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First Look: ShockStop Stem Softens Your Ride

August 31, 2015
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With the latest wave of suspension products coming to drop-bar bikes largely consisting of rear-end designs like the IsoSpeed decoupler on the Trek Domane and the spring system utilized on the Calfee Manta, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing items related to softening up the front-end of your road bike. Enter the ShockStop from Redshift Sports. It’s an adjustable stem with a pivot point that flexes in order to absorb road chatter and big hits from potholes and other imperfections in the tarmac. Want to know more? Then head over to ShockStop’s Kickstarter page for info on how to get yours!

And here’s the official press release from Redshift Sports:

SHOCKSTOP SHOCK-ABSORBING BIKE STEM KICKSTARTER PRESS RELEASE

Redshift Sports is excited to announce the launch of our new shock-absorbing bike stem – the ShockStop – on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/redshiftsports/shockstop-the-shock-absorbing-bike-stem)

The ShockStop is an adjustable-stiffness, shock-absorbing suspension stem designed specifically for road riding. It improves ride quality and comfort by isolating the rider’s body from bumps, shocks, and road buzz. The ShockStop fits virtually all bikes, and it comes in a variety of lengths and angles with interchangeable stiffness elastomers so everyone from performance cyclists to recreational riders and commuters can find the perfect fit.

In recent years, riders have begun to embrace bikes that are designed for more than just perfect roads. Relaxed geometry, wider tires, and disc brakes not only make road riding more comfortable and fun, but they also let us expand the definition of the “road” to include everything from gravel trails to smooth singletrack.

Bikes should be comfortable and riding should be fun. But ride more than a few miles, and you quickly realize that bikes are extremely stiff. They transmit every little bump straight to our hands and arms, and after a while those impacts and vibrations make the ride less enjoyable. Bumps and rough roads also rob you of speed, cause a loss of control, and over time they can even lead to chronic injury.

Over the last few years, bike manufacturers have made major improvements in ride comfort through increased rear-end compliance, but the front-end of most road bikes remains unforgivingly stiff. Carbon forks and padded bar tape provide minor relief, but they do little to cushion the rider’s hands and arms against sharper impacts from bumps, cracks, and other road imperfections.

THE SHOCKSTOP STEM DOES WHAT GLOVES AND EXTRA BAR TAPE CAN’T:
IT ISOLATES YOUR UPPER BODY FROM THE REALITIES OF THE ROAD.

The Shockstop is a single-pivot shock-absorbing suspension stem that is designed from the ground-up specifically for riding on less-than-perfect roads. It dramatically improves front-end ride quality without compromising steering responsiveness or affecting your existing bike fit. And perhaps just as importantly, it does this while blending seamlessly with the design language and aesthetics of modern road bikes.

This isn’t your father’s suspension stem. The ShockStop uses the same sealed cartridge bearings that are used in high-end mountain bike suspension pivots, and the forged aluminum components are extremely torsionally rigid, so climbing and sprinting feel completely natural. The travel is also specifically limited to 1-2 centimeters (6°) – enough to provide amazing cushioning against most road impacts, without affecting the geometry or handling of your bike. Twin interchangeable elastomers let each rider fine-tune the road feel to perfectly match their own riding style. Racers, triathletes, and competitive riders can choose firmer settings to retain a more traditional front-end feel, while commuters, fitness enthusiasts, and endurance riders can dial in a softer feel to maximize comfort.

THE SHOCKSTOP REDUCED FORCES TRANSMITTED THROUGH THE HANDS BY UP TO 70% COMPARED TO A STANDARD STEM.

So what does it feel like? In a word: smooth. The effect is comparable to switching from 23mm tires at 110 psi to 32mm tires at 50 psi, without any of the added rotating weight, rolling resistance, and aerodynamic penalties. Road buzz is almost completely eliminated and impacts from larger bumps and cracks are dramatically muted. The ShockStop is the next logical step in the recognition that cycling performance and comfort are not mutually exclusive concepts.

KEY FEATURES

  • Compatible Fits virtually all road, hybrid, commuter, and triathlon bikes[1]
  • Elegant The Shockstop matches the sleek design language of modern bicycles
  • Easy to Install Most people can install the Shockstop in just a few minutes with basic tools
  • Standardized Comes in a variety of standard lengths and angles to match your existing bike fit
  • Adjustable Dual interchangeable elastomers let you tune the stiffness to match your ride feel
  • Lightweight From 238g for 90mm length[2]
  • Maintenance Free Sealed cartridge bearings and rugged elastomer springs eliminate maintenance
  • Torsionally Rigid Advanced pivot joint maintains torsional stiffness and steering responsiveness
  • Advanced 3D forged 6061-T6 aluminum components and FEA-optimized design
  • Rugged Utilizes the same fully-sealed cartridge bearings found in high-end mountain bikes
  • Adaptable Clamps directly to 31.8mm handlebars; fits 25.4/26.0mm bars with included shims

ABOUT REDSHIFT
Two years ago, the three of us (Erik, Scott, and Stephen) started Redshift Sports to combine our passion for cycling, mechanical engineering, and product development. We launched our first product line, the Switch Aero System, on Kickstarter in June 2013 and raised 2.5 times our original funding goal. Today, thousands of our backers and customers from all over the world ride with Redshift components on their bikes.

As mechanical engineers, we love designing innovative, elegant solutions that actually solve real problems. Our extensive product development and manufacturing experience let us build Redshift on a foundation of delivering the highest quality products. We have excellent relationships with key suppliers and manufacturers, and we’ve developed a solid production and fulfillment infrastructure.  But of course, the best part of our job is that we get to ride our bikes whenever we want, all in the name of research and development!

[1] Simple adapter required for bikes with quill stems

[2] Weight based on prototype units. Actual production weight may vary.

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