Featured Bike: Tony B’s T-Lab X3 absoluteBLACK Edition with Campagnolo Super Record!

T-Lab Bicycles: We meticulously engineer, manufacture and finish every T-Lab frame out of our headquarters in Montreal, Québec. Our home is a place like no other: The most European of the metropolitan centers in North America,–one filled with old-world heritage.

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black

“To redefine what’s possible with titanium, our engineering and design team is urged to innovate at all levels. Starting with the development of proprietary, precision forming techniques that allow us to radically shape the noblest of bike-building metals without compromising its inherent properties. Given that capability, we can create something truly remarkable: shapely Ti bike frames that deliver composite-inspired performance characteristics and everlasting durability, all while turning heads along the way. From there, no part of the frame is overlooked in our continuing quest to build next-generation titanium bicycles.” – T-Lab Bicycles

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black

absoluteBLACK: absoluteBLACK is a cycling company devoted to extraordinary design, European manufacturing and production of parts that not only perform great, but are long-lasting.

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black
Cane Creek eeWings Titanium Cranks, 48/32 AB rings

“We believe anything out there can be made better, including chainrings. We’re obsessive and driven. We made it our goal to improve riders pedaling efficiency by changing the way how torque from the crank is delivered to rear wheel. This is how absoluteBLACK oval chainrings found its way to general market and gained Worldwide recognition.” – absoluteBLACK

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black

Tony Brandotti is absoluteBLACK’s go-to gent for Distribution and Dealer Support for North America. Outside of his workday, Tony is a passionate cyclist like most of us, with a penchant for bespoke bicycles that don’t follow accepted conventions.

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black

Campagnolo groupsets have a following in road cycling akin to that of the tifosi who follow the Ferrari Formula One Team. And who can blame them? In my humble opinion, Campagnolo produces the most beautiful groupsets on the market, but don’t ask the price, or bring along a credit card or check (cheque) book with a healthy balance.

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black

Campagnolo’s components road-going are generally not optimal for the gravel road less traveled; you won’t find a clutch derailleur or shifters ergonomically designed for the gravel genre, but their style is unsurpassed. Think GQ style points 🙂 In fact, the very first Dirty Kanza was won by Dan Hughes aboard a Steelman CX bike with Campagnolo Record mechanical shifting. Follow this link to check it out.

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black

Tony B’s T-Lab All-Terrain X3

“For those riding gravel, mud, single tracks, farm roads,cobblestones and even asphalt, we’d like to introduce you to your new dream bike.” If you missed it, yours truly put the original version of the X-3 through the review gamut in Australia, circa January 2018.

  • Frame: T-Lab All-Terrain X3
  • Fork: T-Lab Gravel
  • Headset: Cane Creek AER
  • Stem: ENVE Road with Tune Top Cap
  • Handlebar: ENVE Gravel Bar, 44cm
  • Bar Tape: Supacaz
  • Brake Calipers: Campagnolo Super Record
  • Brake Rotors: Campagnolo Super Record 160mm front and rear
  • Brake / Shift Levers: Campagnolo Super Record Mechanical / Hydraulic 2 x 12-speed
  • Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record Mechanical
  • Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record Mechanical 12-speed
  • Cassette: Campagnolo Super Record 11-32 12-speed
  • Chain: Campagnolo Super Record 12-speed
  • Crankset: Cane Creek eeWings Titanium with absoluteBLACK 48/32 Oval Chainrings
  • Bottom Bracket: Kogel Ceramic
  • Pedals: N/A at the time of this article
  • Wheelset: ENVE G27 with custom absoluteBLACK decals
  • Tires: Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready 650b x 47mm
  • Saddle: Tune Komm Vor
  • Seatpost: Tune Leichste Stuck
  • Bottle Cages: N/A at the time of this article

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black

t-lab x3 gravel bike absolute black

Additional Images (all photos by Tony B)

T-Lab BicyclesabsoluteBLACK


  1. Avatar Willygoat

    Don’t think I’ve seen a more beautiful bike. Hopefully you would get to do a test ride! 😉

  2. Avatar Ron

    Lordy that is a sweet ride! I’ve found that Campy stuff rides just fine on gravel – really fine. My buddy’s bike with 12 speed Super Record made my SRAM Force 1×11 feel like it had toy parts, the shifting and particularly brakes were so much better. Thanks a lot buddy, I was perfectly happy with Force until I rode your bike.

  3. What a beautiful bike, at 6 paces. Those Huffy dropouts have no place on an otherwise fine looking bike, and what’s with the vein covered shaft holding the seat on?

    • @dustytires; the dropouts are actually functional and intended to be future proof. The T-Lab “T-One Dropout” is designed to improve stiffness and allows for adjusting for the ever changing wheel spacing that has plagued the modern bicycle.

  4. Avatar Stefano

    Can i ask about Campagnolo Chorus 12v (48-32 with 11-34), less expensive than super Record, if it’s good for gravel ?
    I’d love to have Chorus on my dream new gravel bike but Campy says that rear derailleur don’t works with tyres bigger than 32 mm …why? (sob)

    • Avatar Stefano

      Anyway….great bike!

    • @Stefano, I would assume it would be a bit more climbing oriented as the rear cassette has a little more gearing! I love the SR12 so far!

  5. Avatar Ron

    Chorus works perfectly fine on large tires, why tire size would matter is beyond me. I’ve seen bikes with 40mm tires running Campy 12 speed drivetrains.

    • JOM JOM

      Definitely need to see more Campy drivetrains getting dirty. I’ll have to do something about this in the future…

  6. Avatar Heffe

    The bike here is 650b x 47mm and the front derailleur still seems pretty happy.

  7. Tony! Stop making me drool. For some reason I just love those externally-milled Tune seatposts.

    Any idea of weight as it sits?

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