3T Exploro Team Force Bicycle
While the original Exploro Team frameset and 3T Exploro Team Rival has been a success, those looking for a a little more refinement and a component step up have embraced the 2nd generation 3T Exploro Team Force Bicycle, which also has the market advantage of the flat mount disc brake set-up and a sharp Black/Red paint scheme. Gerard Vroomen of 3T bikes was perfectly happy with the post mount system, but seeing the industry moving to the flat mount standard, the inline updates were made.
Designed to be an aerodynamic gravel bike the Exploro has the capability to dominate faster track gravel courses, or deliver a final sprint win in your highly competitive road group ride. To understand the signature characteristics of the Exploro frameset design, refer to 3T owner/engineer Gerard Vroomen's background with Cervelo and his success with his smaller Open Cycles project. Pro road race, dominant aero performance and tube innovation experience, crossed with genuine versatility of the Open UP designs, combined with pure engineering and a desire to stay innovative.
The Exploro Team Frameset is deeply informed by both influences but no hybrid, but a fully integrated design, and maximized to deliver aero performance, power transfer and versatility. The fork and frame were optimized for the aerodynamic realities of larger volume tires, so you have a square-aero (Sqaero) shape down tube with a 50mm cross section, with an arc-shape leading edge and the now common flat-back design. Coming off up to 50mm tires the downtube manages the airflow as efficiently as possible, guiding it as easily as possible around water bottles and the seattube. The seattube has similar shape, but with a 25mm width, as it needs to do less to move the air back after it has been directed by downtube. The fork blades have slim aero shape, and the remaining tubes and junctions use Sqaero forms as well, but the management of the airflow off the leading edge is the crucial element.
A single ring (1x) drivetrain decreases the turbulent airflow through what is normally the front derailleur zone, and clearly 3T would prefer you move in that direction, but unlike with the 3T Strada Road frame, the Exploro provides a removable front derailleur mount. The FlipTop internal cable/housing routing system (for 1x, 2x, mechanical or electronic, and hydraulic) is clean, and fairly straightforward. Every detail has been carefully considered and addressed. 3T even includes a foam sleeve for the downtube routing to prevent any rattling. The frameset maintains smooth profiles throughout. It features a well designed 12/142mm thru-axle system, with a Syntace model included. The bottom bracket shell is for the FSA BB386EVO system.
The shaped 3T Charlie Sqaero seatpost is Exploro specific, and has a zero-offset clamp set-up. Vroomen has given the seattube a 72.5mm angle, which assists in rear triangle spec. Overall riding geometry is much more like an endurance road bike with a relatively short headtube and a more compact chainstay length (rear center) at 415mm than most gravel bikes. A dropped driveside chainstay keeps the Q-factor at a standard road width, and clearance for more gearing options. The fork rake is 50mm, giving the Exploro Team tracking and stability up front on rough surfaces. The geometry feels balanced and sure handling, with impressive acceleration, real speed, road feel and cornering capability.
With this Exploro Team Force complete bike, 3T has equipped the frameset with a SRAM Force 1x drivetrain and hydraulic disc brake system and 650b (27.5") wheels with 48mm tires. This is how 3T sees an optimal gravel set-up. A Force 1 crankset rides on a BB386EVO for SRAM PF30/86 bottom bracket, carries a 44T XSync single chainring, and is paired with with a PowerGlide 11-42T cassette, all of which lends itself to cleaner aero profile, features zero overlapping gears, and delivers excellent range for most gravel riding. Even if you installed 700c wheels with cross tires (up to 40mm) you'd feel comfortable with the gearing range. Clearly setting it up for road specific gearing range would require a larger chainring (50T max, flat-type), but in creating this complete bike, 3T assembled the kit with a gravel focus. The hydraulic disc system with it's Force flat mount calipers delivers steady, sure power with effective lever pressure, allowing you to corner and ride more technical terrain with confidence.
The tires are tires are the super popular Panaracer Gravel King SK TLC, in a 27.5 x 1.9" (48mm) size. Fast rolling, smooth riding, small square center knobs, with edge treads that deliver traction in soft material yet actually corner well on pavement and hardpack. Matched with 3T's Discus Plus C25 PRO 650b (24mm internal width) 100x12mm Front, 142x12mm Rear wheelset, the combon is ideal for a broader terrain spectrum than you'd think at first glance. The wheels feature the Center Lock disc interface and Shimano/SRAM 11-speed freehub.
The kit items are mostly 3T, with the gravel/offroad, leverage-oriented, UD carbon, angled drop Superghiaia Team Stealth handlebar, Apto Team Stealth stem, and Corius Team bar tape. A Selle San Marco Mantra Open-Fit Dynamic Carbon Fiber saddle, reinforced with Microfeel covered Biofoam, rests atop the carbon 3T Charlie Sqaero seatpost. The fork is the tapered 1?” - 1¼” 3T Fango Team flat mount design, with it's kinked left leg, internal routing and 12/100 Syntace X-12 thru-axle.
We can truly appreciate the build on this complete 3T Exploro Team Force. With the Force upgrade, Discus 35 wheelset, Superghiaia carbon bar, and spiffy San Marco saddle, there is plenty here to love and distinguish the bike.
- Innovative, UD carbon aero gravel frameset design with tire, wheel, drivetrain flexibility
- Balanced geometry that feels more like a road design than a gravel bike, yet is stable, tracks well and is steady on rough surfaces
- SRAM Force 1 Hydraulic Doubletap 1x drivetrain, hydraulic road disc brakes
- 3T Fango Team tapered UD carbon fork for flat mount, 12mm thru-axle
- Compatible with 1x, 2x, electronic/mechanical drivetrains, hydraulic hose, via internal routing /stop system with flush FlipTop cover system, removable braze-on tab
- Sqaero tube shapes, overall design for aerodynamics with wider tire systems- applied to HT, DT, ST, SS
- Seatpost affixed on TT in front of post via easy access flush-mount wedge system
- Toptube bag mount-100mm from front boss to HT, 3 water bottle cage options
- Flat mount disc caliper mounts, 12/100 &12/142mm Syntace X-12 thru-axles
- Tire clearance: 650b x 54mm (2.1"), 700x40
- Chainring size compatibility: Max inner 36T, Max outer 50T, Max single ring (offset ring) 46T, Max single ring (flat ring) 50T; (applies to round rings, oval rings need to be measured individually
- SRAM Force 1 drivetrain/hydraulic disc system, with 160mm CL rotors, SRAM Force1 1x crankset w/44T X-Sync chainring, PowerGlide 11-42T cassette with JET black finish, XX1 Powerchain II, DoubleTap right lever, left brake-only lever, Long-cage RD, BB386PF for SRAM
- Wheelset: Discus Plus C25 PRO 650b (24mm internal width) 100x12mm Front, 142x12mm Rear, with Panaracer Gravel King SK 27.5 x 1.90 (48mm) tires (with tubes)
- 3T Kit: Superghiaia Team Stealth, Apto Team Stealth, Corius Pro bar tape, Charlie Sqaero seatpost, sealed 1.125-1.5" headset; Saddle: Selle San Marco Mantra Open-Fit Dynamic CF reinforced with Microfeel covered Biofoam
- Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL
- Color: BlackRed, Black/White
- Weight: Frame 1090g (Medium); Fork 490g (uncut)