3T ERGOTERRA, Stem and Post
Review: 3T ERGOTERRA, Stem and PostBy Scott Mares | Published Dec 14, 2013
Here is what 3T says about their new Ergoterra cyclocross bar: "Ergoterra is a wide drop bar for cyclocross, with flared drops and a reinforced central section for crosstop levers, and now available in our Matte Black Stealth finish. It has the same compact drop and reach as Ergosum, tailored to provide more control over technical terrain". So what do we like about this bar? Its wide and I have to tell you for me, Wider is better! I love how wide this bar is. The difference in control is very noticeable. Now I would like to tell you that I have always liked wide bars and I am 6'3" so I am tall and have broad shoulders. So If you are not this tall then it should be fairly easy to get a bar that is wider than what you are use to. The industry usually makes bars out to 44cm. And for most of us that is fine. But for some one that is my size a 44 cm bar its not wide enough. Thank you 3T for making this bar wider than normal. Love it. The second thing that I like about this bar is its a shallow drop. I don't have to go very far to get into the drop or have to come up thousands of feet in altitude to get on the hoods or the tops. This makes the transitions quick and easy. Finally,lets talk about how much these things weigh. When you compare them to other bars this size these bars are light. The 3T Ergoterra's weighing in at 200g. For any carbon bar out there 200g puts it in the light weight category. You can get some bars that are under that but that is more on the scary light and have weight limits etc...
Looking down on the bar you have to look for it but you can see the 6 degree flair that 3T talks about. Subtle, just enough to make a difference but not too much that it affects the levers and how they sit on the bar or their operations. The flair of the bar makes it just a little bit easier when you shoulder the bike for those run ups. 3T has also added more material near the stem so if you have the cross levers on the top it wont compromise the bar.
Now for the ARX Stem: ARX means "stronghold" or "Bridge" in Latin. 3T claims that the ARX stem was designed to go with their bars and not damage them due to its design. 3t also claims that the ARX stem exceeds the standards set by the CEN, which is the European Committee for Standard. Its great to know that the stuff is safe. The stem is light and not that expensive when you compare it to whats out there on the market. The 3T cutout is pretty cool too. Especially if you use it with the 3T bar. The white on the bar will show through the cut out to make the 3T logo readable. The stem comes in 8 different lengths starting at 70mm and goes up to 140mm. That's pretty short stem and good news to people that need a short stem. The ARX also comes in 2 different pitches. +/- 6 degrees OR +/- 17 degrees. With a lot of attention to detail. 3T also claims that when the stem is made they look at the grain of the 7075 T6 Aluminum and align it with the length of the stem to optimize its strength. However, the only thing that I could find about that was that 3T listed that they had the cert for the stem but you can not verify the number of the cert, how much they exceeded it or anything.
Ionic Post: 3T exclusive DiffLock seat clamp. Ionic‑25 places the seat clamp assembly 25 mm behind the seat post's centerline. This gives athletes the option of a more rearward position on today's shorter frame sets. The splined alloy DiffLock coupling is a highly-accurate method of setting saddle angle needing only lightweight clamping by side-mounted bolts. It is especially useful for fine adjustment of saddle setback, which can be done without impacting saddle angle. Ionic‑25 Team has a carbon-fiber shaft bonded into an alloy head and is finished in high-gloss black with the 3T Team red stripe.
We Didn't Like
I have no complaints about the Ergoterra handle bars.
The only thing that I to complain about with the stem is the Cert. Or I should say the lack of presentation of the Cert or the lack of Cert Number. 3T list the cert but, you can't see the cert number, how much the stem exceeded the CEN or you can view the CEN certification. I think that would really set them apart if they got that up on the site. My question is that cert good for all of the lengths? Was the 140 certified as well as the 70?
There were a couple of things that we didn't like about the post. The first thing is that it did not come with any instructions on how to install the seat properly and get it level. Upon inspection of the post I was like Oh this is a cool set up. Looks easy enough. I just move the two splines until the seat is level. Well you cant move them once they are in place first of all. Second, I spent over an hour trying to figure out how to get the combination right with the two spines to get the seat level. At one point I was so mad I was just going to not use it and send it back to 3T. But then I thought I wonder if there is a vid on how to do this and sure enough there was. Once I watched the video I got it. Watch the vid here
The second thing that I didn't like was that post was really noisy. It creaked a lot, and drove me nuts. I was not able to get ride of the noise until I put waterproof grease in both of the inner splines of the post. That finally stopped the noise and I have been happy with the silence.
Thirdly and this is love hate thing about this post. The thing that I love is also the thing that I don't like. I have had post move on me in the past. Riding with the nose up or down is no fun. Because of the deign of the post assembly once you assemble it. There is no way it can move. You can only move or adjust the seat if you disassemble the entire thing. So if your out on a ride you cant just hop off and make a slight adjustment and off you go again. Nope! You have to disassemble the entire thing. Take both bolts off and the covers, remove the saddle and remove both splines and then put them back where you think they should go and reassemble the entire thing. And if you got it wrong then you start the whole process all over again... But once you have it where you want it. Its there and its not moving... So Hate going through that process, LOVE the fact it won't move!
The Final Say
So what's the verdict. We love the Ergoterra cyclocross bar. Its light stiff and has a great shape and some extra width to it. Because its a wider than normal bar it makes controlling the bike much easier. The only down side to this bar is that is comes with a price tag. At $325 it is a expensive bar compared to all of the Aluminum bars out there. The ARX Stem works well with the Ergoterra bar. we found that the ARX stem came in a lot of options and was right in line with weight and price with other stems in its category. We would like to know by how much the ARX stem exceeded the CEN certification by though. that leaves us with the Ionic seat post. We absolutely hated this post with its set up until we watched the video on how to do it correctly. Don't try it with out watching the vid. Its not worth the hassle. However we love that the post can not move once you have the right setting. Its not going anywhere and in cyclocross that is huge. I bet there are a tone of people out there that have had their saddle move in a cross race. Boy is that annoying and frustrating. if you can afford the bar you will be happy the stem will offer you a lot of flexibility to get it "just right". If you hate it when your saddle moves on you in a race get the Ionic an it wont happen again ever. 4 cow bells!
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- 200/120/205= 525g
- Ergoterra bar, Carbon fiber ARX Stem, 7075 AL Ionic 25 post, Carbon fiber
Ergoterra $325.00 45 or 47 with a 31.8 clamp
ARX Stem $100.00 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130 mm
Ionic Post $145.00 27.2 or 31.6 in a 280 or 350 length
- black, red, white
Drop: 128 mm,Reach: 89 mm,Finish: UD Gloss Black