3T's new Extrema Italia gravel bike is equal parts extremely capable and extremely aero

3T Extrema Italia gravel bike
(Image credit: 3T)

When 3T released the original Exploro all the way back in 2016, it was a radical bike and arguably a pivotal bike in the evolution of gravel. Nobody had combined the formulas of big tire clearance and aerodynamics, but 3T was bold or crazy enough to do it.

Seven years later, the original Exploro, now named Exploro Primo, is still in 3T's range and one of the best gravel bikes on the market. 3T didn't stop there though and while it hasn't deviated all that much from the original Exploro concept, the bikes have continually got more extreme with the RaceMax, Ultra, and RaceMax Italia. 3T has now released the Extrema Italia, its most capable aero gravel bike yet.

Although the existing RaceMax Italia and Extrema Italia are both race-orientated bikes, they travel very different paths. The Extreme has been designed for ultra-endurance rugged off-road races like Silk Road, rather than faster events like Unbound or FNLD GRVL.

3T Extrema Italia gravel bike

3T says the Extrema should keep the dreaded hike-a-bike at bay (Image credit: 3T)

Grippy tires and slippy aero

In order to tackle remote and rough trails, 3T looked to increase tire volume and have managed to squeeze a 700 x 57mm (roughly a 2.2in) tire, based on 3T's WAM (Width As Measured). It says it took hundreds of tire measurements to determine the WAM of many of the best gravel bike tires, these are available on its Extrema Italia tire recommendation page.

The aerodynamics of the frame had to be optimized around having massive 57mm tires fitted. To do this, the downtube is 60mm wide right behind the front tire and widens to 75mm as it gets close to the bottom bracket. 3T says this redirects the airflow over the frame from the front wheel and shields the bottles for a complete aerodynamic system. Aero profiling around the headtube and a close-fitting scooped sea tube cut out further help airflow.

The Extrema Italia is compatible with 2x front deraileurs, although this will reduce your tire volume to 44mm with a SRAM AXS standard (45.0mm chainline), 48mm with SRAM AXS Wide (47.5mm chainline), or 52mm using Shimano GRX Di2 2×11.

3T Extrema Italia gravel bike

Geometry is said to be relaxed but still racey (Image credit: 3T)

A dedicated ultra-endurance race bike

3T hasn't just squeezed some big tires into the RaceMax Italia and called it a day. The Italian brand says it has designed the Extrema Italia with long rides in mind, incorporating a number of adventure and endurance features for a more comfortable and capable ride. Of course, 3T adds that these features haven't come at the compromise of speed and performance.

3T says its road-inspired "3Touring geometry" still falls into the performance gravel bike category. The geometry isn't as aggressive as the RaceMax though, with a higher stack and shorter reach making it more forgiving over multiple days of riding. The frame is built in 3T's own facility in their Italian HQ and features the same bottom bracket and headtube stiffness as the RaceMax, although an updated layup and thinner seat tube are said to increase vertical compliance. The seat tube takes a standard round 27.2mm seatpost so it's compatible with the best short travel dropper posts.

The frame comes in four sizes (51, 54, 65, and 58cm) and features size-specific geometry and construction in order to maintain ride characteristics across all sizes.

One important thing to note – the Extrema Italia is only compatible with electronic or wireless groupsets The bike does feature SRAM's UDH (Universal Derailleur Hanger) making it compatible with SRAM's new Transmission MTB groupsets.

It would be amiss for any bike built with adventures in mind to not have a selection of mounting options for strapping bikepacking bags to. The Extrema Italia features top tube bag bosses, under-the-downtube bosses, and triple bosses on the fork legs too. Winter riders rejoice, as 3T has specced hidden fender mounts to the Extrema, something which is becoming rarer on gravel race bikes.

3T Extrema Italia gravel bike loaded with bikepacking bags

There's plenty of luggage mounts for big adventures (Image credit: 3T)

Pricing, availability and spec

The Extrema Italia is available as a frameset ($5,499 / £4,593 / €4,999) or as a complete bike in the Mercurio, Terra, or Project X (naked carbon finish) colors. All Extrema Italia builds feature 3T's More Integrale Stem and 3T Aeroghiaia which fully integrates houses through the handlebar. The full builds take advantage of the UDH and use mullet groupset configurations with SRAM Rival/Force AXS shifters and brakes an Eagle Transmission (T-Type) series rear derailleur with a massive 10-52t cassette. Complete bikes can also be specced with the new 3T Torno Wide carbon crankset, although this won't be available till June 2024. Customers can select this configuration and the bike will be fitted with a SRAM AXS Wide crankset straight away and then receive a free upgrade at a 3T Experience Center when the new Torno Wide is available.

