3T Exploro Team Rival Bicycle
The first generation Exploro Team frame design features post mount disc brakes. Besides the necessary frame and fork changes for the flat mount standard, and a change in the seatpost height adjustment system, the 1st and 2nd generation Exploro Team framesets are the same. 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. We start with this here because there has been some confusion regarding the changes. With the 3T Exploro Team Rival Bicycle, which was released before the 2nd generation came out, you get the full-on Exploro Team frame innovative design, capabilities and aerodynamic efficiency that carried forward into the flat mount version.
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 essential focus of aerodynamic design.
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 3T Charlie Sqaero seatpost is a frame specific design, which is a zero-offset clamp design. Vroomen has given the seattube a 72.5mm angle, which assists in rear triangle spec. Please consider the geometry carefully when choosing your size. The 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 Rival complete bike, 3T has equipped the frameset with a SRAM Rival 1x drivetrain and hydraulic disc brake system, 650b (27.5") wheels with 47mm tires. This is how they see an optimal gravel set-up. A 44T X-Sync single chainring with an 11-42T cassette delivers a cleaner aero profile, features zero overlapping gears, and delivers excellent range for most gravel riding, and if you installed 700c wheels with cross tires (up to 40mm) you'll feel comfortable with the gearing range. Clearly setting it up with a 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 Rival post mount calipers delivers steady, sure power with effective lever pressure, allowing you to corner and ride more technical terrain with confidence.
The tires are the WTB ByWay TCS in the 47mm width. The ByWay features a smooth centerline for efficiency on the pavement with diamond shaped outer knobs for grip in the dirt. The dual compound tread rubber is firmer in the center for better wear, and softer on the shoulder knobs for good hook-up in the corners, without the odd transitional feeling many such tires deliver. The tubeless compatible tire installs easily and WTB suggests a 30-50 usable psi range, with a 60/40 gravel to pavement use percentage. The tubeless ready, 15/100mm, 12/142mm thru-axle Fulcrum Red Power 27.5 MTB disc wheelset is ideal for the tires, and features a Center Lock disc interface and Shimano/SRAM 11-speed freehub.
The kit items are mostly 3T, with the compact (77mm R, 127mm Drop) Ernova Pro alloy road handlebar, Arx alloy stem, and Corius Pro bar tape. A WTB Volt Pro saddle (135mm W x 265mm L), rests atop the frame specific 3T Charlie Sqaero seatpost. The fork is the proven 3T Luteus Team model with its tapered steerer, caliper post mount and 15/100mm thru-axle interface. The overall specifications are well matched to the capabilities of the frame set-up as a more gravel-oriented build, yet are no so overly specific to gravel that you can't enjoy it on the road. If you love to explore new roads of any surface, as well as yourself, the 3T Exploro Team Rival will carry you on your adventures.
- 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
- 3T Luteus Team tapered carbon fork for post mount, 15mm thru-axle
- Compatible with 1x, 2x, electronic/mechanical drivetrains, hydraulic hose, via internal routing and stop system, removable braze-on mount, flush FlipTop cover system
- Sqaero tube shapes, overall design for aerodynamics with wider tire systems- applied to HT, DT, ST, SS
- Seatpost affixed under the TT/ST junction
- Toptube bag mount, 3 water bottle cage bosses
- Post mount disc caliper mounts, 15/100 &12/142mm Syntace 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 Rival 1 drivetrain/hydraulic disc system, with 160mm CL rotors, SRAM S351 Crank w/44T X-Sync chainring, 11-42 cassette, chain, DoubleTap right lever, left brake-only lever, Long-cage RD, BB386PR for SRAM
- Wheelset: 15/100mm, 12/142mm thru-axle Fulcrum Red Power 27.5 MTB disc with WTB ByWay TCS tires- 47mm width (with tubes)
- Kit: Ernova Pro handlebar, Arx 31.8 stem, Corius Pro bar tape, Charlie Sqaero seatpost, WTB Volt Pro Saddle, 3T Exploro sealed 1.125-1.5" headset
- Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL
- Color: White/Red
- Weight: Frame 1150g (Medium); Fork 450g (uncut)