Innovation on top, history in the drops.
The teens are shaping up to be the decade of aerodynamics in the peloton: wheels, frames, shoes, helmets, and even bibs and jerseys are pitching in with wind-dodging designs. Little wonder, then, that handlebars — the bike's leading edge — should be early adapters, and 3T has (of course) been one of the first to ride the wave of aerodynamic designs with kit like the Aerotundo Team Handlebar. The Aerotundo starts with the stiffness, low weight, and vibration damping of carbon fiber, standard for race kit today, and then dives unflinching into the realm of innovative shaping.
The Aerotundo's flats feature a NACA airfoil shape, which does exactly what you'd expect: cut through air and manage laminar flow as it detaches into the bar's wake, reducing drag and increasing efficiency. The flattened, tapered cross section also provides an unlooked for cure to one of the common ailments of traditionally rounded bars. It not only provides a wider surface across which to distribute palm pressure while cruising on the flats, but the teardrop profile also means that the Aerotundo's flat surface slopes toward the back, lining it up with your hands' angle of approach. Compared to the flattened but parallel-to-the-ground cross section of 3T's Ergo series, some of us find the Aero shape to be even more comfortable.
Though the tops benefit immensely from the protean mutability of carbon fiber, the Aerotundo's drops are the classic, rounded, deep profile that we've been in love with ever since we first saw grainy footage of LeMond and le Blaireau finishing together on l'Alpe in our childhood. LeMond may have later revolutionized handlebars with his famous Tour-winning time trial, but his traditional drops in '86 made a far more indelible impression on our inchoate psyches. For all the draw of innovation, many of us love cycling for the associations of its history and material culture, and the deep, sweeping profile of the Aerotundo's 139mm drops and 113mm reach — 12 and 9mm more, respectively, than 3T's ergo models — speak directly to that.