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Joe Draper

Joe Draper

Salt Lake City, Utah

Joe Draper's Passions

Road Biking
Cyclocross
Mountain Biking

Joe Draper's Bio

XC racer, CC Gearhad, Bike Nerd

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on October 7, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'm a skinsuit-wearing, watt-counting, 100mm travel-loving XC nerd with likes his 2.2s, remote lockout, and aero helmet. I prefer a hardtail when I can swing one. The list of XC full-suspension bikes that I like is pretty short, and Santa Cruz's Blur TR currently sits at the top.

Because of my obsessive focus on efficient pedaling, I was intrigued by the Live Valve system, and I jumped at the opportunity to demo it.

I took 2 primary conclusions away from my week-long demo:

1- Does it work?
Yes, mostly. It stiffens up when it's smooth/flat/uphill, and it opens up when it's rough/downhill. I personally wanted it to be stiffer climbing, and more reliably open descending. That said, I'm probably more sensitive than most folks will be.

2-Is it worth the money?
For me, not yet. If I'm completely honest, I didn't like Live Valve more than a good lockout system like you get on the Blur TR. It's incredibly impressive, and it actually cashes the checks that it writes when it comes to performance (I'm looking at YOU brain shock,) but at the end of the day, I don't think that this will speed you up in an XC race application, especially if you're limited to a 4-figure budget for your next bike. If you're a non-XC rider who has the patience to dial it in perfectly, and you're not concerned about spending a pretty penny to have the latest and greatest, I can give it my endorsement. I'm excited to see where Fox takes the system in newer iterations.

***Full disclaimer, I did not ride this particular build. Pivot provided an X01 build with Live Valve for test purposes.***

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on October 7, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Assos doesn't do anything halfway. When they wanted to get back into the helmet game, they did it with the best of the best. The Jingo is based on Kask's Protone, with a couple of subtle changes. They got rid of the polarizing leather strap, and added a couple of exclusive graphics. These changes, in addition to the amazing comfort, breathability, and quality of the exsisting Protone, make for a winner in my book!

Kask runs a little smaller than most brands, so consider sizing up if you're on the cusp.

Feel free to contact me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on October 4, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

You can ride a really light bike. You can have really fast wheels. You can have electronic shifting, and a powermeter, and carbon pedals, and a whole host of other fancy-schmancy gear to make you that little bit faster, but none of it matters if you aren't comfortable.

Close your eyes and think about your favorite shoes. Maybe they're your house slippers, or an old pair of Vans, or even some wooden clogs from your trip to Holland. It doesn't really matter. They fit perfectly, support your foot, and (usually) look super fly. The S-Phyres are my favorite shoes.

Now, if the answer to my question was "my cycling shoes," stop reading. You've already found the answer, and unless they're starting to decompose, you'll probably be happiest sticking with what you've got. I'll bet though, that most of you reading are in various states of what I like to call "content discomfort." You wear the shoes that you wear because they were a sweet deal, or they match your kit, or (insert professional rider here) wears them. They probably feel fine, maybe even good. Without realizing it though, you adjust them 7 or 8 times every ride, a toe or two will go numb after an hour or two, and you probably breathe an unconscious sigh of relief when you take them off in the garage. I myself floated in a state of "content discomfort" for years. I've worn Sidi, Lake, Giro, etc, and while all of them were really stellar shoes, the fit was never quite spot on.

Enter S-Phyre.

Shimano has been making shoes longer than I've been around, and they've always been pretty good. The typical reaction to Shimano shoes has always been that they're dependable, pretty standard, and somewhat forgettable. But then a couple of years ago, the Japanese giant decided to get serious and throw its considerable R&D weight into the world of shoes. When the first pictures of the S-Phyre came out there was an audible "wow" throughout the cycling world. The design was memorable, but not gaudy. Bright, but not garish. I waited eagerly to try a pair, and I was blown away when I did. Out of the box, they feel broken in. The materials are incredible. It feels like you're wearing a rock solid slipper. The boa cables follow an unusual pattern that lends itself to lace-up levels of pressure distribution, and it really shows on the bike. The sole is insanely stiff, but it isn't undermined by poor fit. (A completely rigid carbon sole won't do you any good if your foot isn't held in snug.)

As far as fit goes, my foot falls between the designations of "normal" and "wide". Working here at Competitive Cyclist, I've observed that at least half of the customers I work with have a wide foot, but that most shoe brands hold tight to a Euro-centric, fairly narrow fit. Shimano seems to have realized this and sized the S-Phyre line accordingly. For reference, I wear a "mega fit" Sidi, and an HV Giro, but a normal Lake. My fairly wide, square-ish feet felt most at home in the non-wide S-Phyre, and based on that, I would say that the wide series would be great for those of you with a particularly wide foot. I can't attest to the long-term durability just yet, but my initial impressions have been very positive.

I can't tell you which shoe is going to help your foot reach podiatric nirvana, but if you're not quite there yet, you're gonna have to give these a shot. If you want to speak in more detail, shoot me an email at jdraper@backcountry.com and we can talk!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on September 27, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

The past 24 months have been good for XC bikes. With the release of the new Santa Cruz Blur, Yeti SB100, Intense Sniper, Trek Topfuel, and Specialized Epic, it's become abundantly clear that the lycra-inclined among us are ready to throw down the gauntlet and face up to a gnarlier, rougher, more rad XC reality.

The Mach 4SL's DW-link suspension is its party piece. This bike pedals better than the Blur or the SB100, and it impressed on the way down as well. Pivot's DW bikes truly do not exhibit brake jack! Compared to the Blur, the 4SL was slightly less predictable on rough descents, but it was extremely impressive in low-speed technical sections. I'd have to give the Blur/SB100 the advantage when it comes to descending, but the 4SL is definitely more efficient.

Please reach out directly if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on September 19, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you're like me, you have a few pair of beloved road bibs that see action both on and off-road. For most of what I do, this setup works pretty well. Most of the mountain bikes that I ride feature between 100 and 120mm of travel, and my ideal trails feature a distinctive lack of drops, jumps, and bros in full-face helmets.

The XC short is perfect for those days when you're not lining up between the tape, and you want to put off a "chill-er" vibe, and add some leg-protection to the equation. They're close-cut, and the materials are absolutely excellent. Think of them as the "anti-baggy baggy short." The only knock against them in my book is the waist; which is a little too wide to accommodate my waist in a size that doesn't leave my biker-legs shrink-wrapped. All in all, I'm going to chalk it up as a win for my friends in Sweeden!

I'm 5'10 with a 30in waist and 31in inseam. Let me know if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on September 19, 2019

5 5

POC exemplifies on-the-bike class. The essential jersey fit close enough to be functional, while maintaining a stylish silhouette. The materials are top-notch, and it's versatile enough to wear on almost any ride.

Sizing is pretty standard, so stick what you'd typically take in a tee shirt. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on August 27, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Here's my elevator pitch on the SB100: It's an incredibly capable short travel trail bike that can be made race-able with the right spec. If you're a leg-shaving, Strava-obsessing, powermeter-owning racer like me, the Blur, Mach 4 SL, or RKT are probably better options. This bike is not quite as sharp, light, or snappy as any of the aforementioned options, but it's also not a bike for a hardcore Enduro racer. While the SB100 is easily the most capable 100mm bike on the market, it's still a 100mm bike. It's going to be outgunned on bigger drops and super chunky chutes. If you really want to set records downhill, this probably won't cut the mustard.

So, you ask, who is this bike for then?

Everyone else.

Yeti knows that the vast majority of riders are not looking to break records every time they go out on a ride. They know that the hardcore XC and Enduro segments are actually relatively small subsets of the market. Most riders drive to the bottom of a trailhead, climb for a while, descend for a little bit, and then start climbing again. They know that while most of us ride fairly technical trails, the guys who spend all of their time on the double blacks are already sold on their SB150s, Megatowers, and Ripmos. In the same way that the average rider probably doesn't need 160mm of travel to ride his local trails, he also probably doesn't need a 71* headtube angle.

This is the beauty of the SB100; it's remarkably efficient and impressively light for a bike of its caliber. You can absolutely run XC tires and take it out to the Tuesday night race, but it's happiest on the 40 mile Saturday group ride that involves hours of climbing that would suck on an all-mountain bike, and descents that would give you traditional XC bike a wedgie and take it's lunch money.

The SB100 I rode was set up with a Trust fork, XX1 AXS drivetrain, Industry Nine Trail 270 wheels, and Schwalbe Magic Mary/Nobby Nic combo. In this spec, it felt like a baby Enduro bike. I was amazed at how confidence-inspiring the front end was. Paired with the Trust fork, the amount of stability and grip was mind-blowing. The Switch-Infinity suspension out back manages small-bump chunk incredibly well, and the angles are wonderfully balanced for a stable-yet-nimble vibe. To me, it felt sharper than a Tallboy or a Trail 429, but not quite as plush. In my mind, that's not a bad thing. If I'm going to surrender my XC bike's nimble character, I want to get a significant amount of capability in return, and 100-120mm bike can rarely offer that. The Yeti honestly gives you both. I know that "quiver-killer" is a grossly overused cliche in this industry, but the Yeti SB100 is truly deserving of that characterization. It's the literal manifestation of the "do it all" mountain bike. Yeti absolutely nailed it.

Statistically-speaking, this is probably the right bike for you.

Please reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on August 8, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Does this sound familiar? "XC bike on the climbs, trail bike on the descents!"

How about this? "Race rig with a rowdy alter-ego!"

These are usually half-truths. Bikes that carry the "downcountry" distinction frequently disappoint me. As an XC racer, I want a bike that is truly efficient, sharp, stiff, and well.... racy. Gnarly XC usually translates into "Efficient short travel trail bike." This isn't necessarily a bad thing! There are a LOT of folks out there who don't ride aggressively enough to warrant enduro sleds, but also want to ditch the twitchy handling of an aggro XC rig. If that sounds like you, buy a Tallboy!

The Blur is a race bike. It's truly light, it comes with a lockout, and the handling is remarkably sharp. With a fixed post and 100mm fork, it really does fit the bill for World Cup XC racing. Andrea Tiberi of the Santa Cruz FSA team races the Euro circuit on this bike all year long. It's a legit race bike.

Now, being the dirt-roadie that I am, I was a little bummed when I could only get my hands on the TR (trail) version. TR means that your Blur is served up with a Fox 34 120, dropper post, and gnarly-er tires. As I rolled away from the car on my first ride, I had this nagging feeling that I'd end up with another sluggish somewhere-in-the-middle bike that would be sort of good on the way up, and pretty good on the way down.

I was wrong.

The 34 chassis lends itself to an incredible amount of stiffness, and the 68.5* headtube angle is spot-on perfect. When you stand up on the pedals, the front end doesn't feel sloppy and lethargic. The whole bike feels incredibly composed and agile.

When gravity takes over, the Blur really shines. The 34 makes the front end track well, and the VPP suspension is incredibly reactive out back. It'll take a big hit just about as well as the next XC bike, but it feels far more playful than anything else that I've ridden.

The Blur is also simple. It isn't plagued by outlandish integration or weird standards, and it has a threaded bottom bracket! (Huge shout out to SC on that one.)

All in all, I really do think that the Blur is the premier XC bike. Shoot me an email at jdraper@backcountry.com if you want to do a deep dive.

Thanks!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on July 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Here's my elevator pitch on the SB100: It's an incredibly capable short travel trail bike that can be made race-able with the right spec. If you're a leg-shaving, Strava-obsessing, powermeter-owning racer like me, the Blur, Mach 4 SL, or RKT are probably better options. This bike is not quite as sharp, light, or snappy as any of the aforementioned options, but it's also not a bike for a hardcore Enduro racer. While the SB100 is easily the most capable 100mm bike on the market, it's still a 100mm bike. It's going to be outgunned on bigger drops and super chunky chutes. If you really want to set records downhill, this probably won't cut the mustard.

So, you ask, who is this bike for then?

Everyone else.

Yeti knows that the vast majority of riders are not looking to break records every time they go out on a ride. They know that the hardcore XC and Enduro segments are actually relatively small subsets of the market. Most riders drive to the bottom of a trailhead, climb for a while, descend for a little bit, and then start climbing again. They know that while most of us ride fairly technical trails, the guys who spend all of their time on the double blacks are already sold on their SB150s, Megatowers, and Ripmos. In the same way that the average rider probably doesn't need 160mm of travel to ride his local trails, he also probably doesn't need a 71* headtube angle.

