Gerard Vroomen’s Design Legacy – From Cervelo to Open to 3T

From Cervelo to Open to 3T, some of the most talked-about bikes

Who is Gerard Vroomen and why do we seem to go on about him so much? Good question. While years ago when partnered with Phil White at Cervelo, GV was responsible for some of the sport’s most dynamic road bike designs, these days the visionary Dutchman can be found  under the respective roofs of  Open Cycle and 3T Cycling  where he continues penning some of the most dynamic, talked-about bike designs.

Casual, witty, and always on-point, Gerard Vroomen continues to shake-up the world of bike design.

With the recent launch of Gerard’s 3T Exploro Race Max, we thought it a good time to take a look back at some of the innovative bikes that he’s pioneered over the years. Here are a handful of previous reviews as well as a photo gallery of some of GV’s most notable bikes through the years:

Open UP
3T Exploro
3T Strada
Open WI.DE
3T Exploro Race Max


Gerard (r) and Phil in the early Cervelo days at the Toronto Bike Show.


In addition to claiming the 2010 rainbow jersey on his Cervelo road bike, Norway’s Thor Hushovd also used his Cervelos  to claim both yellow and green jerseys in the Tour de France.


It’s obvious where some of the Gerard’s current 3T bikes have borrowed some design cues. The Late Steve Hed was an early inspiration for Gerard’s interest in gravel bikes.


The Cervelo P5 had a successful run in both TdF time-trials and Ironman races.


Never one to shirk from controversy, Gerard made a push for his 1x 3T Strada road bike into the pro ranks with the short-lived Aqua Blue Sport team in 2017. They did manage a few wins but eventually the Pro Tour demands pushed for the Due 2x model.


The Open UP shook the then still nascent gravel market owing not just to its many unique design features, but an unquestionably solid ride quality. The Open’s dropped driveside chainstay has become a popular design with many other brands.


Back in 2017 former RBA Editor Neil Shirley used an Open UP with a Lauf fork to race at Dirty Kanza.


In 2016 the 3T Exploro was the first bike to consider aero efficiency with a gravel bike.
RBA’s own 3T Strada project bike was featured in the July issue. With a SRAM AXS Red 1x drivetrain, 3T  Torno carbon crank and Hunt Limitless wheels the bike was a looker and hit the scale at an impressive 15.72 pounds.


Owing to their quick handling traits, it there was one signature trait of all of the Vroomen bikes we’ve tested, it’s that they are not for the feint of heart.



In 2019 Gerard took his gravel bike theme to a new level when he introduced the Open WI.DE that now featured double drop chainstays,  Even with its massive 2.4 inch knobby tires, the bike weighed just over 18 pounds (less than a Pinarello F12) and was considered the best all-around gravel bike tested by RBA.


While it’s not our cup of tea, this loaded-to-bear Open WI.DE is just one example of what a modern day gravel bike is capable of.


The latest dual-purpose bike from 3T is  the Exploro Race Max which combines aero design features from the its predecessors as well as the Open WI.DE with the double drop stays. The recent Race Max launch made clear that, with a variety of models offered, 3T was now a stand-alone bike brand as well as a component brand.


Seen in the July issue of RBA, as challenging as the rigors of the White Rim trial in Moab, Utah are, they are even more rewarding on a fast and capable bike like the Open WI.DE.


If anyone ever asks you just what a gravel bike (specifically the Open WI.DE) is capable of over any road bike, just show them this picture. Sendin’ it!


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