Pro bike: David Zabriskie's Cervélo S3

By James Huang, in North Lake Tahoe, CA, USA | Wednesday, May 18, 2011 9.05am

Garmin-Cervélo rider David Zabriskie has finished second three times at the Tour of California (2006, 2009 and 2010) and is hoping to finally win the event this time around. If all goes according to plan, Zabriskie will do so aboard Cervélo's slippery S3 carbon aero road machine.

Detractors will scoff that little has been done with the S3's shape since its last major redesign in late 2008 (though some spy photos suggest a new version may drop later this year). However, there's little arguing with Cervélo's proven formula: a carbon frame with an airfoil-section down tube, seat tube, head tube, seatstays and seatpost, but with a weight that's only marginally heavier than the company's non-aero R-series machines, all with supposedly similar levels of rear-end comfort, too.

The chainstays on david zabriskie's (garmin-cervelo) cervelo s3 are as big as some down tubes: the chainstays on david zabriskie's (garmin-cervelo) cervelo s3 are as big as some down tubes

The chainstays on David Zabriskie's (Garmin-Cervelo) Cervelo S3 are as big as some down tubes

Actual frame weights hover just slightly on the north side of the 1kg mark and Zabriskie's machine is only just UCI-legal at 6.82kg (15.04lb). Some torsional and drivetrain rigidity is undoubtedly sacrificed relative to the R-series with the S3's straight 1-1/8in front end and narrow down tube but it's partially offset by the down tube flare at the bottom bracket, the unusually bulbous chainstays, and Cervélo's 'SmartWall' construction, which places additional plies of carbon fiber on the sides of the tubes.

The build kit is straightforward for the most part, with SRAM providing their flagship Red DoubleTap levers, brake calipers, and front and rear derailleurs, plus the PC-1091 chain and PG-1070 cassette. Rotor provide their slick 3D+ hollow machined aluminum cranks, however, and while the S3 frame uses a standard threaded bottom bracket shell, the 30mm-diameter aluminum spindle still fits thanks to the company's own BSA30 external-bearing cups. 

The cervelo s3 down tube stays narrow through most of its length but flares out at the bottom bracket: the cervelo s3 down tube stays narrow through most of its length but flares out at the bottom bracket

The Cervelo S3 down tube stays narrow through most of its length but flares out at the bottom bracket

The front end of the bike comes mostly from 3T, including the Funda Team aero-profile carbon fork, ARX Pro forged aluminum stem and Ergonova Team carbon bar. Even though the Tour of California roads don't include any cobbles or strada bianca like some of the European races, Zabriskie likes to have his bars double-wrapped. Aside from that and a preference for his brakes to be set up "really tight", team mechanics told BikeRadar that Zabriskie doesn't have any special requests in terms of equipment.

Rounding out the build is a Fi'zi:k Antares saddle with a carbon shell and braided carbon rails, Mavic's versatile Cosmic Carbone Ultimate carbon tubular wheels, Gore Ride-On Professional System derailleur cables and housing, a Garmin Edge 500 computer (unusually mounted directly atop the handlebar clamp), aluminum-bodied Shimano Dura-Ace pedals, and Arundel Mandible carbon fiber cages.

The sram red front derailleur (with pro-option steel cage) is backed up with a rotor chain catcher: the sram red front derailleur (with pro-option steel cage) is backed up with a rotor chain catcher

The SRAM Red front derailleur (with pro-option steel cage) is backed up with a Rotor chain catcher

Related links

Complete bike specifications

  • Frame: Cervélo S3, 56cm
  • Fork: 3T Funda Team
  • Headset: FSA Orbit integrated
  • Stem: 3T ARX Pro, 11cm x -6°
  • Handlebar: 3T Ergonova Team, 42cm (c-c)
  • Tape: 3T, double wrapped
  • Front brake: SRAM Red w/ SwissStop Yellow King pads
  • Rear brake: SRAM Red w/ SwissStop Yellow King pads
  • Brake levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
  • Front derailleur: SRAM Red w/ steel cage
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
  • Shift levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-1070, 11-26T
  • Chain: SRAM PC-1091
  • Crankset: Rotor 3D+, 175mm, 53/39T
  • Bottom bracket: Rotor BSA30
  • Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-7810
  • Wheelset: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
  • Front tire: 22mm tubular
  • Rear tire: 22mm tubular
  • Saddle: Fi'zi:k Antares w/ braided carbon rails, carbon fiber shell
  • Seatpost: Cervélo Aero SL
  • Bottle cages: Arundel Mandible (2)
  • Computer: Garmin Edge 500
  • Other accessories: Gore Ride-On Professional System derailleur cables and housing, Rotor chain catcher

Critical measurements

  • Rider's height: 1.82m (6ft)
  • Rider's weight: 70kg (154lb)
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 772mm
  • Saddle setback: 93mm
  • Seat tube length, c-t: 525mm
  • Seat tube length, c-c: 480mm
  • Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 592mm
  • Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 106mm
  • Head tube length: 160mm
  • Top tube length: 565mm
  • Total bicycle weight: 6.82kg (15.04lb) w/ cages and computer mount

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