Historically speaking, road cyclists are typically reluctant to adopt innovation. Traditionalists gawked when aero road bikes were initially introduced in the 90’s, they refused deep section aero wheels in the early days, and more recently disc brakes have been a serious point of contention. The 3T Strada Pro road bike, with it’s aero tubing, disc brakes, and 1x drivetrain, is yet again a push towards innovation. This time around traditionalists would be wrong to reject this newest road bike.
3T’s ultimate goal of the 3T Strada is to design an aero road bike that is comfortable both in fast sprints and long distance rides. As such, the bike is designed around four key aspects – aerodynamics, a 1x drivetrain, plenty of space for 28c tires, and disc brakes. We think they’ve succeeded, despite how out of the ordinary the bike seems to be.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why 1x drivetrain should even be considered on a bike like this. Simply put, 3T found that the worst area aerodynamically was around the bottom bracket. Eliminating the front derailleur cleans up air flow considerably, and makes the bike less complicated without sacrificing performance. The bike uses 3T’s Arcfoil tubing; an aero seatpost and seattube guides airflow past the rear wheel using Kamm-tail profiles. Further, the downtube is shaped not only with water bottles in mind, but to tuck the front wheel in as close as possible.
An oft-forgotten aspect of aero design is wind turbulence past the front wheel. To combat this, designers of the Strada sought to bring the front wheel as close to the frame as possible, as it improves air flow around the downtube and past the rear wheel. 3T’s response is the 3T Fundi fork; the Fundi fork uses what looks like the smallest fork crown around (smaller than just about any other bike we’ve seen) that allows for the downtube to be lowered and very close to the downtube. Bringing the wheel this close also has the benefit of creating additional space for a wide 28c tire with room to spare. This is where disc brakes come into play.
Disc brakes might be growing in acceptance, but they’re still a point of contention for many. On the Strada, they’re absolutely necessary, and the bike’s design allow for 3T to take full advantage of the potential of disc brakes. The Strada’s minimal frontal area, expansive tire clearance, and small fork crown can’t happen with a rim brake, which takes up much more space and engineering to make that area aerodynamic. The same can be said of the super thin seatstays, which are considerably stiffened by thru axles, without sacrificing ride smoothness. Many bikes have disc brakes simply as as a new innovation, but the Strada is one of the first bikes on the market to completely take advantage of what disc brakes can do for road bikes.
How is the 3T Strada Pro to ride? Well, wider tires make as big a difference to ride quality as 3T claims; a good set of tires provide more compliance than any other part of the bike. Combine that with strong frame stiffness, and the Strada is an excellent choice for climbing and cobbles, high speeds, and long distances. And the 1x drivetrain? 3T claim that 8 out of 22 gears on 11 speed drivetrain are redundant. 11 speed gives you the gears you need with less complexity, weight, and air drag. It makes for a revelatory ride: no endurance road bike feels this fast, and no aero road bike is this comfortable.
At first glance, the 3T Strada looks like a standard-issue aero road bike. It’s swoopy tubing and aggressive profile certainly evoke visual speed, but it’s all there for a reason. Everything, from the disc brakes to it’s 1x drivetrain, are meant to move the future of road bikes forward. It’s one of the most exciting bikes we’ve seen in a long time, and one that I’m sure sets a precedence.
We are proud to stock the 3T Strada Pro road bike and the 3T Strada Team frameset, ready to be built to your specifications. Give us a call during business hours, or send us an email anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.