By Paul Norman
3T launched its eye-catching Strada aero bike as the Strada Team. Its aerodynamics were optimised for 28mm to 30mm tyres and it came as single ring only without a front mech hanger.
Next came the Strada Pro. Available as a complete bike, with a slightly heavier frame, it too was a single ring machine.
Now 3T has announced the Strada Due. With “due” being Italian for two, it comes designed for two chainrings and a front mech. It’s still courting controversy though by being electronic shifting compatible only (as does the new Specialized Venge)
3T says that a single ring saves around eight watts in drag. It also drops the bike’s weight by around 300g, between the extra shifter mechanicals, cable, ring, mech and frame strengthening. So 3T says that going single ring was a logical follow-on from its aero optimisation.
The 3T Strada Team is the bike raced by the Aqua Blue Sport pro team. Last month Mark Christian was dropped from the winning break at the Tour de Suisse when he lost his chain. Without a front mech, there was no way to reseat it but stopping and using his hands. The incident provoked a Twitter rant about 1x from the team’s principal Rick Delaney.
So 3T has also announced that Aqua Blue Sport will be using the new Strada Due. According to 3T: “As you may know, we started working with Aqua Blue at the start of this season to see how far we could take 1x. 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. In other races, the riders would have preferred an extra gear.”
Gerard Vroomen, head of design at 3T also added that it might take time for people to get more used to the 2x setup, hence the introduction of the new double ring Due.
"When 3T launched the Srada, we also said it was our concept bike for what an aero road bike would look like in five years,” adds Vroomen said. "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 group-sets... In other situations, 2x is still preferred (especially with electronic group-sets).
3T says that the new Strada Due will be available to purchase this month and will be used by a few Aqua Blue Sport riders in the Tour of Austria, starting this Saturday.
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