For dedicated aficionados of bike manufacturer Cervélo, dropping $10,000 or more on a road bike sounds perfectly acceptable – indeed, expected. If you want the same level of bike that American Tour de France team Garmin-Sharp rides and you aren’t on the Cervélo sponsor list, expect to drop cash quicker than you drop gears.
That may change, though, with the latest announcement from the Toronto-based company.
Based on Cervélo’s popular R3 frame, a model known for three Paris-Roubaix victories, the newly announced R2 will tone down the high-end R3 features and roll out at a more down-to-earth $2,500.
The 2014 version of the R3 comes with a stiffer front end and new oversized bottom bracket, giving riders up to seven watts of energy savings versus tube shapes. The R3 also has a cable-management system to make it easy to upgrade to hydraulic or electronic shifting. The R2 includes all this too.
The major difference between the R2 and R3 is a “more economical fork,” the company says. Also, the R2 includes Shimano wheels, Vittoria Rubino Pro tires and an 11-speed 105 groupset.
Cervélo started in 1995 and has grown to manufacture road bikes and triathlon bikes. Its most expensive model, the Rca Project California limited edition — the company sold out of its initial offering of 400 — pushed the envelope of bike tech. Those frames embraced the flow of carbon fiber with each of the 500 fiber layers designed digitally and optimized individually. The total weight of the Rca comes in at a mere 667 grams (23.5 ounces), lighter than a full water bottle you put on the bike.
If you missed out on the $10,000-plus limited edition Rca, the R2 may fits your Cervélo tech needs in a more economical fashion.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.