The Exploro is designed to fit road, cross and even mountain bike tires following the GravelPlus standard. The road and cross tires are 700c, the mountain bike tires use the 650b size, ensuring that all of these have virtually the same overall wheel diameter and therefore the same predictable handling. For 700c, we recommend our 3T Discus wheels, for 650b our 3T DiscusPlus wheels. Why is aerodynamics important on allroad (asphalt, gravel, fire roads, single track) rides? You may go slow off-road, but on the connecting asphalt sections you need road riding speed. If you’re slow because of gradients, aero doesn’t matter much. But if it's due to head- or crosswinds, you're slow relative to the ground but very fast relative to the air and that’s what determines the resistance you experience (that’s exactly why you’re slow). The Exploro is also a great road bike in its own right. When using it for fast paved (group) rides, any aero benefit is appreciated. We didn’t want the Exploro to be fast in theory, but in the real world. So we tested at a realistic 20mph (32kmh) instead of the standard 30mph (48kmh) and optimized the frame for water bottles (tough to do long, epic rides without). We even designed the Sqaero shape to work well when covered in mud! The result? A muddy Exploro with 40mm knobby gravel tires and 2 water bottles (red line in the graph) is faster than the equivalent clean round tube bike is with 28mm slick road tires and without bottles (grey line). The key to the Exploro’s speed is the aero downtube that is wide enough to catch the airflow coming off the big front tire (a skinny downtube wouldn’t even touch the airflow). But at 50mm wide, a full airfoil with a normal ratio would have to be 150-200mm deep, causing too much surface drag. So we square off the tail, keeping most of the aero performance with a 50x75mm cross section that is also close to perfect for strength and stiffness; our Sqaero shape. The wide downtube also effectively shields the water bottles. We also use Sqaero on the headtube, seattube, seatstays and seatpost.
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