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.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.