The 3T Ergosum Team bar is a high-performing carbon handlebar boasting a modern shape. It provides a great interface with the hoods combined with a shallow drop that most should find comfortable to reach. But, at over 3 times the price of its aluminium understudy it is a high price to pay for only 40g of weight saving.
Most of 3T's products come in a 3 tier 'good, better, best' system or Pro, Team and LTD as it's coined. As such the Ergosum Team bars on test sit in the middle of that hierarchy with an aluminium version below and a lighter HM carbon above it. The Ergosum comes in 3 width options: 40, 42 and 44.
Price wise the £200 tag is not offensive for a carbon road handle bar. In fact they are a touch cheaper than several competitors, such as USE and Ritchey. The bar's published 201g weight for the 42cm is fairly standard at this price and material combination; give or take 5 to 10g.
3T offers three shapes of road bar all with very different styles. The Ergosum follows the current trend for shallow drops at 128mm, the same as a Ritchey Evocurve, which should be reachable and sustainable for most. Despite being a shallow drop the reach is relatively long for the 128mm drop at 89mm. You can think about this as a longer reach bar, or flip your perspective and for the same hood position the tops are closer to you (providing you change your stem). I like this combination which has worked well with a 110mm stem on my 56cm bike with a hood based riding style.
Drop and reach dimensions aside it is the interface with the levers which is the real signature shape of this bar. The very tight bend radius, where the hoods mount, means the angle of the lever can be set up without a minimal change in height relative to the tops. Using SRAM levers I managed to achieve a perfectly flat, and as such very comfortable, transition between hood and bar; with the drops still in the correct position. An uncomfortable, lumpy and messy interface between hood and bars are one of my biggest pet-hates on a road bike.
There is plenty of room for mounting accessories on the large and clearly defined 31.8mm section at the centre. Whereas some bars taper gently from the centre the Ergosum feature more of a step-down in diameter; having the effect of extending the available clamping space. 3T also clear the Team edition for use with clip-on aerobars unlike the lighter LTD version.
Out on the road the vibration damping is good. The Ergosum is a noticeable improvement over the Ritchey aluminium bar it replaced. However, for the more attacking rider it comes at a price. Bar stiffness, although ample when on the hoods, is significantly and appreciably lower from the drops. For the style of rider this bar will attract it shouldn't be a problem; if your friends call you "the gorilla" perhaps you might look for something stiffer.
From a manufacturing point of view the complexity of the shape and the size of the required mould make carbon road handlebars an expensive option; often without any significant weight saving. The Ergosum Team is a great handlebar but its main competition is surely from the aluminium Pro model. The Ergosum Pro has only a 40gram weight penalty with £140 cash back versus the Team; which in my opinion gives a much better overall package for most riders. I certainly know where my money would go.
Well-priced, well made carbon handlebar providing a variety of comfortable hand positions but bangs per buck the aluminium version is a better deal
road.cc test report
Make and model: 3T ErgoSum Team Bar
Size tested: 44cm Carbon/Red
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at the demands of the modern hood-based riding style. Focus of the shape is on the interface with the levers combined with an in-fashion shallow drop
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
89mm reach and 128mm drop with plenty of room for accessory clamping
Head of Engineering Richain McAinsh is a well known name in the composite engineering world after years spent as head of composites in various F1 teams. It shows with a well made and well finished bar
A well thought out shape which in a light but not amazingly stiff package.
Of all the parts on a bike most likely to take a knock in a crash the handlebar has to be the winner. Given the failure capacity of post-crash carbon from invisible damage a aluminium bar might be better for most racers.
Pretty standard 200 or so grams for a £200 bar.
As in the article - great interface with the hoods
Cheaper than equivalent spec from USE and Ritchey for a composite bar.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes - but would probably go for the cheaper Pro model.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF My best bike is: Canyon LUX MR/ Grand Canyon CF
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, mtb,