Garmin-Cervélo rider David Zabriskie has thrice finished second in the Amgen Tour of California, including the two most recent editions, but is hoping to finally win the event this time around. If all goes according to plan, Zabriskie will do so aboard Cervélo's slippery S3 carbon aero road machine.
Detractors will scoff that little has been done with the S3's shape since its last major redesign in late 2008 (though some spy photos suggest a new version may drop later this year). However, there's little arguing with Cervélo's proven formula: a carbon frame with an airfoil-section down tube, seat tube, head tube, seat stays, and seatpost but with a weight that's only marginally heavier than the company's non-aero R-series machines, all with supposedly similar levels of rear-end comfort, too.
Indeed, actual frame weights hover just slightly on the north side of the 1kg mark and Zabriskie's machine is only just barely UCI-legal at 6.82kg (15.04lb). Some torsional and drivetrain rigidity is undoubtedly sacrificed relative to the R-series with the S3's straight 1 1/8in front end and narrow down tube but it's partially offset by the down tube flare at the bottom bracket, the unusually bulbous chain stays, and Cervélo's so-called 'SmartWall' construction, which places additional plies of carbon fiber on the sides of the tubes.
The build kit is rather straightforward for the most part with SRAM providing its flagship Red DoubleTap levers, brake calipers, and front and rear derailleurs, plus the PC-1091 chain and PG-1070 cassette. Rotor provides its slick 3D+ hollow machined aluminum crank, however, and while the S3 frame uses a standard threaded bottom bracket shell, the 30mm-diameter aluminum spindle still fits thanks to the company's own BSA30 external-bearing cups.
The front end of the bike comes mostly from 3T, including the Funda Team aero-profile carbon fork, ARX Pro forged aluminum stem, and Ergonova Team carbon bar. Even though the Amgen Tour of California roads don't include any cobbles or strade bianche like some of the European races, Zabriskie still prefers to have his bars double-wrapped. Aside from that and a preference for his brakes to be set up "really tight", team mechanics told Cyclingnews that Zabriskie otherwise doesn't have any special requests in terms of equipment.
Rounding out the build is a fi'zi:k Antares saddle with a carbon shell and braided carbon rails, Mavic's versatile Cosmic Carbone Ultimate carbon tubular wheels, Gore Ride-On Professional System derailleur cables and housing, a Garmin Edge 500 computer (unusually mounted directly atop the handlebar clamp), Shimano aluminum-bodied Dura-Ace pedals, and Arundel Mandible carbon fiber cages.
This article originally appeared on BikeRadar.