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: