Reverence: 3T Rotundo Pro

Reverence: 3T Rotundo Pro

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Mimic those who are better than you; this is the underlying principle of nearly everything I do in life, whether in my work, in sport, or hobbies. The less I know about something, the more inclined I am towards this, and the more faithfully I mimic. As my skill and knowledge develope, I mime less and reason more, applying my own mistakes as well as those of others to the process we commonly refere to as becoming ‘experienced’. This process continues until I grow into an opinionated sponge; while I continue to mop up any and every piece of information and advice I can get my hands on, I follow the path that is influenced still by advice, but dictated largely by the unique journey that lays behind me and the lessons I’ve learned along it. But still the underlying premise remains: The Pros must be onto something.

So it was that I became obsessed with classic-bend bars; Gilbert, Hushovd, Basso, Potato, Cadelephant, the Brothers Grimpeur – many of my favorite riders cruised into my heart aboard classic-bend bars. Not to mention the likes of Coppi, De Vlaeminck, Merckx, and Maertens – none of whom had a choice but rode them nevertheless. Over time, the swooping curve of a classic, round drop has found its place alongside the Quick Release, Delta Brake, and Record Hub as some of the Most Beautiful Bits of Kit.

I love the way the bars sweep up from the drops and position the hoods at an elegant, upward pitch as the bar continues it’s journey upward to meet the stem. Each classic-bend bar does this, yet the particular sweep of the 3T Rotundo does it more elegantly than any other; the exact radius of its bend and the pitch of its rise is perfection. I have another set of classic 3T bars which predate the Rotundo whose radius of the bend is within a millimeter of that of the Rotundo and yet the aesthetics are not it’s equal. Like all things of sublime beauty, there is something intangible about its curve that sets it appart from others.

But aesthetics are only skin deep, and the real measure of the bar is how comfortable it is. Since getting ahold of my first Rotundo, I’ve moved to classic bend bars on all my machines. I was apprehensive about the move from an ergo bend, which I’d always ridden, to the round bend of the Rotundos. Whereas I had always assumed that a flat section of bar would be more comfortable to grab hold of, this turns out not to be the case. Evidently, my hand is not straight and is in fact quite good at bending and forming to various shapes. Riding in the drops, wrists pointed inwards towards the V-Locus, my fingers grip the curved surface of the drops perfectly. The classic bend also reduces the reach from the drop to the brake lever, which means that long descents with frequent use of the brakes are also much more comfortable.

The positioning of the hoods is a slightly different matter and depends somewhat on the groupo. Bikes Number 1 and 2 both wear 10 speed Campa Record, while Bike Number 3 wears Dura-Ace 7700. The design of the Campa hoods resemble the Power Triangles of Merckx, while the design of the Shimano hoods more closely resemble pegs. The transition from the bar to the hoods on my Campa bikes is smooth like Keith Stone, allowing you to choose multiple positions along where bar meets hood.  The design of the Shimano levers, on the other hand, cause them to stand up from the bar more abruptly, meaning that there are fewer comfortable positions available. It’s not really a significant issue, but it does provide less positions which can play a factor on longer rides.

As an aside, the matching 3T ARX stem meets nearly every expectation one can have of a stem; it’s light, stiff and simple. My only complaint is that it is only available in a 6 or 17 degree version; those of us who pay careful attention to how low or how high our bars are find that these two combinations don’t provide enough flexibility to dial in the position; I’m running the bars on Bike Number 3 and am stuck riding my bars about 5mm higher than on my other bikes. To be fair, this is not a shortcoming of the ARX stem in particular; very few manufacturers offer choices outside 6 or 17 degrees. However, for perfect positioning, 3T and others should add an 8 or 10 degree stem to the mix.

 

// Accessories and Gear // Reverence

  1. @Marcus

    @scaler911
    @minion
    Forget Rugby and NFL boys – at least those big pussies know where the hits are coming from and they need to have the ball to get properly hit. Try Aussie Rules Football for nastiness.
    Or for some skills try this…

    Yes. And that’s why I can make fun of Aussies from 3000 miles away. I would never do that to their face. Merckx bless the interweb.

