The latest range of 3T's best road bikes, gravel bikes and components have arrived and this comprehensive round-up will furnish you with all the information you need to know about the cutting-edge cycling tech on offer including details, pricing and specifications.
The Exploro RaceMax digs deeper into the world of gravel tyres and aerodynamics
Type: Gravel | Material: Carbon | Sizes: S-XL
Fast over all surfaces
Clarity regarding tyre optimisation
It's not cheap
While the original 3T Exploro paved the way for the aerodynamic gravel concept, the 3T Exploro RaceMax goes further, not only enhance the aerodynamics but also consider aero's relationship with gravel tyre sizes.
With tyres playing such a significant roll in the ride quality of a gravel bike 3T has invested a lot of time into defining optimal tyre sizes used for gravel riding and racing and has used RAM (Radius As Measured) and WAM (Width As Measured) to give tyres a more meaningful form of measurement based on a tyre and rim width. 3T provides a chart that recommends tyres from Panaracer, Pirelli, Schwalbe and WTB and their corresponding RAM and WAM sizes based on the terrain you ride.
This in-depth look into the gravel bike as a system has resulted in the Exploro RaceMax being both race efficient whilst still maintaining the rugged capability of huge tyres. As a guide, the 61mm WAM sizing equates to a value that is about 15% larger than 2.1in tyres. Despite that size, 3T claims the RaceMax retains 90%pr cent of the aerodynamics that you would enjoy, rolling the recommended 35-42mm WAM rubber, with 61mm WAM tyres.
There is room for a 2.1in tyre and it's fast in the wind tunnel
Type: Gravel | Material: Carbon | Sizes: S-XL
Snappy and flickable
Aero does matter even at low speed
It's not cheap
When 3T launched the Exploro, many turned their nose up at the thought of an aero gravel bike. But regardless of whether you think aero is everything even when you’re going slow, or you’re of the opinion that a bike with 40mm tyres just can’t be aero, you’ll find the Exploro is a flickable and confidence-inspiring ride on everything from tarmac to singletrack.
For those that are interested in the Exploro’s performance in the wind tunnel, 3T tested it at 20mph/32kph and found it saves 7 watts over a bike with round tubes and 24 watts at 30mph/48kph against the same bike.
The bike will accommodate up to a 700x40c tyre or a 650bx2.1in tyre and features flat-mount disc brakes, a dropped drive-side chainstay for tyre and chainring clearance, internal cable routing and rack and fender mounts galore. The geometry is in the racier end of the gravel spectrum with a 71.1-degree head angle, 546mm stack and 378mm reach in a size medium. The bike is available off the shelf with either 650b or 700c with plush tyres, or in a Speed version that comes with 700x28c tyres.
A misunderstood race bike
Type: Aero road | Material: Carbon | Sizes: S-XL
Ahead of the curve on brakes and tyres
1x and 2x version
Wide range gearing
Gearing may not work for everyone
The Strada was another bike that nobody really understood when it was launched, a 1x-specific aero race bike with disc brakes and room for 28c tyres. While the 1x-specific gearing hasn’t quite caught on for strict road riding — leading to 3T launching the 'Due' version which features a front derailleur mount — they were right on the money when it came to the disc brakes and wide tyres, with even the most serious roadies opting for plump rubber if they have room.
According to 3T, removing the front derailleur reduces the front surface area of the bike which in turn reduces potential drag, while a 1x11 (and 1x12) drivetrain is capable of hitting comparable gear ranges to 2x. The trouble is the jumps between gears can make it challenging to find a comfortable cadence.
With generously dropped chainstays the Strada is surprisingly comfy for an aero bike, helped by the fat tyres, it’s still a race bike and puts the rider in an aggressive position. In size medium, this amounts to a 536mm stack, and a 381mm reach, which are paired with a 73-degree head angle and compact 405mm chainstays.
A crowd favourite bar gets better
Drop: 123mm | Widths: 38-44mm
Shape and drop
Available at a range of price points
Awkward internal cable routing
3T’s Ergonova is one of the most popular handlebars the brand has ever made, so when they sought to give it an update, loyal customers and sponsored athletes alike begged the brand not to change a thing. Noticing that riders spent quite a lot of time hanging on by the corners of the bars 3T thought they could make a small improvement, without upsetting those who love the Ergonova.
The result is what the brand calls 'corner grip', which sees the bend from the tops into the hoods widened to give your hand a larger surface to rest on. Beyond that, the bar is unchanged, with the same compact drop and egg-shaped tops people know and love.
