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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 lineGroundbreaking 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 Reviews87/100 based on 8 rated expert reviews
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
3T Exploro LTD Review (First Ride)
…it’s mad, but I like it… This is an agile, engaging ride on the road… off-road it’s amazing what that extra tyre volume can do… it will take on terrain that’s far beyond the reach of a conventional road machine, while still being plenty of fun on blacktop… It goes for super-quick handling over inherent stability.
3T Exploro LTD Gravel Bike Review: “The World’s Only Full-Aero Gravel Bike”
This bike is like a rocketship. To me, it feels just like a high-performance road bike, but one designed to cross over to any road surface… I’m a fan of its quick steering, which isn’t for everyone… In my experience, I find about 100 miles is the max that I can deal with, riding this bike.
3T Exploro: Aerodynamics and Gravel
It hasn’t been designed to be the fastest out there, nor does it try to be. Rather, it’s one of the few to be truly capable of doing both.
How Good Is the 3T Exploro Gravel Bike?
Probably like the most fun you could have on a bike… these GRX shifters, probably one of the most comfortable shifters… super-powerful disc brakes… the frame is super-stiff…
3T Exploro Pro GRX Review
The 3T Exploro PRO GRX has been an absolute joy to add to my bike collection. It has opened up a whole new world for places I can ride. Sure, a mountain bike could have taken me over those same routes, but a gravel bike like the 3T Exploro allows me to cover that distance so much faster.
First Thoughts and Review of 3T Exploro
The bike really handles super-well off-road… super comfortable… seems to really rip off-road.
One Versatile Bike! 3T Exploro Rival. Aero Gravel Bike.
Feels comfortable off-road, feels comfortable on-road… if you had one bike to get… I think this bike can handle all that stuff…
Test: 3T Exploro LTD [Danish]
There is no doubt that the Exploro is a frontrunner in bicycle design… considering that the frame can be the base for different setups to replace multiple bikes, the price seems less daunting.
5 New 2017 Racing Bikes Tested [German]
Plus: extremely light, cleverly designed gravel frame; extremely versatile platform; reliable, quite willing character. Minus: expensive.
3T Exploro Wins iF Design Award, Our Review [Dutch]
The Exploro is fast and comfortable, but with a [high] retail price… not really a bargain…
3T Exploro Review: Hyper-Engineering
One thing is certain, the Exploro is fast… even when loaded… and it became quite addictive. Every time I took it out, I left my driveway like a bat out of hell and ended up doing twice the miles I’d planned… certainly not a bike for multi-week trips. It has a few faults when it comes to bikepacking.
Review: The new 3T Exploro RaceMax Is Every Bit the Capable Gravel Racer, Now Even Faster
…what the RaceMax does best is versatility… if this bike stayed in my quiver… that’s likely the life it would live. Ride, rinse & repeat… across all manner of off-road, gravel & bikepacking adventures.
Race Tested: 3T’s Aero Exploro Gravel Bike
It’s without a doubt the most race-specific gravel bike available, and not only in terms of aerodynamics. More important than that, it’s lightweight, torsionally stiff, and has a performance geometry while still feeling well balanced at high speed.
3T Exploro LTD Review
The 3T Exploro promises much but can’t quite deliver in any of the areas in which it claims to perform. If you want to go fast on the road there are faster, lighter bikes out there. If you want gravel or off-road capability there are better options. The push for versatility means it doesn’t feel quite right for any situation
3T Exploro: Can N=1?
The Exploro is a hard bike not to love. With a change in tires, a change in pedals, and a change in gearing, there’s virtually no limit to what the bike can become. The only regret that you may have is that it makes it that much harder to convince yourself (or anyone else…) that you need another bike…
First Ride: 3T Exploro Race Max
…the bike is beautiful!.. If you point it and shoot it runs like a Cheetah. It does not, however, do as well on the twisty narrow stuff. The front-end geometry just makes it feel a tad unstable.
Grinduro & the 3T Exploro
This is a really special bike… the Exploro LTD would make a fantastic trail bike, gravel grinder, adventure rig or cross bike.
6-Month Test: 3T Exploro
…one of the most versatile bikes out there, bridging the gap between road and gravel without compromise at either extreme… Aero gravel might sound like a ridiculous niche—until you’re out there in the wind…
Ridden And Reviewed: 3T Exploro Team Force Aero Gravel Bike
…the bike is designed for long gravel grinds. In those conditions, the bike performs admirably, and it is certainly a bike I would think about choosing… Quick steering and stiffness provide a racy feel during a short race, but for long gravel rides with gear loaded up, those factors contribute to a ride that is more fatiguing…
Review: 3T Exploro Team
The 3T Exploro is an extroverted and strong individualist, but one that’s full of contradictions… the Exploro is neither endurance, nor gravel, nor road bike. So maybe, those who are sick of rational decisions and conventional thinking are in luck with this one. Still, we don’t really feel like we can recommend it.
Go Fast on Any Surface With the 3T Exploro RaceMax
…if you only have room for one drop bar bike—the 3T is that one bike… It’s quick, it’s lively, and it’s entertaining no matter the surface under its wheels… it’s a far better gravel bike than the Tarmac, and a far better road bike than the Warbird…
The 3T for BMW Exploro Is the Ultimate Riding Machine
Combining the lightweight attributes of carbon fiber with an aerodynamic frame… nearly as fast as a road bike, comfortable as a touring bike, and ruggedly responsive as a mountain bike… an amalgamation of attributes imagined to adapt according to surface and journey.
Küat’s New Bike Rack Is Cleverly Designed and Easy to Use
With its Kashima-coated ratcheting arms and built-in LED brake lights, this hitch-mounted rack is an investment worth making if you’re looking for the ultimate adventure-rig accessory to bring your bike along.