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Cervelo C3 as all-rounder?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Cervelo C3 as all-rounder?

Old 05-23-18, 07:15 PM
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noOriginalNames
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Cervelo C3 as all-rounder?

I have been casually looking at bikes lately, sort of thinking of something gravelly but the selection in my area in my size is quite poor. I'm 6'4" with longer legs and a shorter upper body with poor flexibility in my hamstrings and posterior chain so finding something that fits has been problematic. One shop has a 2017 Cervelo C3 105 in my size (61cm) that I have ridden a couple of times and it fits and rides very nicely, but I'm not sure about the tire clearance. Cervelo claims you would get a 32mm tire on the bike but in looking at it yesterday at the shop 30mm seems like it would be a more likely scenario. The bike would be used for road rides, maybe some real light gravel (finely crushed limestone multi use paths or minor exploration) and fair weather speedy commutes, in other words a little bit of everything.

It is also reduced $600 and while still pricey seems like a decent bargain. So thoughts on a 30mm or maybe 32mm width drop bar bike as sort of a do it all type (other than dedicated mountain riding, I have an MTB for that)? Any help or input is appreciated, I may just be looking for some confirmation that my thoughts are reasonable after an impulse road bike buy a few years ago has left me a little gun shy. I can't include a link to specs but a quick google will bring them up if that helps you comment.
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Old 05-23-18, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by noOriginalNames View Post
So thoughts on a 30mm or maybe 32mm width drop bar bike as sort of a do it all type (other than dedicated mountain riding,
For this -

Originally Posted by noOriginalNames View Post
maybe some real light gravel (finely crushed limestone multi use paths or minor exploration)
...I think that 30 or 32mm would be great.

Even on more chunky gravel that still fairly well packed, I'd be fine on my 30s as long as I'm not going to be grinding away for too long. 10-15 minutes? Fine. but once we start talking about 10+ miles, I'm probably going to want fatter tires or a different route. This is essentially what I'm doing with my two bikes - the Domane with 30mm semi-slicks is the almost-every-day bike and the Haanjo with 38s is for rides where significant gravel mileage is planned (and when there's snow on the ground).
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Old 05-23-18, 08:23 PM
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I have nominal 28 mm tires that measure 33.1 mm with calipers on my C3.

I think I could probably go to 35 mm if I wanted to, but I might be wrong. And I have no desire to mount bigger rubber.

In my area, 28/32 mm is plenty for dirt roads and light trails.

I love mine.

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Old 05-24-18, 11:01 AM
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A Specialized Diverge is worth a look because of friendly head tube length for your long legs and tire clearance. If you don't want the future shock...I wouldn't, look for a 2017 model.
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Old 05-24-18, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I have nominal 28 mm tires that measure 33.1 mm with calipers on my C3.

I think I could probably go to 35 mm if I wanted to, but I might be wrong. And I have no desire to mount bigger rubber.

In my area, 28/32 mm is plenty for dirt roads and light trails.

I love mine.
33mm really? Would you mind snapping a quick picture of the clearance where the chain stays meet the bottom bracket? That looked like the tightest spot on the bike I rode the other day. Love the flared bar you have on there, rode a few other bikes with them and man are they comfy!

Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
A Specialized Diverge is worth a look because of friendly head tube length for your long legs and tire clearance. If you don't want the future shock...I wouldn't, look for a 2017 model.
I rode the lowest end entry model with an aluminum frame (diff geo and clearances than the carbon version) and I have thought of ordering at 61cm in the carbon version but it's crazy expensive and I can't find one to ride to be sure it would fit. Almost $1500 for a similarly spec'd, but still slightly inferior build and all I would be gaining is the tire clearance (which admittedly would be nice) and the Future Shock (I could do without). I don't think I'm willing to spend that kind of money...

