Last month 3T launched the Strada, a machine described as ‘the future of the road bike!!’ or ‘…the future of the road bike?’ We were there to ride it, film it, and ponder the shape of things to come while sitting in a cable car
There’s no getting away from it, the 3T Strada is both different and beguiling and it’s easy to see why some were bowled over by it and others were bewildered. Gerard Vroomen, its designer, is a man who has form when it comes to producing groundbreaking machines and he certainly hasn’t gone for incremental gains here - he’s taken a number of recent developments in componentry and design and pushed them towards their logical conclusion.
So what set’s the Strada apart?
Well, it’s the first 1x (pronounced ‘one by’) performance road bike - why lug two chainrings around when you can have one (ask a mountain biker). But that’s not all, it’s disc brake only and has space for 30mm tyres. Oh, and it’s got wafer thin tyre clearances… and when I say wafer thin I mean wafer thin – the sort of thing you’d definitely think foolish to ride down a gravelly mountain track for kilometre after gravelly. Hmm, at what size does it stop being gravel and start being rock?
It’s also all integrated, and it’s all very, very aero optimised. Well, it was designed by the man who - along with Phil White - gave the world the groundbreaking Cervélo P2 and P3 time trial bikes, not to mention the Cervélo Soloist one of the very first aero road bikes; bikes which all begat ever more aero successors (although Ps or Ss none of them seem to have got beyond 5, maybe they don’t like the number 6 at Cervélo?).
Oh, and speaking of aero bikes designed by Gerard Vroomen last year he also gave the world the first aero gravel bike in the slippery shape of the 3T Exploro.
We were there at the Strada’s European launch to point a Go Pro at it and take it for an extended test ride in the Italian Alps over suitable - and not so suitable - terrain. We also got to quiz Gerard*, about his latest creation. All that plus tunnels, cable cars, occasional cow bells and expensive bikes in a variety of inappropriate places. Press ‘Play’ now…
*We will also be putting out a longer version of our interview with Gerard Vroomen to do it full justice.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.