I’m quite excited to tell you about the new Exploro frameset, and that is despite the fact that I think flatmount itself is not that important. Postmount brakes work perfectly well, so there was no reason for the industry to invent a second standard (the whole idea of a standard is that there’s only one). But it’s hard to avoid when Shimano decides to push this.
Of course, the most important is what didn’t change, the Exploro is still a very, very fast aero road bike if you put road wheels and tires on, and an extremely capable off-roader and mixed-surface machine (or gravel, or adventure, or RoadPlus, or whatever term you prefer).
The bigger story about this new frameset is actually the Fango (Italian for mud) fork, which is a complete redesign from the current Luteus II. A few of the highlights:
- More aerodynamic fork legs,
- Slimmer crown,
- Fully internal cable routing (rather than a channel in the fork leg),
- integrated disc brake bracket (same approach as the Fundi fork on the Strada),
- Dedicated 12mm axle threads,
- Syntace X-12 front axle, the stiffest axle system in the industry.
The frame also sees some other small upgrades, such as a change of the seatpost wedge collar to use the same principle as the Strada to secure the post in the frame (though the two collars are not interchangeable due to the different geometry of both frames).
The new Exploro Flatmount is available in TEAM (red logo box in the photos you see here) and LTD (lighter, matte finish) levels. The original Exploro also remains in the line-up, as the postmount is perfect for those who want to set up their bike with mountain bike disc brakes for that little extra braking power.
As always, there are so many ways to build up the Exploro that it is good to talk to your 3T retailer about what your exact needs are. One option that will be great for many riders is the new Superghiaia dropbar, which combines the comfort of the Superergo bar with an extreme flare at the lower drop for maximum control.
As you can see, the new frame has already been put through its paces around the world, and soon you can see the full XPDTN3 travel stories on the blog so stay tuned.