C3 Disc Road Frameset
While we may wish we had the fitness of the cyclists we watch in the Spring Classics, chances are we just aren't quite the same specimens of fitness as they are, and maybe — just maybe, we don't need to head out on our long weekend adventures cramped up on race-tuned aerodynamic steeds. Now, don't get us wrong, we don't want to sell you short — rather we think there are some top-tier options out there that may just be a bit more fitting for those of us embarking on casual weekend Fondos, and scenic country rides, like Cervelo's C3 Disc Road Frameset. Built with a combination of aerodynamics and comfort in mind, the C3 Frame makes the ideal partner for those of us who both want to go far, and fast, as it combines a more upright cockpit position that keeps our back elongated and relaxed, and aerodynamic tubes that take queues from Cervelo's leading race-series steeds. Combined with wider chainstays with room for lofty 32-millimeter tires, the C3 is built to comfortably take you down long and dusty roads, and off onto hard-packed dirt and gravel adventures.
Cervelo's designers try to find a balance when it comes to riding position. While sitting upright is undoubtedly comfortable, we don't want to feel like we're on the way to go grocery shopping on a beach cruiser when we're hammering into mile 85 of a Gran Fondo — and inversely we prefer to avoid a cramped up aero fit through the long miles. Cervelo strikes an ideal balance in between the two extremes with a 7mm lift above the head tube in the R3, and a steep seat tube that still keeps you forward in the cockpit. This translates to a bit more comfort, without completely tossing aerodynamics out the window, so you can go far, fast.
The C3 may lend some visual queues to Cervelo's Race-series bikes. You'll spot the same Squoval down-tube technology that offer the rigidity of square tubes for torsional stiffness, much like its siblings, and it even packs in the oversized BBRight bottom bracket shell that adds an extra 11mm of material to the non-driveside adding even more rigidity to the frame with its beefy anchor point. But from there, things start to stray to a different zone with a slightly longer head tube to provide a slightly more upright fit, and significantly lower bottom bracket. The low bottom bracket pairs up with long chainstays to stretch out the wheel base and elevate stability, keeping you in control when you're departing the tarmac for new adventures.
If your bike research has left you glancing at Cervelo's C3 and C5 and scratching your head to figure out the difference, we'll tell you that you won't find any in the geometry department. That means, despite the break in price, the C3 will offer you the exact same quick-and-comfortable engineering as its pricier partner. However the two frames drift apart in the carbon-fiber department. The C3 opts for a more economical layup, that, while stiff, doesn't provide quite the same feathery outcome as the C5's top level carbon, making the C3 an ideal option for those who don't mind a couple of grams, especially when it comes with a more pocket-friendly price tag.
- Endurance geometry meets aerodynamics in this versatile ride
- Carbon fiber construction is light, stiff, and reliable
- Squoval downtube elevates stiffness for power and control
- Slight upright position enhances comfort off the road
- Wide, low bottom bracket is stiff and stable
- Room for lofty 32mm tires for damping jarring gravel roads
- Long chainstays and slack headtube keep things steady on gravel roads