EXPLORO - GO SLOW FASTER™
Exploro is a bike frame built for speed and comfort on roads and trails beyond the reach of regular road bikes. It has clearance for big tires to conquer any surface, coupled with aerodynamic shapes that work at real speeds under real conditions, both on- and off-road.
Road, cross, and MTB tires can all be fitted: 700c road or cross tires are close in diameter to 650b GravelPlus® tires. Switching to 650b wheels for wider tire sizes enables the frame to have compact, race-bred geometry and a short rear end, for agile steering and phenomenal grip on loose dirt as well as blacktop. Recommended wheels are 3T Discus for 700c, and 3T DiscusPlus for 650b.
Exploro's Sqaero® shapes are structurally efficient and offer RealFast™ aerodynamics — even when covered in mud . Exploro uses Sqaero 50/25, with a 50 mm wide downtube that picks up the airflow coming off a wider cross or MTB front tire and leads it on to the water bottles. The seat-tube is 25 mm wide to make it aerodynamically ‘disappear’ between the bottles and the rear tire. Headtube, seatstays, and custom seatpost also use Sqaero shapes. Exploro on 40 mm knobby cyclocross tires is faster than the equivalent round-tube bike on 28 mm slicks — enough to make all the difference on a long, grueling ride on gravel roads.
Exploro fits single and double cranksets and its ‘dropped’ chainstay on the driveside ensures there are no clearance issues. Swapping wheels, or fixing a flat on the trail, couldn’t be easier, thanks to the Out-of-the-Way™ rear mech hanger that detaches from the frame when rear wheel is removed, taking the rear mech and chain out of the way. Thru axle makes re-fitting a snap.
Internal cables, hoses, and seatpost clamp clean up look and function. FlipTop cable guides fit mechanical or electronic shifting with single or double chainrings, and internal routing protects cabling from dirt and damage.
Other thoughtful features for long-distance exploration include double downtube bottle bosses, and bosses for a top-tube mounted bag.
|Sizes||S, M, L, XL|
|Weight||950g (frame only)|
|Fork||3T Luteus II LTD|
|Chainring fit||(applies to round rings, oval rings come in varoius shapes and need to be measured individually.)|
|Max inner ring: 36T|
|Max outer ring: 50T|
|Max single ring (offset ring): 46T|
|Max single ring (flat ring): 50T|
|Headset||Integrated tapered IS42/28.6|IS52/40|
|Seatpost||3T Charlie Sqaero|
|Rear axle||142x12mm thru axle (Syntace X-12)|
|Rear Brake||Post mount for 160mm disc|
|Cable Routing||Internal via interchangeable FlipTop covers for 1x10/11, 2x10/11, Di2, eTap|
|Bag mount||100mm front-post-to-bearing-bore-edge|
|Included||frame, fork, seatpost, seatpost internal clamp, headset, front and rear thru axle, 1 front and 2 rear derailleur hangers, front derailleur cable liner, noise-cancelling foam sleeve for rear derailleur housing and brake hose.|
Why is aerodynamics important on mixed-surface (asphalt, gravel, fire roads, single track) rides?
You may go slow off-road, but on the connecting asphalt sections you need road riding speed. If you’re going slow because of gradients, aero indeed doesn’t matter. But often you go slow due to head- or crosswinds, so you're slow relative to the ground but very fast relative to the air and that’s what counts in aerodynamics.
The key to the Exploro’s speed is the aero downtube that is wide enough to catch the airflow coming off the big front tire (a skinny downtube wouldn’t even touch the airflow). But at 50mm wide, we cannot use a full airfoil shape as the tube would be 150-200mm deep, causing too much surface drag. So we square off the tail, keeping most of the aero performance with a 50x75mm cross section that is also close to perfect for strength and stiffness; our Sqaero shape. The wide downtube also effectively shields the water bottles.
We didn’t want the Exploro to be fast in theory, but in the real world. So we tested at a realistic 20mph (32kmh) instead of the standard 30mph (48kmh). We also optimzied the frame for water bottles (tough to do long, epic rides without them). We even designed the Sqaero shape to work well when covered in mud!
The Exploro uses Sqaero 50/25, with a 50mm wide downtube perfect to pick up the airflow coming off a wider cross or mtb front tire and lead it on to the water bottles. The seattube is 25mm wide to make it aerodynamically disappear in-between the bottles and the rear tire. The headtube, seatstays and custom seatpost also use Sqaero shapes.
The result? A muddy Exploro with 40mm knobby gravel tires and 2 water bottles is faster than the equivalent clean round tube bike is with 28mm slick road tires and without bottles.
The Exploro is designed to fit road, cross and even mountain bike tires following the GravelPlus standard. The road and cross tires are 700c, the mountain bike tires use the 650b size, ensuring that all of these have virtually the same overall wheel diameter and therefore the same predictable handling. For 700c, we recommend our 3T Discus wheels, for 650b our 3T DiscusPlus wheels.
Exploro offers the most responsive ride ever on gravel thanks to its super compact performance gravel geometry: short 415mm chainstays and agile steering ensure phenomenal acceleration and grip on loose dirt as well as asphalt.
Internal cables, hoses and seatpost clamp clean up the frame aerodynamically and visually. The FlipTop cable guide on the toptube comes in several versions to allow for mechanical and electronic shifting, with single or double chainrings. For mechanical shifting, the Exploro uses full housing through the frame to completely the cables from any dirt or debris.
The Exploro feels at home on anything from asphalt to singletrack, and from short cyclocross race to epic gravel adventure. This means that sometimes you may want to run with one bottle, sometimes with two. The Exploro is optimized for both with a dual bottle position option on the downtube:
RACE: run one bottle on the bottom two bosses of the downtube for the best aerodynamics with the bottle close to the bottom bracket.
EPIC: move the downtube bottle to the top two bosses to make room for a second bottle on the seattube.
For mechanical efficiency and safety, just make sure the Charlie seatpost is visible through the Checkpoint. Even if the seatpost is cut and the minimum insertion on the post is no longer valid, the Checkpoint Charlie will show you the correct minimum insertion.
These give the the possibility to attach a small toptube bag onto the frame without having to use straps which may interfere with your knees. Several bag manufacturers make toptube bags in different sizes following this standard, so the choice is yours.
HANG LOOSE HANGER
Especially out on the trails, putting the rear wheel back into the frame can be a pain. You need to line up the disk rotor on the left while juggling the derailleur, cassette and chain on the right and holding your bike upright. The Hange Loose Hanger allows you to focus only on lining up the disk rotor, then put the wheel in, slide thru the axle and finally hanging the derailleur back with the wheel already securely in place. Job done.