Thanks for the input everyone, it is much appreciated!
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Old 05-24-18, 09:39 PM
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Trek Domane Disc.
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Old 05-25-18, 04:36 PM
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If I could find a Domane in my size to test ride I would consider it, but again, it's quite a bit more money than the Cervelo for a similarly spec'd bike. I think I may just buy the C3. I rode it on some light gravel during my test ride and it seemed alright with the stock Mavic Yksion tires in a 28mm width (I can't remember which version). I have got to think a set of tires like the Schwalbe G-One's in a 30mm width would only enhance that. Going back to the shop to pick up my Fiance's bikes sometime this weekend so will have to decide before then, but I think I'm leaning towards pulling the trigger.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I have nominal 28 mm tires that measure 33.1 mm with calipers on my C3.
Any chance you could elaborate a little more on the tire clearance in the rear? If I could fit a measured 32mm tire with no issues I think I will just jump on it.
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Old 05-25-18, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by noOriginalNames View Post
If I could find a Domane in my size to test ride I would consider it, but again, it's quite a bit more money than the Cervelo for a similarly spec'd bike.
Really? How much is the C3 that you've got your eye on? The Domane SL5 Gravel, which I own, has Ultegra-level levers and calipers, 105 everything else, and retails for $2500 - great value, IMO. Otherwise, the 'regular' SL5 Disc, with all 105, goes for $2600.

Originally Posted by noOriginalNames View Post
Any chance you could elaborate a little more on the tire clearance in the rear? If I could fit a measured 32mm tire with no issues I think I will just jump on it.
He has wide rims and his tires, which the manufacturer specs as 28mm, measure 33mm+ when inflated on his wide rims. So yes, a measured 32mm tire would clear.
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Old 05-25-18, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by noOriginalNames View Post
Any chance you could elaborate a little more on the tire clearance in the rear? If I could fit a measured 32mm tire with no issues I think I will just jump on it.
I'll try to get you a picture. I have a real camera with a lens that's good for close up stuff like this, but the battery charger went missing and at the moment all I have is a cell phone.

However, the tires I ride every day measure out to 33+ mm. They definitely fit and have a very tiny bit of extra room to clear mud. Mine is the older C3, but I don't think they changed anything except the paint, meaning if they clear mine, they'll clear the one you're looking at. I'm heavy by roadie standards too.

For what it's worth I've had mine for ~9 months and I'm very, very happy with it.
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Old 05-26-18, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Really? How much is the C3 that you've got your eye on? The Domane SL5 Gravel, which I own, has Ultegra-level levers and calipers, 105 everything else, and retails for $2500 - great value, IMO. Otherwise, the 'regular' SL5 Disc, with all 105, goes for $2600.
The C3 is $3165 with taxes, a Domane SL5 (standard or gravel) would be about $3840... I live in Canada, bikes (and many other things) are quite expensive here...

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'll try to get you a picture. I have a real camera with a lens that's good for close up stuff like this, but the battery charger went missing and at the moment all I have is a cell phone.

However, the tires I ride every day measure out to 33+ mm. They definitely fit and have a very tiny bit of extra room to clear mud. Mine is the older C3, but I don't think they changed anything except the paint, meaning if they clear mine, they'll clear the one you're looking at. I'm heavy by roadie standards too.

For what it's worth I've had mine for ~9 months and I'm very, very happy with it.
It doesn't have to be crazy high quality, I'm sure a cell phone pic would give me enough of an idea. Glad to hear you like it so much though!
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Old 03-28-19, 12:51 PM
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Resurrecting an old thread as I just ordered a C3 (Excel had a good deal on 2018s) frameset. I'm hoping to run 30-32 tires on my wide (22 internal) rims. Seattle Forest, what tires where you running and what was the internal width on your rims?

TIA
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Old 03-28-19, 03:24 PM
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I still have the stock rims and 28mm tires (that measure pretty much bang on 28mm) on the bike, but I am really enjoying the bike, smooth, fast and fun!
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Old 03-28-19, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelED View Post
Resurrecting an old thread as I just ordered a C3 (Excel had a good deal on 2018s) frameset. I'm hoping to run 30-32 tires on my wide (22 internal) rims. Seattle Forest, what tires where you running and what was the internal width on your rims?