This is the beauty of the SB100; it's remarkably efficient and impressively light for a bike of its caliber. You can absolutely run XC tires and take it out to the Tuesday night race, but it's happiest on the 40 mile Saturday group ride that involves hours of climbing that would suck on an all-mountain bike, and descents that would give you traditional XC bike a wedgie and take it's lunch money.

The SB100 I rode was set up with a Trust fork, XX1 AXS drivetrain, Industry Nine Trail 270 wheels, and Schwalbe Magic Mary/Nobby Nic combo. In this spec, it felt like a baby Enduro bike. I was amazed at how confidence-inspiring the front end was. Paired with the Trust fork, the amount of stability and grip was mind-blowing. The Switch-Infinity suspension out back manages small-bump chunk incredibly well, and the angles are wonderfully balanced for a stable-yet-nimble vibe. To me, it felt sharper than a Tallboy or a Trail 429, but not quite as plush. In my mind, that's not a bad thing. If I'm going to surrender my XC bike's nimble character, I want to get a significant amount of capability in return, and 100-120mm bike can rarely offer that. The Yeti honestly gives you both. I know that "quiver-killer" is a grossly overused cliche in this industry, but the Yeti SB100 is truly deserving of that characterization. It's the literal manifestation of the "do it all" mountain bike. Yeti absolutely nailed it.

Statistically-speaking, this is probably the right bike for you.

Please reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on July 10, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Does this sound familiar? "XC bike on the climbs, trail bike on the descents!"

How about this? "Race rig with a rowdy alter-ego!"

These are usually half-truths. Bikes that carry the "downcountry" distinction frequently disappoint me. As an XC racer, I want a bike that is truly efficient, sharp, stiff, and well.... racy. Gnarly XC usually translates into "Efficient short travel trail bike." This isn't necessarily a bad thing! There are a LOT of folks out there who don't ride aggressively enough to warrant enduro sleds, but also want to ditch the twitchy handling of an aggro XC rig. If that sounds like you, buy a Tallboy!

The Blur is a race bike. It's truly light, it comes with a lockout, and the handling is remarkably sharp. With a fixed post and 100mm fork, it really does fit the bill for World Cup XC racing. Andrea Tiberi of the Santa Cruz FSA team races the Euro circuit on this bike all year long. It's a legit race bike.

Now, being the dirt-roadie that I am, I was a little bummed when I could only get my hands on the TR (trail) version. TR means that your Blur is served up with a Fox 34 120, dropper post, and gnarly-er tires. As I rolled away from the car on my first ride, I had this nagging feeling that I'd end up with another sluggish somewhere-in-the-middle bike that would be sort of good on the way up, and pretty good on the way down.

I was wrong.

The 34 chassis lends itself to an incredible amount of stiffness, and the 68.5* headtube angle is spot-on perfect. When you stand up on the pedals, the front end doesn't feel sloppy and lethargic. The whole bike feels incredibly composed and agile.

When gravity takes over, the Blur really shines. The 34 makes the front end track well, and the VPP suspension is incredibly reactive out back. It'll take a big hit just about as well as the next XC bike, but it feels far more playful than anything else that I've ridden.

The Blur is also simple. It isn't plagued by outlandish integration or weird standards, and it has a threaded bottom bracket! (Huge shout out to SC on that one.)

All in all, I really do think that the Blur is the premier XC bike. Shoot me an email at jdraper@backcountry.com if you want to do a deep dive.

Thanks!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on July 9, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Assos's Evo8 jersey used to be my go-to. It was light, breathable, and overwhelmingly premium. The only snagging points for me were the sleeves. Even for a guy with fairly big arms, I couldn't keep them in place, and they were cut a hair too short. Assos listed to our cries of frustration and revamped the sleeves for the new Aero SS. I can now say with confidence that this is the best jersey you'll ever buy.

Reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions, or if you want to talk about sizing!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on June 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I really don't have much to say about AXS. Eagle has ruled the roost for a few years now, and SRAM has simply applied their fantastic electronic platform to the groupset. How would you like every single shift to be flawless? SRAM nailed the shifter design, and the oil slick looks sick. I really can't say anything else. I think that it's easily worth the investment, and you'll absolutely notice an improvment in your shifting performance. AXS is king!

Please reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on June 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Industry Nine is one of my favorite companies. If you're building a bike, I think that you should invest more in the wheels than anything else. Even if you ride the stiffest frame in the world, noodly wheels can grenade your bike's ride quality and handling. Rotating weight is also far more significant than static weight. (Don't ask me why, I just know that it is.) This is what makes carbon wheels so attractive. The obvious issue with carbon wheels is that they're pricy. If you have the means to spend a couple of thousand bucks on wheels, do it! I'd highly recommend Santa Cruz's Reserve collection. That said, if you don't want to star in "Honey I sold the kids," and you have to make take some steps to keep the price of your bike in check, a high-quality alloy wheelset is the ticket. Industry Nine absolutely rules the high-end alloy market. Their wheels are hand-made in North Carolina around their phenomenal Hydra hubs. These are the smartest wheels that you can buy for your trail bike, full stop.

Please reach out to me at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on June 25, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

It makes sense that a linkage-driven fork would be superior to a telescopic fork. When you can manipulate axle path and leverage curves, it opens up a new world of possibilities. I'll bet that in 10 years, we'll all be riding variations/knock-offs of this fork.

Would I buy one today? It's hard to say.

I rode the Message on an SB100 up in Park City on a variety of trails ranging from smooth and bermed, to straight and chunky. My impressions? The Message is not plush, or springy. It was almost a little bit of a buzz-kill on the flow trails. This fork absolutely glues the front end onto the trail. I had a hard time popping the front end around. When I started to push it, I felt the back end lifting over the small rises in the trail, but the front end clung onto the ground like a magnet. It also totally eliminated the diving sensation that you get with a traditional fork (you won't get what I'm talking about until you ride one of these.) Your bike's geometry remains totally consistent throughout the stroke, which is remarkably confidence-inspiring. It really is VERY impressive.

My criticisms? Aside from the weight and price, which both give me pause, I think that the front end is too stiff. Even though the fork ate up small bumps, I felt like the chassis transferred too much buzz into the cockpit. I think that softening the front end up just a bit would do wonders. It also didn't like the bigger hits. I think that this fork's party piece is making your 120-140mm bike fast and consistent.

So, would I buy one? On the right bike, maybe. It's a remarkable piece of engineering, and I can't wait to see what the next iteration looks like.

Reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you want to speak in detail!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on June 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Here's my elevator pitch on the SB100: It's an incredibly capable short travel trail bike that can be made race-able with the right spec. If you're a leg-shaving, Strava-obsessing, powermeter-owning racer like me, the Blur, Mach 4 SL, or RKT are probably better options. This bike is not quite as sharp, light, or snappy as any of the aforementioned options, but it's also not a bike for a hardcore Enduro racer. While the SB100 is easily the most capable 100mm bike on the market, it's still a 100mm bike. It's going to be outgunned on bigger drops and super chunky chutes. If you really want to set records downhill, this probably won't cut the mustard.

So, you ask, who is this bike for then?

Everyone else.

Yeti knows that the vast majority of riders are not looking to break records every time they go out on a ride. They know that the hardcore XC and Enduro segments are actually relatively small subsets of the market. Most riders drive to the bottom of a trailhead, climb for a while, descend for a little bit, and then start climbing again. They know that while most of us ride fairly technical trails, the guys who spend all of their time on the double blacks are already sold on their SB150s, Megatowers, and Ripmos. In the same way that the average rider probably doesn't need 160mm of travel to ride his local trails, he also probably doesn't need a 71* headtube angle.

This is the beauty of the SB100; it's remarkably efficient and impressively light for a bike of its caliber. You can absolutely run XC tires and take it out to the Tuesday night race, but it's happiest on the 40 mile Saturday group ride that involves hours of climbing that would suck on an all-mountain bike, and descents that would give your traditional XC bike a wedgie and take it's lunch money.