We do wish that 3T would update the internal cable routing, as it requires the planets and the moon to be perfectly aligned to put a cable in and have it emerge on the other side.
Traditional bend with a deep drop
Drop: 148mm | Widths: 40-44cm
Lots of drop and reach
Most people prefer compact bars
3T describes its Superleggera bars as like choosing a mattress, some prefer the cloud-like feel of a plush double pillow top, while others prefer the plywood-like feel of a firm bed — the Superlegerra falls into the latter category.
It's the only bar in 3T’s range with a classic round bend. The tops are mildly ovalised for comfort but the rest of the bar is a round gauge, and as the Superleggera name suggests it’s the lightest and stiffest bar in the brand's range.
Aero bars designed with some outside-the-square thinking
Drop: 127mm | Widths: 40-44cm
Aero tube shapes
Profiles put a premium on comfort
Awkward internal cable routing
With the Aeronova, 3T wanted to offer an aero profile that didn’t leave your hands sore and tired after a long ride. While the wide flat tops support your hands comfortably, 3T have added a dip in the transition from the tops to the hoods that it calls 'corner wing relief'. This acts as a secondary hood position which in combination with a slightly longer reach, puts you in a somewhat less aggressive body position.
The Aeronova has 104mm of reach which allows you to get low, and the short 127mm drop combined with the 6-degree flare makes for a comfortable sprinting position. To keep your cockpit tidy 3T also has incorporated internal cable routing, but it suffers the same fate as the Superergo bars.
Flared carbon gravel bars
Drop: 148mm | Widths: 40 and 44cm
Size specific flair ideal for riders big and small
Difficult to find
When things get rowdy on your gravel bike, flared bars can be the difference between you riding out of a two-wheel drift and picking pebbles out of your road rash when you get home.
The flare is size-specific so that smaller riders can still reach their brake levers, and the corners feature the widened corner-grip area for added comfort.
One of the most winningest track bars you can buy
Drop: 128-148mm | Widths: 35 and 37cm
The Scatto LTD is a bar for pure track sprinters and was the handlebar of choice for the legendary Aussie Track star Anna Meares.
According to 3T the Scatto produces significantly less drag than a round-tubed bar and is 50 per cent stiffer than competing bars used by top-end track riders. It’s only available in two sizes, 35 and 37mm, which have 128mm of drop and 148mm of drop respectively.
Alloy stem with a fatal flaw
Length: 70-150mm | Angle: +/- 6-degree, +/- 17-degree
With stem lengths ranging from 70 to 150mm in a +/- 6-degree and some lengths in +/- 17-degree, the alloy Apto stem is likely to work for most people and there is a double bolt clamp with the Team level using titanium bolts to shave weight.
There is a big problem, however, and it comes in the form of the reverse faceplate bolts. Aesthetically, moving the bolts to the back looks great, but good luck getting a torque wrench in there to tighten the fasteners correctly.
ARX LTD Stealth
Subtle and stealthy carbon road stem
Length: 80-150mm | Angle: +/- 6-degree
Murdered out look
A superbike wouldn't be complete without a carbon stem, and the ARX LTD stealth is designed to pair well with composite steerers and bars without the need for high torque or carbon paste. Claimed to weigh 118g in the 110mm length, the stem is available in 80mm-130mm lengths with a +/- 6-degree angle.
Two seatposts in one
Length: 350mm | Size: 27.2mm - 31.6mm
Available at a rage of price points
Angle and saddle setback adjustments can be fiddly
Some people prefer a straight seatpost, while others prefer setback, 3T’s Zero25 post offers both in the same package. Using a flippable head and minimalist base, the 3T post can accommodate both.
It’s available in both alloy and carbon versions with diameters ranging from 27.2mm up to 31.6mm
Discus 45 32 LTD
Light fast and strong with multi-axel friendly hubs
Depth: 45mm | Size: 700c
Ideal for wide tyres
Could be lighter for the price
Optimised for road tyres between 28mm and 30mm, and gravel rubber from 32mm to 40mm, the Discus 42 32 LTD is 3T’s carbon road wheels designed to excel on the tarmac and well after it ends. According to 3T, the Discus 45s are as fast as a 60mm rim when combined with a 28mm tyre. It’s hard to validate this claim without taking them into the wind tunnel, but the Nose Tail rim profile cuts through the wind and rolls well and the snub nose profile does not give crosswinds a whole lot to grab onto.
