It took a while. The aerospace industry pioneered composite design and manufacture as long ago as the 1970s. Soon, sports-car builders started to experiment with it. In 1981 McLaren became the first F1 team to race an all-composite race car chassis.
The first composite monocoque cycle frame appeared 5 years later; it took another 20 years for carbon fiber composites to displace steel and aluminum for race bikes.
In 2007, 3T decided carbon fiber was the only way. But ‘me-too’ designs had no place in 3T’s future. We renewed our engineering team to take advantage of modern computer-aided design and come up with completely new ideas.
In ‘the new 3T’ regime, every component was a clean-sheet design making optimal use of carbon fiber’s unique strengths: engineered from the inside out, rather than styled from the outside in.
3T recruited a creative and dedicated team of engineers and freed them to use the bike world’s most advanced CAE platform, the 3T Intelligent Production Lifecycle. Now at last, bike components could be created to aerospace standards.
The first product in 3T’s carbon fiber renaissance was the iconic Ventus, the thinnest, fastest, and most radical handlebar ever. We went on to build, in a few seasons, a complete portfolio of light, elegant, strong cockpit components, for MTB, track, and cyclocross, as well as the classic road and triathlon disciplines.
Such rapid new-product development can be achieved only in carbon fiber, by a development team at the top of its game, with the best tools available.
Our engineers’ carbon-fiber mastery was again put to the test when 3T took entered the wheels market in 2012. Ingeniously sculpted carbon-fiber rims enable a transformative approach to wheel building, with benefits of speed, strength, and ease of use for the rider.
These new wheels, Mercurio and Accelero, take their place alongside Ventus among the milestones of composite design.