Italian company 3T has produced well-regarded finishing kit since 1961, but have only recently stepped into the world of framesets, first with the Explore adventure bike and now the Strada aero road bike. The frame is designed only for single chainsets – a dramatic step that many riders will question, though 3T claims it offers aero benefits.
Our test bike came with a high-end build, with a mostly Dura-Ace 9150 Di2 groupset. The Shimano XT Di2 rear mech is from the MTB parts catalogue, chosen for its clutch mechanism, which prevents the chain failing off on bumpy ground, as well as allowing larger cassettes to be fitted. It proved flawless during testing with quick, smooth shifts.
The Enve SES 5.6 disc wheels with renowned Chris King hubs are superb, feeling stiff, light and surprisingly stable even in gusty winds. Pirelli is a new brand to the cycling world, but the 4S brings much of its expertise from motor racing and we were suitably impressed by their feel and grip. Despite seeking out some of the muckiest roads around, the extremely tight frame clearance wasn’t a problem either.
The 3T Aerotundo bars have a unique shape that may not suit everyone, although we grew to like them through the test. The amount of flex was quite noticeable and while they add to the comfort, this may be disconcerting to some riders.
Comfort and aero are not words that go together often, but we were pleasantly surprised with the Strada on even long rides, helped by the generously sized tyres. While it might not match the Synapse, for an aero race bike, it is very good.
Handling is superb, tackling steep, twisty descents with confidence. Out-of-the-saddle efforts show a frame that is laterally stiff and makes climbing a joy, while on the flat, the Strada is seriously quick, with aggressive geometry that is definitely aimed at racing.
The 1x drivetrain will be a compromise for many people, especially given that this is intended as a race bike, but the promise of 12-speed groupsets should make the Strada more suitable for a wider range of riders.
3T Strada Specs:
- WEIGHT: 7.5kg (size M)
- FRAME: Strada Full Carbon, Fundi Full Carbon fork
- GROUPSET: Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 Di2
- BRAKES: Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 Hydraulic
- CHAINSET: Shimano Ultegra R8000 with Wolf Tooth Drop stop 48t
- CASSETTE: Shimano Ultegra 8000,11-32
- BAR/STEM: 3T AerotundoTeam
- SADDLE: 3T ARX II Pro
- SEATPOST: 3T Charlie Sqaero Strada
- WHEELS: ENVE SES 5.6 Disc with Chris King R45 CL Hubs
- TYRES: Pirelli PZero Velo 4S, 28c
- Speed – There is no denying, the Strada is seriously fast.
- Brakes – Dura-Ace hydraulics provide incredible control.
- Wheels – Enve and Chris King combo are stunning, but carry a premium price tag.
Not So Good
- Limited seatpost adjustment – Curved seat tube leaves less room for adjustment.
- Gear range – The 1x groupset may mean compromises.
- Frame size options – Only four frame sizes available.
3T has jumped into the road bike market with a machine that breaks all the moulds, with the 1x drivetrain grabbing the headlines. It is unquestionably a very fast and incredibly fun bike to ride, but one that is perhaps ahead of its time, with component manufacturers still one step behind.