3T, originally called Tecnologia del Tubo Torinese (Turin Tube Technology), was named after the town of Turin where it was founded in 1961 by Mario Dedioniggi. Dedioniggi was a talented engineer who was clever at manipulating and bending steel tubes. He was taken on as a young man by Ambrosio where he learned to fashion the bars and stems desired by racing cyclists. The resurgence of cycling in the 1950s drove demand for top-quality racing equipment, and the ambitious Dedioniggi spotted his opportunity.
After 10 years at Ambrosio, he left the firm to set up shop on his own. Early on, Dedioniggi made the decision to switch from lightweight steels to aluminum alloys. He discovered that critical components such as bars, stems and seat pillars could be made much lighter with no loss of strength. He experimented with new shapes and new alloys, attracting an élite clientele among Italian cycle racers. In 1970, 3TTT ski poles, crafted in the then-new Ergal alloy (AL 7075), became top sellers all over Europe, but it was the handlebars that made 3TTT famous. 3T created the first time-trial bar in the now-ubiquitous ‘bullhorn’ shape for Francesco Moser in 1984. He used it to set a new world record of 51.151 km (31.784 miles), and it became known as the 51’ 151”.
At the height of his fame, Dedioniggi quit and sold his company. But his successors took 3T and continued to produce elegant bars, stems and seat pillars, beautifully crafted from the lightest alloys. In 1999, the Mutant racing stem became the first bicycle stem ever to be recognized with an International Design award. 3T also became renowned for offering its customers more – a five-year owner’s warranty, which was an industry first. This is the tradition that makes up 3T today, grown from its artisanal local roots into a hi-tech, global enterprise.
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