The 3T Exploro is one of those bikes that encourages superlatives. We’ve talked about the “we can, so we will” approach to creating an aero gravel bike before. As pointless as it is for many, we love that it exists… and actually is way more versatile than the description suggests – particularly with some high volume 650b tyres fitted.
Following that theme, when SRAM invited 3T as a launch partner for its new AXS group sets, one of the features that stood out to the company was the ability to mix road and mountain bike parts. In SRAM terms, that means combining the Force AXS road shifters and lightweight brakes with the Eagle XX1 AXS wide range rear derailleur. It’s an approach that we’ve seen from a few others, including Santa Cruz. If you want to run this set up on your current bike, you’ll have to wait a little longer though. Individual AXS items aren’t available yet – although SRAM plans to make them so soon.
Wide range or really wide range?
The mix-and-match setup works with a variety of Eagle cassettes, either the “insane range 10-50T” or the “still very large range 11-50T”. 3T thinks that for the Exploro 11-50T is actually a better choice for most cases, keeping the gears spaced a little closer. We’d be inclined to agree… 1x on gravel bikes is often a bit of a compromise, balancing gear spread without huge gaps that make riding on the road frustrating. Having said that, for almost all applications, we are definitely won over by a single ring for gravel.
Stepping slightly away from the full SRAM groupset, 3T has chosen to spec its full carbon aero crankset: the Torno. Manufactured from scratch at its carbon factory near Bergamo, Italy, the Torno is only made in limited numbers. Given its limited production, it’s not a crank that is specified on most of its bikes (the standard Force AXS crank is of course nice too) but as this bike is a special edition, it’s there.
The standard build is actually relatively conservative elsewhere, but 3T has included a number of upgrade options for those with deep pockets. In addition to the stock set up, there is also an option to upgrade to 3T’s new DiscusPlus i28 LTD 650b wheels or Discus 45 | 32 LTD 700c wheels.
The bike also comes in a one-off colourway of blue and orange. It retails for €6,499 and appears to be selling fast. We’ve enquired about whether there is any direct UK availability.