Soloist Carbon vs. R3

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by ccrnnr9, May 12, 2007.

  1. ccrnnr9

    ccrnnr9 New Member

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    I work for a shop and can get good deals on cervelos. I am set on getting one or the other and love them both but must choose. The price on the two will be identical and I will get the ultegra kit with whichever I get. I will be racing whichever I get (mainly road races) and doing lots of solo training and some group rides. I love to climb and live in an area with rough roads and lots of wind. I am leaning towards the R3 for these reasons but the soloist carbon is such a nice frame as well. What do you guys think? Also, if it makes a difference, the bike will eventually be parted out and swapped to either a chorus/centaur mix or rival/force mix (w/ DA cranks regardkess) and reynolds alta race wheelset.
    ~Nick
     
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  2. Thom_y

    Thom_y New Member

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    I was somewhat in the same situation last year. I don't race, but I couldn't decide between the superlight R3 or the aero, cool SLC. My LBS only had the R3 available to test drive, which I loved after a 2 hour ride.

    Stiff, but remarkably comfortable, fast, and much more fun than my first generation Trek 5200. I went on my usual hilly short ride to test it out, and found that I was climbing hills in about 2-4 higher gears than my older bike. (Of course, it is 4 lbs lighter !!!!!) (I ended up replacing the stock FSA cranks for the K-Force compact, which is great for me.)

    But, I had to decide without ever riding the Soloist Carbon. In the end, the more I read the reviews between the lines I realized the R3 was the better choice for me, given that some of the roads that I train on can be rather broken up and rough. (Go to the cervelo.com pages and read some of the reviews closely and you realize the SLC is not known for its comfort, especially when the tarmac gets broken up)

    The vertical compliance of the R3 just swallows up those ripples (now I appreciate why it excels in the cobbles). Yet, the superlight weight and stiff bottom end makes hill climbing a whole lot more fun. Now, I can keep up with my riding partners who are 15 to 17 years younger than my 47+ years. Now, they hate when I pass them on the hills with less effort.

    The only problem, last summer the R3 was on back order and I didn't get it until late in the season. Now, I have about 1000 km on the bike and I absolutely love it. It was a great choice. Now my LBS has the SLC in the window and I'm tempted to give it a ride just to see what I missed out on. (Of course, I was also wondering about the SLC-SL ... but let's not get carried away)

    I was speaking to the guys in the LBS who just got back from a Cervelo seminar. They were telling me the R3 is one of the stiffest bikes ever tested in the pro peleton, but what is amazing is how it is also one of the most comfortable. I don't think you will go wrong with the R3, given your roads and love of hills !!! I changed my bars to K-wings, upgraded the crankset (as above) and switch the wheels to Ksyrium's. Now, I am thinking about light aero wheels instead.
     
  3. ccrnnr9

    ccrnnr9 New Member

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    Thanks for the thorough reply. I am in a similar situation in that although we carry cervelo, we only have the SLC on the floor built up. I will have to order and R3 without a test ride. I am a little nervous about that but then again for the price, I can get the R3 for a steal. I think I will be ordering today which has me a bit excited. Looking forward to getting the bike!
    ~Nick
     
  4. Thom_y

    Thom_y New Member

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    Presumably, you have taken one of your SLC's out for a test ride on your typical roads ... what did you think about the ride ?
     
  5. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    one thing I find kinda funny is that Cervelo don't seem to wanna concede that the R3 is lacking is any way over the carbon Soloist (apart, perhaps, from aerodynamics) when they tell us how awesome the R3 is for its super- light weight and ability to soak up bumps

    I've never ridden either frame, but I can't see how the R3, while being touted as super-super-light and super-forgiving, can be as stiff as the Soloist when the R3 is 200 to 300g lighter. :) I figure, with such a weight difference, something has to give: either rigidity or durability/strength.
     
  6. Thom_y

    Thom_y New Member

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    In fact, the R3 is significantly stiffer in the bottom bracket than the Soloist Carbon, while weighing few hundred grams less. Yet, it is more comfortable as well. That is the magic of that frame and their engineering. Remember, Cervelo (unlike many bike companies) is primarily run by a group of engineers (not marketing types). I think they are one of the few companies that really has hit the nail getting the stiffness/weight ratio thing down pat. In Canada, the bikes are dollar for dollar a better value than most frames out there (IMO). Time will tell whether there was a durability issue (e.g. Cervelo R2.5 problems), but you would think after two Paris-Roubaix races, plus cross races, we would know how the frame holds up to abuse. I am impressed ... find one to ride to see for yourself !!!!
     
  7. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    that's the exactly the sort of thing I was talking about!! :) If the R3 can "do it all", then why can't they make the Soloist just as light, or at least quite a bit lighter? Something has to give -- is it just aerodynamics? There is mention on the Cervelo sight of the cabon Soloist being durable, but not so of the R3, so maybe it ain't as strong in the long run.

    anyway, don't get me wrong; I love Cervelos, and I have 2 of them!! I can't afford another :)

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    Hey ccr can you post the dealer price of a Cervelo CF Soloist - F&F, complete Ultegra, and complete Dura Ace bike? Also Zipp 404 wheels and an ergome pro powermeter?

    I got a CF Soloist with an ergomo pro and Zipp 404s but I can't ride it because it's in Chicago and I'm working a temp contract job in Houston for up to a year.

    Saw a group ride of 30 roadbikers and 3 of them had CF Soloists. But they weren't as good as mine but mine was all ebay for $5400. They must have paid more for their's.

    I'm very happy with my AL and CF Soloist but I haven't even got a ride of my 404's yet! And the 404 clinchers give a cracking sound when you pump them with air - sound like delamination to me.
     
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