  2. @minion
    Also, and this again is from across 2 oceans, their kits kinda remind me of 80’s NBA players. I’m thinking Dr. J running around a field instead of up and down the court.

  3. @minion
    Triathletes? These days elite Aussie Rules “running players” have huge running abilities (cover up to 20+kms in a match) – so to compare them to other elite endurance athletes is appropriate. However their skill levels are slightly different.

    Stupid singlets? Well, we live in a “warm” country so even in winter, we get hot when we run around. No doubt this concept is foreign to you. So long sleeves aren’t that comfortable for us. However we can wear long sleeves when we play Aussie Rules – if we so wish.

    And one other reason for no sleeves? To show off the arms!

  4. @Marcus
    Takes a lot of cocaine to strip your body fat down to Cuz’s level.

  5. @Marcus

    The thing about that is that I love how footy jocks love bagging cyclists about drugs when 90% of the guys playing their sport are so roided up it may as well be considered a women’s sport.

  6. @Marcus

    I know what your saying

    just saying……….

  7. On the endurance thing though I love how Ben was able to do the bolt & actually run away from the WA cops for something like 3 hours when he got pulled over because of his fitness & the levels of go faster dust surging through his system!

  8. @Mikael Liddy

    @Marcus
    The thing about that is that I love how footy jocks love bagging cyclists about drugs when 90% of the guys playing their sport are so roided up it may as well be considered a women’s sport.

    Roids in footy is so 80s/90s (think West Coast 92) – think the cycling drugs du jour would also be more the AFL preference these days?

    @Blah

    @MarcusTakes a lot of cocaine to strip your body fat down to Cuz’s level.

    Just as long as you remember that none of the drugs that Cuzzy took were performance enhancing. I mean, whilst he was ingesting the equivalent of pot belge in a regular basis, he never did it before he played. I mean I believe him – he never lied did he?

  9. @Marcus
    A paragon of virtue.

  10. Says a lot about the national characteristics, comparing the 3 sports. Yanks, it’s all faster bigger higher flashier stronger, with us in NZ and rugby it’s all about being brutalized in ways psychologists have wet dreams about, and with Aussies it’s all about showing off the guns to the sheilas…except other blokes are the ones doing all the admiring.

  11. @Minion
    This whole fucking site survives on blokes admiring other blokes – albeit on bikes!

  12. @Marcus
    Love the dichotomy between highlights of a very macho sport with Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy” as the soundtrack. Could they not have picked something a bit more butch?

  13. @Minion
    In Canada: hockey. If you’re going to go around thumping people, you might as well do it at high speed. And to make it a challenge: on a slippery surface.

  14. @minion

    If NFL players tried to do what they do without pads they’d kill each other. Rugby playes, while big men, aren’t anywhere near the size or speed of NFL g’rillas.

    I’d like to see some evidence for this statement. There are a wide range of different sized players in both sports, some of them can run fast and some of them can’t. I think I’m correct in saying that the rugby players do wear some small pads, but if you’ll allow me to be completely facetious, american footballers look like pussies :D.

  15. @snoov

    @minion

    If NFL players tried to do what they do without pads they’d kill each other. Rugby playes, while big men, aren’t anywhere near the size or speed of NFL g’rillas.

    I’d like to see some evidence for this statement. There are a wide range of different sized players in both sports, some of them can run fast and some of them can’t. I think I’m correct in saying that the rugby players do wear some small pads, but if you’ll allow me to be completely facetious, american footballers look like pussies :D.

    Yes. But nevertheless skinny little fuckers like me still would not want to get hit by one of those NFL pussies:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=JbJEo09w3dw

  16. You guys are talking, debating even, about ball sports?!? Get it together.

  17. @marko

    You guys are talking, debating even, about ball sports?!? Get it together.

    You’re right. It’s that weird time of year when there’s no real racing to discuss ’till worlds, ‘cross hasn’t started. Next we’ll be talking politics and religion, then Frank will shut this whole thing down.

    In other news: Sastre is retiring…….

