Choose the Exploro RaceMax if you crave road bike speed on- and off-road.
Next-level aerodynamics with rear wheel cutout, narrow headtube, bottle shielding downtube & aero profiles all around.
Whether riding road or gravel, we love speed. So everything on the RaceMax frame is engineered for that. The end result is the first gravel bike that:
Looks like a road bike
Rides like a road bike
Rips through gravel
Best of all, the very same RaceMax frame can be built up with a focus on pure speed with 35-46mm WAM tires in 700c can also be turned into an unstoppable machine with very wide tires p to 61mm WAM.
Handy for that epic ride or trip abroad. And with two wheelsets, you can switch between the two setups easily. That’s RaceMax.
IT ALL STARTS WITH THE TIRES
To make the fastest possible gravel bike, you need to start with the tire. Tire choice determines comfort & grip. But it also determines how you can shape the frame to redirect the airflow.
To aerodynamically engineer the frame around the tires, you need to know what their REAL measurements are. Not what’s on the label, but how they really fit. That’s REALFAST aerodynamics. But it’s not easy, as the tire dimension depends on the rim you use, the pressure and of course how accurate the manufacturer’s claimed size is.
So we took hundreds of measurements to know the real tire widths (which we call WAM - Width As Measured and RAM - Radius As Measured) and use that to engineer the frame around.
SO WHAT TIRE DO YOU NEED?
The most important dimension is the WAM as that directly correlates to traction, puncture resistance, aerodynamics and rolling resistance. The WAM you need depends on three factors:
Terrain (traction, puncture resistance)
Rider skill (how much grip you need for control)
Rider speed (the slower you go, the more you bump/sink into the terrain)
This graph indicates the WAM you need, and based on the rim width you use, you can find our favorite tires for each WAM here. Please note that running a front derailleur (especially an electronic version) will limit the tire width you can fit.
The RaceMax frameset is the fastest with 35-46mm WAM tires. That’s when its top speed rivals the best road bikes out there. So whether you’re on asphalt, easy or tougher gravel, you can be sure you have the fastest setup. But depending on where you ride and how fast you ride, you may want an even bigger tire for ultimate traction and control. Good news: 90% of the aerodynamic advantage of the RaceMax frameset still works with tires up to 61mm WAM.
In a way, the Ultra is the reverse. It is aerodynamically optimized for 55-61mm WAM tires thanks to its wider downtube near the front tire. This extra width better redirects the air coming off a bigger front tire. If you prefer a smaller tire, you can run a 700c tire up to a 46mm WAM. But as you go to a smaller tire, the Racemax becomes the faster choice again. In addition, the Ultra combines its aero seat tube with a round seatpost so you can fit a standard, dropper or suspension post.
PERFECT AERO CUTOUT: Close-fitting cutout to shield the rear wheel and achieve the most speed.
MIND THE GAP: No oversized gaps between the front tire & downtube for better airflow transition and less turbulence.
HUGE CLEARANCE: The original Exploro set today’s standard for up to 54mm tire clearance. The RaceMax has up to 61mm!
75MM DOWNTUBE BASE: Lower downtube aero profile is 75mm wide to fully shield the water bottle.
50MM DOWNTUBE NECK: Upper downtube necks down to 50mm to pick up the airflow coming off the front tire.
SIZE-SPECIFIC DOWNTUBE: Reduced depth on smaller sizes to keep frame compliant and keep space for bottles.
NARROW HEADTUBE: Headtube is sized like a road bike for a small 1 1/4” steerer for optimal aerodynamics.
BIG STEERER: Inside that narrow headtube is a big 1 1/2” steerer for best strength and stiffness.
MINMAX HEADSET: To fit this big steerer inside the narrow headtube, we use the custom MinMax headset.
MINIMALIST CROWN: Fork crown shapes haven’t changed much since brakes were attached there. Now that we have disc brakes, we don’t need that bulk of material and can reshape the crown for better strength, stiffness and weight. Plus better aerodynamics.
PURE-ROAD FORK LENGTH: With the shorter crown, we can make our forks 25mm (1 inch) shorter than other gravel bikes. Exactly the same as a road fork. This offers better stiffness, lower weight, easier steering geometry and better aerodynamics.
DOUBLE-DROP CHAINSTAYS: Dropping the drive-side chainstay improves tire & crank clearance. Dropping the other side as well creates a much more efficient structure behind the BB for higher stiffness & strength as well as lower weight.
THREADED BB: Most of our complete bikes come with threaded BBs for the best alignment and to avoid any issues. Yet we avoid glueing threaded alloy rings into the carbon (added weight, complexity and debonding risk).
DIRECT-MOUNT REAR BRAKE: Standard frames require an adaptor to use a 160mm brake rotor. We have integrated that into the frame, meaning you don’t need any extra pieces to attach the brake.
DIRECT-MOUNT FRONT BRAKE: Standard forks require a flip-flop adaptor to set the correct brake rotor size. Our direct-mount pre-sets the calliper for 160mm rotors without any extra pieces.
INTEGRATED FENDER MOUNTS: Invisible until you need them. Perfect for our custom fenders.
SELF-ALIGNING WEDGE CLAMP: Self-adjusting bolt angle for higher clamping forces with lower torque.
RITCHEY RAIL CLAMP: The new standard for gravel bikes, available for round and oval rails.
Unidirectional pre-preg carbon, High-modulus/high-strength performance blend layup
Fango RaceMax w/ compact crown
3T MinMax custom by Cane Creek IS42/28.6 + IS 47/38