3T Bike has been manufacturing high-quality, high-performance parts and components for elite racers for 50 years. Beginning with steel during the heyday of bicycle racing, 3T Bike later was at the forefront of aluminum handlebars to meet the increasing demand for more lightweight road bicycles.
Headquartered in Italy, 3T Bike continued exceptional access to expert cycling teams and some of the fastest cyclists in the world, including Merckx and Moser. Nowadays, 3T Bike offers a full range of premium carbon fiber components, such as wheelsets, stems, seatposts, bars, and their great alloy versions.
Table of Contents
- Overview Of 3T Bike Company
- 3T Bike Categories
- Most Popular 3T Bikes
- 3T Bike Price Range
- Are 3T Bikes Any Good?
- 3T Gravel Bikes
- 3T Road Bikes
- 3T Electric Bikes
Overview Of 3T Bike Company
In fact, the 3T Bike is slightly new to the cycling market when it comes to bicycle manufacturing. Their very first complete bike was launched in 2016. And from that time, the company has constantly grown to provide the market with a quite large range of four bicycles, including one road bike and three gravel bikes. In addition, the brand has optimized its bicycles and emphasized making them as aerodynamic as possible without compromising comfort.
History Of 3T Bike Company
Initially, the bike company partly focusing on bicycles, 3T Bike was established in 1961 by Mario Dedioniggi in Torino, Italy.
Before getting the name 3T, the brand was formerly known as 3TTT- Tecnologia del Tubo Torino (Turin Tube Technology). At that time, 3T was just a simple tube-bending manufacturer. After that, the company started producing components and parts for bikes, and even sponsored pro cycling teams, including Team CSC in 2008 that famous cyclist Fabian Cancellara rode for.
In the 1990s, 3T started using carbon fiber components to produce their components, including stems, cranksets, and handlebars, among other components. At the same time, the company still sponsored professional teams, and in 2016, 3T Bike launched their very first bicycle, the Exploro.
Despite the company’s humble beginning, 3T Bike has taken the cycling world by storm.
In 2018, 2 years after the introduction of 3T’s first road bike, the company returned to professional cycling by sponsoring the UCI Professional Continental bike riding team, Aqua Blue, and gave them their Strada road bicycle.
Nowadays, the brand does not sponsor any professional cycling team or World Tour. Instead, 3T Bike concentrates on sponsoring the “Enough Cycling Collective”, a team including 8 amateur cyclists all over the world, sharing their riding experiences from gravel riding to racing and bikepacking journeys.
The eight riders in the amateur group are Asja Paladin, Elisa Vottero, Federico Bassis, Frank Bettini, Federico Damiani, Jacopo Lahbi, Mattia De Marchi, and Samuele Nichele.
Where Are 3T Bikes Made?
All of the 3T bike frames are manufactured in Asia. The brand also performs frame testing in their headquarters in Italy before shipping their models all over the world. In addition, 3T Bike produces their bike-related components and parts in-house in Italy, with the procurement of THM. This, as a result, allows them to develop their capabilities to make carbon fiber components in Italy.
The Technologies Of 3T Gravel Bikes
Before launching the first complete bike, 3T was formerly known as a bike-component manufacturer. Therefore, the company owns lots of groundbreaking technology. Among them, the Apto Stealth and Torno Crank are the two most outstanding ones.
When it comes to bike stem design, the 3T’s Apto Stealth continues to be at the forefront for six decades. It is a perfect combination between Italian refinement and unmatched functionality.
Even though the stem might not be the most interesting bike part, it is in the brand’s DNA to meticulously care about it. All the same, you will not find any other part that has such a great effect on your riding position. As a result, your speed, enjoyment, and comfort are also improved. It could be said that the Apto Stealth expresses the 3T stem’s elegance and innovation.
