Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cervelo Rca
Aero and Light Is Right!

Cervelo Rca - The lightest frame in the world goes aero

Cervelo has long been known for the aerodynamic prowess of their TT bikes and S-Series road frames. Despite this, the R-Series frames, their lighter and stiffer offerings, have been the most popular among both pros and amateurs.  Though subjective qualities like comfort and lateral rigidity play a role in the wide appeal of the R-Series, a large part of the equation is that lightness is simply irresistible to the cycling enthusiast. Unlike aerodynamic claims, which are somewhat abstract and unverifiable to the average customer, a light bike can be directly experienced. You can hold it in your hand – or balanced lightly on one finger, if it's an Rca – and feel the difference.

Our 54cm frame came in at 630g
Cervelo operates a high-tech engineering lab called Project California, an underground R&D Batcave where they hand-build limited edition frames in order to explore and expand the boundaries of bike technology. In 2010, this facility produced the R5ca, a limited release version of their already super-light R5 frame, made crazy light with special carbon fiber layup and assembly tricks.  Last month, crazy just got crazier. The latest limited edition frame from this top-secret nerd factory dropped the weight of the R-Series even further, to just 660 grams (on average), while also adding aerodynamic tube shapes and internal cable routing.

Now cyclists burning the midnight oil over the choice between aerodynamics and stiffness and weight can rest easy, able to have it all in one bike.  The new aerodynamic features save 100 grams of drag (more than 7 free watts at 25 mph) compared to other high-end, non-aero road frames, making it about 1/3 as aero as an S5. The Rca, lighter than anything else on the market, also maintains all the stiffness of  previous R frames. But for now, to own one you'll have to pay the big premium that comes with Project California frames, at around $10,000 for the frameset.  Those of us with more modest bank accounts can look forward to the new aerodynamic "Squoval 3" tube shapes trickling down to the regular R-Series production frames in the very near future.

Rca Features
  • BBright - Stiffness & Weight +Click For Details
  • Squoval 3 - Aero, Light, Stiff +Click For Details
  • Integrated Magnet - Aerodynamics & Aesthetics +Click For Details
  • Nanotech Fork - Weight, Stiffness, Safety +Click For Details
Available now at ATC! We currently have a 54cm frame in stock and ready for purchase, and can have other sizes ordered at your convenience.  If you just want to see what a sub 12 pound bike feels like, and trust us it feels weird, come to our Barton Springs location and just ask!

11.5 pounds!

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