There has been one element missing from my preparations for the 2014 race season: upgrading my time trial bike. I purchased my Cervelo P1 new in 2010 for $1,700. It is an entry-level racing bike that is not as aerodynamic as the more advanced and expensive time trial bikes in the Cervelo product line. The retail price for a new P3 ranges from $3,950 to $5,400; the top-of-the-line P5 ranges in price from $7,500 to $10,000, depending on components.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to see a closeout deal on the R&A Cycles website for a 2010 Cervelo P3 56-centimeter frameset for $1,995 (regular price: $2,900). A frameset is devoid of handlebars, drive train, brakes, saddle, and wheels. I ordered the frameset this morning and expected to have it in a couple of days. That evening, I received a phone call from R&A Cycles Customer Service informing me that their website was in error and the frameset I ordered was only available in a 54-centimeter model, which is too small for me. They offered to upgrade my order to a 2012 P3 frameset (regular price: $2,500, sale price: $2,250) for the same price as the 2010. I accepted immediately. The 2012 frameset has improved aerodynamics over the 2010 model.
Once the new frameset arrives, I will take it and my P1 to my long-time mechanic at a local bike shop. He will remove all of the components on the P1 and install them on the P3 frameset. (I plan to sell the P1 frameset to teammates or locally on the internet for $1,000 or best offer.)
Besides the obvious improvement in aerodynamics between the two bikes, the P3 frameset is constructed of carbon fiber versus aluminum for the P1 frameset. This means less vibration transmitted through my body on rough roads, a significant issue on some of the local time trial courses, particularly at the higher race speeds I’m planning to generate. It is also lighter than the P1 frameset by several pounds.