Suspension Stems: A Smoother Ride

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best bike stems

Comfort is essential when you spend a lot of time riding by bicycle.

There are many ways to increase your bike’s comfort, including wider tires, comfortable seatposts and gel bartape.

The stem is an area that is often overlooked. These stems were originally made for rigid mountain bikes around the mid-1990s, but they were discontinued when suspension forks were introduced.

Although the Girvin Flexstem was the most popular model, people love to tell stories about how confusing they were to use. They have a bad reputation among those who knew about suspension stems.

Recently, I met someone who swears by his SoftRide suspension stem from 1996. The stem was able absorb most of the shock absorption on his touring bike due to its narrow tyres.

Perhaps touring bikes are the best candidate for a suspension stem, as they don’t require suspension or much travel.

Why should you use a suspension stem?

The suspension stem works by dampening road bumps, shocks, and buzz before they reach your body. This reduces impact forces and makes you more comfortable while riding. This allows you to ride farther and more efficiently on uneven roads.

These suspension stems are optimized for road riding and offer less travel than older models and it’s also compatible with the best suspension mountain bikes. The manufacturing techniques have improved greatly to offer a lighter and more flexible product than they did 20 years ago.

A suspension stem can be used to eliminate the need for a suspension brake on dirt roads. This will save you a lot of weight. You don’t have to worry about your panniers being’sprung’ when you get rid of a suspension fork.

Suspension stems may offer greater comfort-per-gram than tires with wider treads. You should consider that a bike will typically be heavier with wider tubes and tires than it is with narrower tubes. Are you looking for lightweight comfort?

Why should you not use a suspension stem?

Energy loss is the biggest problem. Any downward force on the handlebars can cause energy loss. This can be a problem for those who prefer to stand on the pedals but should not be a problem for those who spend their time in the saddle. The 90s suspension bike stems had problems with movement under heavy brakes. This effect seems to be less noticeable with the newer products due to the fact that there is much less suspension travel.

Suspension stems can add a few grams to your bike, but not enough for weight-conscious people. We’re talking about 100-200g.

Finally, because these stems have pivots, elastomers, and moving parts, they are less stiff than regular stems.

TranzX Antishock Stem

The Antishock stem was released in 2014. It is lightweight and simple. In fact, it can be found on many endurance-focused road bikes. It is contained in a two-piece steerer clamp that provides a few millimetres travel. The stem’s weight is not prohibitive.

Redshift ShockStop Stem

The ShockStop is currently available on Kickstarter and looks to quickly reach its goal. It is a adjustable stiffness stem for road riding. Two elastomers are used at the pivot, and two sealed cartridge bearings. This makes it almost maintenance-free. Although it won’t be made available until April 2016, it looks solid.

StaFast Air Sprung Stem

The StaFast is different from the others in that it can be adjusted via air damping to fit different riding styles and terrain. This is undoubtedly the best option. The StaFast can be adjusted like a shock or suspension fork. It also has 25 degrees of angular adjustment that allows you to dial in the bike’s position. The machining is beautiful!

GripFast Shock Absorber

GripFast shock absorber is a slightly different design but has the same function. This product has one major problem. It shifts your position up to 50mm. The stem makes it heavier than other options.

Do You Need to Buy One?

Before you try a suspension stem, I recommend that you fit the largest tyres possible to your bike.

A suspension stem can make a big difference if you spend a lot of time on bumpy roads. A bike with tyres less than 40mm in width will have the greatest benefit.

I am looking forward to trying out suspension stems during my next adventures.

Also read : 5 Reasons to own a two wheeler loan in the city area

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