Review - 3T Exploro Adventure Bike

Review 3T Exploro Adventure Bike
There are some bikes that are different. They buck the trend, and allow adventures that previously hadn't been possible.

The 3T Exploro, as the name suggests, is one of those; enabling an exploration and ride versatility that I haven't experienced before in a 'road' bike.

This is my test report...


The Design

The 3T Exploro is the design work of Gerard Vroomen, a Dutch engineer who was largely responsible for the incredible innovation and development seen in the Cervelo range of road bikes.

The Exploro is a bike of a different kind though, and more similar to the Open UP that Gerard also designed. With an aero frameset tested in the wind-tunnel, and the capability to take both 650b+  and 700c wheels, this is designed to be a go-anywhere do-anything bike. A bike that is just as capable on the tarmac as it is off-road.

The Exploro Team model I have been riding is kitted up with a 1X SRAM Force drivetrain, featuring a 42T single chainring and a 10-42T rear cassette. Stopping power comes in the form of hydraulic SRAM road disc brakes, and the cockpit components are 3T's own well-reputed carbon handlebar and stem.

The Exploro is designed to go fast. Both on the tarmac and on gravel; its tube shapes, stiff bottom bracket, thru-axle wheels, and race geometry are all focussed on speed and efficiency. I'm a known fan of speed, efficiency, and mixed surface riding, so this sounded like the perfect partner...


The Ride

The Exploro arrived with 3T 650b wheels fitted, and the distinctive WTB Horizon 47c Road Plus tyres. It is a set-up designed for tarmac and light trails, so I headed out to explore...

The bike instantly feels fast. The light weight and race geometry help to create superb acceleration, and the Horizon tyres roll well, despite their large diameter.

The geometry and tyres are also confidence inspiring. Descending on snow flanked roads, I felt notably more traction, control, and grip through the corners; claiming a few PR's on downhill segments, even in tough riding conditions.

Head onto the trails, and the fun continues. Bunny-hopping the bike between the smoothest lines, I was able to keep speed, momentum, and comfort in plentiful balance.

Admittedly, the Horizon 47c tyres will not be up to much off-road in the wet; their file-pattern tread is designed for tarmac or cycle paths, and instantly becomes slick. But, that is where the versatility of this bike comes in...


The Opportunities

You can fit 650b+ road or MTB tyres on the Exploro, but you can also fit anything up to 700x40c cyclocross or road tyres.

In the wind tunnel, with 700c wheels and tyres fitted, the Exploro was apparently as aerodynamic as a Cervelo R5, which is pretty outstanding. I am looking forward to fitting a set of 700c wheels, both with out-and-out road tyres, and another with 40c cyclocross/gravel tyres. I fully expect the bike to become even more of a rocket than it currently is.

My first test with 700c race wheels will be at the TorTour Summer Cyclocross Stage Race in Switzerland at the start of June. I raced the winter edition of this event last February, and managed a 4th place finish; so there is some unfinished business to try and make the podium. I am hopeful the Exploro will give me the edge required.


Summary

This is an outstanding bike build, and a revolutionary design.

There are many 'adventure' bikes out there that are essentially cyclocross bikes, but the Exploro is different: it feels and can be as fast as a road bike, but at the same time it should be able to swallow up multi-day off-road expeditions.

Fun. Fast. Multi-functional. This could be the only bike I ride for the foreseeable future...

>> View the 3T Exploro Frameset here <<

3T Exploro Adventure Bike

3T Exploro Adventure Bike

3T Exploro Adventure Bike

3T Exploro Adventure Bike

3T Exploro Adventure Bike

3T Exploro Adventure Bike


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