Handlebars: 3T vs. AX Lightness vs. Enve (and maybe MCFK too)

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
jspaceman
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:25 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada
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by jspaceman

For my new bike build I'm looking for carbon handlebars. I narrowed it down to either the 3T SuperErgo LTD, the AX Lightness 4200 Ergo, or the Enve Compact Road bars (not the aero ones, the plain ones).

All three have internal cable and wire routing, I'm gonna want that. I'm running a 130mm stem, so I probably don't need a lot of reach.

The AX Lightness ones probably have the shortest reach of the bunch, but I would be butting up against the weight limit on those (100kg's). Good incentive to lay off the pizza this winter I guess. Plus I can't find any information on the warranty on these bars.

The 3T SuperErgo LTD's are cheaper and I like the way the holes are positioned a little better for cable routing.

The Enve's Compacts have the longest reach of the bunch, but I'd have to cut off the 'penis head' built-in bar end plugs in order to fit the Di2 junction box.

I'm not sure what any of these bars are like for stiffness, has anyone had any experience with any of them?

Another option is the MCFK road handlebars, supposedly they make a bar with Di2 compatibility. But I have no idea if they mean you can route the cables internally. There doesn't seem to be any pics on their website showing whether or not there are holes for cable routing. I tried messaging the company, but the contact form on their website doesn't seem to work. MCFK, fix it.

https://www.3t.bike/en/products/dropbar ... o-559.html
https://www.benobikes.com/en/bike-parts ... /4200-ergo
https://www.enve.com/en/products/road-bar/
https://www.mcfk.de/en/handlebar/handle ... -handlebar

by Weenie


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Stendhal
Posts: 384
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:43 am
Location: Silicon Valley

by Stendhal

jspaceman wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:04 am
For my new bike build I'm looking for carbon handlebars. I narrowed it down to either the 3T SuperErgo LTD, the AX Lightness 4200 Ergo, or the Enve Compact Road bars (not the aero ones, the plain ones).

All three have internal cable and wire routing, I'm gonna want that. I'm running a 130mm stem, so I probably don't need a lot of reach.

The AX Lightness ones probably have the shortest reach of the bunch, but I would be butting up against the weight limit on those (100kg's). Good incentive to lay off the pizza this winter I guess. Plus I can't find any information on the warranty on these bars.

The 3T SuperErgo LTD's are cheaper and I like the way the holes are positioned a little better for cable routing.

The Enve's Compacts have the longest reach of the bunch, but I'd have to cut off the 'penis head' built-in bar end plugs in order to fit the Di2 junction box.

I'm not sure what any of these bars are like for stiffness, has anyone had any experience with any of them?

Another option is the MCFK road handlebars, supposedly they make a bar with Di2 compatibility. But I have no idea if they mean you can route the cables internally. There doesn't seem to be any pics on their website showing whether or not there are holes for cable routing. I tried messaging the company, but the contact form on their website doesn't seem to work. MCFK, fix it.

https://www.3t.bike/en/products/dropbar ... o-559.html
https://www.benobikes.com/en/bike-parts ... /4200-ergo
https://www.enve.com/en/products/road-bar/
https://www.mcfk.de/en/handlebar/handle ... -handlebar
I used ENVE carbon bars, I think the compact, for a few years. They were stiff -- close to painfully so. I had the same experience with ENVE carbon wheels. I like stiff frames, but as to these stiff components, I was glad when I sold the bikes they were on.
Cervelo Aspero (7.75); Orbea Orca OMX (7.30)
Retired: S-Works Tarmac SL6, LOW// mki, Pinarello Dogma F10\F8, Lapierre Pulsium, TIME Fluidity, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2\R3\R5, Felt Z25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

Broady
Posts: 428
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:02 pm

by Broady

See on the flip side, I have Enve classics and love the stiffness, I wouldn't say they were overly stiff but a great feeling bar.

jfranci3
Posts: 1035
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

The 3t bars will have some flex in the drops. My 3T Ergonova (44cm stated, 42cm measured hood C-C) are not a flexible as my Easton EC70 (42cm). Both are way way flexier in the drops than stock AL bars, which I see as a good thing. On the hoods, they don't seem to have a flex, but clearly ride better than the stock AL bars.

