The King of Kona has returned! With the launch of the P5 last year, one of our biggest questions was what would happen to the P3? In bicycle years, eight years is an eternity. And its many wins notwithstanding, the P3 was starting to get a little long in the tooth. Well in this case it would seem that patience has its virtues—the wait was definitely worth it.
While it’s easy to look at the pictures and think this is just a small evolutionary update to the existing P3 (we certainly did at the first glance) but look closer and you will start to see this is so much more. From the bottom bracket to the head tube we can see the heavy P5 influence. You have the enlarged headtube/downtube and seattube/downtube junctions including bosses for bottles. An additional bottle boss is available on the toptube for a bentobox (such as the ones now available from XLABs and Torhans). The new frame does not have the gargantuan seattube/top tube junction of the P5 and instead retains a shape similar to the original P3. This includes a brake mount in the more standard position—right behind the seatpost. Cervelo claims that having the brake in this position is aerodynamically neutral with the added benefit of easier maintenance.
Like the P5, the new P3 was built from the ground up to use Magura hydraulic brakes, bringing this system to a much lower price point. The only negative is that the brake line runs from the cockpit to the side of the toptube and again from the toptube to the brake outside the frame from the rear of the toptube to the brake. It’s true that this is just a little nitpick, but we think it is one of those items that sticks out on a $5,400 build. The frame itself can handle both mechanical and electronic groupsets with the battery mount located under the toptube.
At launch the available build will come with Shimano Dura-Ace 9000—not a bad call in our opinion. We only hope that Shimano jumps on the R2C bandwagon pretty soon since the Vision Metrons that we so love will only support 10-speed applications. Also included are the Adamo Prologue saddle and 3T Aura Pro cockpit. Rounding out the build is a set of Mavic Cosmic Elites, great training wheels but something most people will want to upgrade prior to their first ride.
The P3 has been the King of Kona for many years. And while you won’t find many pros riding this new P3, you will continue to see it well represented among the age groupers there. The new frame combined with the addition of hydraulic brakes makes this a very attractive bike, and we think it’s well worth a look the next time you are shopping. While $5,400 is not a small amount, the additional inclusion of an 11-speed groupset in the form of Shimano Dura-Ace and the included Adamo saddle both help justify the price. In fact, we are in the process of shopping for a new frame here at AG and can honestly say the new P3 just rose to one of the top contenders. We’d call that a heck of an endorsement.