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3T Exploro RaceMax Boost review

3T’s quality aero gravel rocket gets an ebike booster

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £7,299.00 RRP | USD $6,999.00 | EUR €6,999.00
Pack shot of the 3T Exploro RaceMax Boost gravel eBike

Our review

Skilfully achieved ebike integration, great handling and a superb ride
Pros: Superb on- and off-road manners; lightweight; fast
Cons: Forward-facing charging port; pricey
Skip to view product specifications

The 3T Exploro RaceMax Boost is the stealthiest electric bike I’ve come across, which is all down to the original ‘acoustic’ RaceMax’s design.

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That bike has a hugely oversized down tube that shields the bottles from the air, thus improving its aerodynamics. This increased volume allows room to house a 250Wh battery.

There have been modifications though, the electrically assisted RaceMax having a strengthened bottom bracket area to incorporate the charging port and to allow the battery to be removed.

But, crucially for me, the bike’s geometry remains unchanged – as the Exploro RaceMax is one of my all-time favourite fast gravel bikes.

The RaceMax Boost feels every inch the same as the standard RaceMax, with one difference – when the dirt road heads upwards, you can add extra boost for greater traction, this additional power keeping you pedalling up trails you’d otherwise have no right to be riding.

3T Exploro RaceMax Boost gravel eBike
Made for gravel, but the tubes have aero profiles.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The 40×42 bottom gear enables you to tackle gradients steeper than 20 per cent over surfaces on which a 35c tyre normally wouldn’t be able to grip.

And it’s not just fast uphill, as this Exploro feels just as slick on the tarmac between sections of dirt.

On the road, I spent most of my time riding above the legal assisted limit of 15.5mph (25km/h), and at just 12.5kg the weight doesn’t compromise its performance.

3T Exploro RaceMax Boost kit and controls

Mahle’s ebikemotion system is built around a powerful 250W motor in the rear hub and a slimline 250W battery in the down tube. You can remove the battery for servicing – though that does involve removing the bottom bracket.

The 40Nm of assistance doesn’t sound much compared with Fazua’s claimed 60Nm or the 80Nm-plus on some Bosch and Shimano systems, but it never felt underpowered.

The assistance is subtle, like a gentle push in the back rather than a full-bodied shove, but it’s ample to keep you ascending at pace.

The controls are simple, with colour-coded lighting on the top tube-mounted iWoc button denoting power level and battery reserves.

The 'iWoc' button is situated in the toptube of the 3T Exploro RaceMax Boost gravel eBike
The iWoc button shows power and battery life.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Press to turn it on and the LED ring shines white, press and hold and it turns green for low assistance, orange for medium and red for full power.

The battery level indicator ranges from white, showing 75-100 per cent, down to a flashing red when there’s less than a 10 per cent charge.

The bike’s capability on the road means its assistance kicks in only when you really need it, on steep road climbs or on loose gravel ascents, maximising its range.

3T Exploro RaceMax Boost gravel eBike is equipped with a Fango Racemax carbon fork.
The fork has elongated Sqaero-profile legs for aerodynamics.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

I achieved 79km/49.16miles and 824.4m/2705ft elevation on an off-road test ride and an impressive 101km/62.88 miles on a mixed ride, with 971m/3185ft of climbing.

The 1x Shimano GRX drivetrain works superbly and offers a more than ample gear range.

The tubeless-ready 3T Discus wheels come with an aero-optimised 45mm deep rims, their balance of lightness, stiffness, responsiveness and shock absorption adding a lot to the ride quality.

The 3T Discus wheels have different depths on the front and back on the 3T Exploro RaceMax Boost gravel eBike
The wide rims have a 45mm depth.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Pirelli’s Cinturato M tyres are some of my favourites and, along with the quality Selle Italia saddle and 3T bar, stem and seatpost, make it a spec I wouldn’t change anytime soon.

As with the standard Exploro RaceMax, it can run 700c or 650b wheels, but as the rear hub contains the motor, running two wheel sizes won’t come cheap!

Selle Italia SLR saddle on the 3T Exploro RaceMax Boost gravel eBike
The Selle Italia SLR saddle is part of a quality kit line-up.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

3T Exploro RaceMax Boost bottom line

The only thing I’m not 100 per cent keen on is the charging port – which is on the underside of the bottom-bracket shell and forward-facing.

I’ve tested the bike in all weathers and the press-in rubber seal does its job, though I double-checked the cover was secure before every ride.

Overall, 3T’s RaceMax Boost is a premium-quality bike. It handles superbly, it’s rapid and light, and its geometry is well suited for road riding and off-road duties, so it always feels good.

3T Exploro RaceMax Boost gravel eBike
The Fango fork has a compact aero crown profile.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

It’s easy to hold a pace above 15.5mph on the road, maximising its range, while excellent contact points add control and comfort, and contribute to a bike that kept me contented every moment I was riding it, from smooth tarmac to challenging gravel.

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When it comes to genuine drop-bar performance ebikes, 3T’s Exploro RaceMax Boost is up there with the very best.

3T Exploro RaceMax Boost geometry

XXS5154565861
Seat angle (degrees)74.574,073.57372.572.5
Head angle (degrees)6969.571727272
Front centre (mm)596606606611621641
Rear centre (mm)415415415415415415
Seat tube (mm)436463490518545572
Top tube (mm)506526546566586606
Head tube (mm)125147161180201232
Bottom bracket drop (mm)797977777575
Wheelbase (mm)99810081008101410241044
Stack (mm)520542564584604632
Reach (mm)355366377385393404

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €6999.00GBP £7299.00USD $6999.00
Weight 12.5kg (56cm)
Brand 3t

Features

Available sizes XXS, 51, 54. 56, 58, 61cm
Brakes Shimano GRX RX400 hydraulic disc, 160mm rotors
Cassette Shimano 11-42
Cranks Shimano GRX 40t
Fork Fango Racemax carbon
Frame Carbon
Handlebar 3T SuperErgo Pro
Motor Mahle ebikemotion X35+ 250W, 40Nm, 250Wh battery, iWoc controller
Rear derailleur Shimano GRX
Saddle Selle Italia SLR Boost
Seatpost 3T Charlie Sqaero Team
Shifter Shimano GRX
Stem 3T Apto Stealth
Tyres Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M 35c
Wheels 3T Discus 45/40 with ebikemotion X35 rear hub motor