3T Strada: Steed of Choice
You’ve seen us this season atop a looker of a bike.
We know you have questions.
We know it’s a little different.
We love talking about it.
Jennah shares her thoughts about the 3T Strada.
The Strada piqued my curiosity the moment it was announced. I certainly went into the rabbit hole learning about this road machine back in 2017 - it’s geometry, frame specifications, wider-profile rims, and of course a 1x drivetrain. Would this bike, could this bike reinvent the industry standards? Or, is it just a little quirky? Yes.
I had the opportunity to eye-up Larry Warbasse’s setup for Aqua Blue Sport at the 2017 Bookwalter Binge. The Strada was the talk of the ride among many of us in the Asheville cycling community. How would this bike fare in our mountainous terrain? No, seriously, would the gear range conquer our steep climbs? Because let’s be honest, I whimper the moment I realize I’ve hit the end of my cassette. World Tour rider aside, the Strada danced up the pitches. Okay, Strada, I see you. You have my attention.
Let’s fast forward to last year’s Road Nationals when I met my new partner in crime and now teammate, Cat of 3T/Q+M Cycling Team. Once again, I was face-to-face with this stunner of a bike. The intrigue resurfaced. I nerded out with Cat about her setup. Pretty sure I blurted out some snarky comment along the lines of, “Yo, are you rocking a mountain bike cassette on your road bike?” She smirked and proceeded to drop me on the next riser.
Low and behold, I would join forces with 3T/Q+M Cycling Team through our Domestic Elite Women’s Team, Femme Équipe p/b Swisse Wellness. Alas, after ogling the Strada since its release, 3T graciously set our team up with our very own to train and race on for the 2019 road season. Out of the box, swoon. I was eager to build up it up and let it rip for her maiden voyage.
As I mentioned, home and my training grounds are in a place where everything is up. Sometimes, even down feels like up. The Blue Ridge mountains take no prisoners. So, with that in mind, I may have had a little too much fun exploring the ways I’d spec my Strada to suit my day-to-day riding as well as customize it to showcase my personality. After much back and forth, I settled with a 46t chainring and an e*thirteen 9-34 cassette to let the good times flow. Yes, you read that correctly, a 9-34. It’s awesome and eliminates the larger jumps you’d find with some other cassettes. I opted for the Superergo Team handlebar over the Aeronova because this steed needs some aero disadvantage. And last, but not least, how does one convey “I’m serious, but here to party” with a bike that’s already turning heads: bar tape. Details, people, details.
The Strada and I have had some intimate moments over the last handful of weeks. And, I’m excited to share my reactions to why it’s becoming one of my favorite talking points.
SRAM Force 1 1x Drivetrain
Comments I receive regularly. But, Jennah, don’t you miss having two chainrings? Bet you wish you had a little chainring. Do you think that’s a good idea? You realize we’re climbing mountains today, right?
Hush haters. You’re just mad your drivetrain is bulky.
1x to rule them all. Don’t get me wrong, I was skeptical. But, I hail from Chicago, land of SRAM, and front derailleurs are not, I repeat, are not completely necessary. You can still have all the gear range you need even when removing a couple of components. Also, c’mon, it’s super sleek and easy on the eyes.
1x, especially when climbing, allows me to focus on the task at hand. I settle in and go. According to Strava internet fame, I’ve nabbed a few crowns and bested previous climbs with this setup...I’m not saying, but I’m just saying.
Clutch rear derailleur. Need I say more. Okay, I will. You know what never crosses my mind, whether or not my chain will drop. Oh, right, let’s add that to the list of 1x is pretty a-okay.
Versatility of the 1x. I mentioned earlier that my all-around setup is a 46t, 9-34. However, I’m an options gal. I keep a 50t and 48t chainring my tool kit for time trials or flatter terrain. I also keep the 11-36 cassette on standby. Why? Why not. And, it reminds me of my short-lived track racing career. Swapping chainrings ain’t no thing.
Quarq Prime Power Ready Crankset. Bless. As someone who trains by the numbers, I was real pleased that I didn’t need to fork out the extra cash for an entire crankset, crank arm, etc. Instead, you can get the DZero Power Meter Spider, bolt it on and voila, power at the fraction of the cost.
Discus C35 Wheelset
These low-profile carbon wheels tough, predictable and fast in the peloton or on the group ride.
Wide profile rim accommodates for a plush ride. I love that 25s are effectively 28s with this wheelset. Comfort and shock absorption is key while putting in hours in the saddle. As someone often distracted by dirt, I know that the Strada can easily transition from the pavement to dirt roads without flinching. In case you didn’t realize, the Strada was designed with wider tires in mind without sacrificing aerodynamics.
Just look at the design. Is it a piece of art? Definitely. Should I hang it on the wall? Probably. Should I ride it? Duh.
The Strada isn’t your cookie-cutter frameset. It is designed with purpose and function. It’s stiff, nimble and wickedly fast. I’m impressed with the way this bike cuts on descents, handles in corners and drives.
The color. It’s red. It’s bold. And it’s freakin’ beautiful. Voted best paint job by the USAC officials at Redlands Bicycle Classic in a very, very serious poll.
The Strada and I are still in the early stages of our relationship. We’re honeymooning a bit. But, I foresee a long-lasting bond taking shape. We’ve got some big, dumb adventures and lots of racing in store.