New-wave track handlebars are stiffer and more aerodynamic than current reference bars, for no weight penalty; 7 national teams to ride them at championship in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands

3T's new-wave handlebars will be in action with some of the world's top stars at the UCI Track World Championships, which open on Wednesday 23 March in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

SCATTO, a dedicated sprint bar, and SPHINX, for endurance races, have shaken up the established order in their first year in the hands of top competitors.

At the Worlds, expect to see these bars in the hands of such great riders as: Anna Meares, Shane Perkins, Kaarle McCulloch, Cameron Meyer, and Leigh Howard (Aus); Kévin Sireau, Clara Sanchez, and Sandie Clair (Fra); Alex Markov (Rus); Simona Krupeckaitė (Ltu); Theo Bos and Peter Schep (Ned); Denis Špička, Adam Ptacnik, and Tomas Babek (Cze); and others from the Spain and Russia teams.

SPHINX was the first of 3T's new track series to break cover, at last year's Worlds in Denmark. Australia's Cameron Meyer used it to successfully defend his world title in the points race and in the team pursuit, won by Australia. He and his partner Leigh Howard also used the bar to win the Madison race, contributing to Australia's winning tally of 6 Gold medals.

Meyer assisted in the design of the SPHINX bar, providing the 3T engineering team with invaluable development feedback to fine-tune the prototype for the final production item.

His colleagues in Cycling Australia were also among the early adopters of the SCATTO sprint bar, which made a dramatic entry when Anna Meares set a new Australian record in qualifying for the flying 200m sprint in round 1 of the UCI World Cup in Melbourne. Proving this was no fluke, she went on to defeat her long-standing adversary, world champion Victoria Pendleton, in the final of the race.

Both SCATTO and SPHINX combine 3T's engineering expertise in aerodynamics and composite design. Traditional reference handlebar designs for track events are fabricated in heavy-duty aluminum alloys, to achieve the required stiffness for the extreme stresses imparted by all-out racing on banked tracks.

By contrast, the new generation of 3T track bars are built entirely of high-modulus carbon composites, which are much stiffer, and can be optimized for aerodynamic profile. SCATTO and SPHINX are stiffer and more slippery than fat alloy bars, at no weight penalty.

3T technical director Richard McAinsh will travel to Holland to attend the championship and get first-hand feedback from the riders.

"It's important for us to get the unvarnished truth about our products from the riders," says Richard. "This is a major event in its own right, and is also something of a 'dress-rehearsal' for the 2012 Olympics in London. We have time enough before the Olympics to further improve SCATTO and SPHINX in the light of the riders' experience at the Worlds. And we want to be there to cheer them on!"