Meet Pippi. My previously loved Cervelo R3SL. Most of you will be interested in the geometry, weight, and all the design details but all you really need to know is that it’s fast. I wasn’t convinced a big upgrade would enhance my performance and enjoyment but, quite simply, it has. Sure the lighter set-up made a difference but, after being on the same bike for 6 years, I never really understood what “responsiveness” meant until I felt the immediate return of power in the form of speed while chasing up a climb during my last race. Those same six years I spent on Campagnolo meant I found myself reaching for non-existent thumb shifters a few times but nothing hours in the saddle won’t change. While I didn’t particularly like that the front of my foot overlaps with the front wheel, the length of the top tube seems to place me comfortably in an aggressive position. I had so much fun racing on my new bike I forgot about it completely. I wasn’t racing on my bicycle, I was just racing.
Pippi was indeed a remarkable child. The most remarkable thing about her was that she was so strong…Why, she could lift a whole horse if she wanted to! And she wanted to.
Cervelo may make amazing frames but there is zero allure or sense of inspiration in “R3SL.” During my test ride, the literature nerd in me thought of “Pippi,” inspired from Astrid Lindgren’s beloved character Pippi Longstocking, and it stuck right away. The name Pippi may not seem to inspire the qualities associated with racing a bicycle but Pippi has a wild, confident spirit and abnormal physical strength. Her youthful adventurousness reflects the childlike enjoyment that cycling holds at it’s core and what cyclist doesn’t want the leg power to lift a horse? Sure, Pippi may seem a bit brash in the novel but that might not be a bad thing to channel when I’m vying for a wheel during a race. All I need now is some bright orange bar tape to mimic Pippi’s famous pig tails.