimum weight.
The downtube’s trailing edge is shaped to better shroud a downtube-mounted water bottle. There’s a single boss directly above the bottom bracket for those who have a creative bent to find a use. The seat tube has been shaped to hide the rear wheel, which can fit tires up to 23mm in width, and the seat stay “crown” hides the rear brake. BTW, the choice to use conventional brakes was deliberate. It makes setup, use, and travel much easier.
The seatpost is aero, of course, but more important is the rail-like top for the adjustable clamp. You get 75mm of fore-aft adjustment. This should be more than enough to help you get into almost any position you desire.
The cable routing is future-proof. This means it comes with both stops for cable housing and plugs for electronic wiring. If you go electronic, you mount the battery at the bottom of the downtube, as the seatpost is too narrow for an internal battery.
Because this bike will see use by multi-sport athletes, there are two bosses atop the top tube. Any number of bags, boxes, cases that are designed to sit here. These can help with food storage, gear, and even help with aerodynamics.
The Cervélo P3 gives you an edge that world-class cyclists have taken advantage of, and that plenty of working athletes have piloted at local, regional, and national races, to great success.