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    Cervelo R3 vs RS

    How big a different is there between these two bikes, assuming the exact same size (56cm)? From the spec, I know the RS has about 20cm longer head tube, and a bit longer chainstay, but I am looking for how different they would feel riding-wise, and more specifically, how much more "relaxed and comfortable" position the RS offers more than R3.

    I was all set on a RS, but can't find the perfect combination of size/component/price, but I can get a R3 in a good deal.

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    I have never ridden a RS but I am 51 years old and stiff as a board (if I bend over to touch my toes, I can only get within 10 inches). My R3 is extremely comfortable and I have it set up in a pretty aggressive position. Some of my country farm roads are pretty rough and it rides these roads amazingly well. What a great bike.

    I can't even imagine wanting a more "relaxed and comfortable" bike. I certainly wouldn't pay more for a RS.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    The only position difference is the longer head tube on the RS.

    If you don't need the bars up high then the R3 can be set up for the same position. If you're ok with having the stem flipped up then that's about the difference between the two bikes (R3 bars would be at the same height as the RS's with the same spacers but with the stem turned up on the R3). It really depends on how high you want your bars. If you have long legs for your height you may need them pretty high to match the high seat height.

    The longer stays on the RS seem like a good idea- the R3's are a little short, at least in the larger sizes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
    I have never ridden a RS but I am 51 years old and stiff as a board (if I bend over to touch my toes, I can only get within 10 inches). My R3 is extremely comfortable and I have it set up in a pretty aggressive position. Some of my country farm roads are pretty rough and it rides these roads amazingly well. What a great bike.

    I can't even imagine wanting a more "relaxed and comfortable" bike. I certainly wouldn't pay more for a RS.
    That's great info, and thanks. I am kind of like you, pretty stiff. What others have you ridden that you would consider to be too aggressive to be comfortable?

    Just as a baseline, I am riding a Scott CR1 right now, and I am trying to move to a more plush ride from that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Unagidon's Avatar
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    Never ridden R3, but I have my RS set-up pretty comfortably (pretty much 0 seat to bar drop). Don't think you can do that with an R3. So it really depends on how much drop you're comfy with. If I was more flexible and had longer arms, I would probably go with R3 too, especially if there's a good price on one that fits!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unagidon View Post
    Never ridden R3, but I have my RS set-up pretty comfortably (pretty much 0 seat to bar drop). Don't think you can do that with an R3. So it really depends on how much drop you're comfy with. If I was more flexible and had longer arms, I would probably go with R3 too, especially if there's a good price on one that fits!


    Wow, if I needed the bars that high I probably would need the RS. I have my R3 set up with the bars about 3-4" below my saddle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unagidon View Post
    Never ridden R3, but I have my RS set-up pretty comfortably (pretty much 0 seat to bar drop). Don't think you can do that with an R3. So it really depends on how much drop you're comfy with. If I was more flexible and had longer arms, I would probably go with R3 too, especially if there's a good price on one that fits!

    Unagidon, what's the offset between saddle and handlebar on your bike?

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    these are 2 different tools

    the ht difference is 20 mm not 20 cm and the chain stay difference is 11 mm

    depending on your body type, flexibility, and core strength, the correct fit for you would be determined. if you do not have the body characteristics to accomodate a larger saddle->handlebar drop, you'll be stuck building an R3 with a longer steerer tube and a big stack of spacers under your handlebars. whereas the RS would better accomodate a more upright position (not that you cant get plenty aero, it's really a matter of body type).

    the longer chainstays on the RS equate to a longer wheelbase. the effective ride quality difference will be that the R3 will handle quicker. to some that is twitchy and unstable feeling, to others it is OK.

    go to contes in arlington and talk to scott about the differences between the 2, your body type and physical characteristics, intended use, then decide which is your best purchase. these are premium bicycles, at this level of bicycle you shouldnt be "compromising" for a deal, you should be getting the appropriate tool for your body type and intended use.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I believe at the Paris Roubaix, the RS was used by some but not all the Cervelo Test Team riders. But the RS had a change out to a different fork that allowed for the bumpy ride.

