Italian component legend 3T may have branched out into bike design recently, with the Exploro gravel bike and 1x-specific Strada aero bike, but its bread and butter still remains slick, clever bike components.
These Team-level items are undoubtedly high end, but if your pockets are deep you can opt for the top-line LTD series. The Superleggera bar is based on the brand’s existing Ergonova bar, but as the name suggests, this one has been optimised to be lighter. That’s not its only trick though, the shallow 119mm drop is matched to a short 77mm reach, which may sound a little cramped for larger hands, but the clever shape means a sharp, 90-degree bend at the top to drop junction.
A flare to the corner means great wrist clearance from the drops and an excellent transition from bar to shifter, combined with a gradual widening curve to the drop make these seriously comfortable. The internal cable routing keeps things tidy and the construction combines great stiffness when honking on the bar, with a nicely damped buzz-free feeling when riding over rougher surfaces.
My 44cm-wide (centre to centre) bar weighed 190g, which is light, but not the lightest I’ve tried.
The Apto stem has a slick shot-peened finish to the alloy look, and the smooth-fronted stem has four bolts set in reverse, they thread from the back, offering an aero benefit.
The red 3T logo clips into the front and can be removed if you want to fit the optional Barfly out-front Garmin mount for an even slicker look on the bike, without taking up any space on your bar.
The stem is simple, light at 163.7g for 110mm size, and is finished beautifully, with no potentially carbon-damaging sharp edges. Plus, all the hardware uses 4mm hex keys.
I’m glad 3T dropped using Torx bolts of varying sizes on its stems. The +/- six degrees gives you the option to keep the front end low. In all, it’s inexpensive, very well made and does exactly what it should.
- Bar: £290 / $350 / AU$429
- Stem: £65 / $70 / AU$95