I knew it was coming the moment I saw the silhouette of the new road Strada, but now it is here – the top-tier made-in-Italy carbon 3T Exploro Italia gravel bikes all get upgraded to fully internal cable routing. That means the Exploro RaceMax Italia gravel race bike, Exploro RaceMax Boost Italia gravel ebike, and Exploro Extrema Italia (née Ultra) adventure bikepacking bike all go wireless electronic shift only and get rid of the cable port just behind the stem.
3T Exploro Italia gravel bikes get fully internal cable routing
OK, here’s the detail we’ve all been waiting for!
The new generation of 3T Exploro gravel bikes ditch the old cable routing port that sat just behind the headset, resulting in an unfortunate cable loop that made it tough to have a tidy toptube bag setup, and was frankly ugly. It has been one of the few truly annoying nits that I have picked while riding every generation of 3T gravel bike since the beginning. It had reasoning behind it – keeping the headtube narrow, cable bends smoothly for mechanical shifting, and ensuring easy servicing of your bike. But oh wow, how glad I am to see it go.
I got this sneak peek earlier today while creeping around the halls of Eurobike as brands unpacked their boxes, built up bikes, and put the finishing touches on their stands. 3T has an interesting booth that highlights the cool fiber-wound tech that they use to automate some of their in-house carbon bike manufacturing in northern Italy. And while they were winding carbon around the booth, I was serendipitously taking photos of their newest bikes leaning here and there.
It’s also interesting to see the new Italia edition bikes fitted with a new 3T stem cleanly routing both front & rear brake lines into the frame & fork. The smooth shaping and finish suggest it is carbon, backed up by the Italian tricolore flag on top indicating that it is also made-in-Italy by 3T.
This new gray Exploro Ultra caught my eye for its lack of external cables. A closer look revealed a new name – Exploro Extrema, which may suggest a rebranding of the more comfortable adventure bikepacking version of 3T’s gravel bike family. But it’s the Italia naming that confirms that the fully internal routing will come to those top-tier carbon gravel bikes that 3T manufactures in-house in Italy.
The new bike is leaned up against a standard 3T Exploro RaceMax gravel bike, all but confirming that the imported carbon frames will stick with the same cable routing port behind the stem. That ensures these more affordable frames will still be compatible with lower-cost mechanical shift groupsets, while the Italia bikes will be wireless electronic shift only.
Of note, all levels of the latest Strada road bikes since last December went fully-internal with their routing, so Stradas are now wireless shifting-only.
Not only the pedal-powered gravel bikes get the upgrade. The top-tier Exploro RaceMax Boost Italia gravel ebike with an internal battery in the downtube and a motor in the rear hub, also gets fully internal routing. The Boost edition still gets its ebike control button in the toptube, so direct mount bags still have to slide pretty far back.
But at least you don’t have to deal with a cable loop, as well.
Lastly, the standard Exploro RaceMax Italia gravel bike also gets the internal routing treatment. Here is the latest bare version of the made-in-Italy bike that 3T calls Raw Carbon Weave to reveal their intricate wound fibers.
We’ll have to wait for official information to confirm pricing and availability. But expect it to cost the same as their other top-tier Italia edition bikes, and we’d imagine it will be a rolling production update that should be available to customers by the time their Italia pre-orders ship out early in the fall at the latest.