    On climbs, the tangible difference to me was the acceleration. Its like watching Alberto Contador accelerating on a climb and off the saddle. On flats, I didn't feel much difference. Mine was a 51. I only tested the R3 for 2 days.

    If you remove the spacers, you can still get a stem with more angle to get the bars higher, if that's what you need.

    Both bikes will cost a lot. I wouldn't be fooled by the RS pricing. Once you add the wheels that you really like, and the really nice 3T bars, you will end up with a 4k + bike anyways. I added the Rotor Rings which aren't cheap.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Eclectus's Avatar
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    Test ride the bike you want to buy. I mean a couple hours on the routes and conditions you expect to ride. Use your own saddle and pedals. If you're going to buy at an LBS, and are seriously gonna give them $4-5 k, spend some time on the bike, have them switch stems and bar height, get it dialed in as best as possible, then decide.

    I have a perfect-fitting RS. For me, not other people. Saddle-bar drop is 3 inches, I can go lower, and may next spring. It can take 28 tires for crappy surfaces, but so far 23 Conti 4000s are fine, the 3T Funda fork is great. I did 5000 mi over the summer.

    If the R3 feels great to you, get it.

    I got mine at bikesales.com, which priced frame at list (now discounted) with amazingly low components prices for a custom build. I would have gone with competitivecyclist.com, but they couldn't come close to matching. My LBS is strictly a factory bike place, custom build goes to the moon because they don't have high-volume components buying power.

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    Thanks for the info. I was at Conte's in both Bethesda and Arlington and may go back for a visit to test ride. I think I know the RS would be better for me, but it seems they are harder to find. I am a bit of wrench myself and have enough knowledge about fitting to be dangerous, so I can build one with necessary modifications needed to get myself fitted. And that's where the R3 question comes in. Like you said, the HT difference is easy, but wasn't sure about how big a difference in that 11 mm difference in the chainstay in terms of handling. My current Scott Cr1's chainstay (405mm) is between the RS (410mm) and R3 (399mm), and it feels about right in terms of handling.

    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    these are 2 different tools

    the ht difference is 20 mm not 20 cm and the chain stay difference is 11 mm

    depending on your body type, flexibility, and core strength, the correct fit for you would be determined. if you do not have the body characteristics to accomodate a larger saddle->handlebar drop, you'll be stuck building an R3 with a longer steerer tube and a big stack of spacers under your handlebars. whereas the RS would better accomodate a more upright position (not that you cant get plenty aero, it's really a matter of body type).

    the longer chainstays on the RS equate to a longer wheelbase. the effective ride quality difference will be that the R3 will handle quicker. to some that is twitchy and unstable feeling, to others it is OK.

    go to contes in arlington and talk to scott about the differences between the 2, your body type and physical characteristics, intended use, then decide which is your best purchase. these are premium bicycles, at this level of bicycle you shouldnt be "compromising" for a deal, you should be getting the appropriate tool for your body type and intended use.

  12. #12
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    bikesales or bikesale

    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectus View Post
    Test ride the bike you want to buy. I mean a couple hours on the routes and conditions you expect to ride. Use your own saddle and pedals. If you're going to buy at an LBS, and are seriously gonna give them $4-5 k, spend some time on the bike, have them switch stems and bar height, get it dialed in as best as possible, then decide.

    I have a perfect-fitting RS. For me, not other people. Saddle-bar drop is 3 inches, I can go lower, and may next spring. It can take 28 tires for crappy surfaces, but so far 23 Conti 4000s are fine, the 3T Funda fork is great. I did 5000 mi over the summer.

    If the R3 feels great to you, get it.

    I got mine at bikesales.com, which priced frame at list (now discounted) with amazingly low components prices for a custom build. I would have gone with competitivecyclist.com, but they couldn't come close to matching. My LBS is strictly a factory bike place, custom build goes to the moon because they don't have high-volume components buying power.
    eclectus - was that bikesales.com (australia) or bikesale.com (bothell, wa)??

  13. #13
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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