As you might or might not know, 3T’s Torno Crank is considered the fastest and thinnest crank arms across the globe, easily cutting through the air. The perfect blend of spider and built-in carbon axle creates 300g weight and exceptional power transmission. Typically, it is handcrafted in the brand’s factory in Bergamo, Italy. The Torno Crank will be an ideal aero upgrade for both on-road and off-road.
You will get dual advantages because of the super-thin crank arm blades and narrow aerodynamics. Firstly, they help slice through the air more effectively. What’s more, they can keep your feet closer together for better aerodynamic and biomechanical capability by reducing the Q factor by 4mm.
In addition, the Torno Crank is typically optimized for 1x drivetrains, allowing the brand to use straight crank arms without clearing the front derailleur. As a result, it makes them much more lightweight and aero. Moreover, it allows for greater siper incorporation. This Torno Crank is perfect for your Exploro, or Strada build.
Performance Of 3T Bikes
Whether riding on normal roads or gravel, most riders might share the same interest, which is speed. Therefore, everything on the new 3t RaceMax frame is typically built for that. As a result, 3T offers an excellent gravel bike that looks and rides like a road bike and rips through gravel easily.
And most importantly, the identical Racemax bike frame can completely be constructed with a concentration of pure speed or an unbeatable machine with incredibly wide tires. You can also easily switch between Race and Max with the two wheelset options.
As you might know, the bike tire is one of the most crucial factors in making the fastest gravel bicycle possible. This is because tire selection determines the overall grip and comfort that a gravel bike delivers. In addition, it will determine how you can shape the bike frame to switch the airflow.
In order to aerodynamically design the bike frame around its tires, you will need to know their actual measurements. It is not what you see on the label but how they actually fit. And that is the 3T’s RealFast aerodynamics. But in fact, it is not really easy at all. The tire measurement will rely on the pressure, the rim you use, and the accuracy of the size announced by the manufacturer.
Therefore, the brand took hundreds of computations to know the actual width of the tires (usually known as WAM – Width As measured) and the radius of the tires (also called RAM – Radius As measured). Ultimately, 3T uses that measurement to design their frames.
However, you might want an even larger tire for better control and grip, depending on how fast you go and where you ride. But don’t worry! According to 3T, 90% of the aerodynamic advantage of their innovative Racemax frame still performs well on tires up to 61mm WAM.
So, no matter if you are a gravel racer, a road racer, or and an all-road rider, you will take advantage of the 3T’s RaceMax setup. Whatever it takes, the Racemax will take you to your destination faster, and a model with the largest tires will be a perfect option for you.
3T Bike Categories
Even though 3T started small, they are currently manufacturing a quite wide range of gravel and road bikes, as well as other related accessories and parts. Let’s have a look at the 3T’s major bike categories.
- Gravel Bikes
- Electric Bikes
- Road Bikes
Most Popular 3T Bikes
At a time when the popularity of gravel was increasingly growing, 3T launched its first Exploro bicycle. And this is also one of the most popular bikes from the brand. However, 3T also offers other bikes from different categories that are proven to be high-performing. And here is the list of several most common 3T bikes on the market:
- Gravel Bikes: 3T Exploro RaceMax
- Electric Bikes: 3T Racemax Boost
- Road Bikes: 3T Strada
3T Bike Price Range
Just like any other bike brand in the world, 3T offers a wide array of products at various price points, ranging from affordable aluminum models to premium carbon ones. Here is the price range of current 3T bikes for your reference:
- Gravel Bikes/Framesets: $2,899 – $6,799
- Electric Bikes/Framesets: $6,999 – $10,999
- Road Bikes/Framesets: $2,141 – $6,499
Are 3T Bikes Any Good?
In general, the 3T Bike provides the cycling market with great bikes, which are the perfect combination of comfort, fast, and aerodynamics. Moreover, the brand has received lots of positive reviews from bicycle testers and journalists all over the world. In addition to bikes, 3T offers excellent components that are highly respected with a long history. They also partly contribute to great 3T bikes.
