A lot of cyclists still prefer shallow, non-anatomic bars. For many, however, the newer ergonomic bars provide a more comfortable cockpit. If you’re a member of the new-school camp, then you should give the 3T Ergonova LTD Carbon Handlebar a good look. 3T has lavished the same loving attention to this bar as it has with the more traditionally shaped Rotundo.
The LTD edition of the 3T product line represents the top of the heap. No expense is spared in their quest for the strongest, lightest and loveliest-looking handlebar. The lightest carbon composite materials are used, more sophisticated fabrication methods are employed, and the bolts are made from titanium instead of steel. This is a handlebar made to be lightweight, tough and stiff. Weighing just 180g, the Ergonova LTD Carbon Handlebar is one of the lightest carbon bars on the market. The top of the bars are egg or teardrop shaped which is intended to give your hands a flatter, more comfortable surface to hold onto. The designers have also seemed to anticipate some of our objections to “ergo” bars by keeping an eye on the needs of the smaller person. Not only do these bars come in an array of widths ranging from 38 to 44cm (c-c), but the reach is quite moderate at 77mm and the drop is a comfortable 123mm. Whereas a bar like the FSA Wing Pro has a 145mm drop making it very difficult for a rider with small hands to reach the brake levers while in the drops, the 123mm Ergonova drop is much closer to what one would find in a shallow, classic shape bar, giving greater ease of access to the levers and other controls.
3T uses a four-step production life cycle to make sure that its bars and stems are light, comfortable, aero, and durable with a capital D. Beginning with what it calls the CAE design visualization, the engineers can visualize and capture a virtual prototype. By using CATIA (Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application) technology, they are able to be interactive with their design by creating solid mock ups from the virtual designs, handing them to expert riders for testing, a incorporating their feedback to the design all within a matter of days. The next step takes them to the finite-element analysis which is software that models how the prototype will react to the forces acting on it. After that, the manufacturing process begins, taking full advantage of all the data analysis that they have gathered. Finally 3T then spends hours upon hours engaging both in-house and independent testers to make sure the parts pass the mustard.
The 3T Ergonova LTD Carbon has 123mm of drop and 77mm of reach. It is designed for a 31.8mm stems. The bar is available in four sizes, 38, 40, 42, and 44cm, measured center-to-center at the drop. Please note that these bars flare out at the drops. Each drop flares out by approximately 2cm, so a set of 42cm c-c bars are, in fact, 40cm c-c at the hoods.