The SB100 I rode was set up with a Trust fork, XX1 AXS drivetrain, Industry Nine Trail 270 wheels, and Schwalbe Magic Mary/Nobby Nic combo. In this spec, it felt like a baby Enduro bike. I was amazed at how confidence-inspiring the front end was. Paired with the Trust fork, the amount of stability and grip was mind-blowing. The Switch-Infinity suspension out back manages small-bump chunk incredibly well, and the angles are wonderfully balanced for a stable-yet-nimble vibe. To me, it felt sharper than a Tallboy or a Trail 429, but not quite as plush. In my mind, that's not a bad thing. If I'm going to surrender my XC bike's nimble character, I want to get a significant amount of capability in return, and 100-120mm bike can rarely offer that. The Yeti honestly gives you both. I know that "quiver-killer" is a grossly overused cliche in this industry, but the Yeti SB100 is truly deserving of that characterization. It's the literal manifestation of the "do it all" mountain bike. Yeti absolutely nailed it.

Statistically-speaking, this is probably the right bike for you.

Please reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on June 20, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Cervelo makes bikes for people who know what they're doing. They're known for making the lightest, stiffest, most aero, etc. offerings on the market, and for taking a no-compromise approach to design. Cervelos of yesteryear were undeniably quick, but you had to be willing to endure a mercilessly stiff ride.

This R3 was incredibly stiff and lively, but it was also one of the smoothest race bikes I have ever ridden. Witchcraft? Probably. Cervelo seems to have cracked the code to the code to the laterally stiff/vertically compliant riddle. Without an engineering degree, I can't aptly explain why, but as a rider, I can tell you that they nailed it.

If you're reading this, there is an excellent chance that you're cross-shopping this with the R5. If you want one of the lightest, best handling race bikes in the galaxy, and you're willing to pay for it, it's the bike for you. If you want to be slightly more upright, and land a sweet deal, the R3 is the ticket!

All in all, I'm extremely impressed. At $3k for the frameset, I'd buy this over almost anything else.

As far as sizing goes, I'm 5'11, and while the 56 that I rode felt almost perfect, I could have gone down to a 54.

Feel free to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on June 20, 2019

5 5

Cervelo makes bikes for people who know what they're doing. They're known for making the lightest, stiffest, most aero, etc. offerings on the market, and for taking a no-compromise approach to design. Cervelos of yesteryear were undeniably quick, but you had to be willing to endure a mercilessly stiff ride.

This R3 was incredibly stiff and lively, but it was also one of the smoothest race bikes I have ever ridden. Witchcraft? Probably. Cervelo seems to have cracked the code to the code to the laterally stiff/vertically compliant riddle. Without an engineering degree, I can't aptly explain why, but as a rider, I can tell you that they nailed it.

If you're reading this, there is an excellent chance that you're cross-shopping this with the R5. If you want one of the lightest, best handling race bikes in the galaxy, and you're willing to pay for it, it's the bike for you. If you want to be slightly more upright, and land a sweet deal, the R3 is the ticket!

All in all, I'm extremely impressed. At $3k for the frameset, I'd buy this over almost anything else.

As far as sizing goes, I'm 5'11, and while the 56 that I rode felt almost perfect, I could have gone down to a 54.

Feel free to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on June 20, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Cervelo makes bikes for people who know what they're doing. They're known for making the lightest, stiffest, most aero, etc. offerings on the market, and for taking a no-compromise approach to design. Cervelos of yesteryear were undeniably quick, but you had to be willing to endure a mercilessly stiff ride.

This R3 was incredibly stiff and lively, but it was also one of the smoothest race bikes I have ever ridden. Witchcraft? Probably. Cervelo seems to have cracked the code to the code to the laterally stiff/vertically compliant riddle. Without an engineering degree, I can't aptly explain why, but as a rider, I can tell you that they nailed it.

If you're reading this, there is an excellent chance that you're cross-shopping this with the R5. If you want one of the lightest, best handling race bikes in the galaxy, and you're willing to pay for it, it's the bike for you. If you want to be slightly more upright, and land a sweet deal, the R3 is the ticket!

All in all, I'm extremely impressed. At $3k for the frameset, I'd buy this over almost anything else.

As far as sizing goes, I'm 5'11, and while the 56 that I rode felt almost perfect, I could have gone down to a 54.

Feel free to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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