Cervélo S3

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
16.89, 19.07 lbs
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Cervélo S3. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

14 reasons to buy

  • Internally routed cables and a slender carbon frame give the Cervelo S3 a pristine appearance.
  • The geometry of the bike sets riders in a position for extremely efficient power transfer. This is ideal for breakaways and sprints.
  • Cervelo offers the bike with rim or disc brakes.
  • The S3 is capable of racing. The bike is geared to take on a variety of terrain.
  • Test riders describe the Cervelo S3 as a quiet ride. The bottom bracket is silent despite being press-fit.
  • The carbon frame provides stiffness that assists riders while climbing on the bike.
  • Most S3’s come with Continental Grand Prix tires. Experts found these tires to be fast-rolling and offer a smooth ride on pavement.
  • Testers were pleased to see that the Cervelo S3 comes with a Prologo Dimension saddle, which is comfortable for many riders.
  • On the S3, vibration dampening is assisted by a tire clearance of up to 30mm, along with skinny seat stays.
  • The bike uses a quill stem and fork set up for a cleanly integrated front end.
  • Experts agree the S3's geometry and componentry offer the perfect balance between stability, stiffness and speed, for long days in the saddle.
  • Cervelo offers the bike with wireless shifting. These builds shifted very smoothly and cleanly.
  • The bike has a RAT axle system making wheel swaps quicker for riders.
  • The bike’s geometry places riders in a position to respond quickly to obstacles and maneuver the bike with ease

5 reasons not to buy

  • The Cervelo S3 has a high price tag for most.
  • One expert noted the RAT axle system took time to get used to and slows down wheel swaps until the rider can use the set up with ease.
  • The cockpit utilizes split spacers to adjust the height of the bars. Test riders noted that making these adjustments is not a simple task.
  • The bike does not come tubeless-ready.
  • Experts agree that the press-fit bottom bracket on the S3 is harder to maintain than threaded bottom brackets utilized on others in its category.

Bottom line

The Cervelo S3 is a masterful sprinter in the aero road bike category. It has numerous characteristics that define this bike as sleek and aerodynamic. These include an integrated fork and stem, RAT thru-axles, a carbon frame and internal cable routing. The bike has clearance for tires up to 30mm. Unfortunately, the S3 does not come tubeless-ready. The RAT thru-axle system is not efficient for most riders without taking the time to learn to use it. Additionally, adjustments with split spacers in the cockpit were difficult for testers. Once riders grew comfortable with these two systems, they did find them useful. Overall, the bike is fast yet efficient enough to be an all-around road bike.

Expert Reviews

80/100 based on 2 rated expert reviews
Cycling Weekly

Cervélo S3 Ultegra Di2 Disc

The S3 is only available in two complete builds or a frame only package. We tested the top-end electronic Ultegra Di2 equipped version.

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Cervélo S3 Disc Ultegra Review

On the road, the S3 accelerates effortlessly and silently.

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GC Performance

Cervelo S3 Aero Road Bike (Tarmac SL7 Competition?!?) *Smoothest Integrated Stem?????*

This comes with mechanical Ultegra 11-speed, and it comes with aluminum aero DT Swiss P1800 wheels.

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User Ratings

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Bike Comparison

Cervélo S3 in comparison to averages