Cervélo finally embraces disc brakes with R3

Shimano Ultegra hydraulic model the only one available at launch

Cervélo has finally joined the ranks of road disc bike brands with a modified version of the R3, which will see service in this year’s UCI-approved test events under pro team MTN-Qhubeka.

To accommodate disc brakes, Cervélo redesigned the rear end of the R3, which has been launched at Eurobike. The slender seatstays now flow all the way into the seat tube, giving a wider and stiffer platform than the existing R3’s monostay design.

Both the seat- and chainstays are asymmetric, with the disc side’s seatstay connected at the back of the dropout, whereas on the derailleur side it meets on the top of the forward face.

To keep the R3's racy handling, Cérvelo's engineers managed to maintain the same short chainstay length of 405mm, rather than having to shift to the longer 415mm recommended by disc brake manufacturers. Cervélo achieved this by using a custom FSA SL-K crank with a 5mm offset to ensure the correct chainline.

The r3 disc uses an fsa sl-k bb386 crank with a special offset to allow for the disc-brake spacing while keeping the chainstays at 405mm: the r3 disc uses an fsa sl-k bb386 crank with a special offset to allow for the disc-brake spacing while keeping the chainstays at 405mm
The r3 disc uses an fsa sl-k bb386 crank with a special offset to allow for the disc-brake spacing while keeping the chainstays at 405mm: the r3 disc uses an fsa sl-k bb386 crank with a special offset to allow for the disc-brake spacing while keeping the chainstays at 405mm

A custom-offset crank keeps the chainline right with 405mm chainstays and the 135mm rear hub 

Specialized also kept the 405mm chainstay length on its Tarmac Disc, but did so with a custom-offset Roval wheelset and special derailleur hanger. Cervélo’s solution, unlike Specialized’s, allows the use of any 135mm road disc wheel.

Flat-mount standard calipers are fitted to the R3. The rear chainstay flat mount looks particularly minimal and neatly realized. Both front and rear mounts can be flipped for the use of 140 or 160mm rotors without an adaptor.

Every other aspect of the disc model’s geometry stays in line with the current R3 model.

The R3 Disc in its Ultegra and hydraulic-equipped form is the only model available at launch and will retail for £3,799. US and Australian pricing has not yet been announced.

The addition of discs means plenty of clearance: the addition of discs means plenty of clearance
The addition of discs means plenty of clearance: the addition of discs means plenty of clearance

Cervélo's famously slender seatstays look even more striking without a brake bridge

Check out more news from Eurobike at our Eurobike homepage.

Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

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