Last year we started the STRADA project with phase 1: the STRADA TEAM frameset. Earlier this year we added phase 2: the STRADA PRO complete bike. Today we are launching phase 3: the STRADA DUE.
“When people talk to us about the STRADA, it is usually the 1x drivetrain that gets the most attention,” Rene Wiertz, CEO of 3T, elaborates. “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 tires, up to 30mm.
It’s pointless to have an aero road bike that tests fast with 21mm tires when you run it with 25’s. Or even worse, when the 28’s or 30’s you want to run donít even fit. The STRADA solves that by starting out with wider tires and then designing the aerodynamics around it.”
This drives the shaping of all the frame tubes and the tire clearances, including front and rear wheel cutouts 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 5 years,” adds Gerard Vroomen, Head of Design at 3T. “Why did we say 5 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 STRADA DUE, with the same aero and comfort benefits as the original STRADA but designed for electronic 2x drivetrains. Now riders can enjoy that unique mix of a very stiff, aero frame and the plush ride of up to 30mm tires in combination with the 2x drivetrain of choice.
The STRADA DUE will sit beside the STRADA in our line-up and be available as a TEAM level frameset. It will also be used by Team Aqua Blue in select races. 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 WorldTour race. In other races, some riders would have preferred an extra gear.
Just like 2x isnít 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.
Of course, pro riders find themselves in a very specific situation, often going up mountains in a peloton surrounded by 100 riders with no choice but to ride the exact pace of those around them, not their own pace. In such a situation, where they can’t go their own pace, having that extra gear can be an advantage. It’s interesting to hear a pro say “when I retire, I’ll only ride 1x but right now, there are some races I would still like 2x for.”
A year ago when we launched the STRADA, the dream was to introduce the STRADA DUE at the Tour de France, but in hindsight we were not entirely realistic :-). That will have to wait, but a few riders will use the STRADA DUE at the Tour of Austria that starts on the same day.
More information is available at 3t.bike/stradadue.