  18. @Marcus
    @Marcus

    @scaler911
    @minion
    Forget Rugby and NFL boys – at least those big pussies know where the hits are coming from and they need to have the ball to get properly hit. Try Aussie Rules Football for nastiness.
    Or for some skills try this…

    Shit Marcus. I know feeding trolls is a no-no…but…did you just call rugby players pussies because they know where the hits are coming from? Doesn’t that make AFL the home of the bitch move?

    How tough do you have to be to shoulder charge a guy from out of his sight line? The shoulder charge is banned in rugby because its a cheap shot which causes maximum damage with virtually no risk to the hitter. Those AFL guys wouldn’t last 2 front-on tackles, let alone 20.

    AFL fitter? Probably. More skilled? Debatable. Tougher? No contest.

  19. @RedRanger
    The bars are called the Cannondale C2 Compact. An educated guess is that they are simply rebranded FSA Omega Compacts, seeing as Cannondale specs all their Hi-Mod SuperSixes with FSA K-Force Compacts. I ride the flat-top equivalent of the FSA Omega, the WingPro Alloy, which I like a lot – it has the same reach/drop, just a flatter section on the top of the bar. That said, this article has me itching to pick up a set of the Rotundo Pros to try out.

  20. @harminator
    I meant the guy who can’t see where the hit is coming from is the tough one. Because Aussie Rules isn’t a “back and forth” game, contact is far less predictable.

    Ice hockey is about the only other contact game I can think of where players can come from anywhere on the field.

    My “pussy” call was a gag by the way – I have played a bit of rugby too…

  21. @marko

    You guys are talking, debating even, about ball sports?!? Get it together.

    A Fucking +1
    If I wanted to talk about AFL, I sure as fuck wouldn’t be looking at this website. I hate how they glorify a bunch of guys that never have to grow up beyond high school both in intelligence and social skills. …And, they get all the chicks. WTF?

  22. @mouse

    @marko

    You guys are talking, debating even, about ball sports?!? Get it together.

    A Fucking +1If I wanted to talk about AFL, I sure as fuck wouldn’t be looking at this website. I hate how they glorify a bunch of guys that never have to grow up beyond high school both in intelligence and social skills. …And, they get all the chicks. WTF?

    Funny thing is, you just did talk about it… Can think of plenty of non-cycling threads around here – so don’t get too worried. Just think – if you are from Melbourne – so the story goes, Bernie “Superboot” Quinlan and a few other footy players were the guys who founded the Hell Ride.

    As to them getting the chicks and (presumably) not you, well I can’t really help you there…

  23. I am responsible for this. Nothing like spoiling for a fight due to having a shit day at work and finding Marcus pop up first post after you log in. I think God was smiling at me.

  24. @minion
    He was smiling at both of us.

  25. @Ron

    RR: Nice electrical outlet!
    Those bars look a lot like Deda Zero 100s; a sudden back curve just below the hoods.
    Lads: Ahh, sorry. My clamp slips, allowing the saddle to move fore/aft. It doesn’t slip up/down the seat tube. I’m having trouble with the clamp, not the post.
    We need a Ritchey Classic bars/stem guinea pig/tester, Frank! Maybe Lanterne Rouge of the VSP must buy them, try them, write about them. Just an idea.

    @Ron Just slap some carbon paste on it. I use it on alloy and steel parts. It allows a lower fastener torque to get the same retention (or more retention from the same torque).

    (Did anyone else rub handfuls of dirt onto their slipping MTB seatpost back in the day, before you could buy the same compound in a tube for $30?)

    The only problem I have found is that carbon paste doesn’t allow components to slide over each other if this is necessary during the tightening process. I have a Bianchi seat post clamp made up of 2 pieces that falls into this category – carbon paste was NOT the solution. Just plain grease allowed the parts to move as they should.

  26. @marko
    Just think – if you are from Melbourne – so the story goes, Bernie “Superboot” Quinlan and a few other footy players were the guys who founded the Hell Ride.
    As to them getting the chicks and (presumably) not you, well I can’t really help you there…

    Not from Melbourne, though been here a while. Suspect that’s part of the issue as I didn’t go to school here and thus was not indoctrinated. I just don’t happen to like the institutionalised violence both on and off the pitch. I’m soft as a kittens cock though so could be it.
    As for the chicks; harsh but fair.

