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Road Framesets

Cervelo RCA Frameset Black

Much is made of how expensive top-end cycling equipment costs, and yes, it certainly can be. Like all research and development processes, the creation of an exotic, lightweight frameset is the combination of design and technical problem solving iterations. To continually push boundaries, companies must go to extremes, such as how the auto industry develops concept vehicles, some of which become truly viable, but the concepts drive innovation overall. At it's roots Cervelo is an engineering company. CFD development and material science come together naturally for the engineers. Project California is a perfect example how a company goes to the extreme, develops a viable, albeit expensive product but truly utilizes the features and technical details learned in the process to inform all price points and different designs. The project that developed the Cervelo RCA Frameset generated information and design features that specifically informed the R-Series, but also the S and P Series bikes as well. While we all can't enjoy the super lightweight RCA, most of us can experience the lessons learned throughout the Cervelo road line-up. Just as Shimano develops Dura-Ace, and SRAM develops Red to carry technologies and innovations down through their component lines, Cervelo has applied the R&D results of Project California to better all of their offerings. In this case, you can also own a rare RCA Frameset and directly experience the highest grade materials and carbon-layup expertise for yourself.

In very limited availability, the 2nd generation RCA is lighter and stiffer than the original. The handmade frameset takes a minimum of one day to lay-up, from 500 individual sections of carbon material, with a wide variation in capabilities and purpose. Each is precisely placed in it's proper relationship to the others. Every aspect of the process is detailed in a log; each piece of fiber weighed and noted. The end result is frameset- bare frame and fork, that weighs in at an incredible 947 grams. The bare 54cm frame-only weighs a mere 670 grams! And yes, it is fully rideable, and has been raced at the highest levels of pro cycling when built out to reach the UCI's minimum bike weight.

While the frame certainly carries the most effort and application of advanced composites (Boron fiber filaments), the already lightweight RCA fork may demonstrate not only a weight loss, but with the move to a 1 1/8" to 1 3/8" tapered carbon steerer tube, the design was updated and improved. Lateral stiffness was upgraded by 15%, while vertical compliance was increased by 7%. These are very real, and tangible effects that closely match the frame for overall efficiency and ride quality. Although Cervelo uses a light glossy clear coat as the RCA's finish, a distinctive red was used near the fork crown to spotlight the change. Cervelo supplies the necessary FSA IS2 1-1/8 x 1-3/8" headset.

Many of Cervelo's proven frameset features have been incorporated. The 79mm wide (30mm ID) asymmetric BBright bottom bracket shell and oversized chainstays balance the challenge of a right side drivetrain, delivering exceptional stiffness for max power transfer. The thin cylindrical seatstays carry the single-bolt caliper brake bridge and are largely responsible for the impressive comfort and compliance the R-series bikes all share. A standard 27.2mm round seatpost is spec'ed, with a simple clamp. You will notice the tubeset does not feature the Sqouval.Max design used by the current R5, but the more rounded Squoval 3 forms from the original RCA generation- judged to be perfect for the materials and lay-up used. The premium carbon lay-up rides like a dream, but a dream where you are descending the Galibier with supreme confidence and perfect lines as fast as you choose to.

The FutureProof internal routing and cable management system is here, able to accommodate mechanical or electronic drivetrains for a clean, efficient look. At braze-on type front derailleur is required for the build. Yes, this is a true road design, for 100mm front and 130mm rear quick release hub/axle systems, and caliper rim brakes. As of late 2019, it is believed that these RCA framesets are the last to be produced. With such limited availability the opportunity to own one of these exotic framesets is disappearing quickly. If you have any questions about the RCA Frameset, or would like to discuss a build kit, please contact us at 800.627.6664 or sales@excelsports.com.


  • One of the most advanced road framesets ever built, in very limited quantities
  • Super light frame/fork handmade with the highest grade materials and expertise
  • Result of Cervelo Project California R&D, process and design directly impacted virtually all Cervelo frame and fork designs, especially the R-Series
  • RCA tube design and carbon lay-up advanced by 500 distinct pieces of various modulus and biased carbon sheets
  • RCA Carbon Fork features 1 1/8" to 1 3/8" tapered carbon steerer tube, lighter stiffer, with better ride quality
  • Frame features: Squoval 3 tube shapes, BBright 79mm asymmetric shell and chainstays, Future Proof internal cable routing and management system, 27.2mm round seatpost interface, braze-on front derailleur mount, mount for single bolt rim brake caliper, replaceable rear derailleur hanger
  • Carbon dropouts of frame at 130mm, fork at 100mm for quick release use
  • Includes: FSA IS2 1-1/8 x 1-3/8" headset
  • Sizes: 48, 54 cm
  • Color: Gloss Clear Carbon Black/Red
  • Weight: Bare frame- 54cm 670 grams; bare frame and fork- 947 grams
Cervelo RCA
Size 48cm
Wheel Size 700
Stack 505mm
Reach 360mm
Head Angle 70.5°
Seat Angle 73°
Top Tube Length 516mm
Head Tube Length 108mm
Standover 693mm
Fork Trail 63mm
Fork Offset 53mm
Bottom Bracket Drop 68mm
Front Center 575mm
Wheelbase 970mm
Chainstay Length 405mm