The 3T Extrema Italia is available now from 3T.bike, complete bikes are available in the below options.

3T Extrema Italia Rival GX Eagle AXS

3T Extrema Italia Rival GX Eagle AXS

Entry model with a rigid seatpost, Zipp 303 S, and SRAM mullet groupset (Image credit: 3T)
  • Frame: 3T Extrema Italia
  • Fork: 3T Fango Extrema Integrale w/ compact crown and accessory mounts
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle Transmission, 12sp, 10-52t
  • Shifters: SRAM Rival AXS
  • Stem: 3T More integrale (51: 80mm , 54: 90mm, 56: 100mm, 58: 110mm)
  • Bar: 3T Aeroghiaia or Superghiaia Integrale LTD depending on availability (51: 40cm - 54&56: 42cm - 58: 44cm)
  • Crankset: SRAM Rival Wide AXS, 40T chainring ( 51: 170mm - 54&56: 172,5mm - 58: 175mm)
  • Seatpost: 3T Carbon 27.2 round seatpost, zero offset
  • Saddle: San Marco Shortfit
  • Brakes: SRAM Force D2, 160mm F/R
  • Wheels: Zipp 303 S
  • Tires: Continental Race King 700x50c
  • Sizes: 51, 54, 56, 58
  • Price: $7,999 / £6,697 / €7,299

Extrema Italia Torno Rival GX Eagle AXS Dropper Post

3T Extrema Italia Torno Rival GX Eagle AXS Dropper Post

Rival/GX groupset and 3T Torno WIDE crankset (Image credit: 3T)
  • Frame: 3T Extrema Italia
  • Fork: 3T Fango Extrema Integrale w/ compact crown and accessory mounts
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle Transmission, 12sp, 10-52t
  • Shifters: SRAM Rival AXS
  • Stem: 3T More integrale (51: 80mm , 54: 90mm, 56: 100mm, 58: 110mm)
  • Bar: 3T Aeroghiaia or Superghiaia Integrale LTD depending on availability (51: 40cm - 54&56: 42cm - 58: 44cm)
  • Crankset: 3T Torno WIDE* 40T chainring ( 51: 170mm - 54&56: 172,5mm - 58: 175mm)
  • Seatpost: Rock Shox Reverb AXS XPLR 27.2mmm, 350mm long (travel 50mm)
  • Saddle: San Marco Shortfit
  • Brakes: SRAM Rival, 160mm F/R
  • Wheels: Zipp 303 S
  • Tires: Continental Race King 700x50c
  • Sizes: 51, 54, 56, 58
  • Price: $9,199 / £7,612 / €8,299

3T Extrema Italia Torno Force D2 XX SL Eagle AXS Dropper Post Project X

3T Extrema Italia Torno Force D2 XX SL Eagle AXS Dropper Post Project X

3T Extrema Italia Torno Force D2 XX SL Eagle AXS Dropper Post Project X, bit of a mouthful (Image credit: 3T)
  • Frame: 3T Extrema Italia
  • Fork: 3T Fango Extrema Integrale w/ compact crown and accessory mounts
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle Transmission, 12sp, 10-52t
  • Shifters: SRAM Force D2 AXS
  • Stem: 3T More integrale (51: 80mm , 54: 90mm, 56: 100mm, 58: 110mm)
  • Bar: 3T Aeroghiaia or Superghiaia Integrale LTD depending on availability (51: 40cm - 54&56: 42cm - 58: 44cm)
  • Crankset: 3T Torno WIDE* 40T chainring ( 51: 170mm - 54&56: 172,5mm - 58: 175mm)
  • Seatpost: Rock Shox Reverb AXS XPLR 27.2mmm, 350mm long (travel 50mm)
  • Saddle: San Marco Shortfit
  • Brakes: SRAM Force, 160mm F/R
  • Wheels: 3T Discus 45 I 40 LTD Carbon Ti hubs
  • Tires: Continental Race King 700x50c
  • Sizes: 51, 54, 56, 58
  • Price: $11,599 / £9,625 / €10,499
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg