Suspension Stem: Anyone Use?
Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    129

    Suspension Stem: Anyone Use?

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...bing-bike-stem

    I'm thinking about getting the shockstop. The price is a bit steep at $140. It's got a few rave reviews from it's backers on kickstarter.

    It has a very stealth look and doesn't draw attention to itself. I'd like to see a few more reviews before I invest in one. Does anyone have one?

  2. #2
    Banned Sock Puppet
    Reputation: Lombard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    10,705
    Hmmm. This certainly looks intriguing. As you say, I would like to see reviews. I'm not so much concerned with wasting money as I am from a safety standpoint in using something largely untested by riders in general.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.




  3. #3
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,460
    Suspended stems have been around for a long time, but they never seem to catch on. Judging from some comments I heard way back when (mid-1980s), they're OK when cruising on really rough roads, but are seriously disconcerting when climbing / sprinting out of the saddle.

    Specialized claims to have a better way with their so-called Future Shock suspended stem system. Not sure about that, perhaps so.

  4. #4
    Done
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    4,509
    Suspended stems have been around for a while. The ones that I remember were made by Softride and Girvin in the mid 1990s. They started out as mountain bike focused bits of kit - back when MTBs were figuring out the whole suspension fork thing.

    IMO, horrible, especially on a road bike. The last thing that I want is my handlebar taking a dive when I hit a bump, no matter how small the movement is.
    It's Been Fun...See You Down The Road.

  5. #5
    tka
    tka is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    518
    Looks like they're trying to update the old Girvin Flexstem. I never liked the flexstem, the bars rotating thru an arc always gave me forearm soreness on a mtn bike. I think on a road bike the geometry change at the hoods would be seriously annoying. Something like the Softride stem might be better, but if vibration is that big an issue you would be better off with a suspension fork.

  6. #6
    I love to climb!
    Reputation: Jwiffle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,997
    I just installed one on a customer's bike. Seems nice enough. Impressed that it didn't seem to have any side to side wiggle when cracking up and down on the bars. So made pretty solid. Didn't get to try them on a hill, so don't know about the climbing sensations wim mentioned. I might try one out on my gravel bike. If I do, I'll report back.
    Stop in at Element Sports. www.elementsport.com
    Get Out! Have Fun!

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    129
    Jw, very interested in reading your impressions if/when you ride with one.

    This one is supposed to have much less travel, so the change in geometry/hand position is supposed to be far more subtle.

    I think I am sold on road suspension at some point: whether it's this one or the specialized setup, which I do believe is technically superior.

    While $140 is a bit spendy for a stem, it's far less than the $2600 for a new specialized. Then again, $2.6K is pretty darn affordable for a "full sus" road bike with a carbon frame, and some pretty decent mid level components.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    999
    I still have a bike with a Girvin Flexstem that I put on it in mid 1993... could't afford a suspension fork... big NO for back then... but i was riding/racing DH and it was pretty bad.
    But recently dragged it out to do a retro inspired ride that was organised and for that trail, super easy walking riding trail, it was pleasntly surprising how nice it was. But nothing technical or hard out of saddle climbing... So I can see how this would be nice on a road bike, especially if you do gravel grinding or rough tarmac...
    All the gear and no idea

  9. #9
    Road Warrior
    Reputation: n2deep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    634
    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    I still have a bike with a Girvin Flexstem that I put on it in mid 1993... could't afford a suspension fork... big NO for back then... but i was riding/racing DH and it was pretty bad.
    But recently dragged it out to do a retro inspired ride that was organised and for that trail, super easy walking riding trail, it was pleasntly surprising how nice it was. But nothing technical or hard out of saddle climbing... So I can see how this would be nice on a road bike, especially if you do gravel grinding or rough tarmac...
    I had one because early front suspensions were soggy and sucked the fun out of a nice ride. With the right elastomer and close manufacturing tolerances it could be fun on a long ride.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    999
    Quote Originally Posted by n2deep View Post
    I had one because early front suspensions were soggy and sucked the fun out of a nice ride. With the right elastomer and close manufacturing tolerances it could be fun on a long ride.
    Dunno, I went to Manitou 3's about 6 months later, was about eleventy billion times better.
    All the gear and no idea

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    129
    Redshift ShockStop | Elessar

    There are a surprising number of reviews and videos about this sus stem already! Some on youtube, and the rather detailed article linked above.

    I read a positive review for the canyon/ergo seatpost on another forum as well. It would set me back about $330 or so for the combination.

    If I wanted to opt for a chinese knockoff, I could get a similar looking seatpost for $120 less. I have yet to read a review for the knockoff seatpost and I'm not sure I want to be the one to be the beta tester.

  12. #12
    Done
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    4,509
    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    I still have a bike with a Girvin Flexstem that I put on it in mid 1993... could't afford a suspension fork... big NO for back then... but i was riding/racing DH and it was pretty bad.
    But recently dragged it out to do a retro inspired ride that was organised and for that trail, super easy walking riding trail, it was pleasntly surprising how nice it was. But nothing technical or hard out of saddle climbing... So I can see how this would be nice on a road bike, especially if you do gravel grinding or rough tarmac...
    That was a cool period of time for mountain bikes, wasn't it? The sport was exploding and folks were trying ANYTHING that might seem to work. DH on a Flexstem? Badass. But then, "Downhill" was a little different back then. More like BMX.




    Looking back, I think that the first really big technical shake out occurred when the Rock Shox Judy showed up, and Shimano started making the first gen "V" brakes. I remember how amazing it was to have brakes that would actually stop you.
    Last edited by Gregory Taylor; 12-28-2016 at 05:46 AM.
    It's Been Fun...See You Down The Road.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    999
    ^ha yeah, after my first bike with suspension fork (Diamond back axis with Manitou 3s) I got a manitou frame with the fork style rear end. Was a great bike, I mean the suspension was average, btu handled brilliantly. Bt then back in those days a DH race was jsut a bit of the cross county that went all DH (well even maybe a bit of a climb thrown in) and was much easier technically than your average Xc course now.
    And V's yeah, it wasn't that a set of canti couldn't be set up amazingly (beter than v's) but it was really either a fluke or black magic!

    But then I still ride my 1996 GT Xizang all the time with vbrakes and stuff, its a great bike


    eg, mine was like this (but full of the obligatory cracks):
    All the gear and no idea

  14. #14
    Done
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    4,509
    That is just 'effing cool.

    My mountain bikes weren't nearly as nice. I spent most of my time on a steel Trek 930 hardtail that, in its final form, had a Marzocchi Z3 Light out front and Shimano XT running gear. Except for the brakes - I liked the LX V brakes better - didn't have the monkey motion deal to locate the pads that the XT had. Still have that bike.

    Yes, canti's could be set up work really well. There was a good article by Keith Bontrager about that - his trick was to set up the pads so they were cantilevered out as far as possible from the brake arm, and then to set up the straddle cable as close to the tire as you dared. That way you got more leverage. It scared the hell out of me, but it worked.
    It's Been Fun...See You Down The Road.

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    61
    ex_machina,

    I sent you a private message. Contact me.

    Jim D

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    886
    Quote Originally Posted by tka View Post
    Looks like they're trying to update the old Girvin Flexstem. I never liked the flexstem, the bars rotating thru an arc always gave me forearm soreness on a mtn bike. I think on a road bike the geometry change at the hoods would be seriously annoying. Something like the Softride stem might be better, but if vibration is that big an issue you would be better off with a suspension fork.
    I used Softride stems back in the day. Way better than that kickstarter one because the bars didn't arc. The only thing I didn't like was the torsional flexiness due to the the crummy pivot bushing design.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    8
    I have a Cannondale Slate with the Lefty front suspension Strut (can't really call it a fork.) I lock it out when I'm going to stand up a hill, I can immediately feel the front end dive when I forget to lock it. I don't think I'd like something I can't lock... On my Mountain Bikes I don't lock because it's rare that I'll stand on a climb in the trails, too busy trying to keep weight over the rear wheel and not lose traction.

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    978
    I rode a girvin flexstem on a Raleigh MTB in the early 90s. I found it to be a huge improvement over the ridged stem. I live near Mt Falcon outside Morrison CO and rode it daily at warp speeds on rough descents, and never found the rotation to be an issue. I had a buddy who had the allsop stem, and liked the Girvin much better. If I had major hand issues, or did a bunch of ultra endurance riding, I would most definitely consider one of those.

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: BCSaltchucker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,133
    well took a look at this kickstarter Girvin-Redux. skeptical of course, but I'd try it. However longest length is only 120mm. so that is a NO GO for me. need 140mm

    why so many stem makers not making 140/150mm any mores??? used to be common in the 80s 90s

  20. #20
    I love to climb!
    Reputation: Jwiffle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,997
    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    well took a look at this kickstarter Girvin-Redux. skeptical of course, but I'd try it. However longest length is only 120mm. so that is a NO GO for me. need 140mm

    why so many stem makers not making 140/150mm any mores??? used to be common in the 80s 90s
    Most bikes today, if you need that long a stem, probably really means you need the next size up bike.
    Stop in at Element Sports. www.elementsport.com
    Get Out! Have Fun!

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    169
    I've had the Shockstop on my gravel bike for a couple of weeks now, and am a fan.
    I have bad tendinitis in my elbow, and was having a really hard time with fast, rocky descents, trying to keep up with buddies on mountain bikes. The new stem is just enough cush to make those conditions much more doable for me. It came with the elastomers recommended for my weight already installed, and it feels just right. No movement on smooth, normal riding, but a nice little softening of the hit on sharp bumps. I don't feel the need for one on my Domane (road bike), but on the Diamondback Haanjo EXP, it really makes it work better in the rough stuff. It weighs about twice what the standard stem weighed, but it is worth it for me.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: BCSaltchucker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,133
    Quote Originally Posted by Jwiffle View Post
    Most bikes today, if you need that long a stem, probably really means you need the next size up bike.
    ha, no. I already ride the largest size made in every bike I own. (and I mean XXL mtb, 61cm Tarmac, XL Lysnkey, 63cm vintage racer etc. I carefully seek out the models with the longest TT and reach)

    But I like the bikes Zinn makes - he's a bean pole too, and makes em large to suit
    Last edited by BCSaltchucker; 01-11-2017 at 12:56 AM.

  23. #23
    I love to climb!
    Reputation: Jwiffle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,997
    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    ha, no. I already ride the largest size made in every bike I own. (and I mean XXL mtb, 61cm Tarmac, XL Lysnkey, 63cm vintage racer etc. I carefully seek out the models with the longest TT and reach)

    But I like the bikes Zinn makes - he's a bean pole too, and makes em large to suit
    Ah, well, not always a lot you can do when you're taller than most manufacturers build for. I get customers in occasionally who are over 6'6", and have to tell them anything will unfortunately be a compromise unless they spring for custom.
    Stop in at Element Sports. www.elementsport.com
    Get Out! Have Fun!

Similar Threads

  1. Suspension q...
    By kovacsa in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-17-2016, 04:45 AM
  2. Suspension fork or stem for a cyclocross bike?
    By morkys in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: 12-28-2009, 07:31 PM
  3. Moots Ybb Suspension
    By Troy16 in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-27-2008, 11:03 AM
  4. Imus--suspension enough?
    By Bocephus Jones II in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 75
    Last Post: 04-11-2007, 08:29 PM
  5. CX suspension
    By toothlesscog in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-08-2004, 10:29 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.