After ten years with Ambrosio, Dedioniggi ventured off on his own to set up a company he called Tecnologia del Tubo Torinese which translates to Turin Tube Technology. Say that three times fast. Yeah, just calling this company 3T, or Triple T, is much faster and more efficient.
Equipped with just amazing talent, one helper and a manual tube bending machine, Dedioniggi found himself a three room warehouse in the Northern Italian city of Turin, and went to work. Maybe it was because he was an innovator, maybe it was because the tube bending machine was manual; one way or the other, Dedioniggi quickly moved from bending steel to bending aluminum alloys. Until this breakthrough, made by our hero Dedioniggi, bike parts were made from lightweight steel. Even lightweight steel is not nearly as lightweight as aluminum. And there is no loss of strength so the bicycle works made by 3T were equally as durable, and significantly lighter in weight, than anything that had come before it. Yeah, this guy got some notice, fast.
Dedioniggi changed the cycling industry with these new fangled aluminum alloy handlebars, stems and seat pillows. In fact, the world's first Ergal handlebar came out in 1975. (Ergal = AL7075 Aluminum) It was called the Superleggero and weighed in at 240 grams which was significantly less than anything that had come before it. Over 30 years later, the Superleggero is still well regarded in the cycling industry.
Surprisingly though, it took 24 years and change in ownership for the innovations of 3T to be recognized by the International Design Award committee. Happily that award did not go to their heads, they have always and will always be renamed for offering their customers more, including a five year owner's warranty on all their parts. That is a first in the cycling industry and remains an incredible warranty. It's nice to know that they still take pride in their parts.
Of course, taking pride in your parts is easy when you go above and beyond the call of duty for superior design and overboard testing for strength and durability. To quote their website, "(3T) components are engineered for strength through a systemic understanding of stresses and careful optimization of structural design and composite-materials lay-up." Evidently that is the key to longer lying and stronger components.
3T also tests its components to the nth degree. They literally test everything to destruction. That way you know when you are putting out tremendous pressure on your bike during a sprint or a climb, your 3T cycling parts will not bend or break under pressure.
From innovation to innovation, 3T has survived and thrived to this day, when many other Italian born companies are falling wayward. There was a close call in 2007, but with a little moxie, the company explored why they had gotten off track. It turns out that they needed to start each product design with a clean start and refocus on superior engineering practices. You know, just like the founder, Dedioniggi, did. 3T stepped up to hire Richard McAinsh who had been an innovator with Ferrari's F1 design team. His fresh new perspectives have amplified the already superior quality by using highly developed software and an advanced design platform, as well as a relationship with the aspects involved in airframe and race car design. The quality that 3T was founded on came back in full force and took the company even further.
Now with a focus on carbon composites and aerodynamics, 3T is pushing the envelope for the lightest weight and most aerodynamic while still keeping safety at the heart of their product design.
Source by Rob J Poulton