3T Integra Ltd stem
Offering a clear cockpit, the 3T Integra Ltd stem is the your bike computer’s new best friend
As bikes push the limits of UCI weight regulations, manufacturers are beginning to place more and more emphasis on aerodynamics, smoothing and shaping parts of bikes that you didn’t even know existed. Where once it was enough to make the frame slippery or aero-profile a wheel, now integration is the name of the game, with companies such as 3T seeking to make otherwise discordant components bolt seamlessly together in flush homogeny.
Trialled by Garmin-Sharp at last year’s Giro d’Italia, the innovative Integra stem is the first in what may well become a long line of integrated cockpit solutions. As a standalone product it looks like a lot of other burly carbon fists ready to clasp the middle of your bars in unrelenting stiffness, but remove the top fairing and exchange it for Garmin’s proprietary mount and you’re left with a totally integrated, if a little bulky, computer-stem combo.
For some this may well be solving a problem that doesn’t exist. The OEM Garmin mount that comes with all Edges is perfectly adequate for keeping your computer in place, and if in-line is your bag then K-Edge and Garmin both make excellent ‘up-front’ type mounts, which attach to your handlebars and position your computer directly in front of your stem.
But for others, the Integra makes perfect sense, turning cluttered, turbulent cockpits into clean, streamlined flight decks. The Integra is certainly not cheap, and there’s justified criticism in 3T not supplying it with the requisite mount to actually allow you to fit your Garmin (having bought a bike, you wouldn’t expect to need to purchase tyres separately), but in purely conceptual terms 3T’s motivations are admirable.