If the rise of gravel can be credited with anything it would be its embrace of suspension component designs first popularized over thirty years ago during the nascent days of mountain bike suspension. That was back when many  people thought it best to suspend the rider and not the bike.  While the battle between the two philosophies was eventually won by those advocating the proven concepts (borrowed  from motorcycles) of the latter, it’s now the gravel world that has embraced the former due to the minimal hits and weight concerns reflected in off-road drop bar riding.

This BMC URS with a Fox TC32 suspension fork was spotted at Unbound Gravel.

The pioneer in suspension stem  technology came from the  Softride stem in the early 90s that was used to winning effect by the Ritchey mountain bike team that eschewed heavy front forks (until they eventually were forced to change just to stay competitive) in favor of the simpler, lighter stems with limited travel. In these modern days it’s been Red Shift ShockStop stem and Kinekt stem that have flown the suspension stem flag the highest.


Press Release 

BMC advances the evolution of Micro Travel Technology (MTT) with the launch of the ICS MTT stem.
The ICS MTT stem surpasses the physical limits of frame compliance and low tire pressure to give riders more comfort on all surfaces.

The design underscores BMC’s commitment to industry-leading compliance and integration. BMC is proud to introduce the missing link in integrated compliance, the ICS MTT stem, which represents the pinnacle of Micro Travel Technology evolution.

At its most basic, the ICS MTT is a suspension stem – but in signature BMC style, the Swiss brand is introducing a fresh new concept for elevated comfort, reduced complexity, wide adjustability and lower weight. First seen on the pioneering URS 01 One, it is built to better serve a multitude of terrain and riders. Part of BMC’s existing Integrated Cockpit System (ICS), the ICS MTT delivers the same unrivalled versatility that is at the core of this technology. Stack height adjustability is central to the design, as well as fully integrated cables with ease of access for maintenance and changing stems.

Comfort whilst riding is limited by a few factors: While modern frame and fork compliance – combined with a low tire pressure – can make some roads feel buttery smooth, this can only go so far. Incited by their ever-present focus on creating speed, BMC worked relentlessly to elevate compliance without compromising performance through excessive frame and fork flex—or wallowing tires due to low pressure.

It’s clear that not all riders have pristine tarmac, and that those who venture onto broken roads or gravel justifiably demand more compliance from their bikes. BMC achieved this exhaustively tested design in close collaboration with Redshift Sports, the minds behind ShockStop technology, which removes the white noise created by road vibrations to ramp up the rider’s control for a more confidence-inspiring ride.

The fully integrated, fully tuneable suspension stem is almost indistinguishable from a standard ICS stem and uses the same premium Alloy as found in their top-of-the-line ICS2 offering. The ICS MTT stem gives riders up to 20 mm of tunable suspension in a package that weighs 330 g for the 80 mm version. At its core are two elastomers that give reactive and sensitive dampening by pivoting on an oversize axle, with one key side effect being reduced fatigue over long rides. Thanks to the overall torsional stiffness of the stem, it generates a lively and natural ride.

Compatible with all ICS Technology framesets, the ICS MTT stem presents an excellent and effective upgrade for riders looking to add compliance to their URS AL, Roadmachine X or other BMC frames with round steerer forks, opening up increased comfort for the growing sector of gravel, all-road and endurance riders on drop bars, as well as recreationally focused and urban riders on flat bars.

The ICS MTT stem has five different elastomer rigidities that can be mixed and matched for individual customization based on an individual’s riding style and weight. From a plush feel with reduced terrain feedback to a direct feel with generous feedback, all styles are catered for. Tuning is done via the removal of three bolts that allow access to the elastomers and is feasible for all levels of mechanics.

BMC is offering the ICS MTT stem in 5 lengths – 72mm, 80mm, 90mm, 100mm, and 110mm – all with a 0° angle. The MTT suspension stem is currently in action on the URS 01 One gravel bike but is poised to roll out on the Roadmachine X and Alpenchallenge AMP, highlighting its scope for versatility.

The ICS MTT Stem will be available online and at BMC retailers for $249.00 EUR.

For more: BMC suspension stem

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