The all-new Cervelo P3
article & images by Nick Salazar
Apr 16, 2013  hits 532,437

The all-new Cervelo P3

It's been coming for years, yet still came as a complete surprise to everyone in the industry. The all new Cervelo P3 represents a complete revamping of the storied Cervelo stalwart, and is an absolutely worthy successor to its popular and successful namesake. Just a couple weeks before the launch, select members of the media received an invitation to a secret event hosted by Cervelo, to take place at a beautiful estate in the outskirts of Longmont, Colorado, in the countryside just North of Boulder. With no further information, I happily drove to the idyllic manor that I nicknamed 'Chateau Cervelo,' and was presented with a product offering that was both inevitable and unexpected. After eight years of undeniable success, Cervelo had made a brand new bike to carry on the P3 name.

Before we go any further, the important details. The new P3 is available RIGHT NOW. It's being shipped in only one configuration at present, with Shimano 9000 mechanical, Magura RT6-TT hydraulic brakes, a 3T Aura aerobar, and Adamo Prologue saddle, for $5400. Not every size is being shipped at launch (just the 51cm, 54cm, and 56cm), but all other sizes are available in the coming months, including a 48cm in 700c and a 45cm in 650c for you small riders, and up to 61cm on the large side. The "Classic" P3 will continue to be available for the time being, at its current price point.

Chateau Cervelo, frosted by the random Colorado Spring snow.

I think that the best way to describe the new P3 would be to call it a "P5 Light." Much of the frame is identical to Cervelo's flagship P5, except that the rear brake has been moved back to a conventional position above the seat stays instead of below the bottom bracket. The new P3 also uses a more cost-effective layup schedule that makes it a little less stiff than the P5. Aerodynamically, the P3 will be nearly as fast as its bigger brother. Cervelo designed the rear brake such that it represents no aero penalty (stated differently, the rear brake is invisible to the wind). This still isn't as fast as the P5, where the absence of the rear brake allows Cervelo to make an even faster shape via the huge gussets in front of and behind the seat tube. We asked Cervelo co-founder Phil White all about this bike and its design cues. Check out the full interview below:

Hit the jump for all the ins and outs of the new Cervelo P3.

Tags » cervelo,  frames,  p3bike
  • This is the all new Cervelo P3, born from the DNA of the flagship P5.
  • Out in the snow, the new P3 still looks quite beautiful.
  • The bike is currently shipping with a Dura-Ace mechanical drivetrain, Magura brakes, and a 3T Aduro aerobar.
  • As gorgeous as this bike is, I'm still quite excited to build one up TriRig style.
  • Cervelo has done a lot of thinking about ideal tube shapes to shield airflow over a water bottle.
  • The new P3 has the same truncated airfoil around the bottle cage as seen on the P5 and S5.
  • A traditional rear brake placement makes the P3 more economical, but Cervelo says that the shielding seat stays virtually eliminate any aero penalty from using them here.
  • The rear brake cable exits on top of the top tube.
  • Another view of the P3's rear cluster.
  • Cervelo is shipping every new P3 with an Adamo Prologue saddle. Nice!
  • The P3 has top tube bosses for mounting accessories like this XLab bento box.
  • A replaceable top tube insert swaps out depending on what drivetrain you run.
  • The beefy BBRight bottom bracket.
  • Another view of the BBRight.
  • A view of how the P3's seat stays shield the rear brake.
  • Viewed from the front, you can see how the P3's frontal profile is a dead ringer for the P5.
  • The simplified bottom bracket is easy to use, and part of the trick to the P3's lower price tag.
  • Lots of clearance for different types of wheels.
  • Here you can see how thick the P3's chainstays are in their run up to the cassette.
  • Another shot of the P3 BB cluster.
  • The new P3 has the same fork as the P5-Three, right down to the internal steering lock mechanism.
  • Perhaps the most obvious drawback to a traditional rear brake placement is that it requires a bit of exposed cable run to get to the cable entry.
  • The frontal profile is nice and tight, the only visible cable being the one going to the rear brake.
  • The all new P3 hanging out at Chateau Cervelo.
  • Rain or shine, the P3 is ready to ride.
  • Lots of options for different hydration and nutrition storage locations.
  • A top-tube accessory boss uses the same bottle cage spacing that has become a de facto industry standard since first seen on the Trek Speed Concept, and later on other rides like Cervelo's own P5.
  • Cervelo had a small fleet of test bikes available to ride, and already has a large inventory of bikes ready for immediate sale.
  • Truncated airfoils on the bottle cage area help smooth airflow over water bottles according to Cervelo.
  • The P3's simplified bottom bracket area makes for a more economical build price, and still makes routing a cinch.
  • Different inserts and caps for the various cable ports make the new P3 future proof.
  • The beautiful home that Cervelo rented for the event sat in the scenic Longmont countryside.
  • Fitter and FiftyONEspeedshop founder Mat Steinmetz was on site for the day's events.
  • Some interesting decor at Chateau Cervelo.
  • It's a rough job, but someone has to slouch on this sofa to watch the presentation. From left to right: Lava Magazine's Jay Prasuhn, Slowtwitch editor Herbert Krabel, and Mat Steinmetz.
  • Phil White is always excited to talk about bikes.
  • A basic chart showing where the new P3 sits relative to other bikes. I'd like to know the true delta between the P3 and P5, when using the same equipment (in this chart, they have different front ends).
  • Cervelo has studied the ideal locations for fuel and hydration, and optimized their frames to take advantage of them.
  • The P3's critical front end is virtually identical to that of the P5.

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