RTP Hits TC: Our Pal Tim’s Custom 3T Strada

3T Keen Technical Strada

You’ve heard of the company car, the company van, the company work truck. But how about the company 3T Strada with SRAM Red eTap AXS? Yeah. It’s a new thing.

After seeing Cody and Sean cruising around on their Exploros for the past year, more riders in Traverse City have been scoping out the right 3T for how they ride. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have one of the local shops, Suttons Bay Bikes, stocking 3T Exploros and Stradas, either. For all the riders that stop in and squeeze brake levers, it’s really, really hard to walk past a Strada more than twice, and when our pal Tim saw it, he was hooked.

That said, the proverbial trigger didn’t get pulled immediately. For Tim Pulliam, there’s no halfway about a bike build, and he meticulously researched every bell and whistle. With SRAM eTap going to 12 speed, he decided to wait things out until the new drivetrain was available. With a bit of downtime to dream, he stumbled across Hot Tubes, a custom paint company with a local connection.

Traverse City is home to some killer junior athletes. Larry Warbasse went from winning the local Cherry-Roubaix crit to racing on the ProTour, and there are several kids who might be following in his footsteps. Braiden Voss is a Suttons Bay native who got into bikes just a few years ago, and to say he picked it up quickly is a bit of an understatement. At the weekly Speed of Light ride, an 11 mile all-out fake mountain bike race, he went from the back of the group to the front bunch in a single summer. The next year, he was attacking and dropping some of the best riders in the state. Now, he’s riding for Hot Tubes, the top youth development program in the country. The connection? They’re on 3T Stradas, too. Braiden’s bike was in the stand about the same time as Pulliam’s frame was getting built up. 

With time until the AXS landed, Tim sent off his Ready-To-Paint frame for a custom job in the colors of the company he co-founded, Keen Technical Solutions. Keen offers energy solutions for businesses across several industries, using the latest tech to solve the world’s biggest sustainability problems on a company-by-company scale. When you find out the guy can probably wire up, heat, cool, and design a facility’s entire electrical system, it makes a bit more sense that he’d want that latest tech on his bike, plus wear his company colors with pride on his frame. When he mentioned the specifications he’d gone with, we couldn’t wait to see how it would it all come together. 

Frankly, it turned out incredibly cool. He kept the paint job under wraps until he showed up for an early-season road ride, and he’s been turning heads and answering a lot of questions about the build and the bike ever since. He stuck with the original Strada frame and opted for a 42t single chainring paired with a 10-33T cassette. He has a full AXS Red build, with a hand-picked Ritchey cockpit and Prologo saddle. To get the right color hub, he picked up a set of Industry9 i9.45 wheels, just the right depth to mix between our fast, flat Tuesday Night Ride and the hills of Leelanau County. He’s running 25mm Schwalbe ProOne tires, but on those wide rims, we have them at 27.2mm on the calipers.

No 3T is boring, but these custom creations are especially cool to see. Start losing sleep on how you would build, paint, and enjoy yours.