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Reinventing the Road Bike

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For 50 years, 3T Cycling has been producing high quality, high-performance components for the elite riders of the peloton. Starting with steel during the golden age of bike racing, 3T later pioneered aluminum handlebars, to meet the growing demand for lighter-weight road bikes. Based in Italy, 3T has maintained incredible access to professional teams and some of the world’s fastest riders, including Moser and Merckx. Today, 3T Cycling produces a full-range of high-end carbon fiber components including bars, stems, seatposts and wheelsets along side their proven alloy versions.

Their newest additions to their production 3T Bikes, both of which seek to reinvent what a road bike is thought to be capable of. When outfitted with road tires, a 3T Exploro delivers the comfort and performance one would expect from a high-end carbon road bike. Dramatic tube shapes allow for road bike geometry, an aero advantage, and the ability to swap between 27.5 x 2.1" tires and 700 x 40c tires with little fuss. The 3T Strada has all of the benefits of an aero road bike with promises of not only redefining what an aero road bike is capable of, but what the future of road bike technology can do for everyone. Both framesets are uniquely 3T, and push the envelope on what a bicycle can do.

3T Strada

A Shift in Road Bike Paradigm

Aero road bikes are nothing new. Neither is the accompanying harshness that is nearly guaranteed when riding an aero road bike. That’s usually the compromise in the pursuit of ultimate speed and efficiency on a road bike. As tubing shapes change and grow to accommodate stiffness and aerodynamics, the rider themselves can be forgotten in the shuffle, leaving a rider more fatigued than they would’ve been had they ridden a more comfortable bicycle. 3T teamed up with Gerard Vroomen, who helped establish the Cervélo brand and some of the first road bikes with aerodynamic efficiency in mind, to tackle the conundrum with forward-thinking. The result of that forward thinking and loads of testing is the new 3T Strada, an aero bike that has a 1x drivetrain, disc brakes and capability for a wide tire.

The 3T Strada is a new frameset that has all of the benefits of an aero road bike with promises of not only redefining what an aero road bike is capable of, but what the future of road bike technology can do for everyone. One of the most obvious differences in the Strada is the 1x drivetrain. Not only is weight saved by doing away with the front derailleur and a chainring, but clutter around the bottom bracket is lowered, leading to a much more aerodynamic profile. Further, a 1x drivetrain eliminates gearing redundancy in a standard drivetrain (3T quote that nearly ⅓ of a 2 x 11 drivetrain is redundant), not to mention the obvious weight reduction that comes with a drivetrain diet. The other most obvious difference in the Strada is the disc brakes. Disc brakes, while less aerodynamic than a nicely-integrated caliper brake, provide more consistent and reliable stopping power under all conditions. To combat this, 3T have designed the frame and fork specifically to optimize airflow around the disc brake calipers and rotors. For those who prefer the familiarity of a 2x drivetrain, 3T offers the Strada Due Team frameset.

3T use their already-familiar ‘Sqaero’ tube shaping introduced on the adventurous Exploro frameset for the seatpost and seattube, as well as the razor-thin seatstays dropped low for improved ride comfort and aerodynamics. The new addition is their ‘Arcfoil’ down tube, which is designed to lower wind resistance that naturally comes from a wider tire. The down tube is shaped according to airflow off of the front wheel, which according to 3T flows upward before flowing horizontally as wind passes over the top of the down tube. It includes two different mounting points to mount the bottle as low as possible for aerodynamics. The seat tube, emancipated from the confines of a front derailleur, is free to be tapered specifically around the rear wheel for dynamics really only seen on the best time trial bikes. The rear wheel can then be tucked closer, while liberating space to swallow a 28 mm tire with ease. Finally, the Strada fork again saved from the confines of a caliper brake, is minimalist as can be. It is a short as possible to bring the wheel closer to the downtube, while still freeing space for that fantastically wide tire.

The Strada isn’t about the lack of a front derailleur, nor is it about how it can fit up to a 30c wide road tire. It’s about how it combines these technologies together for a new take on aerodynamics and tube shaping to form a new-age road bike that puts the rider first. The Strada is an unique road bike that can be ridden all day, in the mountains, or on the flattest rides. It has a tight wheelbase for exceptional agility, but it still corners confidently through turns. It is as stiff out of the saddle as the best road bikes out there, while still being smooth and impressively compliant over rutted roads. Ride it where you want, and the Strada excels in a way no other frameset on the market can.

We are proud to offer the Strada Team frameset, Strada Due Team frameset, as well as the 3T Strada Team complete bike as well as the 3T Strada Pro complete bike.

3T Exploro and Exploro Flatmount

The World's First Aero Adventure Bike

Designed by Gerard Vroomen, one of the original founders of Cervelo and current co-owner of OPEN cycles, this new frame benefits from decades of engineering expertise. The Exploro applies aerodynamic advancements to a bike destined for fast riding on gravel roads or bad pavement. Its ‘Sqaero’ tube shapes optimize aerodynamics for real-world speeds and yaw angles, not the theoretical “perfect” environment found in a typical wind tunnel. In addition, Gerard utilizes his Gravel Plus concept (previously seen on the Open Unbeaten Path U.P.) to allow the 3T Exploro frameset the versatility of fitting two different tire/wheel standards, while keeping consistent handling and control. Ride slow, faster.

When outfitted with road tires, a 3T Exploro bike delivers the comfort and performance one would expect from a high-end carbon road bike. Dramatic tube shapes allow for short chainstays and road-like geometry.  Utilizing the same road wheelset, riders can switch over to a big cyclocross or gravel tire and get massive traction and compliance benefits for dirt, gravel, or rough roads.  For even more aggressive riding and compliance, a 27.5” (650b) x 2.1” tire can be fitted to the smaller wheel, creating extra cushion and traction for exploring singletrack and doubletrack previously limited to mountain bikes.

3T Cycling offers two versions of the Exploro Frameset, the Exploro Team and Exploro LTD.  The 3T Exploro LTD offers the most advanced composites and complex carbon layups, to maximize performance and minimize weight.  The 3T Exploro Team is nearly identical to the LTD, but with a 200g weight penalty. With the latest in technology and versatility, the 3T Exploro will take you further from the beaten path, faster.

The 3T Exploro offers a host of technical features and designs, all of which enhance the riding experience.  Selecting the components that make up a complete bike, however, has only gotten more difficult.  It’s for this reason we’ve created our 3T Exploro Team Ultegra Di2 Complete Bike. Like our OPEN U.P. Unbeaten Path Ultegra Complete Bike, we’ve hand-selected components that match the Exploro’s design and intended usage. In this case, we’ve gone with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 kit, which seamlessly integrates with the Exploro’s internal cable routing.  HED Ardennes Plus wheels allow for a wide range in tire sizes, again matching the versatility in design.  We do custom bike builds nearly every day, but for those who would rather be out riding than researching components, here’s a bike we’re proud to offer as our own.

All it takes is one ride

Come talk to one of our 3T Bikes experts today

At Contender Bicycles, our best tools for selling bikes are the people who ride them. Each of us on staff has extensive experience riding bikes across many brands. Ryan Littlefield is our expert on 3T Bikes. To contact Ryan regarding any questions about the 3T Exploro or 3T Strada, send an email to ryan@contenderbicycles.com by phone during shop hours at Contact Us.

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