General Cycling Discussion - What is this stem?
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08-27-12, 02:06 PM
Just saw this:
What is this stem? The craigslist ad said "softrider" front suspension, but the fork doesn't have a suspension. Is this stem the suspension? How well does this sort of thing work?
08-27-12, 02:11 PM
Ok, so I'm answering my own question after some basic googling :rolleyes:
It is a suspension stem. So how well does this work? This is the first example I have seen "in the wild", and even that is just a photo of a bike in Berkeley.
08-27-12, 02:18 PM
That is correct. It is a suspension stem. The for center bolts work on a cantelever with either bushings or a spring. I have an old school one I'm using on a metro bike. This one looks much more heavy duty but I have no idea how well it works off road.
08-27-12, 06:55 PM
Got one just like it on my wife's old Bridgestone mountain bike. It's probably 15 years old or so--I don't remember if it was before suspension forks or a less expensive alternative after they were introduced. I rode with it on my old rigid MB for awhile, and it didn't seem particularly effective. The theory is fine, but in practice, I learned to ride off road long before suspensions came along, and I don't put much weight on my hands anyway (same with suspension seatposts, btw--I can't remember not to stand up over bumps, so they don't do me much good). Might work better for somebody who learned with suspension and just sits and pedals.
Similar to the Girvin FlexStem which also predated suspension forks. Cheap by the time I tried one in the mid-90's on my C-Dale hybrid.
08-28-12, 09:47 PM
The model pictured was the Softride Frankenstem (I think). You will notice that it has a parallelogram design so the bars don't change their angle as the stem flexes. This was about the cream of the crop in suspension stems. I had an older steel version and it was the bee's knees, IMHO. Until about the third generation of suspension forks came out (RockShox Judy) I think the stem was actually a better way to go.
Thomas Frishknecht (sp?) won a bunch of world cup races using one, I believe... but that doesn't prove anything, other than that they were not a complete hindrance.
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