Eons ago Italian company 3T used to make a rather nice line of mountain bike components, but somewhere along the way, the exact details shrouded in our hazy memory, they stopped producing them.
A shame, because in 1994 Nicolas Vouilloz won the junior downhill race with a pair of 3T downhill handlebars bolted to his bike, so their performance credentials were nicely backed up.
As of last year that changed, with the company deciding the time is right to get back into mountain biking. After several successful years supplying high-end road products, the new MTB line has finely arrived.
I’ve been testing the 3T ARX-Pro stem, the entry-level in a range of three stems. It’s actually the same stem as features in the company’s road line-up, but after testing they realised it was tough enough for mountain biking. So it’s one of the first products to feature in the new off-road line, with more specific products to follow in due course.
The stem has been forged from aluminium and uses stainless steel bolts, four on the front and two opposing at the steerer clamp to hold it in place. Weight is good at just 135g (for a 110mm stem). Lengths range from 70 to 140mm, I opted for a 90mm stem which has been fitted to the Santa Cruz Highball I’ve been testing for a while.
After a few rides, it’s clear it’s more than stiff enough. There’s no noticeable flex or twist even when loading up the Highball into corners and turns, a good thing because the Highball is fast into corners. It’s very cleanly finished, with a smooth bar clamp and curved edges, and is one of the finest stems that has passed through my hands in a while.
I won’t be taking it off for a while, that’s for sure. A top product. Can’t wait to see more from 3T.
A well priced and smart looking stem. Recommended.