As gravel riding and racing continues to grow, so the cycling market adjusts to embrace a discipline that’s helping increase the numbers as a whole and firmly establish gravel as a sub-category. Phil Buys Sports has been appointed the South African representative of 3T bicycles, an Italian cycling brand that’s achieved global respect. Here’s what you can look forward to.

The Pretoria-based distribution company, headed up by one of South Africa’s most successful mountain bike racers, Phil Buys, has confirmed that it will be importing and selling directly to the public via its 3T Experience Centre. Buys has also indicated that his racing team will be on 3T bikes for gravel races.


Multiple South African Champion Phil Buys is the man behind 3T in South Africa. Photo Supplied.

“It’s good to see the growth of Gravel racing in South Africa. As one of the country’s most successful mountain bike racing teams, PYGA Euro Steel has added some high-profile Gravel races to our schedule for this year. PYGA remains committed to building world-class full-suspension mountain bikes and we will continue to race PYGA in all mountain bike races. But in order to be competitive in Gravel races, we must be on Gravel bikes. We needed to find a non-conflicting solution and 3T is it. 3T is an Italian company that only makes high quality Gravel and Road bikes,” explained Buys.

3T, or TTT as many may know it, was established in 1961 when Mario Dedionigi left Ambrosio to launch Tecnologia Tubo Torinese (Turin Tube Technology) which began supplying handlebars and stems to Italian pro road racers. After decades of focusing on handlebars and stems on a global scale, 3T welcomed the arrival of Gerard Vroomen as a co-owner of the brand in 2015. Vroomen is the co-founder of Cervelo bikes and, with his guidance and experience, the company refocused its objectives.


3T has grown into one of the most recognisable brands in the gravel scene. Photo Supplied.

In 2016, 3T launched, as its first bike, the Exploro (which now is the current Primo). This was the first aero-gravel bike launched in the global market and it is considered the first milestone of the new story of the brand.

In 2017, 3T introduced the Strada, a full-carbon bike that combines wide-tyre optimised aerodynamics with a 1x drivetrain and disc brakes – all the attributes of a modern Gravel bike. This led to the company’s decision to move to a new location and bring a portion of the manufacturing back to Italy. In 2020, 3T launched the RaceMax, an aero Gravel bike that performs to the same standards as a premium Road bike.


3T bikes will be available via the 3T Experience Centre. Photo Supplied.

For it’s Made-in-Italy bikes, 3T relooked at the labour-intensive manual lay-up process used globally in carbon fibre frame manufacture and developed its own largely mechanised method using filament winding and dry fibre and resin injection. Both reduce human involvement and deliver greater consistency in frame integrity and quality. A total of 90% of the 3T frame manufacture is automated, with 10% produced using the traditional process.

The built-to-order (in 8-12 weeks) RaceMax and Extrema Italia are the most in-demand of the Made-in-Italy 3T bikes. The RaceMax range includes six models with different component configurations that are designed for speed on all surfaces. There’s also a stand-alone frame set. See the range here. The Extrema Italia is designed for off-road adventure and can accommodate 700x57c tyres and frame and fork travel bags. It comes in four complete bike options and a stand-alone frameset. See the Extrema Italia range here. 


Riders who purchase any complete 3T bike before 30 April 2024 and receive a free Sigeyi Power Meter worth R8 250. Photo Supplied.

“The finishing quality is of the highest standard and ride performance is incredible. I am excited that the team will be racing such a premium brand. From a distributor perspective, we are not anticipating large volumes, so will be selling a limited range of frames and full bikes directly to the public. It’s definitely not a me-too brand, so we expect to appeal to discerning buyers that appreciate the 3T brand and its classic Italian style combined with the most modern design and manufacture methods,” added Buys.


Pieter du Toit (right) and Phil Buys, along with the rest of the PYGA Euro Steel team will race 3T gravel bikes in gravel races in 2024 and beyond. Photo Supplied.

Stock Currently Avaliable 

  • 3T Ultra frameset – R 54 412
  • 3T Strada frameset – R 72 688
  • 3T RaceMax bike – GRX 2×11 build – R 82 862
  • 3T RaceMax bike – Force D1 AXS 2×12 build – R 102 958
  • 3T Strada bike – 105 Di2 2×12 – R 106 984
  • 3T Strada bike – Force D2 AXS 2×12 with 3T Discus 45/32 carbon wheelset – R 151 200
  • 3T RaceMax Italia frameset (Made in Italy version) – R 105 000

The 3T RaceMax is an aerodynamically optimised gravel bike. Photo Supplied.

Launch Promo!

Purchase any complete 3T bike before 30 April 2024 and get a free Sigeyi Power Meter worth R8 250!

To explore the 3T range, visit the international website here. For local enquiries, click here  or email