Our goal was quite simply to optimize the aerodynamics of a gravel bike to the same level as a road bike. I don’t like to use the phrase “the world’s fastest gravel bike” because “world’s fastest” is so overused and arbitrary (see the 20 bikes that call themselves the “world’s fastest aero road bike”).
But in gravel, nobody else seriously uses aerodynamics yet. So for once I’ll say it: world’s fastest gravel bike! Now back to business.
While the idea was simple, the execution was very challenging. To lower drag, you need to shield the tires. Which means you need to know exactly how big all these tires are. Hint: It’s not what’s on the label! Hundreds of measurements later, we came up with two new concepts:
- WAM: Width As Measured
- RAM: Radius As Measured
By now, we know so much about tires we wake up screaming in the middle of the night. With all these measurements, the engineering of the frame could begin. The result is a frame with:
- tight-fitting rear wheel cutout (with mud clearance of course)
- downtube optimized to re-direct the airflow coming off the front wheel and onto the water bottle
- narrow headtube with a big steerer inside (it’s pretty trick)
- dozens of small details to eke out every last Watt
- a list of our favorite tires for grip, aerodynamics, puncture protection & more.
With the RaceMax, Speed is Everything. But not Everything is Speed. We know there are customers going for the absolute top speed (usually those who combine paved and unpaved roads or those racing gravel events).
Any questions? We hold a 12-hour
Questions & Answers marathon. See below for details!
There are also those who want bigger tires because they ride on tougher terrain or they just want to avoid walking at all costs. I am in this last group myself. Even for medium-tough routes, I’d rather give up a tiny bit of top speed for tires that get me through everything.
Good news, the RaceMax can accept tires up to 61mm WAM. That’s 15% wider than the 2.1″ maximum considered by many as the holy grail.
The model line
The Exploro RaceMax frame will be used on two series of bikes:
- Exploro RACE series targeting absolute top speed with 700c wheels and 35-42mm WAM tires, starting at 4199 with Shimano GRX.
- Exploro MAX series of unstoppable gravel machines with 650b wheels and up to 61mm WAM tires, also starting at 4199 with Shimano GRX
If you’re not sure, check out what tire is best for you.
The Exploro RACE and Exploro MAX will sit alongside the existing Exploro series:
- Exploro PRO series for the best value in fast gravel riding with its aero frames and tire fit of 30-54mm WAM, including the Exploro PRO Rival at 2999.
- Exploro TEAM series with an even lighter frame and top spec (including the Exploro TEAM SPEED aimed at the All-roader and Gravel racer at 3799).
Here are some short impressions about riding the RaceMax:
Here is a video where I explain all the details of the frame:
Here René explains the full model line of Exploro PRO/TEAM/RACE/MAX
For all the other information about the new Exploro RACE and Exploro MAX, check out the two new product pages: