Say 3T to someone and more often than not, ‘handlebars’ spring to mind.
3T is a venerable name in Italian cycling. Over the years, many of the great champions put their trust in 3T handlebars and handlebar extensions. Now an invigorated 3T is back in the pro peloton winning race after race.
3T was originally called ‘Tecnologia del Tubo Torinese’ (Turin Tube Technology), taking its name from the city of Turin, where it was founded in 1961 by Mario Dedioniggi. Though written 3T, it’s usually called Triple T.
Dedioniggi was a talented engineer. Clever at manipulating and bending steel tubes and he was taken on as a young man by the Ambrosio concern (which continues to this day). There, he learned to fashion the bars and stems desired by racing cyclists. The resurgence of cycle sport in the 1950s drove demand for top-quality racing equipment and the ambitious Dedioniggi spotted his opportunity. After ten years at Ambrosio, he left to set up shop on his own. The new enterprise had a three-room warehouse in Turin, one employee, and a manual tube-bending machine. Soon, the grandiose name gave way to the more manageable 3TTT.
In 2010, the tradition lives on. Simple, elegant and innovatory – these qualities are the strands of 3T’s DNA.
Sponsoring the Cervelo Test Team, Garmin and Milram this year, 3T have chosen wisely and their bars and stems are always instantly recognisable in the mass finishes.
So how does the 3T range work?
The range of the bars, stems and posts are split into 3 different levels. You have Pro, Team and Limited:
Pro offers an ideal balance to riders who insist on top-class performance at the keenest price. This group typically includes many amateurs who purchase their own equipment.
PRO components often employ traditional materials such as Al 7075 and Al 6061 alloys to contain fabrication costs. But like all 3T products, they benefit from the 3T Intelligent Production Lifecycle, assuring right-first-time design and quality at prices that meet the needs of today’s discriminating bike riders. Count on PRO components to perform to the highest levels.
TEAM is intended for top-level competition and is widely used by professional and amateur racers.
TEAM products equal LTD in function, but have minor concessions to price in materials specification and finish. TEAM components are built either in advanced carbon composite materials, or the highest grades of heat-treated aluminum alloy. This gives them great strength and robustness, so they are especially suitable for the rough-and tumble of season-long competition.
Bolts may be stainless-steel or titanium.
LTD is the full expression of ultimate performance by 3T. Expect no compromise – this is the best you can get. Top pros and super-demanding amateurs will likely prefer components at this level.
Most LTD components are built in the lightest available grades of carbon composite materials. In the search for even lighter weight, structures may employ more highly evolved fabrication methods such as variable-thickness walls. All ancillary parts are also refined to the highest degree. For example, bolts are made of titanium rather than stainless steel.
For athletes who ride LTD, only the ultimate performance will do.
Pro Team Testing:
All of the components which the Pro’s ride are off the same production line as ours. After two seasons in pro road competition, focus is on engineering their products to perfection. They care passionately about the way they look. Elegant form is in 3T’s DNA.
Oddly light, though strong enough for the Pro’s to muscle it about day in day out.
3T perform their own strength tests which surpass any of the CEN standards so you really don’t need to worry.
Flex is kept under control with high-tech design and research.
The base Pro has alloy bolts but for just a few more pounds/dollars the Team features Ti hardware – well worth the upgrade!
- Rotundo: Medium-deep, round drop bend. But while the shape is traditional, the ROTUNDO TEAM is ultra-modern. At 192 g, it is among the lightest bars in this shape, yet also one of the strongest, exceeding the most stringent tests. The shape endures because of its control and handling.
- Ergosum: shallower than ROTUNDO and its shape suits smaller hands better. Below the levers, the transition to the bottom of the bars is gradual, so it’s comfortable to get hold of anywhere along its length – unlike many bars styled ‘anatomic’. A sub 200g bar.
- Ergonova: sets a new standard in comfort riding. The top of the bar is egg-shaped in section – the longer radius provides a wider top surface for the hands. A new standard in comfort
- Doric: minimalist, zero-setback seatpost focused on essentials: rider comfort, security and ease of
use. DORIC is built to provide elegant, robust support that stands the test of time.
- Dorico: classic setback seatpost. The shock absorbent carbon-fibre shaft is bonded into the alloy head, setting the saddle rail supports 25 mm back of the post’s centre-line.
- Palladio: the latest post from 3T. A new-generation seatpost with 3T’s unique, fit-and-forget DiffLock clamping system – precisely adjust the saddle’s fore-and-aft setting with no effect at all on saddle angle.
More models this time, with the Ventus being the top dog:
- Ventus: the TT bar of champions. The carbon-fibre basebar, tiny brake levers and integrated stem make it the world’s fastest and most aerodynamic bar.
- Brezza: a highly evolved aerobar for conventional stems. It shares the design DNA of the stage winning VENTUS, but the basebar’s aerofoil section is deeper and narrower, to allow for a variable angle of incidence into the wind. BREZZA is aimed at TT and triathlon specialists who prefer to mount the bar on their own choice of stem.
- Zefiro: fuses the power and control of the road racer’s drop bar with the low-drag form of the chrono rider’s aerobar. The base unit combines the medium-drop bends of ERGOSUM with the aero wing of MISTRAL. Additionally, it has the unique Pi Wing, an adjustable forward extension with an aerofoil
handrest. A hybrid that provides super comfort for long solo efforts into the wind and full control for out-of-the-saddle efforts in the bunch.
- Mistral: a new super-value entry point to 3T’s race-proven range of time-trial bars. Despite its low cost, it is a direct descendant of the BREZZA and is mostly built of carbon-fibre composites. Riders of very different anatomies and aerodynamic posture should find a comfortable position on this bar.