3T Integra stem
One of the things I noticed at my recent TT event was that the full on TT guys were sitting a lot lower than me.
If you want to go fast in the most efficient way possible, you need to reduce your drag.
Bikes have become incredibly aerodynamic, but still, the biggest influence on drag is the rider. The position of the rider on the bike has a huge effect on the aerodynamics and drag. The more the drag, the more effort you need push through the air, that effort equals energy and that saved energy can be used to go faster………….
This is an overlay of Frederik van Lierde and me. We can see that his head is lower, the surface area of the rider facing the air flow is smaller, smaller cross section, smaller amount of drag.
Aligning the saddles (freddie has longer legs than me) and you can really see the difference, my back and head is much higher.
I have two options to get a lower aero tuck position on my bike, I can grow longer legs, or I can lower the aerobars to get my arms and the front of my body lower on the bike. To do this, I needed to change the stem.
As well as lowering the front end, I thought I should go for a more aerodynamic stem. There isn’t a lot of choice for aero stems, Zipp, Pro, 3T and tririg seem to be the only real options. The Pro and Zipp stems are very expensive and the tririg is difficult to get in the UK (also very expensive) Luckily, I found a 3T Integra stem on sale :D
My original stem was 90mm long and angled at -6 degrees.
The Integra is 100mm and -10 degrees.
This gives a difference in vertical height of 8mm, now that doesn’t really sound like a great deal, but every millimetre counts
Like all performance bike parts, its made from carbon fibre.
Under the aero cover is a simple metal clamp for the base bar. There are no options for internal routing of cables, but thats not an issue, I’m planning on going wireless later.
Together with my 3T aero and base bars, the stem fits in beautifully.
I have fitted the stem at its lowest possible position, giving me an extra 4mm and a total height reduction of 12mm.
This stem is wider and a little chunkier at the front, this means my old bottle cage bracket will not fit, so time for a new one.
Using a sheet of 2mm thick ABS, I fabricated a small bracket to clamp to the steering tube.
I’m not happy with the zip tie, but this is just the prototype.
Overall it looks like a good quality product and I look forward to testing the new setup on the road