Bike component crush confession time: I’m in love with 3T Ergonova bars.
For me, the shape is perfection. Just the right drop, just enough flatness on top, perfect bends. Great room for my hands, nice shape that extends directly into my brifters…they’re great. I run 3T Ergonovas on both the Ridley and the Vaytanium. I have one set of the LTD bars (carbon, super lightweight, cannot be used with aero clip-ons) and one set of the Team bars (carbon, lightweight, can be used with aero clip-ons). Formerly, the LTDs were on the Vaya and the Teams were on the Ridley. I recently swapped them out so that I could throw a set of clip-ons on the Vaya for some anticipated long training rides this winter.
Here’s the LTDs:
Pardon the adhesive remnants.
Mine are 44cm models. They’re supposed to weigh 192 grams in 42cm. Mine weigh out at 190 grams, so they’re lighter than advertised.
Here’s the Team Edition:
Again, mine are 44s. They’re supposed to weigh 196 grams in 42. Mine weigh 200 grams in 44–well within expectations.
Ride difference between the two? Honestly, I really cannot tell a difference. Even though the LTD in theory has thinner walls and should be more compliant, they feel basically identical. For that reason (and because you can use clip-ons on the Team), were I buying these tomorrow, I don’t see a compelling reason to upgrade to the LTD. (I have one of each because I found a deal I couldn’t refuse).
Ride difference between these and alloy bars? HUGE. Before these, I had a set of RHM 02 Deda aluminum bars, on both the Vaya and Ridley. The switch to the carbon fiber 3T bars is totally noticeable on gravel. They do an appreciably better job of dampening gravel chatter than do alloy bars. The trade-off is that there is a bit of flex that you can detect, at least in comparison to alloy bars…but you only notice it if: 1) you really pay attention; and, 2) you really crank on the bars. Any time I’m not specifically paying attention to the issue, I don’t notice it, no matter how hard I sprint. Really–it isn’t flex…it’s a bit of deflection, as compared to an aluminum bar.
I like bars with a little flatness on top. The RHM02s had a profile a bit flattened out, but the Ergonovas are just plain awesome.
BPaul has the alloy Ergonovas, and they share the same great shape.
From an installation perspective, they have 2 nice features: a) the bend where you would install brifters has sand-like texture to it, which makes it very easy to have the brifters hold stead in one place; and, 2) they have a set of markings on the back of the bar that allow you to precisely align your brifters in the same spot on each side. Not necessarily features only found on 3T bars, but nice features nonetheless.
From a ride perspective, again, they’re great. I had checked out a lot of different drop bars before I settled on these. The only other drop bars I’d ever really consider looking at would be if I was doing more single track or more aggressively off-road riding on the Vaya, and wanted more flare to the drops, such as Cowbells or even Woodchippers.
One last little tidbit. When Tobie and North Central Cyclery built up the Vaytanium with the original RHM02 alloy bars, they snuck in these little Bontrager gel pads on the bars.
There’s one piece that covers the top of the bar and wraps around the side and edges (shown), and…
One piece that covers the top of the drops. In other words, anywhere you’d rest your weight is covered with gel-cushioned goodness. A normal wrap of bar tape goes over the top of the gel. For gravel riding on the Vaya, it is pure hand bliss. I wouldn’t use it on a road bike, but it is perfect for this application.
3T Ergonova. Great, great product.