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Thoughts on the new 3T Exploro RaceMax

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Thoughts on the new 3T Exploro RaceMax

Old 06-19-20, 12:02 PM
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gt3racerich
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Thoughts on the new 3T Exploro RaceMax

I live four hilly road miles from trails along a canal and river. I generally pop in and out of the trails with my road bike but would like to go much farther on the trails so I am thinking of a gravel bike. My issue is I am afraid that once I ride the trails both ways to the end, I will be bored with it. So, my thinking is if I get the RaceMax I can use at as an Endurance road bike. The geometry looks similar to endurance bikes and the big tires will be comfy for my 62 yr old bones. Plus, I like the bike. So, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Rich
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Old 06-20-20, 10:43 AM
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Looks to be a really capable bike and very nice looking. Check out this GCN video where the 3T RaceMax is put through its paces. There on road, gravel and some gnarly MTB sections.

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Old 06-20-20, 11:28 AM
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I put slicks on my gravel bike for riding trails that have a finely ground rock surface. Works really well and doesn't seem to slow me down too much on the road.
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Old 06-20-20, 11:38 AM
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I donít see any reason why not. I have a lauf true grit. If Iím doing more road riding I throw skinny-ish tires on there. I have an 6 year old Jamis road bike which I still love but if I had one bike I just use the lauf for gravel and road riding. I understand if your more race oriented but thereís not reason a gravel bike with canít serve gravel and road purposes
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Old 06-20-20, 01:34 PM
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Thanks for the replies, they are encouraging.
As a little more background: I am riding a 20 year old road bike. I love the bike but I have wanted a new road bike for a while. All the bikes I like have very aggressive geometry and while that is not a problem now, I don't know how much longer that will be.
I have ridden some endurance bikes and while I thought they were comfortable I couldn't find one that made me want to buy it.
Last year when Trek updated the Domane I thought about it for road and light gravel but there were a few things that I didn't like. In my mind I think the new Exploro and the Domane are comparable. I see people using the Domane for light gravel and road. While the Domane is a road bike that can do gravel, the Exploro is a gravel bike that can do road, but they are both relaxed geometry (as opposed to a pure road bike) with room for bigger tires.
If I were buying it strictly as a gravel bike there would be no issue, I just want to make sure I will be happy with it as a road bike.
As an option you can get 3T Discus 45 | 40 or 45 | 32 wheels. Does anyone have any thoughts, good or bad, about 3T wheels?
With those wheels and road tires I think I will be fine.
My size will not be available until September so I have time to think about it but As of now I am pretty excited about the bike.
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Old 06-25-20, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by gt3racerich View Post
Thanks for the replies, they are encouraging.
As a little more background: I am riding a 20 year old road bike. I love the bike but I have wanted a new road bike for a while. All the bikes I like have very aggressive geometry and while that is not a problem now, I don't know how much longer that will be.
I have ridden some endurance bikes and while I thought they were comfortable I couldn't find one that made me want to buy it.
Last year when Trek updated the Domane I thought about it for road and light gravel but there were a few things that I didn't like. In my mind I think the new Exploro and the Domane are comparable. I see people using the Domane for light gravel and road. While the Domane is a road bike that can do gravel, the Exploro is a gravel bike that can do road, but they are both relaxed geometry (as opposed to a pure road bike) with room for bigger tires.
If I were buying it strictly as a gravel bike there would be no issue, I just want to make sure I will be happy with it as a road bike.
As an option you can get 3T Discus 45 | 40 or 45 | 32 wheels. Does anyone have any thoughts, good or bad, about 3T wheels?
With those wheels and road tires I think I will be fine.
My size will not be available until September so I have time to think about it but As of now I am pretty excited about the bike.
My buddy has the current Exploro for all the reasons you've mentioned. It's pretty hard to beat a 17lbs gravel bike, the thing is a rocket. But the best part about the new ExploroMax is that they've moved away from the seatpost that's on the first gen. My buddy is on his third seatpost now and the clamp has already failed again. It's a terrible design and an absolute deal breaker. Luckily 3T got away from that on the new model.
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Old 04-20-22, 10:26 AM
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Brining this one back from the dead. I got a 2x RaceMax a couple months ago (apparently 2 months before it's round seat-tubed bigger-ruber-aceepting sucessor was launched) and I'm starting to play with tires that I can fit in the frame. I've got the wide 3T wheels (with 29mm bead with and 40mm outside width) and I hope to run the biggest tires possible... but I haven't seen much about what people have been able to safely fit.

I just test-fitted a 42mm Specialized Pathfinders (which I was hopeing to run at Unbound in the 38 or 42 size - huge volume difference between the 2!) and it clears WAM easily... but RAM: I've got a milimeter or 2 for rock strikes ! If the course is dry that's probably fine... but if not, probably have to run something thinner.

Any owners here that have any horror/success stories?

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Old 04-24-22, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by gt3racerich View Post
I live four hilly road miles from trails along a canal and river. I generally pop in and out of the trails with my road bike but would like to go much farther on the trails so I am thinking of a gravel bike. My issue is I am afraid that once I ride the trails both ways to the end, I will be bored with it. So, my thinking is if I get the RaceMax I can use at as an Endurance road bike. The geometry looks similar to endurance bikes and the big tires will be comfy for my 62 yr old bones. Plus, I like the bike. So, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Rich
You probably know this about the design, its Gerard Vroomen at Open Cycle. That would be a good "compare and contrast" exercise for you.

