If you were to pinpoint any one particular brand for its expertise in aerodynamics, it would very likely be Cervelo. Known for largely kicking off the aero road bike movement about a decade ago, Cervelo also has a strong lineage when it comes to triathlon and time trial bikes. With a huge amount of aerodynamic data drawn from real-world experience as well as wind tunnel data, the Canadian company knows a thing or two when it comes to engineering wind-cheating race machines. Designated by the ‘P-Series’ tag, Cervelo’s P3 sits in the middle of the range, between the entry-level P2, and the flagship P5. The P3 aims to trickle down much of the P5’s class-leading technology into a more affordable race-ready package that’s ideal for privateer racers wanting to take their results to the next level. If you’re on a budget and just getting into triathlon, then consider the cheaper P2. And if you’re chasing a more versatile all-round road racing bike, then have a look at the Cervelo S-Series and R-Series. But if you have a penchant for speed and you’re looking to take on the clock at a future Ironman or triathlon event, then the P3 is ready to race.
While the ground-breaking P5 features unique technologies to produce the fastest race bike possible, the P3 offers a more sensible package that reduces the proprietary parts to make for a much easier to live with bike from a training, travelling and racing perspective for those who don’t travel with their own personal mechanic. Adjustability is key on a triathlon bike, as it allows you to get your position dialled in for maximum pedal efficiency and long distance comfort. In that regard, the P3 offers the rider a huge range of adjustment in its saddle height, saddle offset, handlebar height and overall reach. And it does all this with standard off-the-shelf components that mean you can upgrade and change out parts as you require. The P3 also makes use of standard road brake callipers that are both easier to work on, and simpler to source spare parts – two important factors for those racers who are travelling on a regular basis from event to event. Despite the increased ease of use, the P3 is still a sharpened aero race tool. Cervelo has equipped it with the same teardrop seat post and the same front and rear tyre cut-outs you’ll find on the P5 to reduce wind drag as much as possible. The result is a bike that’s incredibly fast in the wind tunnel, but also incredibly usable in the real world.
Cervelo offers two build kit options with the P3, with both Shimano Ultegra mechanical and electronic versions available. Each model comes with a carbon fibre fork, BB30 cranks and a Mavic Cosmit Elite S wheelset.
Drive trainUltegra Di2
Gear ratiosSemi Compact
Frame buildCarbon Mid
Light weight and high tech on a budget