The history of 3ttt Tecno Tubo Torino bicycle components
3ttt are famous for their handlebars and stems. In the words of a 3ttt catalogue from the 1970s, “3ttt stems represent the finest achievement in the world in this specialised component. Strong yet light, lovingly hand forged and engraved by Italian artists in metal”.
In the 1950s the company was originally known as Ambrosio. In 1961 the company name was changed to 3ttt (Tecno Tubo Torino) by founder Mario Dedioniggi. The Torino based manufacturer switched from the use of steel for handlebars and stems to aluminium, and their bars and stems soon became popular with the Italian bicycle racing community. Different drop handlebar shapes were offered, named after the very champions who had both contributed to their design and ridden their namesakes to countless victories.
A print catalogue dated 1975 lists four drop handlebar designs; Record Grand Prix drop bars, weighing 315gr. “… for general sport or racing”, were available in the ‘Merckx’ bend, sometimes called the ‘Tour de France’. Record Competition, weighing 275gr. were described as being intended “…for the demands of world class riders (used by most)”(sic), available in ‘Merckx’ or ‘Gimondi’ bends, and Record Competition Superleggero, weighing 240gr. and proudly described as being “… the lightest racing bar in the world, … the ultimate racing bar”, for which “3ttt has employed engineering and manufacturing techniques of unique sophistication”! The range also included a bar for track use, the Record Competition Pista, weighing 275gr. The 3ttt proprietary track bend “… places rider in best position to minimise riders frontal area yet keep breathing and rider strength high.”
These handlebars would be paired with the appropriate stem, either a Record Strada, from as short as 60mm to as long as 140mm, or a Record Pista, either 60mm or 90mm in reach, and either 64 degree or 58 degree drop angle.
Tradition of course mandates the use of matching handlebar and stem. No self respecting builder of fine bicycles would mix and match bars and stem from different manufacturers ! The aforementioned 3ttt catalogue from 1975 proudly declaims that their components are “Pre-eminent in international competition – the choice of world class frame constructors. Used by Masi, Colnago, Pogliaghi, Coppi, Alan, Maserati and Raleigh Professional. What more can you say ?”
Top 3ttt saddles, seatposts and stems
3ttt Competizione, #10 covered in calf leather, no padding
3ttt Criterium Competizione, #20 covered in buck skin, microcellular open pore padding
3ttt Criterium Superleggero, #30 Superleggero, alloy framed
Record, fluted and highly polished
Competition, as Record plus top section anodised in blue-grey gun metal finish
Champion (1950s) in steel and later also aluminium
Gran Prix (1963)
Record Strada (model 78)
Record Pista (model 3)
Record Regolabile (adjustable)
Record (model 84)
3ttt Evolution 2002
3ttt Pro Light
3ttt Pro Chrome
3ttt Pro Titanium