Hey, we'd be skeptical too. Yet a year after the introduction of the original Exploro, customers and press agree that it really is three full-blown bikes in one.
With road wheels and tires, the Exploro is a very fast aero road bike, and comfortable as it fits any size tire. Switch to monster 2.1” (54mm) tires and it soaks up anything that gravel, dirt or singletrack can throw at you. Stay with a mid-size tire to mix on- and off-road segments on every ride.
As the reviews show, the amazing feat of the Exploro is not just that it can do all that, but that it can do it so well.
GRAVELPLUS: FIT ROAD, GRAVEL & MTB TIRES
Why is aerodynamics important on allroad (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 slow because of gradients, aero doesn't matter much. But if it's due to head- or crosswinds, you're slow relative to the ground but very fast relative to the air and that's what determines the resistance you experience (that's exactly why you're slow).
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) and optimized the frame for water bottles (tough to do long, epic rides without). We even designed the Sqaero shape to work well when covered in mud! The result? A muddy Exploro with 40mm knobby gravel tires and 2 water bottles (red line in the graph) is faster than the equivalent clean round tube bike is with 28mm slick road tires and without bottles (grey line).
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, a full airfoil with a normal ratio would have to 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 also use Sqaero on the headtube, seattube, seatstays and seatpost.
DESIGN IS IN THE DETAILS
CLEAN PERFORMANCE: Internal cables, hoses and seatpost clamp clean up the frame aerodynamically and visually. Dedicated FlipTop cable guides are future-proof with in mechanical & electronic versions for single & double chainrings;
HANG LOOSE HANGER: Mounting a rear wheel with disc brake can be a pain, we make it easy. Forget the derailleur, focus on the disc, put the wheel in, slide thru the axle and hang the derailleur back with the wheel already securely in place;
TOPTUBE BAG MOUNT: Attach a small toptube bag onto the frame without using straps which may interfere with your knees. Several bag manufacturers make toptube bags in different sizes following this standard;
CHECKPOINT CHARLIE: For mechanical efficiency and safety, both seatpost and seattube have a minimum insertion. The Checkpoint ensures you insert the Charlie seatpost far enough into the seattube;
FLATMOUNT BRAKES: Let's be clear, this is not a big deal. Postmount disc brakes work perfectly well, but the industry will slowly move to flatmount so this keeps us forward compatible. And it looks a little cleaner;
SEATPOST EXPANDER: The original Exploro has a beautiful hidden expander, but a top-mounted expander is a bit more user-friendly so just like on the Strada, we now offer this design on the Exploro.
Frame material: Unidirectional carbon - ultralight layup
Frame weight (+/-5%): 990g (Medium, frame-only)
Fork weight (+/-5%): 400g (uncut)
Fork: 3T Fango LTD for 12mm axle
Chainring fit: Max inner ring: 36T, Max outer ring: 50T, Max single ring (offset ring): 46T, Max single ring (flat ring): 50T
The above applies to round rings, oval rings come in various shapes and need to be measured individually.
Headset: Integrated tapered IS42/28.6 | IS52/40
Seatpost: 3T Charlie Sqaero (CHARLIE STRADA is NOT compatible with the EXPLORO frame)
Front axle: Syntace X-12 thru-axle 100x12mm (included)
Rear axle: Syntace X-12 thru-axle 142x12mm (included)
Front brake: Flatmount for 140/160mm disc
Rear brake: Flatmount for 140/160mm disc
Cable routing: Internal via interchangeable FlipTop covers for 1x10/11, 2x10/11, Di2, eTap
Bag mount: 100mm front-post-to-bearing-bore-edge
Finish: Stealth black
Included in box: Frame, fork, seatpost, seatpost internal clamp, front thru axle, 1 front and 2 rear derailleur hangers, front derailleur cable liner, noise-cancelling foam sleeve for rear derailleur housing