In phrases of recent gravel bikes, it appears the Philly Bike Expo turned into an awesome location to be. We’ve recognized a brand new challenge from T-Lab Bikes out of Montreal for an event, however it turned out at PBE that the X3-S subsequently noticed the mild of day.
T-Lab X3-S suspension gravel bike Philly Bike Expo, Photo c. Ron Frazelle
T-Lab bikes brought their X3 flagship gravel bike again in 2018, and it’s nonetheless one in every Gravel Cyclist’s favourites. However, T-Lab Co-Founder Rob Rossi states that because then, “our greater adventurous customers had been requesting a suspension gravel bike. So our layout crew were given to work.”
The end result is the X3-S, in which the ‘S’ stands for Suspension. Unlike a few contemporary suspension gravel bikes available in the marketplace though, this isn’t simply the X3 with a suspension fork swapped in. The complete front stop of the bike has been redesigned to provide the perfect geometry and body overall performance that is going at the side of having a suspension bike up the front.
T-Lab X3-S pinnacle tube, Photo c. T-Lab Bikes
Up the front, you’ll discover that the X3-S is constructed round a 40mm journey Rockshox Rudy Ultimate XPLR fork with a 45mm rake. In spite of the reality that RockShox gives each 30mm and 40mm journey variations of this fork, till now, we’ve in general visible 30mm variations as authentic spec – that’s due to the fact a 30mm journey model will disappointed the geometry much less on a body that isn’t suspension corrected.
Here, the X3-S is suspension corrected, and meant for the longest adventure Rudy at 40mm. Though T-Lab states that it could properly run forks from 30-60mm of journey.
T-LAb X3-s head tube, Photo c. T-Lab Bikes
Just as essential is the stiffness of the front stop. With a suspension fork at your disposal, you’re nearly assured to push matters tougher on rougher terrain. That manner the X3-S might take advantage of a stronger, stiffer front triangle, which T-Lab delivered. Since the suspension fork will make up for a chunk much less compliance out of the body, the extended stiffness needs to hold matters monitoring in the proper course whilst matters get rowdy.
The geometry of the X3-S is likewise tweaked for greater competitive driving with an extended attainment than the X3 supposed for shorter stems (60-80mm). You’ll additionally discover a slacker 69º head tube angle, all to offer balance at excessive speeds on difficult terrain, and making the front of the bike less difficult to load even as cornering.
T-Lab BB386 backside bracket, Photo c. Ron Frazelle
Like the X3, the X3-S is suggested to be constructed with a BB-386 backside bracket shell. T-Lab says this lets in for top-rated lateral stiffness and their specific machining gets rid of the opportunity of any creaking. If you sincerely ought to have a threaded BB and are inclined to sacrifice a few stiffness (and a few dollars), a threaded BSA backside bracket is to be had as an option. Also like different T-Lab bikes, the X3-S might be to be had as a general inventory construct – or all of the manner to be completely custom, along with the geometry and the paint.
The X3-S is to be had as a 1x construct only, and gives tire clearance as much as 700c x 50mm which suits that of the Rudy suspension fork. Made in Montreal, Quebec, the primary small batch of X3-S frames and whole builds might be to be had beginning January 2023.
We will even have an in-depth first study of this bike coming quickly as we’re anxiously looking forward to the advent of an assessment model!