Last year 3T started its STRADA project with phase one: the STRADA TEAM frameset. Earlier this year the company moved to phase two with the STRADA PRO complete bike; and it has now unveiled phase three: the STRADA DUE bike.
“When people talk to us about the STRADA, it is usually the 1x drivetrain that gets the most attention,” said Rene Wiertz, CEO of 3T. “It’s very visible and a bit controversial, so that makes sense. But as we’ve said from the start, the most important feature of the STRADA is actually that it is the first aero road bike optimized for wider tyres, up to 30mm.”
He continued, “It’s pointless to have an aero road bike that tests fast with 21mm tyres when you run it with 25mm. Or even worse, when the 28mm or 30mm you want to run don’t even fit. The STRADA solves that by starting out with wider tyres and then designing the aerodynamics around it.”
3T notes that this drives the shaping of all the frame tubes and the tyre clearances, including front and rear wheel cut-outs usually reserved for time trial bikes. And out of the desire to ‘squeeze every last bit of performance out of the design’ follows the 1x drivetrain, which saves approximately 8W of drag and 300g of weight.
“But when 3T launched the STRADA, we also said it was our concept bike for what an aero road bike would look like in five years,” added Gerard Vroomen, Head of Design at 3T. “Why did we say five years and not today? Because we know that some technologies and people need a bit of time.
“So 1x already works great for certain people and certain groupsets (mostly SRAM and some Shimano). Yet in other situations, 2x is still preferred (especially with electronic groupsets; Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap or Campagnolo EPS).”
Enter the new STRADA DUE, ‘with the same aero and comfort benefits as the original STRADA but designed for electronic 2x drivetrains.’ 3T adds that riders can now enjoy its unique mix of a very stiff, aero frame and the plush ride of up to 30mm tyres in combination with the 2x drivetrain of choice.
The STRADA DUE will sit beside the STRADA in 3T’s bike product line-up and will be available as a TEAM level frameset. It will also be used by Team Aqua Blue in select races. 3T started working with Aqua Blue at the start of this season ‘to see how far we could take 1x’.
The company added, ‘It’s fair to say it’s gone further than most people expected, even winning a few King of the Mountain competitions including last month at the Tour de Suisse WorldTour race.’ Although, 3T added that in other races, some riders would have preferred an extra gear.
3T continued… ‘Just like 2x isn’t always perfect (ask the riders who lost Tirreno-Adriatico and Abu Dhabi due to 2x drivetrain issues), neither is 1x as we know. As we said from the start, sometimes 1x will be better than 2x, sometimes it won’t matter, and sometimes 2x will be better.’