Measuring 25mm internally, the tyre bead is hooked and there is what 3T calls a safety ridge on the edge of the central channel to help keep the casing attached to the rim should you get a flat. 3T has also used chrome-plated brass nipples with stainless steel washers to prevent corrosion due to aggressive tyre sealant.
Claimed to weigh 1640g, the spoke hole drilling has been optimised so that a straight pull spoke will be perfectly aligned with the hub flange to limit fatigue and increase strength.
DiscusPlus i28 LTD
Carbon gravel wheels with future-proof hubs
Depth: 30mm | Size: 650b
Wide rim for wide tyres
Bead hooks add weight
No six-bolt option
650b lets you to run a 47mm tyre and achieve the same circumference as a 700 x 41mm tyre, allowing for additional grip without major changes to handling characteristics.
The DiscusPlus i28 are 28mm between the beat and are recommended for use with 47mm-60mm tyres. Claimed to weigh 1508g, the carbon rims are 30mm deep to keep them light and come with 3T GW Bombproof hubs with a centre lock rotor mount. The wheels come with endcaps for 12mm or 15mm thru-axles that can be swapped with no tools, and the drilling for the spokes has been aligned with the hub flange, so there is no undue bending or fatigue on the spokes.
Gravel-ready road race fork
Material: Carbon | Steerer: 1 1/8” to 1 1/4” tapered | Axel: 12mm | Tyre clearance: 30mm
The Fundi is designed for the disc brakes and is found on the Strada aero road bike. It features a minimal crown to help with aerodynamics and the integrated carbon bearing race uses a separate carbon layup, so the fibres in the fork crown run straight into the legs.
Speaking of the legs, they feature 3T’s Squaro shape and have a kink to make room for disc rotors and the integrated flat-mount adaptor.
Made for mud
Material: carbon | Steerer: 1 1/8” to 1 1/2” tapered | Axel: 12mm | Tyre clearance: 650X2.1” & 700 x 44mm
Internal cable routing
Lots of tyre clearance
Fango is Italian for mud, so it should be no surprise that this 3T fork is designed for gravel riding. If features new, more aerodynamic fork legs with the Squaro shape, and internal routing for hydraulic brake hose.
It is designed around a 12mm axel and the carbon fork features an integrated adaptor for 140mm and 160mm rotors with a flat-mount calliper.
Uber lightweight carbon crank
Crank arm length: 170, 172.5 or 175mm | Q-Factor: 142mm
Hand-built in 3T’s Bergamo factory in Italy, the brand says its carbon Torno crank is 3mm to 5mm thinner than any other crank on the market, measuring 12mm wide on the leading and trailing edge.
3T also says that the Torno is the second lightest crank on the market, second only to THM’s Clavicula SE (THM is a 3T partner brand and helped it to design the Torno carbon crank). The Torno features a carbon axel and an aero spider (also carbon) both of which are structural to one another.
The 1x specific crank utilises a Wolf Tooth Drop-Stop chainring not only to accommodate the unique spider design but also the countersunk bolt pattern.
3T range explained
Like any brand, 3T offers many of its products at different price points, ranging from budget-friendly aluminium to high-end carbon. To make life simple, the product naming structure follows the same hierarchy through the entire catalogue.
Pro - Most budget-friendly spec, components are alloy and bikes feature lower end groupsets
Team - Mid-level, components will be carbon and bikes will be Ultegra/Force spec
Team Stealth - The same as Team but all black with a small price increase
LTD - Flagship high-grade carbon fibre and bikes will have Dura-Ace/Red spec
LTD Stealth - The same as LTD but black and with a slight price rise
Founded in 1961 by Mario Dedioniggi, 3T was initially known as 3TTT, for Tecnologia del Tubo Torino (Turin Tube Technology). The brand got its start making aluminium alloy bike components and ski poles.
3T was the first brand to use 7075 aluminium in handlebars (the Superleggera) and worked closely with pro riders to pioneer a range of drop bar bends, including the bull horn bar used by Francesco Moser during his 1984 Hour Record. It wasn't until the 1990s that the brand made the swap to carbon fibre and have since helped riders pedal their way to victories at Grand Tours, Olympic Games and World Championships.
In March of 2015 after selling his shares in Cervelo, Gerard Vroomen bought a controlling stake in 3T. Shortly after, 3T made its entry into bikes with the Strada and Exploro.