Why is aerodynamics important on mixed-surface (asphalt, gravel, fire roads, single track) rides?
The key to the Exploro’s speed is the aero downtube that is wide enough to catch the airflow coming off the big front tire (a skinny downtube wouldn’t even touch the airflow). But at 50mm wide, we cannot use a full airfoil shape as the tube would be 150-200mm deep, causing too much surface drag. So we square off the tail, keeping most of the aero performance with a 50x75mm cross section that is also close to perfect for strength and stiffness; our Sqaero shape. The wide downtube also effectively shields the water bottles.
We didn’t want the Exploro to be fast in theory, but in the real world. So we tested at a realistic 20mph (32kmh) instead of the standard 30mph (48kmh). We also optimzied the frame for water bottles (tough to do long, epic rides without). We even designed the Sqaero shape to work well when covered in mud!
The Exploro uses Sqaero 50/25, with a 50mm wide downtube perfect to pick up the airflow coming off a wider cross or mtb front tire and lead it on to the water bottles. The seattube is 25mm wide to make it aerodynamically disappear in-between the bottles and the rear tire. The headtube, seatstays and custom seatpost also use Sqaero shapes.
The result? A muddy Exploro with 40mm knobby gravel tires and 2 water bottles (red line in the graph) is faster than the equivalent clean round tube bike is with 28mm slick road tires and without bottles (grey line).
To receive the upcoming Exploro aerodynamics white paper, request it here:
The Exploro is designed to fit road, cross and even mountain bike tires following the GravelPlus standard. The road and cross tires are 700c, the mountain bike tires use the 650b size, ensuring that all of these have virtually the same overall wheel diameter and therefore the same predictable handling. For 700c, we recommend our 3T Discus wheels, for 650b our 3T DiscusPlus wheels.
Exploro offers the most responsive ride ever on gravel thanks to its super compact performance gravel geometry: short 415mm chainstays and agile steering ensure phenomenal acceleration and grip on loose dirt as well as asphalt.
Internal cables, hoses and seatpost clamp clean up the frame aerodynamically and visually. The FlipTop cable guide on the toptube comes in several versions to allow for mechanical and electronic shifting, with single or double chainrings. For mechanical shifting, the Exploro uses full housing through the frame to completely the cables from any dirt or debris.
The Exploro feels at home on anything from asphalt to singletrack, and from short cyclocross race to epic gravel adventure. This means that sometimes you may want to run with one bottle, sometimes with two. The Exploro is optimized for both with a dual bottle position option on the downtube:
For mechanical efficiency and safety, just make sure the Charlie seatpost is visible through the Checkpoint. Even if the seatpost is cut and the minimum insertion on the post is no longer valid, the Checkpoint Charlie will show you the correct minimum insertion.
Especially out on the trails, putting the rear wheel back into the frame can be a pain. You need to line up the disk rotor on the left while juggling the derailleur, cassette and chain on the right and holding your bike upright. The Hange Loose Hanger allows you to focus only on lining up the disk rotor, then put the wheel in, slide thru the axle and finally hanging the derailleur back with the wheel already securely in place. Job done.
|FRAME SIZES||S - M - L - XL|
|FORK||3T Luteus II LTD3T Luteus II TEAM 15mm thru axle (included)|
|CHAINRING FIT||Max inner ring: 36T
Max outer ring: 50T
Max single ring (offset ring): 46T
Max single ring (flat ring): 50T
The above applies to round rings, oval rings come in various shapes and need to be measured individually.
|HEADSET||Integrated tapered IS42/28.6 | IS52/40|
|SEATPOST||3T Charlie Sqaero|
|REAR AXLE||142X12mm thru axle|
|REAR BRAKE||Post mount for 160mm disc|
|CABLE ROUTING||Internal via interchangeable FlipTop covers for 1x10/11, 2x10/11, Di2, eTap|
|BAG MOUNT||100mm front-post-to-bearing-bore-edge|
|INCL. IN BOX||Frame, fork, seatpost, seatpost internal clamp, front thru axle, 1 front and 2 rear derailleur hangers, front derailleur cable liner, noise-cancelling foam sleeve for rear derailleur housing and brake hose|
Gerard Vroomen went straight from studying Mechanical Engineering (where his final year product was the design of an aerodynamic bicycle) to co-founding Cervélo together with Phil White. They built it into the premier road bike manufacturer through cutting-edge engineering and an endless stream of break-through products. The most aerodynamic triathlon and time trial bikes (and mulitple World Champion), the lightest bikes to race (and win) Paris-Roubaix (the world’s toughest Classic), the first frame under 700g and the entire aero road bike category sprung from their work.
After co-founding OPEN with Andy Kessler, Gerard has designed the world’s first sub-900g mountain bike frame (when nobody was even under 1,000g) and started the GravelPlus category, creating fast go-anywhere bikes by combining a road position and mountain bike tires.
Besides his continuing involvement in OPEN, Gerard is also a co-owner and Head of Design at 3T, masterminding the Exploro and many more products to come.
We love bike expeditions. But like most of you, we don’t have the time for 5 weeks in Mongolia or 3 months in Peru. So we started the XPDTN3 club, packing as much bike adventure into 3 days as possible. Learn more...XPDTN3 CLUB