3T Exploro Racemax Boost Vs. The SCOTT Solace Gravel eRide - Isaac's Tech Review

3T Exploro Racemax Boost Vs. SCOTT Solace Gravel eRide Review

Written by Isaac Boyden, on September 11, 2023

Meet the bikes 

The world of e-gravel bikes is starting to boom, with companies releasing models left and right, trying to hop into this new market. To us the consumers, it can be pretty confusing to look at all of these models and see what's different. I mean, they all have chunky tires, a motor, and curly bars right? Well, yes and no. There’s definitely more to them than just that, and we here at Contender can be of some help in sorting out the differences! For this review we’re going to look at the SCOTT Solace Gravel eRide and the 3T Racemax Exploro Boost, two very cool e-gravel models we have on hand here at the shop.  

The SCOTT Solace Gravel eRide 

The SCOTT Solace Gravel eRide is meant to be as versatile as possible, prioritizing efficiency and adaptability. The TQ motor system uses a mid-drive based motor layout, letting you change wheels on a whim, without needing to unplug anything. This means in theory, you could have a road and a gravel wheelset on hand to use at any time. Using the TQ motor system also is advantageous in a bike like this, due to its almost zero-drag motor. This means that if you’re in a good spot to ride without assistance, or simply feel like shutting the motor down, you can do so and pedal the bike like normal without it feeling like you're pedaling through molasses. Everything matters in the name of efficiency. 

The Solace Gravel eRide is based on the SCOTT Addict Gravel, the bike you already know and love, with some minor geometry differences. With tire clearance for 50c tires in a 1x set up, and a little bit longer wheelbase than the Addict Gravel, this bike is ready for whatever you want to throw at it. 

The TQ motor system in this bike provides it with 50nm of torque and 360wh of battery life. There is also an optional range extender available with 160wh of life in it. The Solace Gravel eRide is also classified as a class 3 e-bike, supposedly providing some form of assist into the mid-20s mph. The cockpit and furnishings of this bike are provided in full-suite by Syncros, SCOTT’s sister company. 

The 3T Exploro Racemax Boost 

Along the same lines of how the Solace Gravel eRide is based heavily on SCOTT’s respective gravel bike, the 3T Exploro Racemax Boost is an identical copy of the non-motorized Exploro Racemax. In fact, the standard 3T Racemax was already designed with such a large downtube, they didn’t have to design a new frame for the motorized Boost version. They were able to just put all of the necessary e-associated components in the already spacious downtube! This was also accomplished while adding only 3kg to the non-Boost bike’s weight.

The 3T Exploro Racemax Boost is designed around the rear wheel-based Mahle X20 drive system. This is Mahle’s newest motor system, and is already starting to appear on a couple of other brands. With a 236wh battery and 55nm of torque, this system is ready to keep you going longer! The Mahle system on the 3T is a class 1, meaning it won't go quite as fast as the class 3 but still can propel you around 20 mph. This, in combination with an aerodynamically centered frame design and carbon wheels makes for a very light weight and responsive package overall. This responsive ideology carries through to the geometry, with a shorter reach than other gravel options. 

3T started out as a component manufacturer, and that history carries through to the build. This Exploro Racemax Boost is outfitted with a 3T carbon bar, seatpost, and wheels (a 3T alloy stem is also included in the component package). The 3T Discus wheels are wide, and are aerodynamically optimized around a 38c tire. 

Conclusion 

The 3T Exploro Racemax Boost and SCOTT Solace Gravel eRide both stride the line of being very versatile and efficient e-gravel bikes, which can make choosing between the two a bit difficult. Two great options, but which one is right for you? The geometry on the Exploro Racemax Boost features a taller stack and shorter reach than the Solace Gravel eRide. This will have it sit you up a little bit more comfortably, but without sacrificing responsiveness due to the shorter top tube.

For a size 54/MD Solace Gravel eRide, the reach is 387mm, in tandem with a 128mm headtube. The Exploro Racemax Boost in the same size features a 374mm reach with a 161mm headtube. 

If you want to match your ride style with a perfect-world blend of longer battery life, versatility and low noise, the SCOTT Solace Gravel eRide is likely your best option. The ability to easily swap wheels makes this a truly cross-terrain machine, without the hassle of the Mahle motor when swapping wheels (remember, the Mahle motor on the 3T motor is located in the rear wheel). 

By the same token, if what you're looking for is simplicity and responsiveness, that's where the 3T comes into play. It keeps things lively, and the Mahle motor system is very user friendly. The Exploro Racemax Boost design is based on facts and figures, and its aerodynamics bear witness of this. Overall it’s probably the faster of the two bikes, with its aerodynamics optimized for gravel tires. All of this combined with higher torque, lets the Exploro Racemax Boost keep you rolling at high speeds!

Having had demos of both of these bikes at the shop, we have been lucky to spend an extensive amount of time out on the road, gravel and single track on the bikes. The Exploro Racemax shines on pure gravel while the Solace Gravel eRide provides a bit more versatility on rougher terrain if you want to mix in a little bit of single track. Bottom line, both are great bikes! Just pick your poison!


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