We enjoyed the 3T Accelro 40 Team Stealth wheelset so much, that when we had the chance to demo a full 3T Team cockpit, it didn’t take much to twist our arms. Personally, I have been riding aluminum 3T Pro bars and stems for a few years on my road bikes, so I was excited to try something different in the Ergoterra Team carbon handlebar. It is billed as a cyclocross specific bar, but would also work on the road. To round out the build, 3T sent over an aluminum ARX Team stem, and a carbon Stylus 25 Team seat post. All three combined to make a comprehensive cyclocross set up.
The Ergoterra is similar to the Ergosum road bars, with a few differences. Both have the same long reach (89 mm) and compact drop (128 mm) with a compound curve, making for a smooth transition from the tops to the hoods. The Ergoterra is available in 42 and 44 cm widths at the hoods, but the drops flare out by 6 degrees, providing a little more clearance for your arms when grabbing the drops. This also provides some extra control in technical sections (similar to a wide mountain bar) and makes it a little easier to grab on to when shouldering the bike. The flare doesn’t start until below shifters though, so everything stays in proper alignment. The bars are reinforced to be compatible with inline brake levers mounted near the stem. It also adds some strength to the bar for the punishment it will take at the hands of a cyclocross rider.
The bars come in the Pro and Team/Stealth levels. The black with white trim Pros are made from shot peened and black anodized 7075 aluminum, and weigh in at 245 grams in the 42 cm width. The black with red striped Team and black on black Stealth models bump you up to carbon construction with a weight of 200 grams in the 42 cm width. When weighed, my Team sample came in a few grams light at 197 grams.
The ARX stem is available in all four trim levels, and follows the same color patterns across the brand. The 140 gram (110 mm) Pro level is made from 2010 aluminum, and comes with steel hardware. The Team/Stealth changes to 7075 aluminum with titanium bolts to shave weight down to 125 grams at 110 mm. When weighed, the 6 degree 100 mm stem came in at 125 grams. Jumping up to the LTD level moves to carbon fiber construction with titanium hardware, making it the lightest, 118 grams at 110 mm, and stiffest option available. The Pro and Team are available in 6 and 17 degree angles and lengths from 70 mm to 140 mm in 10 mm increments. The Stealth and LTD lines only offer a 6 degree angle and lengths from 80 mm to 130 mm.
The Stylus, which replaces the Doric/Dorico post, follows the same lines as the ARX. Both the 0 and 25, referring to the setback, are available in all four trim levels, with lengths of 280 mm or 350 mm, and diameters of 27.2 or 31.6. Build materials are what set the models apart. The Pro has an all aluminum construction with stainless steel bolts. The Team and Stealth swaps the aluminum post for carbon, but keep the aluminum head and steel bolts. The LTD upgrades to an all carbon construction with steel bolts. In the 31.6 mm x 280 mm configuration, the Pro comes in at 225 grams. The Team and Stealth drop down to 195 grams, but the full carbon construction takes the LTD down to 140 grams. When weighed, the 27.2 x 350 mm Team tipped the scales at 223 grams. The main improvement on the Stylus over its predecessor is the saddle rail clamp. The Doric/Dorico used a front to back bolt set up, which was a pain to tighten the bolt closest to the post. The Stylus moves the bolts to a side to side set up, which makes tightening them much easier. Saddle angle and fore/aft adjustment is handled by these bolts, so getting the saddle set can be slightly trickier than other posts that have independent adjustment, like 3T’s Ionic post.
So now that you have the boring stats. As a unit, the set up looks great. On a black and white Cannondale
SuperX, the Team edition components compliment the bike well, especially with the black and red Shorty Ultimate cantilever brakes. If the red clashes or you want an understated look, spend a few extra bucks on the Stealth version to get the same performance as the Team. Once you get past the looks though, everything works well together and there were no surprises during the installation. Everything went smoothly, including cutting down the seat post to work with the frame. The Stylus 25 and Ergoterra both have grid lines to help with the set up, making saddle height adjustments, brake lever placements, and centering the bar in the stem clamp a breeze. Just remember, with using carbon components, make sure you use carbon paste and a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to spec. One complaint I had when running the cables on the Ergoterra was the cable channel could be a little wider/deeper to accommodate both cables better. It’s more noticeable with thin bar wrap and no extra padding underneath.
Out on the course, the Ergoterra Team takes a little bit of the sting off a rough course with its carbon construction and the flared drops gave a little extra room for my arms when sprinting in the drops. When charging out of the saddle, there was no noticeable flex in the bar or ARX stem. This is reassuring, since I’ve been a little weary to ride carbon bars in cyclocross. The Stylus was also the first time I had used a carbon seat post for cross. My biggest fear would be a snapped post when remounting, but the Stylus has held up well. The carbon post does take some of the vibration out of rough courses, but is still stiff enough for seated pedaling. The 0 setback might be a little stiffer for a road application, but if you can get yourself set with the 25, you’ll appreciate it for cross.
Now that this review is finished, I’m going to keep this set up on my SuperX. Sorry 3T, you aren’t getting these back. It shaved close to a pound from the previous set up, while eliminating some flex in the bars and stem. The Ergoterra might not look like a great departure from other drop bars, the extra width in the drops does make a difference on technical courses.
Pros – Light weight, durable, and flex free cockpit, flared drops on the Ergoterra provide a little more forearm/wrist clearance and some added stability in technical sections.
Cons – Ergoterra Team is a little pricey, Stealth colorway adds an additional $50 to the complete package.
Ergoterra Team – $325
ARX Team – $100
Stylus 25 Team – $130