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New Bike Day: ‘23 3T Strada

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

New Bike Day: ‘23 3T Strada

Old 03-31-24, 12:00 PM
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New Bike Day: ‘23 3T Strada

Thanks to my friend Jochem out in Nijverdal, Netherlands at BikeSuperior, I came home last night with a new, 3T Strada with Force AXS 2x! It was terrific to finally visit the shop which is chock full of really impressive bikes, and even though I was shopping pretty much the bottom shelf, Jochem was *extremely* gracious and generous— as usual!— and made getting this bike home with me possible. Do stop in if you’re in the area; the Sallandse Huevelrug national park was beautiful and offers some great riding, although I was unable to make time for that. Next time.

But the bike… I gotta admit that it was curiosity and a great deal which drew me to this bike rather than the looks, which I think are rather odd. As the “poor man’s Cervelo S5,” the Strada has been on my radar for awhile as an exemplar of the aero road bike segment, and this new, MY23 version, updating the original from ‘17 or so, brings the latest updates in tubing shapes permitted by the UCI, so it’s nice to be able to try out the “latest and greatest” so to speak. That head tube, though…

It is a complete bike with the factory spec kit, so nothing much to report on that other than that it’s pretty good quality stuff being 3T. Their Superergo bars are carbon fiber with internal routing into and through their Apto aluminum stem. The seatpost is a a nice, clean, light, aero-section carbon unit fitted with a Selle Italia Novus Boost Evo Superflow saddle, which is okay, but has a weird, rubberized surface which is entirely too grippy…for my preferences. Bar tape is 3T’s and very nice, and end plugs are tastefully finished with 3T logo. Wheels are Fulcrum Rapid Red 900, which are heavy, OEM aluminum units not doing much other than rolling. Tires are Pirelli P Zero Race 28mm tubed up with Pirelli innertubes. It even came with some modern style Zefal alu bottle cages, but I had some Elite Custom Race+, so I threw those on instead.
EDIT: Oh, the Force 46/33 chainset seems too small for my fast club rides, so I will probably need to at least move up to their 48T. I use the same 46T chainset on my gravel bike, but with the smaller range cassette even, and it feels marginal on pavement sections in that application, so I may need to address that soon.

Other than dropping the bars one spacer and replacing the cages, I didn’t do anything more after pulling it out of the box and heading out for a quick shakedown ride. Initial impression is really good! It handles responsively and feels confident and competent. The 120mm stem may be a bit long, but I need to ride it a bit more and see where my COG should be; it’s very close.

I don’t have much else to say at this point, but with new Force groupset just out and possibly driving discounts on the older Force AXS D1 equipped bikes, and with so little coverage of the Strada anywhere, I thought a few quick words were appropriate. I’ve got some new wheels inbound, will make some fit tweaks, and get some real rides under my belt with the rig before reporting back with a meaningful review.


‘23 3T Strada

Last edited by chaadster; 03-31-24 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 04-11-24, 08:11 AM
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I swapped out that insanely grippy Sella Italia saddle— which I’m pretty sure is an OE variant of their Model X “green tech”— in favor of a San Marco Shortfit Racing, and in doing so, I not only gained supreme usability and comfort, I also shaved off ~1/3lbs!

I was a little surprised to find a +300g saddle fitted to a bike in this price range, but then, I never really shop complete bikes, so what do I know?



OE Selle Italia (Model X?)

San Marco Shortfit Racing
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Old 04-11-24, 09:29 AM
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You're right....it does look like an S5! Looks good!
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Old 04-11-24, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by MidTNBrad
You're right....it does look like an S5! Looks good!
Thanks! I’m still warming to the looks; the way the TT flares upwards at the headtube I don’t really care for, but I’ll get used to it. Like the S5, the Strada was designed by Gerard Vroomen to maximize aero, but at a lower pricepoint, so the similarity is for that reason.
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Old 04-11-24, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Thanks! I’m still warming to the looks; the way the TT flares upwards at the headtube I don’t really care for, but I’ll get used to it. Like the S5, the Strada was designed by Gerard Vroomen to maximize aero, but at a lower pricepoint, so the similarity is for that reason.
I've had to come back to this thread and look at your new bike for a few days to decide if I liked it or not. I do like it, and I hope it continues to put a smile on your face. I've scoped out 3T bikes at Excel a few times and may have to look closer at them now.
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Old 04-12-24, 04:53 AM
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I think they are interesting, quirky looking bikes. I think it will look much better on some aero carbon wheels. Those shallow alloy rims look out of place.

What cassette does it have with the 46/33 up front? My road bike has a 48/35 front and 10-33 rear, which is ideal for my local hilly rolling terrain, but for the mountains, or very steep climbs, I would actually prefer the 46/33 with a 10-36 cassette.
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Old 04-12-24, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I think they are interesting, quirky looking bikes. I think it will look much better on some aero carbon wheels. Those shallow alloy rims look out of place.

What cassette does it have with the 46/33 up front? My road bike has a 48/35 front and 10-33 rear, which is ideal for my local hilly rolling terrain, but for the mountains, or very steep climbs, I would actually prefer the 46/33 with a 10-36 cassette.
The Strada has the 10-36 with the 46/33, which strikes me as odd for an aero bike that is supposed to go faster. I run Force 10-33 with 48/35 on my gravel bike, and that suits me pretty well. However, while I’m not wearing the little cogs there, I’m also not often running in a paceline or bunch sprinting like I do on the roadie, so I’m pretty sure the Strada is going to come up short as it’s geared, so I’m planning to grab a pair of 48/35 Force or Red chainrings, which I can pick up pretty affordably, and see if that does the trick.

I’m heading down to my club’s spring camp in Bloomington next weekend, so I’ll run the stock setup there and see how it does. I usually ride there on an Ultegra 11-28 11spd x 52/36, so that top end range is going to be substantially shorter on the Strada. It’s spring, though, so a good time to suss this stuff out. I might buy those 48/35 rings now though, and take ‘em with me, just to be safe.

On wheels, I do have some LightBicycle— the China-direct thingies— on order with their 50mm deep, 25mm internal WR50 rims, so yeah, that’ll make a visual difference while also dropping damn near a pound in weight! I hope they get here next week! Fulcrum spec those Rapid Red 900 on there at 1950g. Yikes!
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Old 04-12-24, 03:27 PM
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Congrats!
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Old 04-12-24, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06
Congrats!
Thank you! I can't wait to ride it in earnest; I keep fiddling with it in my living room! Hehe.
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Old 04-12-24, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Thank you! I can't wait to ride it in earnest; I keep fiddling with it in my living room! Hehe.

Cant wait to hear how it rides. Never had the opportunity to ride one.
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Old 04-17-24, 09:05 PM
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Just in case anyone is interested, since my new wheels won’t arrive in time for training camp this weekend, I decided to pop in some TPU tubes to lightweight it a bit.

Well, the stock Pirelli butyl 700x28 tubes came in on my scale at 150g apiece, which is pretty “wow,” IMO. I replaced them with 36g apiece Ridenow TPU, saving a whopping 228g, a.k.a half-a-pound.

So between tubes and saddle, that’s the better part of a pound— 4/5ths— gone for little cost and very little work. I think that’s pretty cool! Maybe it’s because I usually build frame up with light weight in mind rather than shave down complete bikes, but in any case it’s a nice reminder about “low hanging fruit.”
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