Pro bike: Aqua Blue’s 3T Strada with SRAM Force 1 groupset
Is this the future of race bikes?
This is the 3T Strada that Aqua Blue Sport will ride in 2018, making the Irish-based squad the first pro cycling team to use a single-chainring drivetrain. With disc brakes in the mix, too, the Strada is unlike any other race bike out there. A glimpse of the future or a step too far?
The frame, painted in the team’s blue and gold colours, is equipped with a SRAM Force 1 groupset. The Strada itself caused a stir when it was launched back in June – purists were forced to cover their eyes while forward-thinking roadies were reaching for their wallets – and we had the chance to ride it ourselves in the summer.
The Strada is specifically designed for disc brakes and a 1x groupset, so the Aqua Blue Sport team won’t have the choice of riding a rim brake bike with double chainrings. Marcel Kittel has been winning regularly on disc brakes this season but we haven’t seen pros use a single ring in the bunch, though Tony Martin has been known to ditch his front derailleur for some time trials.
Martin will make use of a small range of gears to power through a flat TT but hilly road races will present more of a challenge to Aqua Blue Sport. Will the team’s riders, who include 2016 British national champion Adam Blythe, enjoy the simplicity of a streamlined 1x drivetrain or miss the tightly-stepped range of a conventional setup? Only time will tell but one thing is for sure, the Strada will make a splash when it debuts in the peloton at the start of next year.
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