3T S.p.A. or "Triple T" as it's known in the bike industry, is an Italian maker of high quality aluminum handlebars and stems whose work has been largely overlooked in the U.S. bike market because of their distribution. Orders for 3T parts from U.S. importer/distributors are funneled through a marketing firm in El Cerrito, California, with delivery to the importer/distributor taking place 2 to 3 months later. The choice of what parts to buy and the relative lack of name recognition for 3T parts leads many of the importer distributors to stock just a few of the many parts 3T actually makes, and quantities that are generally small enough that if the market for these parts changes, doesn't leave them holding high stocks of un-saleable merchandise. It is this "lack of faith", and the fact that 3T has historically been interested only in the road racing not mountain parts market, that leads to 3T's under representation in the U.S. market, though you may have seen their work under other brand names. For one season, we are told, Scott had their "DH" bar made by 3T. Through the same source, we have heard that when Profile for Speed (Profile) was unable to produce a needed handlebar for the Motorola racing team, (which they sponsored), they turned to 3T for the short run production of a handlebar, ultimately used by the team, but bearing the Profile name. In the 1991 model year Salsa, a California company with a recognized name in making hand crafted frames and stems, turned to 3T to collaborate on an aluminum mountain bike handlebar. The Salsa model MTB handlebar that was the result of this relationship was discontinued at the end of 1992. 3T and Salsa continue to work together.
The Pro-Compe uses a unique machined shape for the grip sections of the handlebar that should decrease flex in the handlebar and its attendant fatigue. While this grip section shape has great promise, it hasn't yet caught on. It is a flat bar, made originally of 6061-T6, they are now advertised as being made of 7000 series aluminum alloy with a T6 temper. The Pro-Compe has a bulged, un-knurled center, is 22 1/2" (577mm) in length, with a 6 degree bend. The unique grip section shape, exists in the non-bulged area, from the center to the end of the handlebar. There is a depression, really a small trough pressed into the metal. This trough starts shallow at the mid point in the bar and becomes deeper as it moves to ends. These troughs exist on both sides and on the top and the bottom of the bar. These depressions stiffen the handlebar considerably, because they act like corrugation to reinforce the bar against down and upward handlebar flex. These bars seriously have the stiffness and strength approaching that of a steel handlebar, while reaching into the lightweight aluminum category for weight. The Pro-Compe has a 25.4mm diameter center bulge and tapers to the needed 22.2mm diameter at then ends, where the tubing is 1.5mm thick. They have a brushed surface treatment making a series very fine patterned lines around (circumferencially) the tubing. It is anodized in Black only, with a etched logo and weighs 163 grams. No longer made, we sold this bar for $29.99