SandwichNP
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:22 pm

by SandwichNP

I've heard the 3t LTD items are more flexible than the team carbon setup. Can anyone confirm? I've been eyeballing a set of aeronovas but would like a happy medium rather than too stiff or soft

CustomMetal
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:14 pm

by CustomMetal

I run enve aero bars on the road bike and compact on the gravel... love both!
Perdita- Burls Ti
Aurelia- Saffron Stainless/Carbon
Bertha - Trek Speedconcept
Verity - Sturdy Ti/Carbon Aero (incoming)
Serenity- Sturdy Ti (incoming)
Allegra - Sturdy Steel Lugged (incoming)

Jolene - Retired Aluminum

jspaceman
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:25 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada
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by jspaceman

I do prefer a stiff handlebar. I have Deda 35 aluminums on one of my bikes and like the stiffness of those.

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wheelsONfire
Posts: 3718
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

I have MCFK, i don't like the bend where shifters mount. It feels like the hoods are further away and the drops good. Or if i want it to feel good at the hoods, the drops become too close.
This is what always worry me when ordering new bars. Or the if i never seem to get the angle right between bar and hoods.
I would say, if you order light weight handlebars, go for a stiffer stem, it makes a real difference. I had Extralite on my Haero, and it felt too flexy. Swapping stems made if feel way better. I'm not keen on how the Extralite Hyper stem makes bars seem a bit soft in different situations.
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

jspaceman
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:25 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada
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by jspaceman

After looking at some more pics of the Enve compacts it looks as though there are no holes near the stem to route cables, just holes near the bends behind the shifters. So I guess that rules them out. The Enve SES bars do have holes near the stem and shifters though.

Aeo
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 2:06 am

by Aeo

http://darimo.eu/en/darimo-ellipse-road-handlebar
Di2 compatible available on request

ome rodriguez
Posts: 651
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:16 am

by ome rodriguez

You can move or flex the darimo bar uninstalled. The ax lightness and mcfk are stiffer. Just didn't like the bend on the tops of the mcfk

LeMomo
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:28 pm

by LeMomo

I've just sold my Superergo LTD bars, I'm 105kg and thought that they offered a nice balance of stiffness when hauling in the bars sprinting (the aeronova LTD I've replaced them with flex a lot more!) with compliance when cruising in the drops. I can't comment on the other bars but I like the transition from hood to bars on the 3T

Jugi
Posts: 678
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:10 am

by Jugi

SandwichNP wrote:I've heard the 3t LTD items are more flexible than the team carbon setup. Can anyone confirm? I've been eyeballing a set of aeronovas but would like a happy medium rather than too stiff or soft
I've had Ergonova and Ernova as Team and LTD models and haven't been able to tell any difference. Even when they are uninstalled and tested for torsional flex (ie. sprinting situations) by hand, it's very hard to tell any real differences.

However, Aeronova in general has been described as flexy by many instances when compared to similar aerobars. I think in most cases the LTD model has gotten the most reviews out of the model range, so in most cases the Aeronova LTD is referred to as a flexy bar. The Team model might be just like or a little bit different, but it's hard to tell without multiple comparative reviews. But like you said, there is a happy medium between stiffness and compliance, and I believe that is highly subjective.

icantaffordcycling
Posts: 1141
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:03 am
Location: Bay Area, CA

by icantaffordcycling

Another vote ENVE. I recently crashed and they are replacing them with just road rash and no cracks. That alone wins them over for me.

by Weenie


NiFTY
Posts: 1378
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

I have an ergonova team and ltd from ages ago and the team is stiffer for sure.

I also have a thm ulna which is the same shape as a superergo which is definite improvement over the ergonova in terms on shifter/bar transition and lever access from drops. It is very stiff. Best bar i have used. Its paired w mcfk stem.

I have also used the haero 145sl. Nice bar but found the reach 70mm too short for a nice lever/bar transition. Stiffness was somewhere between ergonova team and ltd.
Evo 4.9kg SL3 6.64kg Slice RS 8.89kg viewtopic.php?f=10&t=110579" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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