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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 05-18-10, 01:59 AM   #1
gdlerner
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Softride Steam

Hi guys
anyone using this stems on a folding
http://www.bikepro.com/products/stems/soft.html
Do you thing is better a fork suspension?
Thanks
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Old 05-18-10, 07:45 AM   #2
Azreal911
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To me this feels like if you hit a big enough pot hole you'd be doing a endo on this easier than a ridgid bike since your handlebars are dropping down while your bike goes up. I have only seen this on one bike in my entire life back in the 90's and it seems to never really taken off.

Last edited by Azreal911; 05-18-10 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 05-18-10, 08:02 AM   #3
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A Softride stem will make the riding easier on your hands, while not slowing you down as much as a suspension fork. On the other hand, the stem will do little to help you climb an obstacle such as a curb.
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Old 05-18-10, 08:54 AM   #4
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Wow, I'm surprised that these are still available. I thought they had been discontinued a long time ago.
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Old 05-19-10, 05:08 AM   #5
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Softride got out of bicycle components ages ago. The OP's link is to an out of date page.
http://www.softride.com/

I used a Softride stem for a while, useful but annoying when it topped out and I eventually wore out the bushes. Good luck finding a NOS stem.
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Old 05-19-10, 08:02 AM   #6
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There are plenty of them appearing on Ebay, often new. In fact, it looked for a while that Softride continued to supply some stems to the market, at low pace and outside of the dealer network. Buying on Ebay, however, one needs to be careful. There has been a dishonest seller who offered inferior Tranz-X stems, without parallelogram, as Softride, for the Softride prices.

Otherwise, there are some new suspension stems out of Taiwan, looking as if equipped with an oil damper, but they have not made it to the US market, as fas as I know.

A suspension stem will always be heavier than a standard stem, so its use on a folder is iffy. You may consider such a stem, if you have problems with hands.
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Old 05-19-10, 10:58 AM   #7
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I've had a similar one in my bikebox for several years, got on Ebay. Marked "Advent". Think it was made by Alsop, the people who marketed that beam-style rear suspension. Never figured out how to mount it without affecting the fold. I'd really like to try it, any ideas?

I shore ain't no in-gin-ear but I suspect this is less likely to cause an endo than a suspension fork. This would be a 2nd fulcrum (the first is the front wheel axle) that is further up the load arm than a fork is. So the higher moment of rotation would make the the lever arm shorter, and the rotational force less. In other words the fork dips you down (and forward if more of your weight is in front of the fork) at level of the the knees, the handlebar dips you down and forward at the level of the chest. If they both dip you're probably screwed.

Suspension or not the trick is to keep your weight behind the moment of rotation. So you can lean over the bars going uphill, but not so much going downhill.

Anyway, endos can be fun. Just remember to duck before your face hits the dirt.

Last edited by Brimstone; 05-21-10 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 05-19-10, 01:01 PM   #8
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So I will keep riding with out suspension
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Old 05-19-10, 07:04 PM   #9
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Softride stem

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdlerner View Post
Hi guys
anyone using this stems on a folding
http://www.bikepro.com/products/stems/soft.html
Do you thing is better a fork suspension?
Thanks
I installed a Softride stem on my Downtube folder. Its a big improvement on the suspension forks found on inexpensive bikes. Its much lighter and easier to maintain (Ive had one on my mountain bike for 15 yrs with no problems) it doesnt change the geometry of a bike that wasnt originally equipped with a suspension fork, its a high quality nicely made product and it is adjustable and able to be re-built (Softride has springs and shims available). It takes the edge off if you are on dirt or poorly maintained roads but dont kid yourself into thinking its going to transform your bike into a real mountain bike (the only folder Ive seen that is really off road worthy is the Airnimal and it costs approx 2,500 USD). Keep in mind you are probably going to have to shim the head tube when you install it and also these stems are available in different lengths (reach) so you have to figure out the right dimensions before you buy. bertiejo
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Old 05-20-10, 03:24 AM   #10
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interesting, can it be adjusted or locked off?

Softride verse suspension hub?
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Old 05-21-10, 12:03 PM   #11
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Best thing ever for Bad chipseal roads or places where you get a lot of that liquid tar seal repair after freeze damage or old school concrete slab roads.

People would always tell me. "Get fuffy supple tires." (The softride worked better).

Once I moved to a new location with better roads it really didn't help much.
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