  27. @snoov
    Rugby isn’t as anaerobic as American football, the players are on the field for 80 minutes unless they get subbed off (permanently) then they’re on the field. No offensive/defensive teams, and the positions will dictate the body shape. Forwards tend to be around six foot to six five and 90 – 120 kilos. Backs tend to be faster and lighter though still big by man on the street standards. It’s my understanding that those walking trucks who slam into each other in American football would all be significantly bigger than all but the biggest rugby players, they do their thing then shuffle off for a sit down. No running, scrums and tackling for them for the next 80 minutes.

  28. @mouse
    I’m soft as a kittens cock though so could be it.

    You what ???

    First Frank said something was the cat’s cock, now it’s feline paedophilia. Is there some veterinary porn site where you get this stuff from ?

    And you forgot the apostrophe. I’m not sure which is worse TBH.

  29. @Minion
    American footbal may be anaerobic in that it is played in short in intense bursts but there is certainly a great deal of anaerobic activity in rugby. The general passages of play tend to be aerobic but if you find yourself in a prolong passage of play with no breaks in play such as line outs or scrums then you’re more than likely to go anaerobic. Certain positions are more likely to do so, such as the backrow who are expected to scrum and ruck like forwards but also get to to the breakdown first and support the backs in running play. The differentiation between fowards and backs in terms of speed and size has lessened alot since the game went professional.

    I’m not trying put down American football but it is a bit girlie. If you google American football armor one of the first links is a wikipedia page for John Cranston who “was also the first football player to wear protective “nose armor,””

  30. @Minion
    At the end of the day, when alls said and done and the chickens have come home to roost it is my belief that on this site we appreciate the “hardman”. Think of Thor riding down that mountain in the TdF clocked at 120kph! Think of the Jens Voigt crash at similar speed wearing next to nothing!

    It is my personal opinion that cyclists are harder than football/soccer players who roll around on the ground in “agony” when compared with Jonny Hoogerland and his comrades who get back on the bike as soon as possible. It is also my opinion that Rugby players are far more impressive sportsmen than American Football players because they don’t stand around most of the time waiting for the next play, or go and sit down while one of the other teams (defence, offence, kicking) are on the field. And it’s hard to tell how big some of the US players are, one can’t see them for pads! Rucks, mauls and scrums are pretty anaerobic by the way, but still, over 4 hours cycling with Alp d’heuz at the end, that is pretty awesome :)

  31. @Chris
    @Minion
    Thought I’d jump in for a couple of random comments, as I’ve played both sports in my yoot.
    As you both point out, the football gargantuans that are offensive linemen would never survive in the pack, with all the chasing that is required in addition to the occasional ball handling.

    The “girly” armor worn by football players just allows for different types of hitting/tackling that wouldn’t go in rugby, like diving at the knees of the ball carrier or driving through with the head and shoulder. My right shoulder is permanently damaged from using the tackling in rugby that I learned in football.
    (not to mention the need to tackle in rugby that allows for contesting control of the ball).

    Concussions are getting more and more attention here as ex-footballers (and hockey players) are showing up with early dementia from repeated concussive brain damage. Have they seen this in rugby or AFL chez voos? Or are AFL players demented from the start and no one can tell?

  32. Thanks for all the feedback, lads. Disassembled, cleaned with rubbing alcohol, put back together with carbon paste on the bolts. It worked! Two hours of riding this morning with some on a gravel trail and no slipping. It’s so damn nice to solve little annoying bike issues.

    What isn’t nice: having idjits in huge SUVs pass you aggressively, then move all the way right, then slam on their brakes to turn into a driveway, causing you to nearly crash into them like Phinney & leaving you without any room to pass. Thank you, pal!

    How do I have compassion for these types of “people”?

  33. @xyxax
    Some good points. I’ve never had the chance to play American football but I’ve played a lot of Rugby and in most of the positions. There were definitely days when I would love to have kitted up with a helmet and armor and gone for a sit down every few minutes though. When I started playing at school, the were no substitutes and only a couple of reserves. You didn’t come off the pitch unless you were dead.

