By now, you may have heard of Cervélo’s new rendition of its classic P3 time trial bike. A proven winner, the folks at Cervélo have trickled down their P5 tech to the less pocketbook-denting P3. With the intent of giving serious age-groupers a more affordable edge over the competition, Cervélo has increased the stiffness and speed in this frame to fit in well with the P-series family. With a bike that performs similarly to the P5 in aero tests, the price tag should have you seriously considering adding the new P3 to your stable.
Features of The New Design
Extended Seat Tube Cutout: The extended cutout of the seat tube keeps drag to a minimum–and I do mean a minimum. The wheel of the P3 is completely shielded by the cutout while it still allows your deep-Vs to keep their own aero advantages. The new curvature is noticeably less extreme than in past designs, which makes it a perfect match between the wheel and the frame.
Sliding Seat Rail Post: Like the P5, the P3 also includes a sliding seat rail post that allows for aero yet adjustable placing of your saddle to let you find that perfect position–not to mention it comes stock with the ISM Prologue Saddle.
BBright Bottom Bracket: While it’s been knocked in other models before, the BBright allows for a great stiffness to weight ratio while still offering a wide range of crank compatibility. For good measure, throw on those rotor rings and feel like Wiggo as you power smoothly down the road.
Aero Add-ons: Prepare to plug in a variety of storage options that keep you aero and minimize drag. With three different options for bottle placement–behind the saddle, on the downtube, and between the bars–you’re sure to find a space you love. The frame also includes bolts for an integrated top tube fuel pack, and space under the down tube for a battery pack.
Magura Brakes: Direct from the P5, the Magura brakes are easy to use, placed in a much more user-friendly spot, compatible with all wheelsets, and–oh yeah–they’re hydraulic. Although they’re not fully-integrated into the frame, the rear brake is shielded from the wind by the seat stay while improving airflow through the caliper to keep it aero. The great thing about this design (in case you were feeling bummed about it’s lack of integration)–it’s accessible for easy maintenance and repair.
Future-Proof Internal Cables: Make for sleek and aero routing inside the frame–including allowing for fixed cable housing through the downtube. It works with mechanic, electronic, and hydraulic brake cables. The design here makes it possible (and possibly even easy) to wrench, repair, or replace brakes and cables all by yourself. Which is a huge plus for the learning mechanic who doesn’t want to leave their bike in the shop each time the brakes need adjusting. While still a small thing, the cables do run along the outer side of the toptubes from each brake. While many won’t mind too much, the cables do call slight attention to themselves on such an aero bike.
What you get for the $5,400 price tag:
- Dura-Ace 9000, 11-25: 11-speeds are plenty to love
- Magura Caliper/Lever Set – RT6
- 3T Aura Pro Handle & Aero Bars
- ISM Prologue Saddle
- Mavic Cosmic Elite–decent stock wheels, but perhaps an upgrade is in order before your race. But that’s any new bike, right?
- Serious, serious speed. With superbike DNA, the P3 has plenty of features to make you open your wallet and buy.
Easy wrenching keep this bike on the top of the list for the do-it-yourself and traveling triathlete. With not-so-weird components, and familiar lines, the P3 allows even the learning mechanic the possibility of keeping up with repairs and maintenance themselves. The front-end components boast standard stem and bars that every cyclist will recognize. Plus packing and unpacking your bike box will be much simpler without all those integrated parts.
Who Should Buy It:
If you’re serious about triathlon, and possibly even making a trip to Kona, get the P3. Because it’s aimed at age-group contenders, it offers lots of the P5 whallup without the price tag. It is certainly one of the fastest–if not THE fastest–bike you can buy for under $6,000. And as a Cervélo owner myself, I can attest to the stiffness, feel, and quickness of the brand. Plus, you’ll be the envy of all your triathlete friends.