we tested a conventional 3T Exploro Race as you would buy it online with a GRX 600 1 x 11. The only changes we made where a new wheel set with wider tyres. The suggested retail price for the grinder is €4490,00.
Aero, rigid and super cool design
I would like to note this little review as a Vroomen bike. I have ridden most Cervelo models, which I found quite flimsy and in October I tested an Open UP in Girona. All of these previous models where fairly normal. I have the utmost respect for Gerard Vroomen, he has taken bicycle design to the next level on a couple of occasions. He developed the first “aero” road bikes with Cervelo, also took the design of TT bikes to the next level with Cervelo Triathlon models. I even had the pleasure of testing a 3T Strada about four yéars ago with a singelspeed 1 x 11 Force groupset. It was super fast bike, very aerodynamic and just could not be ridden slowly. Vroomen always thinks about every aspect of the each model and makes sure that it stands out from the rest, after all he reinvented Gravel with “Open”.
So when Vroomen aquired 3T a couple of years ago. it was just a matter of time until the first frames hit the market and once again it was different. The 3T Exploro was the first aero gravel frame with a couple of design extras. And once again Vroomen has taken “aero gravel” to the next level with the Exploro Race and Max. They are basically the same frame, the “max” takes wider tyres. The “Race” version fits 47mm.
Do we need an aero gravel? With the UCI bringing out a series and unless you are racing for the victory of the Dirty Kanza.. I doubt it. But if you are looking for a fast responsive grinder this is your bike. This is the first Vroomen frame that has the “Wow” effect. Not only is the design extraordinary, the bike is an awesome ride. The extra wide down tube (see details) offers a super stiff ride. You can feel all of your power going straight to the dirt. The thin aero seat post seems to offer a bit of comfort but otherwise this bike is pure performance, even with the fairly entry level wheels and tyres. The wide stance front fork offers enough stiffness and is a huge improve on the Open models that I rode.
The 3T Exploro Race is a huge must for gravel grinders looking for performance and a fast bike. I will being taking it out with lighter and stiffer carbon hoops shortly which will improve the performance and weight of the current set up, so I will be looking forward to that soon. The point that need s to improved was the bike is delivered with a standard road bar. A gravel bar with a bit of flare would give the bike a bit more style and steering comfort.