TIA
28 mm Pro Ones, also 28 mm IRC Road Lights
25 mm internal rims

The front has plenty of room, it's where the chainstays join the BB where you're constrained.
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Old 03-28-19, 05:40 PM
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Thanks guys! I'm really looking forward to building and riding the C3. It will become my all rounder road bike. I'm pretty sure I'll run the WTB Exposure 30 tires tubeless on it. Expensive tires at full retail, but they ride really nice tubeless.
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Old 03-28-19, 09:41 PM
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I just received my C3 on Monday from Excel sports. Smoking deal for sure! Hope to get my first ride this weekend as I have been putting it together all week. Mine is a mostly Dura Ace 9170 build with home built DT240/Chi carbon tubeless rimmed wheels.

I got the red frame and it looks awesome in person.
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Old 03-29-19, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by matt92037 View Post
I just received my C3 on Monday from Excel sports. Smoking deal for sure! Hope to get my first ride this weekend as I have been putting it together all week. Mine is a mostly Dura Ace 9170 build with home built DT240/Chi carbon tubeless rimmed wheels.

I got the red frame and it looks awesome in person.
Pretty sick deal from Excel sports for sure! I ordered the white/grey/black. Can't wait to build mine up!
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Old 03-30-19, 12:24 PM
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Still need to get it on a proper ride. 17.4lbs as it sits with heavy pedals and heavy 34t cassette.

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Old 04-01-19, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by matt92037 View Post
Still need to get it on a proper ride. 17.4lbs as it sits with heavy pedals and heavy 34t cassette.


That's a good looking bike, what size is it? Looks pretty big.

I've been eyeing that Excel sale for several days now. Good thing that they didn't have any in my size or I'd really have to think about N+1.
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Old 04-01-19, 06:17 PM
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Nice build! How is the ride? What tires/size are those and how much clearance do you have?
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Old 04-01-19, 07:29 PM
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It’s a 58cm. The tires are 28m 4000s that measure out more like 30mm. I don’t think I will have any need to go bigger.

I am am still messing around with stem size, saddle position, etc (I just switched the seatpost back to an Ergon CF3). As far as the ride goes it is pretty different that the titanium bikes I have ridden for the last 2.5 years. The titanium frames seem like they soaked up the bumps better, buts it not like the C3 does a poor job of it because it doesn’t (my roads are 3rd world btw). Power transfer is better on the C3 and handling is generally better sorted. My rides generally consist of either going up a steep hill or down a steep hill. The bike feels incredibly planted going down. Climbs nice too!

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Old 04-01-19, 10:37 PM
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I've done Washington, Sherman, Loup Loup, Harts, and Blewett Passes on mine. I can cosign the part about the C3 being a great climber and a great descender.
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Old 04-02-19, 12:05 AM
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I recently acquired a 2018 C3 from Excel Sports (white with Ultegra). The stock Aksium wheels aren't great, but it's certainly a comfortable bike and handling is fine. I've been riding it here in Washington for the past couple of months. I plan to park it out of state so I have a bike to ride when I visit family several times per year.
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Old 04-04-19, 11:50 AM
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I have the C5, almost identical to the C3. Rear clearance is about 33mm actual (measured), not the number on your tires. So it's all depending on the wheel rim width (internal). With the wider ENVE 4.5AR, the Schwalbe G-One 30mm expands to a tad more than 32mm and it barely clears. It's one of the biggest complaint I have about the C series form Cervelo. One option would be going to 650c wheels, and it would give you another couple of mm in clearance by the look of it.
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Old 04-05-19, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by matt92037 View Post
Still need to get it on a proper ride. 17.4lbs as it sits with heavy pedals and heavy 34t cassette.

saddle pointed all the way down, +6 stem, should have gotten the next size up
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Old 04-05-19, 01:06 PM
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I got a C3 a few years ago. Over time, it became my favorite ride. I slowly got rid of most other bikes, sold the C3 and got a C5. The 28s are fine for me on cinder trails, dirt, and gravel.
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