3T Gravel Bikes
If you are an enthusiast rider, you probably know that 3T is one of the bike brands to offer the first full-aero gravel bike all over the world.
In addition, the brand provides the cycling market with some of the best aero gravel bikes that won awards. These models allow you to explore the toughest trails and any gravel road without compromising road speed.
It was very long ago, before gravel cycling became common in the bike riding industry, that the 3T Bike decided to ride faster and further on any type of terrain. As a result, the 3T Exploro was invented and considered the very first model to combine mountain strength and road speed. Therefore, you can ride through both smooth and rough trails with ease. And finally, feel completely free on the terrain.
As you might not know, the 3T Exploro was at the forefront of aerodynamics for gravel bicycles, including wind tunnel testing with mud-covered knobby tires (to the horror of the wind tunnel employees). These ranges are proved to be great for gravel racing. They will provide you with a similar road speed and an extra advantage on windy gravel tracks.
While the Explore Pro/Team frame is typically designed to suit tires between 28mm and 54mm wide, the Exploro Racemax can fit tires up to 61mm wide. You can ride one tire for every single terrain or fine-tune, as the case might be, with the double wheelsets.
All the models in the Exploro Pro/Team range are constructed out of the newest generation of the initial Exploro frame. On the other hand, the Explore Max and Exploro Race are made of high-end Racemax frames. The Max models feature 650b wheels and tires between 54mm and 61mm wide, while the Race models are integrated with 700c wheels and tires from 35mm to 42mm wide.
For those who don’t know, the Explore is actually the creation of Gerard Vroomen. He was the inventor and former head of engineering at Cervelo, who received the award for the best Dutch Engineer of the Year, and currently the Head of Design at 3T Bike.
On his very first gravel ride, he understood both the speed and road bikes, and the challenge of gravel bikes can make bike riding much more fun for all riders. At that time, a performance gravel bike was founded, and the 3T Exploro has continued to set the stage.
The 3T RaceMax gravel frameset is typically built to be used in super-fast RACE mode with 700c wheels and WAM (width as measured) tires from 35mm to 42mm.
It is constructed with the next-level aerodynamics in mind, with a narrow headtube, bottle shielding downtube, back wheel cutout, and all-round aerodynamic profiles. In general, the 3T Exploro Race is just a great combination of an excellent gravel bike and road bike, which is pure fast anywhere.
On the other hand, the 3T Exploro Max is built with the brand’s Racemax gravel frame with an ultra-tough MAX model. It features 650b wheels with the WAM (width as measured) tires between 54mm and 61mm.
The Exploro Max set-up is particularly concentrated on aerodynamic performance, control, and comfort. This model will help you complete your dream terrain before the end or reach that mountain shelter before nightfall. Accordingly, the 3T Explore Max is one of a few gravel bicycles that is actually capable of riding on both paved and dirt surfaces.
It is proven that the 3T Exploro range has changed gravel racing and riding forever. These bikes are a perfect blend of mountain sturdiness and great road speed.
With the wide tires between 28mm and 54mm, you can ride faster and more confidently on different terrains, including asphalt, singletrack, and paved gravel. Moreover, the model comes in a fast, agile, and versatile gravel design, making it an utter blast to cycle.
3T Road Bikes
If the 3T Exploro Gravel models are considered among the world’s fastest gravel bikes, then their road bikes are the most comfortable road bikes across the globe. The Strada is the fastest road bicycle, which is specially constructed out of larger road tires. It comes with a simple saddle and curved seat tube for better aerodynamics and more ultimate comfort.
There are two models in the Strada road bike range. While the Strada 1x is great for the most lightweight and the best aerodynamics, the Strada Due 2x is perfect for closer-spaced gears.
Strada Team Ekar 1×13
As many of you might not know, the Strada is the very first aero road bike frame typically designed for larger tires. Therefore, you can experience both comfort and fast speed at the same time, from the cobblestones to the climbs. You can really ride one and the same bicycle all day and every day without getting bored.
