Cervélo P2C (Ultegra)

Cervelo P2C (Ultegra Group)

I’ve often wondered why so many bike companies ship their time trial/triathlon bikes with such crappy wheels. I suppose that if I’d really thought about it, the answer would have been obvious — low quality wheels are great for training purposes and help keep unit costs down. In addition, entry-level triathletes will get great performance out of this bike and all they need to do to make the bike more capable is to upgrade the wheels at a later date.

The P2C (Ultegra group) shown above might well be one of the best values in the TT/triathlon space. At $2500 MSRP, it’s a great bang-for-the-buck that won’t require any upgrades beyond the wheelset to make it competitive with bikes that retail for two and three times as much.

I had the opportunity to get in close on one this weekend while working at the bike shop, and I must say that I am really impressed. The P2C’s frameset is much like other Cervélo frames — a very unique look while combining monster lateral stiffness while keeping weight firmly under control. The best part about the Ultegra-equipped P2C frameset? It’s not a downgrade from the Dura-Ace equipped model — it’s the exact same mold, using the exact same carbon and lay-up process.

As you can probably guess, I want one. And with a shop employee’s discount, it’s not only feasible, but it falls well within the budget I’ve set up for myself this year. Rather than buy a whole new set of wheels for it in 2008, I could just run my Zipp 404’s off my crit bike. This is something I must consider.

If anyone with experience on the bike has any thoughts, I’d love to hear them.