    You’re right that the armor allows certain things to be done that are either illegal in rugby or just don’t happen like using the head. Diving at the knees seems not unlike tackling low around the legs of an player coming straight at you. Not always enjoyable but it happens. I think one of the major difference is the element of control required, as you say, to control the ball but also to make it a tackle rather than merely knocking your opponent over.

    I’m not aware of an early dementia and it would be hard to tell with most forwards (the chaps most likely to suffer from it) as they’ve usually manage to pickle their brains before turning them to pulp. There are certainly those about who’ve managed to alter their looks. Take this chap for example. He might have ruined his looks by not donning a girly helmet but he did pull royalty (weather he’s about to lose all that after this week is another question):

  34. @Chris
    Ha. Nice beak.

    Another thing american footballers don’t get:

  35. @Ron
    No I have car keys, and a fantasy involving a slo mo of me, riding past their behemouth, screeching along the way…

  36. @snoov

    @Minion
    At the end of the day, when alls said and done and the chickens have come home to roost it is my belief that on this site we appreciate the “hardman”. Think of Thor riding down that mountain in the TdF clocked at 120kph! Think of the Jens Voigt crash at similar speed wearing next to nothing!
    It is my personal opinion that cyclists are harder than football/soccer players who roll around on the ground in “agony” when compared with Jonny Hoogerland and his comrades who get back on the bike as soon as possible. It is also my opinion that Rugby players are far more impressive sportsmen than American Football players because they don’t stand around most of the time waiting for the next play, or go and sit down while one of the other teams (defence, offence, kicking) are on the field. And it’s hard to tell how big some of the US players are, one can’t see them for pads! Rucks, mauls and scrums are pretty anaerobic by the way, but still, over 4 hours cycling with Alp d’heuz at the end, that is pretty awesome :)

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3383588

    That’s all that’s needed. Different type of hardmen, is all. When I was at school I rowed and played rugby: I wear glasses and when my eyesight went I couldn’t catch the ball or pass very accurately, so my own team started beating me up. After that I decided individual sports might be the way to go.
    Professional sportsmen cut their cloth to fit the game: I have no doubt that the American guys are at the top of their game and have worked hard to get there, and would eat most people alive at what they do.

    Apart from those fairys that play AFL – reminds me of this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKB5TEccis4&feature=related

  37. @scaler911

    @minion

    @Ron
    Do you have enough post in the frame? Sometimes that helps, especially with the shaping of the inside of the seatube. The patterned part of the seat tube has a smaller internal diameter that the rest of the seat tube,and you want your seat post to be in contact with all that area to work well. If you are above your minimum insertion, or have chopped down your post this may ‘splain it.
    Otherwise if it’s al seatpost on aluminium or steel you can shim it using aluminium from a coke can. Endless hours of fun.

    What he and @Oli said………

    That’s what I like about this site, the lengths people go to in order to help fellow Velominati, including slicing one’s own frame in half for the purpose of clear explanation. Or am I mistaken, was this an entirely selfish act in order to create the justification for a new bike?

  38. @V.OldGit
    I was actually making canelloni with squid ink pasta, and much the same way as people see Jesus in Tacos, or toast, or grass clippings, the true Velominatus finds seat tube junctures in their pasta. Merckx later appeared to me while riding and told me to build an arc, big enough to take 2 types of each cyclist to Belgium come the flood. I found if I kick out the Mountain bikers and the recumbent riders I can double the size of my bedroom.

  39. funny. this all seems quite familiar. i had cinelli 66 and then 3T deep drop. still have them on the old bikes. they’re great but eventually found it harder to fold and hold the old, low position without getting totally numb in the crotch. i have the stems about 5 cm higher now and the seat about 2-3 cm closer. on the new bike, i really like the 3T ergonova with the stem 2cm shorter. they’re not as pretty but the egg shape and the curve of drops are perfect. get a bit mixed up sometimes because i’ll get up to give it a bit of a kick and find my knees hitting the bars. :)

  40. Even though this thread denegrated into a discussion of AFL and what wimps American Footballers are the more important thing was how awesome we all think 3T Rotundos are. But some of us expressed a desire for a classic round bar in silver.

