Cervelo R3 Dark 2014 - sneak peek

R5 road frame with £2,000 complete build price tag

Ahead of official Cervélo 2014 news later this month, word has broken on one particular model from next year’s range – the R3 Dark seems set to be a serious bargain from the high-end manufacturers, with pricing for the 105 model at just £2,000. This model will not be available in North America, and will be produced in an extremely limited run.

At first glance, the R3 Dark looks like the original R3, but on close inspection you’ll notice that it lacks aluminium cable stops, instead having ones made from moulded carbon. Also, the tube profiles follow the distinct rounded squares of Squoval. 

We asked Cervélo whether the Dark is, in fact, a reincarnated R5. While they wouldn’t confirm that outright, there was certainly no denial. Claimed frame weights, profiles and details are all the same – in fact, the only difference we can see is the numeral following the 'R'.

It makes sense for a brand who invest so much time in engineering and designing new models to continue to evolve existing creations. But we have to admit to being a little blindsided by the R5’s rapid rebadging, especially when we found out that the two-model Dark range starts with a 105 model – that’s Shimano 105, an Energy-level, BBright-compatible chainset from FSA, FSA SL-K components and Shimano R500 wheels all for £1,999.99. 

The R3 Dark 105 looks set to be one of 2014’s best bargains

It’s early, we know, but when you consider that at the start of 2013 an R5 frameset would have set you back £3,500, the R3 Dark complete bike might just prove to be the bargain of the next model year.

The second Dark in the range upgrades its groupset to SRAM Force, its wheels to Fulcrum Racing 5.5s and its chainset to a Rotor 3D model. The price rises to an equally impressive £2,999. (Again, there is no US availability.)

For more information on Cervélo products see www.cervelo.com.

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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