The 3T Exploro has been a favorite bike of ours for a while. It was one of the first frames that could really work well both as a gravel and road frame, for riders seeking a one stop solution (with a couple of wheelsets). Now 3T is releasing a big update with the Exploro RaceMax.
With this latest frame, the brand set out to make a bike that looks and rides like a road bike, but is at home on gravel. You’ll notice a few obvious changes to the frame. There is now a rear wheel cutout on the seat tube which sits close for aerodynamics, but leaves enough space for mud clearance. The down tube is also noticeably beefier, widening out to 75mm as it progresses from the head tube to the bottom bracket to direct airflow around water bottles. The seat stays and seat post are also aerodynamically shaped, and the downtube closely trails the front tire for optimal airflow.
Since all tire and wheels (as well as differences in things like tire pressure) create slight variations in total wheel-tire diameter and width, 3T lists its tire clearance in WAM (width as measured) and RAM (radius as measured). The brand took hundreds of measurements to determine actual tire sizes then designed the frame from there. And boy does the Exploro RaceMax boast some big clearance, up to 650x61mm. For optimal speed, 3T says run 35mm-42mm WAM tires. But if you want to go big on volume, the brand claims up to 90 percent of the aerodynamic benefits still apply with a 61mm tire.
3T sells this bike in two types of builds: Race builds with 700c wheels and 35mm tires (within 3T’s recommended fastest tire size of 35mm-42mm) and Max builds with 650b wheels and 57mm tires (near the listed widest size of 61mm). Of course, it’s the same frame, just built up differently, showing off the frame’s versatility.
The frameset retails for $3,200.
In Race builds, the bike is available in four optons: GRX 1x for $4,200; GRX 2x for $4,400; SRAM Force AXS with a wide rear derailleur for $5,900; and a Force AXS 1x with a 3T Torno crank for $6,400.
It is available in three Wide builds: GRX 1x for $4,200; GRX 2x for $4,400; and a SRAM 1x mullet for $5,900.
More info: us.3t.bike