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BMW Unveils 2023 Bicycle Lineup: They're Aiming for Total Cycling Domination

Everybody knows BMW for the sort of cars they build, but did you know that you can also get your hands on a BMW-branded bicycle? Yup, moreover, they're even hitting the e-bike sector of the market. But, they have help.
2023 BMW and 3T Bicycles 18 photos
Photo: BMW Group / Composition by Autoevolution
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Folks, BMW and 3T have been collaborating for several years now, but this time, they've unveiled the freshest bicycles to bear the Bavarian powerhouse logo. In total, six machines are hitting the streets, so hang on tight for this one.

Since BMW needs no introduction, let me hop right into 3T, a crew that can trace its roots all the way back to the Italian cycling scene of the 1960s. Over the years, they've attracted the attention of several automotive makers that feel some memorabilia is in order. Even Lamborghini frequently collaborated with this crew. Clearly, there's something they're doing right. Well, there is, and that's what we'll be exploring today.

Now, I mentioned that these two teams have been holding hands for some time now, and that's true. However, the six new machines are the freshest ones yet, even going as far as targeting three distinctive terrains, roads, gravel trails, and the urban jungle. They're called the BMW Exploro bikes, and three are mechanical, while the remaining three are electric, with differences being found in nothing more than the type of secondary components used to define each bike's final destination in terms of riding surface.

Overall, the new machines are based upon 3T's Exploro platform, a hand-built carbon fiber frame built with some rather first-rate carbon layup and resin integration tech, and honestly, that alone may be enough to justify these babies' starting price tag of €5,000 ($5,400). That price accompanies the Gravel and Urban versions, while the Road cruises in with a solid asking price of €6,000 ($6,500). But these are the prices for the mechanical versions. The electric ones add an extra €2,000 ($2,200), which, in my opinion, is a bit much considering the Mahle X20 drivetrain is used.

2023 BMW and 3T Bicycles
Photo: BMW Group
But, if you remember back to a couple of paragraphs ago, you remember that the only difference in these bikes is the secondary components. According to a BMW press release, all six versions include an SRAM Rival AXS groupset. This means that you can access 12 speeds with a cassette range of 10-44T. If you're aware of this drivetrain, you also know that it boasts electronic and wireless shifting, denoted by that "AXS." Then there's the braking system, which is again offered by SRAM, with 160 mm (6.3 in) brake rotors.

As for some of the differences, Let's start with the Gravel. Here, 3T and BMW settled upon aluminum wheels rocking a 27.5 in diameter and wrapped with a pair of good old Italian Pirelli rubbers. Because gravel riding is often a bumpy and vibration-inducing experience, attention has been given to the seat post and handlebars. They're carbon fiber, too, to help remove some of the discomfort often associated with bumpy roads.

The Urban is similar to the Gravel in that aluminum rims are once again used, but the presence of flat bars is sure to help you maneuver around town with greater control. A final touch to tell the world that this is an urban bike is the Brooks Cambium saddle.

The Road, on the other hand, is all about being lightweight and suitable for catching those smile-inducing speeds. Here, carbon fiber wheels hug a pair of tubeless Panaracer GravelKing Slick tires, and an aero seatpost not only reduces vibrations but aims to help you save kW of your energy consumption. Carbon fiber handlebars are present here too.

2023 BMW and 3T Bicycles
Photo: BMW Group
As for the electronic side of things, 3T and BMW have chosen to equip these carbon fiber beauties with nothing more than another German brand, Mahle. Here, the X20 ecosystem is being used, bringing 40 Nm of torque to assist you in hill climbs, on straightaways, or whenever you want. A small aspect to consider is that the Urban and Gravel include a 350 Wh battery, while the Road has just 250 Wh. Again, the Road is all about being light and fast, with that extra boost of juice being used in critical stages of a ride.

There's just one problem I have with all this, aside from the rather high price tag, the fact that the X20 setup is based around a rear-hub-mounted motor. From the discussions I've had with just about every bicycle shop owner I've encountered, they all tell the same tale; a hub-mounted motor isn't what you want in terms of a drivetrain that's exposed to constant vibration.

At the end of the day, it's BMW's job to ensure their name reaches yet another growing industry, but it's your duty to consider if these babies are for you. There's really only one way to find out; Head down to a local BMW dealership or bicycle shop, and start talking. Just make sure to have your checkbook ready because you may be leaving with a new bike. I wonder if BMW throws in an e-bike with a purchase of their all-electric X1, a car I've had the pleasure of flooring. Considering that puppy cost over $110K, with options, they should.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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