3T Strada and Exploro
The most interesting new bike at the show was easily 3T's
Strada, the Italian company's followup to the aero gravel Exploro.
Designed by the highly regarded Gerard Vroomen (ex-founder of
Cervelo) the Strada is a sleek aero bike that has been designed
around 28mm tyres, disc brakes and a 1x11 drivetrain - there's no
provision for a front mech.
That's in order to minimise drag around the bottom bracket area
as the frame can be optimised in this area. "The worst area
aerodynamically is around the bottom bracket, with the frame,
crank, chainrings, front derailleur, water bottles and rider's legs
leaving little room for the air to pass through," explains Gerard.
There are lessons taken from time trial bikes, with the seat tube
hugging the curve of the rear wheel and the downtube running very
close to the front wheel.
Lighting up the rapidly growing gravel and adventure bike market
is the Exploro, the first ever aerodynamic road bike and the most
striking bike on display at Eurobike. Also developed by Gerard
Vroomen, the Exploro features a gigantic 50mm wide Kamm tail
downtube (3T calls it Sqaero) which is intended to manage the
airflow coming off the wide tyres the bike can accommodate. With
compatibility for a full range of tyre widths right up to mountain
bike tyres, it's a bike that more than most blurs the line between
road and mountain bikes.