https://opencycle.com/
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Old 04-25-22, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by applen View Post
Brining this one back from the dead. I got a 2x RaceMax a couple months ago (apparently 2 months before it's round seat-tubed bigger-ruber-aceepting sucessor was launched) and I'm starting to play with tires that I can fit in the frame. I've got the wide 3T wheels (with 29mm bead with and 40mm outside width) and I hope to run the biggest tires possible... but I haven't seen much about what people have been able to safely fit.
I run as small as possible. Min size for the wheel is 35mm, so I put some 32mm GP5000 on there, and they measure 35.5mm. They are amazing, really mind blowing. I run 35-40psi, and they have half the rolling resistance of anything tested by BRR. It feels like I am rolling on ABEC5 ball bearing instead of tires, yet it has the comfort that we have never seen on "race tire." They test ideal in the wind tunnel. They are super fast in the range of 20-30MPH - I can't tell if it is because of the tires or ideal aero profile, but I'm getting a lot of PRs on these (and it is too early in the season for me to be in shape).
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Old 04-25-22, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
I run as small as possible. Min size for the wheel is 35mm, so I put some 32mm GP5000 on there, and they measure 35.5mm. They are amazing, really mind blowing. I run 35-40psi, and they have half the rolling resistance of anything tested by BRR. It feels like I am rolling on ABEC5 ball bearing instead of tires, yet it has the comfort that we have never seen on "race tire." They test ideal in the wind tunnel. They are super fast in the range of 20-30MPH - I can't tell if it is because of the tires or ideal aero profile, but I'm getting a lot of PRs on these (and it is too early in the season for me to be in shape).
Nice! I just pulled the 36mm Challenge Strada Bianchi (thin herringbone tread) they balloned out to almost 40 (missing the 105% aero profile rule).. Loved the ride but I had to run surprising low pressures on the dirt to soak up the chatter (30 psi, or a bit less). If I go back I may try these in the 32mm width, or the 5000s.. ::thinking::

But now I'm getting ready for Unbound Gravel and want to go as big as possible. I was hoping to run the Specialized Pathfinder tires (which test great on BRR). I've got the 38c on my Alu HED wheels (21mm rim ID) and they measure out to almost exactly 38. With a RAM of 352, they are right in the range. I've dry mounted the 42mm version of the tire to the 3T wheels and they are less than 44 (I was expecting them to go up to 45mm+) the RAM is 356 tho (which is outside the 348-354 range that 3T recommended (but I can't remember where I read that). As I measure it that gives me 2-3mm of RAM clearance... which is probably fine in the dry... but any mud will be a problem! If I mount the 38s on the 3T wheels I'm worried my RAM will fall to ~350 and I'd really like to maximize the RAM thickness for Unbound.

Ideally I'd find a super durable, (somewhat) compliant tire, with the smooth center tread + decent side knobs in a 40c width... recomendations?
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Old 04-25-22, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by applen View Post
Ideally I'd find a super durable, (somewhat) compliant tire, with the smooth center tread + decent side knobs in a 40c width... recomendations?
Typically, you get 1mm in tire width for every +2mm in rim width (generalizing).

ETRO requires 6mm clearance on each side of the wheel (unless it is a road race bike). Below that, you are right, mud can be a problem, broken spoke can stop ya, and at 2mm, I've had frame rub under high torque (500-1000watts). Helecopter tape is recommended for mud at least.

Tire wise, the Conti Terra speed is the fastest. Tread is not long lasting (especially on road), but it is fast. If you want a tough tire with smooth center, the GK SS is a strong contender. For extra protection, use the SS+
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Old 04-28-22, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gt3racerich View Post
I live four hilly road miles from trails along a canal and river. I generally pop in and out of the trails with my road bike but would like to go much farther on the trails so I am thinking of a gravel bike. My issue is I am afraid that once I ride the trails both ways to the end, I will be bored with it. So, my thinking is if I get the RaceMax I can use at as an Endurance road bike. The geometry looks similar to endurance bikes and the big tires will be comfy for my 62 yr old bones. Plus, I like the bike. So, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Rich
We are a 3T dealer and we love the bike for certain riders, but based on your description I'd be recommending a different bike for you. The 3T is very stiff and more suitable for younger racers that are quite flexible and can stand a long bumpy ride on a very stiff frame. The geometry is also pretty aggressive. I would have you more likely looking at a Salsa Warbird or a Giant Revolt as a better sweet spot for you... If your dealer will let you take it out on a 30 - 40 mile bumpy road you will soon see what I am talking about.
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Old 05-04-22, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
We are a 3T dealer and we love the bike for certain riders, but based on your description I'd be recommending a different bike for you. The 3T is very stiff and more suitable for younger racers that are quite flexible and can stand a long bumpy ride on a very stiff frame. The geometry is also pretty aggressive. I would have you more likely looking at a Salsa Warbird or a Giant Revolt as a better sweet spot for you... If your dealer will let you take it out on a 30 - 40 mile bumpy road you will soon see what I am talking about.
What bike shop are you affiliated with?
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Old 05-06-22, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
We are a 3T dealer and we love the bike for certain riders, but based on your description I'd be recommending a different bike for you. The 3T is very stiff and more suitable for younger racers that are quite flexible and can stand a long bumpy ride on a very stiff frame. The geometry is also pretty aggressive. I would have you more likely looking at a Salsa Warbird or a Giant Revolt as a better sweet spot for you... If your dealer will let you take it out on a 30 - 40 mile bumpy road you will soon see what I am talking about.
This person took the words out of my mouth! Iíve seen this bike in a shop, with the huge handlebar drop and thought, why!? Get a bike for the next 10-20 years :-)
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Old 05-06-22, 02:45 PM
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How do you like this bike? I have been thinking about selling my gravel bike and was look at this one, stigmata and ibix mx. I probably would have bought the Ibix MX if it came with 2x grx. The 3T frame weight seems to be right in the middle of the IBIS and Stigmta. I am only looking at bikes with threaded bottom brackets so the eliminates a lot of good gravel bikes.
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