Hambini Roasts: Cervelo

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If you are about to buy a Cervelo bike, watch this video. It shows the appalling tolerances the bike frames are made to. The bottom bracket pressfit specification is so bad, neither NTN or SKF will warranty their bearings in it.

Cervelo Bike Frame fixed

This particular frame had misalignment between the two halves of the frame body.

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  1. Hi Hambini, 2 questions for you:
    1. It’s quite clear how youe thoughts are about the quality of manufacturing of the cervelo / Open products, and what you think of G.Vroomen as a person. But can you appreciate what he has done for aerodinamics in bicicling with Cervelo, and bike geometry in general with Open / 3t, Or do you think it’s all marketing bullocks?
    2. I don’t know if the quality of the 3t frames is on par with the Cervelo / Open frames, but It seems Gerard Vroomen does take your opinion very seriously. By taking framebuilding “home” to Italy and using a filament winding technique, 3t wants to improve the quality of their frames. What is your opinion on this move, does this filament winding technique produce a theoretically better frame? Would be a nice comparison video! Exploro from the far east vs Exploro from Italy!

  2. I’m onto my second Cervelo frameset. I must be a slow learner!
    Both have been great in some areas of use – the S3 was very aero and fast and my current C5 is a great handling bike on the rough and hilly Yorkshire lanes and city streets that I mostly ride.
    Both frames have had BB alignment problems, which showed up in fast wear of the bearings. Replacement bearing sets needed every 18 months or so, regardless of bearings used. I run Rotor cranksets which have well machined and in-tolerance bearing surfaces as far as I can measure (Im a qualified mechanical engineer).
    So I have to say that Hambini is dead right and Cervelo deserve at least some of the abuse he is heaping upon them! I’m going to fit a Hambini BB I think, as these regular bearing changes are an unnecessary expense and workload.

  3. Did I find this guidance too late? 🤦‍♂️ I recently bought three (yes 3) Cervelo frames for folks in my family. They had a great rep and lots of support from local riders. I went all used as I’m not sure the bike bug will stick. All 2009/2010 Soloist, S1, and R3SL that I’m hoping were manufactured before they started producing shite (as you say). Were they ever decent or have they always been crap? So far, I’ve enjoyed their performance but we don’t have enough miles on them for a proper evaluation yet. I’d be interested in whether you think it’s been a downhill slide since the investment firm took over or whether they have been crap from the jump?

  4. Cervelo was the brand I aspired to own. Having stacked my Canyon Ultimate CF in Mallorca (awful bike BTW), I threw a load of cash a 2013 R3 (silver with red and grey decals). Super stiff, handled well, and looked amazing. But… it creaked and clicked with every single pedal stroke. It went back and forwards to the shop – they didn’t have a clue what was causing it. The original BBRight BB and Rotor crank was removed umpteen times, tried using a mild adhesive to hold it in, new bearings, but it would not stop creaking. Eventually got rid of the Rotor chainset and BB, and swapped out for a SRAM crankset and a Praxis bottom bracket. No better. Then tried the Wheels Manufacturing solution. Same issues. In the end I sold the frame and bought an R3 Dark (which was the R5 frame with R3 fork). Same issue. Same noises. Sold it after a few months, never bought another frame with any kind of press fit bottom bracket again. A mate bought the 2014 R3 (black with blue decals) and it was a noisy fella too. Their manufacturing isn’t up to scratch, and the BBRight standard just isn’t fit for purpose.

  5. Thanks for the Roast … good to know both the risks of certain brands AND certain frame design (BBright in this case). Just curious…what is on the other end of the shit spectrum. Which tech and brands land in the shizz and the lick zone?