Redshift Sports has made some clever designs in the past to allow riders to modify their road bikes for multiple disciplines. They’re at it again with….. you better sit down. It’s a new suspension stem. Though many may have just had Girvin and Softride flashbacks, (man, I miss the 90’s), this takes a whole new approach in not only design, but who this stem is meant for.
Flex on through to reconsider the suspension stem…
Before you let your assumptions get the best of you, take in consideration how much effort has gone into making road bikes more comfortable in just the last 5 years. Add to that, Gravel bikes and the conditions those riders endure over a long period of time. It’s no secret that in addition to the physical exertion from pedaling, a lot of fatigue is produced by the body constantly compensating for road vibration. For instance: taking a 4 hour trip in an old bumpy Jeep vs a luxury car will wear you out, and you’re just sitting there the whole time. The current batch of damped frames and forks are a huge improvement over what was available just a few years ago, however these systems are designed to only isolate and smooth out light to medium vibrations. Riders who may suffer from hand or upper joint pains during long rides have tried to add padding to their bars, buy special gloves, or worse…. installing a super high rise stem that takes pressure off of their upper extremities only to transfer it to another area.
The crew at Redshift put some thought and consideration into this project with a focus on keeping it simple, effective, and make it look like a normal stem. The Shockstop is a single-pivot shock-absorbing suspension stem made of forged aluminum that uses the same sealed cartridge bearings that are used in high-end mountain bike suspension pivots to increase small bump compliance while remaining torsionally stiff. Shock absorption is achieved by using varying, easy to switch out elastomers that let you fine tune the ride.
Unlike even the most shock absorbing carbon forks available, the Shockstop can deliver a full 1 to 2 centimeters of travel, (around 6°), which is enough to provide cushioning against most road impacts, without affecting the geometry or handling of your bike. Consider this in the now ever popular “Gravel” category and how much fatigue could be reduced over a 2 to 4 hour time period.
The Shockstop will come with variable elastomer inserts to tune to your liking and will retail for $99.