Home > Bike Types > Road Bike

Subtly New 3T Strada Aero Road Bike Debuts First-Ever Integrated Fully Internal Routing

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, teaser
8
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

The new 3T Strada aero road bike looks a lot like the previous version, except for one small but crucial difference – no visible external cables. And that’s actually kind of a big deal, as 3T had long been a holdout with an external routing port just behind the headset. So, demonstrating that they’ve come up with a solution for their aero road bike suggests that a similar setup for their gravel bikes isn’t far behind…

Updated 3T Strada road bike integrated

3T says a major driver for updating the original into the New Strada aero road bike was the relaxed UCI regulation that now allows for deeper tubing profiles and improved aerodynamics.  And the new bike does sport a noticeably deeper & more bulbous hourglass headtube to eke out those extra free watts.  But it still is the fully internal cable routing that most stands out.

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, riding
c. 3T

3T set out to achieve a few key points in the evolution of their Strada:

  • improve the bike’s aerodynamics taking full advantage of the updated UCI regulations
  • maintain the rider comfort of the original
  • move all cables internal to reduce drag while keeping a narrow frontal area and retaining cockpit adjustability
  • refine tire and saddle compatibility
  • and ultimately bring it all together to make the bike faster overall

Aerodynamic, Stiffer & Comfortable

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, new side profile

The 3T Strada already pushed the envelope in many places regarding deep aero tube shape. But now with relaxed UCI rules, 3T were able to extend the web off the back of the headtube, connecting the top & downtubes, while also bulging a nose cone forward in front of the steerer tube to significantly improve the aero profile of the leading edge of the frame.

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, aerodynamic + comfort concept

The aero-optimized “speed zone” front end could get even stiffer than before, while the rear “comfort zone” still benefits from the vertical flex in the tiny seatstays and curved seattube to filter out vibration before it makes it through the saddle to the rider.

Making Cable Integration Work for 3T

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, no cables

Design engineer Gerard Vroomen says 3T “always loved the concept of fully internal cable routing but hated the execution“. And so they were resistant to integrating into an oversized headtube just to hide the cables for a couple of watts saved, usually sacrificing adjustability & serviceability at the same time as making the front end of the bike wider, too.

So, 3T kept the same narrow headtube, and the same 42mm outer upper & 47mm lower headset bearing dimensions that they had used on their narrower 1 1/8″-1 1/4″ tapered steerer. They say that yields a headtube (and critical frontal area) at points 1cm narrower than bikes with the 52mm bearing that’s mist used for a 1.5” headset – a significant extra beyond the width of the cables.

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, MiniMax bearings

To make it work, 3T used a thinner MiniMax bearing with smaller balls inside (like on the gravel RaceMax) to allow for extra space between the 1 1/8″ upper section of the carbon steerer tube and the inner race of the top bearing. That gave room for a bigger compression ring that has a cutout to guide the cables between the front of the steerer and the inside of the thin bearing.

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, headtube details

The slight hourglass headtube shape stays narrower in its middle where there is presumably sufficient internal space for the cables to pass around the middle of the steerer.

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, riding

Maintaining adjustability came by sticking with a conventional 2-piece cockpit. 3T tweaked their alloy stem into the new Apto Integrale with a hole for cables in front of the steerer clamp and integrated steerer spacers for finish off the clean look. The Apto Integrale stem works with 3T’s Superergo and Aeroflux bars (or pretty much any other 31.8mm bar with a large routing port on the inside of the stem clamping area.

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, new Apto Integrale stem

So while initial setup will be more complicated – and will necessitate trimming hoses to length, completely rerouting the lines, and bleeding brakes for a bar width or stem length change – riders still get full cockpit adjustability, and most will only have to adjust sizing for the first build.

The only real loss in all of the internal routing decision is that it is compatible only with electronic shift drivetrains (1x or 2x)… sorry Campy 13-speed fans, guess you’ll have to wait for Ekar EPS if you can’t afford Super Record EPS 12 now! But with electronic Shimano groups down to 105 Di2 & SRAM down to Rival AXS, 3T is fine with that compromise.

Added Tech Benefits

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, riding

The final remaining gains are incremental. 3T says the new fork improves fork tire clearance slightly, but it still is officially the same 30mm actual width as before, just with a bit more room for error to better match the rear end.

The new Strada also shifts to a standard Ritchey saddle rail clamp atop the new Strada seatpost for easier usability and compatibility with all saddles – round or oval rails.

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, geometry

3T New Strada ICR – Pricing & Availability

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, Force AXS
New 3T Strada Force AXS 2×12

The new 3T Strada is available from today in five sizes (ZS-XL) only in limited quantities a Force AXS 2x build for 6200€ with carbon cockpit & alloy Fulcrum wheels (upgradable to aero carbon). Three more complete SRAM builds with Rival AXS XPLR 1x, Rival AXS 2x & Red AXS 2x will come later, plus a separate frameset at some point in the future, too.

2023 New 3T Strada aero road bike updated with integrated full internal routing, riding

As for a gravel Exploro RaceMax with internal routing, who knows how much longer we’ll have to wait?

3T.bike

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
blahblahblah
blahblahblah
1 month ago

hideous

AK_Ben
AK_Ben
1 month ago

*Gasp* A front derailleur?!

Billyshoo
Billyshoo
1 month ago

I find it amusing how they’ve determined that only three out of a rider’s five contact points appreciate “comfort.”

Oliver
Oliver
1 month ago

If the front of the head tube looks tacked on, it’s because it is. Per the endless refreshes of the Exploro and OPEN’s various minor iterations, all presented as new bikes, Vroomen makes small changes to existing molds – it’s cheap – and enough people are fooled that it’s something new.

This design is really showing its age now.

Mitch
Mitch
1 month ago

A proprietary lower headset bearing with smaller balls paired with through-the-headtube hose routing is going to be a nightmare. The bearing will wear faster, you’ll need to special order it (if it’s available, if it is still in business) AND you’ll need to shorten or replace your brake hoses. I think full internal routing is super cool but the Achilles heel has always been the headset bearings, especially the lower. I’m disappointed, but it’s not like I was ever going to buy one anyway.

mes
mes
1 month ago
Reply to  Mitch

Ditto. Makes me wonder what prevents the manufacturers from adopting the D-shaped fork steerer like Colnago or the even more innovative design that Lemond has introduced with his new venture, both of which use essentially standard headsets?

Velo Kitty
Velo Kitty
1 month ago
Reply to  mes

I think Scott’s system which offsets the round steerer tube in the top bearing is the best solution so far. The fork geometry needs to be designed to take the offset into account, but that’s not a big deal.

dont sensor vald comments
dont sensor vald comments
1 month ago

no routing through headsets. seriously there is no good argument for this

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.