What's the real key
benefit of a 1x drivetrain?
The aerodynamics, the ease of setting up the bike, the cost of
componentry, but okay that's not so evident in our first attempt at
it, but I think really at the lower end that's where the real
advantage comes in. Your bike just gets 10% cheaper, so that's a
big advantage. Also, the biggest fear for people getting into
cycling is the shifting, and the industry has done a terrible job
of it. It's ridiculous right. The left is different from the right,
they work in opposite ways. And so this takes that fear out of it.
And if it looks better. That's where the real advantage comes.
What would you say to traditional roadies that are
reluctant to embrace 1x? Is 1x really the future?
Traditional road cyclists get cut by disc brakes that weren't
even the road, you know. I guess in a way that's how it's always
been. Name me one innovation that traditional roadies complained
about and that then didn't become mainstream? Deep section wheels.
When we (3T) started sponsoring CSC in 2003 Zipp were the first
ones to really have a deep section wheel, and in 2013 there were
still pros riding box section alloy wheels, but after 10 years
finally, everyone got it. The same with aero frames, that took even
longer. But now every brand expect Cannondale has them. And
Cannondale is not exactly a traditional brand either.
It's not like I think rim brakes don't have a place in this
world and that everything has to have disc brakes, I just think if
you're a bike designer you should make a decision on what you think
your customer needs and stick with that, not me. "Oh this frame
comes with rim and disc brake versions and therefore everything's a
compromise!" So I think for disc brakes and for 1x, in five years,
even the traditionalists will laugh at how anti they were, this
Wide tyres, are they key to the
Strada? It's designed strictly for 28mm tyres?
The most important part of the bike is the tyre, the bike is
designed around 28mm tyres. Tyres are getting wider and wider,
wider tyres are a good thing for comfort so they are here to stay.
So everything is designed around the tyre. The gaps are tight but
they are designed around this tyre. You see these tight clearances
on a time trial bike, and it helps to keep the airflow attached
from the front wheel to the frame to the rear wheel.
Are there other limitations in bike design that you're
currently working on removing?
All the time. That's what this (points at 3T Strada) right. We
looked at about a dozen things and picked the three that we really
wanted to target, and there are still nine left. But you know, the
other nine weren't that interesting. But yeah we are always looking
at that, that's what design is. As a famous designer once said:
"design is not finished when there's nothing left to add, but when
there's nothing left to take away."