Bertini
This is my first time posting.
I have just sold my two road bikes as i usually ride triathlons and have a TT bike now. But I want to try cyclocross and have a versile bike for commuting to replace my hybrid, plus the ability to swap in some aero wheels for some serious road sportive use. I am hoping to build a single bike for this purpose.
I must say I have been tempted by a few of the Chinese carbon frames. The 3T exploro copy by tidace and the carbonda.
I have seen two extensive threads on both of these frames and they seem to be very well received.
My main questions are:
1. Am I crazy to try and make an all in one jack of all trades and master of none bike? Or will these frames be sufficiently aero and suitable for 100k road rides and thrashing around in the mud?
2. Is the 3T exploro copy too wide under the forks to run 25c or 28c on an aero road wheel (will it look stupid)
3. Would the carbonda look a bit more ‘road like’ and is it aero enough?

I’m quite excited about the prospect of speccing up my own custom paint job. And I am planning on going 1x50t at the front and 11-42 rear cassette with an XT Di2 rear mech. With some aero handlebars.
Probably three sets of wheels
Commuting, cyclocross and aero road.

I would welcome any advice regarding the choice of frames? Am I missing any aero frames that are suitable for cyclocross. Maybe more aero road frames that have the necessary wheel tyre clearance but are strong enough for gravel/cyclocross.
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chas
I think a lot of people (myself included) have one versatile bike.  3T is the only one I know of that is specifically Aero.   When I'm doing 100K, aero isn't that important as I'm going at an endurance pace - that is a lot slower than my hour time trial pace.

I think that bikes with clearnce for 40mm look fine with 25/28c wheels.  I saw a Warbird with that size, and it looked kinda cool.  If the frame takes 2.1 tires - might look a little funny...

The first question you have to ask yourself is what size tire do you want?  Is 40 enough?  45?  55?
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Bertini
40 is fine. I’m likely to ride 35mm with cyclocross wheels and something similar with tubeless commuter. And either 28 or 25 with the aero
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kaolelo
Bertini wrote:
This is my first time posting. I have just sold my two road bikes as i usually ride triathlons and have a TT bike now. But I want to try cyclocross and have a versile bike for commuting to replace my hybrid, plus the ability to swap in some aero wheels for some serious road sportive use. I am hoping to build a single bike for this purpose. I must say I have been tempted by a few of the Chinese carbon frames. The 3T exploro copy by tidace and the carbonda. I have seen two extensive threads on both of these frames and they seem to be very well received. My main questions are: 1. Am I crazy to try and make an all in one jack of all trades and master of none bike? Or will these frames be sufficiently aero and suitable for 100k road rides and thrashing around in the mud? 2. Is the 3T exploro copy too wide under the forks to run 25c or 28c on an aero road wheel (will it look stupid) 3. Would the carbonda look a bit more ‘road like’ and is it aero enough? I’m quite excited about the prospect of speccing up my own custom paint job. And I am planning on going 1x50t at the front and 11-42 rear cassette with an XT Di2 rear mech. With some aero handlebars. Probably three sets of wheels Commuting, cyclocross and aero road. I would welcome any advice regarding the choice of frames? Am I missing any aero frames that are suitable for cyclocross. Maybe more aero road frames that have the necessary wheel tyre clearance but are strong enough for gravel/cyclocross.
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kaolelo
i have something which is either the tideace or extremely similar (velobuild).  even though i have a road bike, tt bike, and single speed hardtail, i think that the exploro copy could easily be one bike.  but for me, it always seems to be n+1 (looking at a light road disc bike now, but probably not in the cards).
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chas
If you don't need to go above 40mm, just about any gravel or (modern) cx bike will do.  The Open UP and 3T exploro get the press because you can go 2.1", which requires some design work on rear chain stays.

I lean towards a real cyclocross bike because I like a lively bike - most gravel riders want something more stable.  But personally, I hate it when I can turn sharply enough.  Going straight isn't a problem for me.  ;-)

I ride 28mm in a pace line, 32mm commuting, 40mm for gravel  (25mph+, 18-20mph, 15mph cruising speeds respectively)
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NoCoGreg
I'm using the same 28mm on my race bike as Chas mentioned.  That said...

Going to a smaller tire does change trail and will make the bike steer quicker.  A smaller tire will also lower the bottom bracket.  CX bikes typically have a higher BB than GG bikes so dropping the BB on a CX bike for road IMO will be an improvement.  Lowering the BB on a gravel bike (enjoying the abbreviations yet? [smile] [wink] may require more care when cornering.  Check the BB height of your specific bike.

Wind tunnel tests show disc brakes are less aero than rim brakes with cross winds (increased yaw) but there's not much difference with a headwind.  If you're riding in a pack any aero differences become negligible.  A good carbon gravel/cx frame/fork will weigh one to two pounds more than a high end road bike.  Disc brakes/hubs in general are heavier than rim brakes & hubs.  But carbon disc wheels can be made lighter.  To get a high performance on the road I'd suggest a good set of aero or semi-aero wheels and fast tires. With a quick wheel swap you're ready to go.  For fine tuning, gravel riding positions typically are more upright so you may want to experiment with different stems when changing from road to gravel.  Most of the tri folks I ride with have the bars much lower (relative to the seat) when they have aero bars.

Cheers,
Greg

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Pynchonite
The problem that you're going to run into with an Exploro knock-off is that while it might be good for gravel and fast road rides, it's going to fail hard at cyclocross.  Cyclocross places unique demands on bikes: they have to be agile (someone mentioned a higher BB), light, and - and this is where the Fauxploro would really suffer - be able to be shouldered over obstacles.  The Exploro itself is long and low, completely the opposite of CX geo.  I use a CX bike as an all-road and love it.  My Crux is stiff, light, and (particularly with 700x28mm tires) hops around the road like a flea high to its eyeballs on crystal meth.  And it has both a flattened top tube and a contoured downtube for shouldering.  I can still bomb fire roads and compete for KOMs on the road, but I can also hop off and carry it.  So it kind of depends on how important the CX aspect is for you.
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Bertini
That’s some great responses. I’m not going to be competing hard for anything in CX. It’s more the ability to run the wider tyres I think (although that’s what I said about tri and now I’m very focused at competing in that). It sounds like the exploro is a little unsuitable for the CX. Would the carbonda be better?
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thefuzzycow
I would just get the 3T Exploro and call it a day! Worth it in the end!
-moo
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