3T Exploro

95/100
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Facts

Gender
Release Year
Brand
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
11, 12, 22, 24
Weight
17.10, 17.86, 18.10, 19.44, 20.46 lbs
Suspension
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the 3T Exploro. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

26 reasons to buy

  • The Exploro was a fast bike on gravel, roads and singletrack.
  • Gravel handling was deft and receptive, allowing the Racemax to be flicked around.
  • On-road handling was described as agile, without being twitchy.
  • With massive 650b tires, the Exploro flew across singletrack.
  • Clearance allows for tires as large as 650b x 54mm, 27.5 x 2.1 or 700c x 40mm.
  • The Exploro is designed to work equally well with 650b gravel or 700c road wheels.
  • Exploro builds range from lightweight to ‘featherweight’. They ain’t heavy.
  • The Exploro kept up with the pack as an asphalt-bound road bike.
  • Exploros are available with either 1x or 2x drivetrains.
  • SRAM’s Force 1 groupset covered everything from road flats to steep dirt climbs.
  • ‘Sqaero’ aero tube shaping claims to shave effort off gravel rides.
  • Internal routing ensures that cables look clean and function the same way.
  • Bolts are provided for three bottle cages and a bento box.
  • The 3T Charlie Exploro seatpost is very secure once adjusted.
  • On the Pro GRX, gear range went plenty low for loaded dirt climbs.
  • A tester said the Racemax conquered gravel climbs effortlessly.
  • A reviewer described the Exploro’s truncated, aero-tubed aesthetic as ‘bold’.
  • To please varying tastes and needs, 9 builds and 2 framesets are offered.
  • A bikepacking expert said the Exploro was fast, even when loaded with bags.
  • Even with big 700c x 40mm tires, mud clearance was ample.
  • An elastomer ring around the saddle-clamp provided jounce-relief.
  • Squaero tubing is modelled on real gravel speeds and conditions, including mud.
  • On the Pro, WTB Riddler tyres were good all-rounders, on-road and off.
  • Wide and flared 3T Superghiaia handlebars made the Exploro manoeuvrable.
  • Where 3T Discus Plus wheels were fit, they were described as “bombproof”.
  • The ‘Hang-Loose’ removable derailleur made rear-wheel removal simple.

19 reasons not to buy

  • The Exploro could get very pricey, especially when looking at LTD or Team models.
  • Minimalist design means that there are no eyelets for racks or fenders.
  • The 3T Charlie Exploro seatpost mechanism was complicated and somewhat fiddly.
  • Some testers found the ‘Hang Loose’ derailleur mechanism annoying and messy.
  • The Exploro’s aero tubing reduced main triangle space for framebags.
  • On the Pro, unflared Superergo handlebars were more road than gravel oriented.
  • For one tester of an LTD, their seat-clamp bolt creaked disconcertingly.
  • A reviewer felt that tires had to be inflated for either gravel or road performance.
  • Short chainstays made the Exploro feel skittish over fast off-road sections.
  • Aero benefits seemed exaggerated to some riders.
  • The Exploro can not be expected to be as fast and light on-road as a pure road bike.
  • 3T’s Aeroghaia handlebar offered less hand positions than many pure gravel bars.
  • On very steep climbs, the Exploro’s front wheel could lift off the ground.
  • The seatpost wobbled for one tester. Another said it broke easily.
  • On an earlier model, a tester saw the seat clamp as weak and difficult to access.
  • Quick handling and stiffness were tiring factors on long gravel rides.
  • Both the saddle clamp and stem/bar combo loosened for a long-term reviewer.
  • Testers complained of a lack of confidence on fast off-road descents.
  • A bikepacking expert bemoaned a lack of fork mounts.

Bottom line

Groundbreaking concepts will always be divisive. The 3T Exploro’s aero-gravel approach is no exception. This rig’s aggressive geometry is angled toward high-speed riding. Until recently, only road cycling approached the bleeding edge of lightweight, wind-tunnel-tested design. As such, the Exploro won over road cyclists who dabble in or have transitioned to gravel. For some others, the race-bred purism and twitchy handling was too much at high speeds, creating a ride that was frightening on fast turns and descents. But with the allowance for humungo 650b tires, this really was a bike that did both gravel and road very well. Just not cheaply.

Expert Reviews

86/100 based on 8 expert reviews
100
cyclingnews

3T Exploro Review: The Aero Gravel Bike That Can Do It All

I’m often asked if I could only have one bike, what would I choose? Having ridden the 3T Exploro in all manner of conditions this past few months, it would sit near the top of that list.

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90
Cycling Weekly

3T Exploro LTD

This epic bike convinced me that aero does matter when going off-road… even if it never touched the rough stuff it would make an excellent road bike… if you are serious about adventure riding then this bike will not let you down… 3T has got this bike right.

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90
Feed the Habit

3T Exploro Team Mullet Build Review

One fine do-it-all machine… it’s meant to be pushed hard at threshold on the most grueling gravel courses imaginable… back on the road, it simply rides like a fine road bike… On technical singletrack, the Exploro is a blast… just outfit it for adventure and go wherever the wind takes you… it’s tons of fun…

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80

3T Exploro Pro GRX 2020

This bike can certainly handle more technical terrain, but it really shows its worth when you’re riding at speed, and it crosses over to tarmac without missing a beat.

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70

3T Exploro LTD

The Exploro is lively and stiff and I enjoyed myself most when I took it to the limit. Great for a performance bike, less good for long distance adventures. On longer distance rides I inevitably felt more beaten up and fatigued than on other long term test bikes.

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Comparison

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