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We teased this bike, the new 3T Strada, a few days back on social media and the responses were predictably polarizing. An aero road bike designed for wider tires, native 1x, disc only – lots to love or hate depending on your perspective. After our experience on the category bending 3T Exploro and the new information we just received on the Strada, we’re inclined to love it. We thought 650b was silly until the Exploro, we though aero gravel was an April Fool’s Day joke until the Exploro. Now, we think the Exploro is the best all-around bike we have ever ridden. We’re excited about the Strada’s possibilities. 3T has come from no where in the frame business and immediately become one of the most exciting manufacturers in the industry.
First off, yes, it does look a lot like a Cervelo S5. Undoubtedly because one of the founders of Cervelo, Gerard Vroomen, is now an owner at 3T and played a huge role in both the Exploro and Strada’s development.
The Strada is 1x native. As an aero platform, 3T did the math and felt the aero drag penalty was not worth the benefit of smaller gaps between gears. 3T saves the drag of the front derailleur and second chainring, while being freed up to design the seat tube with any profile it desired with this strategy. 3T claims there are really only 14 effective gears on a 2×11 set up with the other eight being so close they essentially overlap. 1×11 has no overlaps. Aero efficiency is important, but so is efficiency of cadence. 3T – and SRAM – clearly have an argument here, but there are times when a tiny difference in gear inches makes a big difference. Whether the aero trade-off is worth it will be a personal – and polarizing – decision.
The bike’s tube shapes have two unique profiles depending on position – Arcfoil with curved cross sections to better follow curving airflow and Sqaero at the seat tube to allow for a curved rear to shield the rear tire. The new 3T disc-only Fundi fork features a lower crown which improves stiffness and moves the front wheel closer to the down tube for aero gains.
Perhaps the bike’s biggest ride quality will be comfort, especially in the aero road category. We’ve seen a lot of technology thrown at producing comfort in aero road frames, but 3T went for a low tech and incredibly effective strategy – wide tires. Nothing improves comfort and handling like wide tires. We recently swapped out the spec’d 23mm tires on a Canyon Aeroad Disc for 28mm tires and the bike was reborn. The Strada is built from the ground up and optimized for 28mm tires. While officially 28mm is the max, it appears even most 30mm tires will fit in the Strada. Sometimes the best solution is the most obvious, but it takes an eye with no baggage to see it.
There’s lots more to learn about this new bike and we’ll be getting one in as soon as we can. The new 3T Strada will be available as a frame set (frame, fork, seat post, head set) in August for $3800. The frame weighs 970 grams. The Fundi fork is 390grams.
For more info check out 3tcycling.com