3T Ergonova Team handlebar, Ionic-25 LTD seatpost and ARX stem review
RoadCycling.com was able to try several new 3T components and log some miles. The Ionic-25 LTD seat post, ARX Team stem and the Ergonova Team handlebar were tested.
Each of these components doesn’t do anything dynamic – once they are set to the rider’s specific measurement they don’t click or move. However, 3T’s Italian sexiness comes out in the design of each of these three products. 3T classifies the “Team” as a product used for top-level competition, but at a lower price point. The only difference between the “Team” and the higher up the food chain “LTD” is slighter better materials and glossier finish.
The 3T Ionic-25 LTD seatpost is arguably the most elegant out of three components reviewed. Made from carbon fiber, the Ionic-25 LTD is beautiful in its combination of simplicity and intricacy. The “25” in the name of the post refers to the 25mm of setback. An Ionic 0 model is also available which, as you may guess, has 0 mm setback.
Typically a seat post has a clamp at the top of the post that grabs the rails of the saddle. From there adjustment is made fore and aft by solid taps by your hand on the saddle to adjust it into the required position. Simple, right?
Instead 3T designed a clamping mechanism that grabs the saddle rails with the strength of a bear trap. Called the DiffLock, the clamp is a splined clamping mechanism that allows micro-adjustments (as little as half a degree) in saddle tilt. The side-mounted bolts secure the DiffLock into the desired position. There are two clamping models depending on the type of saddle rails: round (which comes standard with the post) or oval.
To fasten the saddle to the seat post you need to remove the DiffLock clamp and using the notches find the desired saddle tilt. Once the angle is found the clamping caps are tightened to the DiffLock system to secure the saddle rails.
While this princess and the pea style of micro-adjusting is great, the downside is that you need to completely remove the notched DiffLock mechanism to adjust the saddle tilt. This process isn’t too much of a hassle, but requires a little more effort than the old method of firmly rapping the saddle’s nose repeatedly until you find that sweet tilt spot.
Fore and aft positioning is done by sliding the saddle rails along the DiffLock’s cradle - nothing tricky there.
Aesthetically the 3T Ionic LTD post is pleasing with the narrow clamping head and light-gray colored logos. But just to remind you 3T prints on the post, “Italian style and design.”
When installing a carbon post it’s important that you tighten the allen bolts no more than the recommended torque settings. Also, get your hands on some carbon assembly compound paste to smear on the post. This prevents it from seizing inside the seat tube and also helps prevent the post from sliding.
3T Ionic LTD Specifications
Diameters: 27.2, 31.6 mm
Weight: 195 grams (27.2 diameter)
The 3T ARX Team stem is solid stem with no noticeable flex.
The body of the ARX Team is constructed from 7075 T6 aluminum and the handlebar is clamped to the stem by a faceclamp with four