“Ohh hells yeah!” – That was what my first thought on riding this lean, green, race machine. Putting a bike together takes time- you research and choose the parts, the brands, the colors, the technologies, the mechanic, the fit- it’s a lot. But when it all finally comes together and you get to ride it for the first time, it is pure awesome.
As an industrial designer I really take an interest in the details and like to celebrate the project with a little photoshoot, so here we are. Our team puts in the effort to be partnered with companies that we truly respect and whose products we really appreciate. These race bikes exemplify that. Our 3T race machines are outfitted with SRAM, Stan’s NoTubes, Fizik, Schwalbe and Stages to create (IMHO) one of the most badass bikes in the gravel world.
For 2020, our squad is riding the 3T Exploro Team frameset with a custom paint scheme I designed using our team color palette inspired by natural moss, lichen and gemstones. The olive and navy shades mimic our Velocio apparel and I pulled in the light apophyllite green from our POC helmets. We also decided to go with a satin/ matte finish to the paint which really gives the olive a rich look. I am really happy with how these frames turned out. Word has it; a small run of them is going to be available to the public early this Summer so keep your eyes on 3T for that release.
The Exploro is the world’s only full-aero gravel bike. I love the concept. It makes perfect sense to me. We are a gravel racing team. We like to ride on all different terrain – pave, dirt, gravel, trails, whatever, and we like to go F A S T. With race-specific aerodynamics, geometry, stiffness and weight, this frame pulls at all my heart strings. The cherry on top is how slick the Sqaero tubes look.
We outfitted the bikes with a mix of SRAM Force eTap AXS and Eagle AXS groups. Half of the team opted for the standard 2×12 system, whereas the other half of us chose the 1x “mullet” build, utilizing the SRAM Eagle AXS rear derailleur and 10/50 cassette (featured in the photos on my bike). Different strokes for different folks and courses, but SRAM offers the gearing options to satisfy everyone.
For data on board we have Force AXS Quarq powermeter cranksets communicating to Stages Dash headunits. The pairing works really well to get us all the numbers we want to see. Some of us choose to go with the M50 Dash for a more compact bike computer and some of us opted for the L50 Dash with a larger screen for easy viewing of maps and color coded data.
We are rolling on Stan’s NoTubes tubeless carbon wheelsets; most of the time we run the Grail CB7 Pro wheelset which is super versatile but today I opted for the deeper dish Avion Pro because who doesn’t love deep wheels on a small bike? For both ride quality and flat protection, tubeless is the way to go. I’ve got Schwalbe G-One All Around 38c tubeless tires mounted up with Stan’s sealant.
For the touch points, Fizik provided the R1 carbon road handlebar, the R1 stem, the Vento Solocush Tacky bar tape in navy as well as our selection of saddle. I’m really digging Tempo Argo saddle’s cutout and short-nose design.
We worked with Bicycle Gallery in North Carolina to do the final wrenching and once we got to ride the bikes for the first time, they just felt right – pure awesome. Fast and zippy from the first pedal stroke. Honestly I immediately feel comfortable and confident on board. My teammate Rachel said it well “I was impressed by how quick the handling was. Sometimes with a gravel bike, the wheelbase is extended to accommodate a larger tire width and fake a more stable ride. It can end up feeling like you’re driving a dump truck. But the Exploro geometry makes sense. They tuck the rear wheel in with a chopped chainstay, and it still has room for a 700×40 tire. It feels like a road bike. And for me, coming from the road world, this is a positive attribute.”
We are so thankful for the support from all our partners this season in bringing together the build of these dream bikes. We know that the world is in quite a different way right now but whatever the season brings, we’ll be ready to Exploro. Currently, just solo.