3T have provided Australian World Cup winner Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Transitions) with a new aero bar called 'The Sphinx' for today's UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The points/endurance bar – the name comes from the sphinx-like 'wide-aero' position used by racers – combines a new UCI-compliant aerofoil top section with bends from 3T's Ergosum drop bar. It's the first in a new Pista series of track bars from the company.
3T technical director Richard McAinsh said: “We know Cameron through Team Garmin-Transitions. He saw how well [Bradley] Wiggins went on the Zefiro at the Giro [d'Italia] and thought a bar like that would work well for him. He came to us and explained how he rides the points race, alternating between level high speed and all-out sprinting. We saw the chance to use a new UCI-compliant aerofoil we were developing.”
On The Sphinx, the ‘wingtips’ of the aerofoil meet the upper part of the round-section drops, which are slightly tilted up, allowing the rider to hook his wrists inside the bend. The vertical section of the bend flattens into an aerofoil section, and then joins the bottoms which provide a conventional round-section handhold for the sprint.
3T spokeswoman Claudia Vianino said: "Leaving his wrists on the tops, [Meyer can] curl his palms round the inside of the bend. He can pull back from this position in a heartbeat to grasp the bottom of the bends for the sprint."
“The main driver of the design was to get the aerofoil section inside the UCI’s 3:1 gauge," said McAinsh. "We were already hard at work on that last summer when Cameron approached us with his ideas for a track-specific bar. We reckoned the new aerofoil was an ideal platform for a track bar too. Also, we felt we had a point to prove.
"Our handlebar is designed very carefully for its intended purpose, but it’s not a custom product. Like everything we do, it’s developed for sale. When you have an apparently bottomless budget, you can have the most highly evolved equipment, and in my opinion the GB track team has benefited from that. We believe our new Pista series will rival the performance of their custom equipment. It won’t be cheap, but at least you'll be able to buy it. We think that levels out the playing field.”