When Gerard Vroomen set out to create the Open U.P., the goal was simple – build a frameset versatile enough for cyclocross racing and singletrack ripping and everything in between. As he is also a co-owner of 3T, Vroomen again has created a frameset ready for on and off road adventures. While the Open U.P. favors the dirt, the new 3T Exploro is built for speed. With Vroomen’s legacy in supplying pro-tour teams and 3T’s Italian heritage, it is hard not to think that the Exploro was inspired by events like the Strada Bianca. And the 3T Exploro Team Frameset is the perfect canvas for creating the ultimate speed machine, whether for the road or dirt.
At the heart of the 3T Exploro is its use of Gravel Plus technology. Gravel Plus allows the Exploro to accept a huge range in tire sizes (while maintaining consistent handling), from 700c x 32mm cross tires to 650b (27.5″)x 2.1″ mountain bike tires. 3T was able to achieve this through extensive manipulation of the frame’s tube shapes. Most notable is the drive-side chainstay, which drops significantly at the bottom bracket before angling back up to the dropout/axle. The result is a frame that can handle off-road knobbies for off-road excursions, while still handling like a road bike with 700c road wheels. Because the 3T Exploro “favors” the road, 3T selected geometry more suited for carving high-speed corners and sprinting for city limit signs. In fact, with a road-wheel-setup, the Exploro could easily pass for a great road race bike.
Those who are familiar with Gerard Vroomen know the importance he puts on aerodynamics in his bike designs. So it’s only fitting that the Exploro is engineered for free speed. Due to the potential for wider tires, 3T created their SQaero design, based around a very wide and aero-shaped downtube. The width and profile allows wind to flow smoothly off of a wide front tire, while remaining strong, stiff and light. The seattube features a rear wheel cutout and an aerodynamic seatpost similar to those Vroomen brought to the cycling world over fifteen years ago in Cervelo’s infancy. The super-thin seatstays virtually disappear from the wind and maximize ride quality. 3T has tested their frame in “real world” conditions and found that the Exploro is actually faster with 40c knobbies than a regular road bike with 28c tires.
Free speed and versatility wouldn’t be much without a modern, well engineered design that accepts most aftermarket components. To ensure a strong and stiff wheel, the Exploro uses 142mm rear hub spacing, with 15mm thru-axles front and 12mm rear. This is becoming the standard for road disc brake bikes (and has been the mtb standard), so there are plenty of wheel options on the market. The Exploro is disc brake only with internal cable routing (whether mechanical shifting, Di2, or Sram eTap), and can run a single chainring (46t max or 50t offset max) or double chainring (36t small ring max, 50t big ring max) setup. 3T makes two versions of the Exploro frameset – the Team and LTD. The only difference is in weight, where the LTD saves around 200 grams over the Team through a more complex carbon lay-up.
The 3T Exploro Team Frameset includes a 3T Luteus II Team full carbon fork, carbon 3T seatpost, headset, front thru-axle, and all proprietary parts necessary for a custom build. The Team version of the Exploro frame weighs in at a claimed 1150 grams, and comes in a gloss White with Red accents. Call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org