    Well here it is….

    http://www.dedaelementi.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_additional_images2.tpl&product_id=112&category_id=31&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=196&lang=en

  41. @tomb
    And now you’ve revived it we can see that the orignal conversation stopped abruptly when @chubster mentioned his numb crotch.

    Chubster has been conspicuously absent since.

  42. I debated long and hard about what i wanted most in a set of bars, classic shape or a nice flat top. In the end I went with the Ergonovas. 3T must have read my mind and sensed the emptying of my wallet because they’ve come up with these, the Tornova, flat tops with a classic bend…

    I can only imagine that the name means that they’d like me turn over while they empty my wallet again and have their evil way with me.

  43. So, we haven’t talked about Rotundos for a while.  Still looking for the right bar.  -10 degree stem is slammed, running Zipp SSR (70 reach, 130 drop) bars and still want to go lower without a) adding a lot of reach and b) going to an ugly (on my Hampsten with a 6 degree sloping TT) -17 stem.  I have a set of FSA New Ergos sitting here than I’m getting ready to put on which spec out at 80 reach, 150 drop so I’m thinking those would get me lower in the drops.  However, I’d like to get the position on the hoods lower as well.

    Hence, considering trying Rotundos or even the Deda Campiones.  Will a more classic bar put my lower on the hoods as well as on the drops — of coiurse, while providing comfortable positions on the top/hood positions and their vairants?  FYI, running Chorus 11 levers….

    Inquiring minds want to know — and avoid spending even more money on bars than I already have.  Thanks!

  44. @teleguy57 I like them and run them with both 10s and 11s Campagnolo levers.  They have 139mm drop and 83 mm reach.  But bar preference is pretty personal so it’s hard to say if you’ll like them without trying.

  45. @teleguy57

    The Rotundo is a much different shape than the bars you are referencing.  If you want lower on both hoods and drops, get the lower stem.  I see nothing ugly about a flat stem with a sloping TT, if anything I think it looks better.

  46. @DerHoggz

    Appreciate your input; I did try a -17 stem and to my eye it was ugly on this frame.  To each his own — as long as it’s rule compliant, right?

    I just put on the FSA (flame suit on) New Ergo bars so we’ll see how those feel on the rollers.  Since WI is in this ‘3-6 inches of new snow every third day’ cycle for a while and the roads have way too much packed/icy crap on them to put #1 outside that’s the best I can do right now — and I’m thinking rollers will give me a better feel for positioning than the trainer since they’re more dynamic.

    And, hey, maybe if they were good for Faboo and Tommeke a couple of years ago they’ll work for me.

    The Rotundos/Campiones are still in the back of my mind….

  47. To me the the best visual impact comes when either the TT and stem or parallel, or when the stem complements the TT angle into the HT.

    I contemplated the Campiones, but went with Newton Shallow as I have short fingers and want to ride in the drops more, something I’ve been loathe to do with the current ergo bars I run.

    @teleguy57 Can you shoot me an email at 2muchon100@gmail.com.  have a question for ya

  48. @teleguy57

    You could try a -10 stem.  I’m not sure who makes them but I think @frank runs them, maybe he’ll pipe up.

    In my experience if something works on the rollers it will be great on the road — rollers expose small problems that don’t bother me on the road at all.

  49. Rite of passage at 47: Operate your own bike surgery with the proper tools. The no.1 is undergoing a bar and stem transplant and who better to do the operation than the no.1’s own conservator — its daddy. Removing a tried and true 140mm 3ttt quill stem (thanx Wiscot) went as it should — smoothly. A hard strike on the loose wedge bolt with a 6mm insert and hammer to break free from the steerer, felt like Superman deactivating his Fortress of Solitude causing the master crystal to ooze upward. It was awesome.

    Now to restore life with 140mm 3T ARX stem and 44 Rotundo Pros — and vintage 3ttt bar black ribbon.

  50. Perfect angle.

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