I know it’s not a cool thing to admit to a bunch of cyclists but here goes. For longer than I have been a cyclist I have been a triathlete! Being a long term triathlete may not give me any credibility in the bunch and riding a bike with aero bars affords me even less but there is a time and place for them.
My time in triathlon has almost spanned the entire history of the aero bar, which apart from some early forays into weirdness has not changed all that much in the last 20 years save for some material advancements.
That is until 3T had an epiphany. By moving the hand grip part of the bullhorn behind the wing section instead of in front of it, the bar was revo-lutionised. Now while this may not seem like a huge deal, the implications are pretty substantial. Firstly 3T claim that this simple change in design offers improved aerodynamics, which in races against the clock can never be a bad thing, but more importantly for more technical courses they make the ‘bullhorn’ position much safer and more similar to a standard drop bar.
Now if you are reading this thinking, “When was the last time someone came adrift from their bullhorns” well I have a friend who, just a few months ago, was well on the way to winning his age group at an Ironman 70.3 race when wet, sweaty hands, a bumpy road and a poor grip on the bullhorns lead to a premature end to his day and a few broken ribs added into the bargain. So there is a place for these even if only for the safety aspect.
Anyone that has ridden TT bars knows that fit is critical. The Revo base bar is 40cm centre to centre which is pretty standard. The kit then comes complete with the parts to hopefully get your fit dialled in. The arm pad stack height can be changed from 30 to 97mm above the stem centre. The width of the arm pads can be varied from 220 to 340mm and they can be set 20 to 70mm forward of the base bar centre line. The padding is also at the premium end of the scale making them comfortable enough for long TT efforts. While we are always told that in time trials “aero trumps weight” we still like our TT rig to be as light as possible and for this the Revo bars tip the scales at 892 grams set in the highest position.
Assembling the parts is a pretty straightforward process. Attacking it like a true Aussie male, sans instructions, I managed with only occasional glances at the photos to get it pretty well sorted in a few minutes. The upper limit of the pads is bang on how my current TT setup is so it should have been an easy setup for me. The one thing to be aware of is that the bolts that hold the extensions in place are left hand threads. The rest of the assembly and install is pretty typical of a TT bar setup. Cable routing was a little tighter than I was hoping for, especially when trying to fit Di2 cables alongside the brake cables.
Di2 poses a few ‘issues’ with the Revo bars. With the Di2 brake levers in their standard position, the buttons are nigh on impossible to reach. The most acceptable solution seemed to be to swap the levers over so that the buttons are on the outside of the lever and using the software to tweak your button setup. The shift cable between the lever and the base bar entry port is also tricky to tidy up. You also need to be aware of where you park your bike, as leaning it against a wall can activate the exposed lever buttons and reduce your battery life.
The 3T Revos are UCI compliant so they are good for road TT’s as well as Tri’s. They would make a great addition to almost any TT rig whether it be for fit, comfort, looks or, not least of all, safety and security.
Distributor: Echelon Sports www.echelonsports.com.au