It’s safe to say that Cervelo’s bikes have “premium product” written all over them. Mere mortals all have the ability to ride them, but the bicycles are enchanted with a sort of spell, named “price”, that allows only a handful of folks to actually own one. Cervelo strictly followed and still follows this philosophy, but there’s been a breach in it that made the Canadian’s company quality trickle down to lower echelons of the bike range. This would be the short story for the new R2, something that, by Cervelo standards, is a budget road bike.
No one can deny that the North-American brand stands for quality, top-notch bicycles, sold for a corresponding price. For example, if you take a look at Cervelo’s rather short history, you can find only one episode of bicycle recalling, and even that was for a component that they didn’t manufacture themselves. As for other incidents that relate to product safety or performance, Cervelo’s record is blank a sheet of paper before an exam.
However, this brand has even bigger ambitions. Offering a bicycle at a more affordable price point isn’t something totally new, but the R2 is an important step in this direction. The road bike relies on the same frame as the R3, which tips the scale just slightly under 1 kilogram (size 56, paint and hardware included), that can support mechanical, electronical and the more ellusive hydraulic drivetrains. By using R3’s frame, Cervelo also made sure that the owners of the R2 will get to know the company’s technologies that help built such a strong reputation, like the Squoval tube profile, which implies a tube shaped like a square, but with slightly arched sides. It was put in use starting with 2005, featuring high strength, stiffness and low weight, and saw development along the way, nowadays reaching the third generation. Squoval 3 is more aerodynamic, the profile suffering noticeable changes, resembling more a triangle with substantially curved sides in order to lower the drag. As for the rest of the specifications chart, the bike relies on a Shimano 105 groupset, and FSA and 3T components, while a pair of Shimano RS010 wheels rounds up the list. So, how much is Cervelo’s cheapest bike? The answer is 2.500$.
As we stated earlier, a more affordable price point was something in the company’s target for some time, and we reckon that that „some time” started when Cervelo launched the S2 aero road bike. At that moment, S2 was also notably cheaper than other models, costing 2.850$. Its price remains the same for now, which means that R2 brought it lower by 350$. In spite of the relatively close prices, we wouldn’t necessarily rush to a comparison between them, as they are part of two different classes, namely regular road bikes, and aero road bikes. It’s true that the features aren’t that a-world-away, but they do imply some distinct on-road performances, and we mustn’t skip the fact that there are differences in what regards components as well. If the R2 relies on Shimano’s 105 groupset, the S2 features a mix of 105 and Tiagra components. Now, it’s also a matter of personal opinion if Cervelo did in fact launch a budget model, but as far as we’re concerned, we believe that the R2 gets as close as possible to the compromise between low price and premium quality.