3T Exploro LTD Gravel Bike Review: “The World’s Only Full-Aero Gravel Bike”

“Exploro: The World’s Only Full-Aero Gravel Bike”3T.Bike

“3T Cycling is an Italian cycle sport company associated with many champion cyclists. It was founded in 1961 and soon won a reputation for lightweight racing cycle componentry.” – Wikipedia.org

“The firm worked closely with professional racers to refine the design of their handlebars. The various ‘bends’ took their name from the champions of the era — Merckx, Saronni, Moser, and Gimondi. In 1984 Francesco Moser used a newly developed 3T bar to capture the world hour record, breaking through the 50-kilometre barrier for the first time.”

A lot has changed since that time, carbon fibre is commonplace throughout the bicycle industry, but some designs stand out more than others. With 3T’s focus on aerodynamics, it comes as no surprise that Gerard Vroomen, co-founder of Cervelo, a company renown for its aero bikes, teamed up with 3T CEO René Wiertz to acquire all shares in 3T.

3t exploro ltd gravel bike review sram red etap axs

The company’s first bike was the 3T Exploro, the machine of interest in this review.

3t exploro ltd gravel bike review sram red etap axs

Tipping the scales at approximately 17.8lbs / 8.07kg (size Medium) for the flagship Exploro LTD with SRAM Red eTap 2x 12-speed bike, 3T Discus 45 Carbon Wheels and more, everything from the frame to component selection is designed for speed.

3t exploro ltd gravel bike review sram red etap axs

What are the key features, how does the Exploro ride? 2x on an Exploro? Aren’t all Exploro’s out of the factory all 1x? All of these questions and more are answered in this video review. JOM of the Gravel Cyclist crew has put this bike through the wringer for five months.

Links of interest:

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  1. Avatar Irvin tremblay

    I own a OPEN U.P. and this exact 3T and the review is spot on. Very good with 650B tires as well.

  2. Avatar Sean

    JOM, another informative bike review! I always look forward to your honest bike reviews. The 3T is a bike I wish I could ride/own but you laid it out why its not for me. Stiff, road like bike geometry. None the less, I like learning about all the bikes out there.

    • JOM JOM

      Thanks Sean! Next bike review to appear will be the Moots Routt 45… stay tuned.

  3. Avatar John

    Nice review! Can you compare to Cervelo Aspero please?

    • JOM JOM

      John, I reviewed the Aspero on the website earlier, you’ll have to draw your own conclusion between the two bikes. I generally avoid making comparisons myself, I like the readers to figure that out for themselves sans any bias.

  4. Avatar Ian Lintner

    Hi, there isn’t any mention of the battery causing rear tire clearance issues like I encountered with my Allied Allroad w/ first gen Etap. Is front derailleur battery no longer the limiting factor for rear tire size on most frames?

    • JOM JOM

      Hi Ian,

      I made no mention because it was never an issue during my review. SRAM has made about 2 – 3mm extra space with the latest version of eTap, although it still isn’t perfect. However, SRAM also make this wide spacing adapter to shift the derailleur a little further away from the frame… https://www.sram.com/en/sram/models/ac-fdcl-a1

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