The Strada is divided into two models: the original Strada with 1x drivetrain and the Strada Due with conventional 2x drivetrains.
And sometimes, you know, more is not always better, it is simply more. For example, the Strada 1x version provides you with the gears and range you need, lower weight, less drag, less complication, and less bother.
However, riders who like the 3T Strada’s optimum comfort and fast speed might prefer the electronic 2x drivetrain version. And that is why the Strada Due is built to be compatible with Campagnolo EPS, SRAM eTap, and Shimano Di2.
In general, the 3T Strada 1x drivetrain delivers incredible comfort and aerodynamics, while the Strada Due model allows the cyclist to use any brand’s electronic group of the key drivetrain with a little aerodynamic penalty for the second ring and front derailleur.
3T Electric Bikes
Having the same look as a road bike, ripping through tough terrain easily, with a great power booster inside, are what you will get from a perfect electric bike. These are considered among the fastest gravel electric bikes.
From Exploration To Commute
The Exploro Racemax Boost Electric bike is great for both all-road and gravel cycling. It is lightweight yet exceptionally tough, fast, nimble, and fun to ride. This, as a result, makes the Racemax Boost an ideal category-extender on your next gravel venture. In addition, it can help you to be in a bar with faster riders on your road and gravel group ride. What’s more, the model is perfect for commuters, allowing them to arrive at their workplaces breaking a sweat while integrating a venturesome workout on the way back home.
Same Award-winning Frame
As you might know, the 3T Racemax has won lots of prizes as the fastest performance gravel bicycle all over the world. On the other hand, the Racemax Boost model is constructed out of the same frame, and all of its electronic components and parts fit perfectly inside without the need for visible cables or larger tires.
As a result, you can keep all the excellent performance features of the original award-winning Racemax and with one more thing: added power whenever you need it.
Best E-bike Drivetrain
Almost all 3T’s gravel bikes are very fast and agile, and the major aim of the brand when manufacturing gravel electric bikes is to maintain the fun and versatility of that bike, not to create a motorcycle with pedals. In other words, the system should be exceptionally lightweight, providing the cyclist with smooth charging, and there will be no drag when turned off. As a result, the company created the custom Mahle X-35 system containing all of those features.
Drop Bar Or Flat Bar
The 3T Exploro Boost model comes in both flat-bar and drop-bar versions so that you can choose any one that fits your needs.
Racemax Boost Drop Bar
You can actually pedal your drop-bar Racemax Boost just like the standard Racemax gravel bicycle, but it will allow you to go faster and farther. More interestingly, it also allows you to ride it as a road bike with amazing hidden speed. This is typically great when you cycle in a group with a lot of abilities. You can even use it as a commuter bike without breaking a sweat.
In addition, the ordinary Exploro Racemax is currently the most aerodynamic, fastest gravel frame on the market. Therefore, you can easily install a battery and motor without the need to change the shapes. In addition, the custom 3T’s Mahle ebikemotion system is a great combination of smoothness and lightweight.
Racemax Boost Flat Bar
On the contrary, the flat-bar Racemax Boost version will provide the rider with a more comfortable riding position and even better steering control. It will be a perfect bike to explore the dirt and gravel terrain around you, across town, or simply commute to work. It really opens up new worlds, thanks to the low-weight design and high performance.
It is no exaggeration to say that this model features the low weight, speed, and nimbleness of the top-performing gravel bicycle across the globe. What’s more, the custom 3T’s Madhle ebikemotion will give you extra power to help you arrive at your destination without sweat or explore more trails with ease.
Generally speaking, some people might find 3T bikes relatively expensive, typically beginning riders who are looking for an entry-level bike. However, they are a really good investment since 3T bikes are carefully made to deliver the best performance and riding quality possible. What’s more, 3T offers replacement accessories and parts on their official websites and all over the world. So, you can be sure to maintain your bicycle anytime at a reasonable maintenance fee.