Aim Dropper Stem

Meet 3FStech’s AIM Dropper Stem….. well, it was bound to happen eventually. From oval chainrings and dropper posts, to things like elastomer suspension and Softride’s Beam, there has been a continuous flow of curiously innovative ideas in our industry. So where does the AIM (Adjustment In Motion), stem fit in?

Drop past the break to see what 3FStech have created that warranted a rap video of sorts….

Aim Dropper Stem 3

As mountain bikers, we have widely accepted some hard to swallow tech that we at one time swore would never make it into mainstream. A full suspension bike used for cross country was unimaginable at one time. Wide bars?…. Pah-leez! So how about a dropper stem? A lot of companies have gone to a lot of trouble to design bikes and accessories for us that are decent climbers and even better descenders. To help, we have things we can adjust on the fly: Dropper posts, front & rear suspension damping and travel, and even the occasional helmet and shoe adjustment to make sure things are primed and ready for action. The folks at 3FStech have put together quite a bit of  marketing material and Retool fitting videos to kick off the AIM stem and started a Kickstarter page to raise funds to put this concept into production.

Aim Dropper Stem 4

From the looks of it, the AIM stem uses a pin system similar to that of the old and reliable Gravity Dropper seatposts that is controlled by a thumb lever. To change your position, you simply press the button and push or pull the stem into position.

3FSTECH_POS31-300x2963FSTECH_POS21-300x296 3FSTECH_POS11-300x296

The AIM stem has 3 positions: “downhill”, “trail” and “climb.” In theory there might be something to it,  with a short, riser stem for DH to get you up and back, and long drop stem for climbing to get you forward and lower on the front (see below).

  • “Climb” *in pink is in the 120mm/-20° position said to make the rider more aero-dynamic, and lowers the front end for easier climbing.
  • “Trail” *in yellow is the 95mm/-7° position for intermediate trail conditions.
  • “Downhill” *in black is the 55mm/+6° position is for descending.

Aim Dropper Stem Ride pos 12 Aim Dropper Stem Ride pos 11

If there ever was a best of both worlds scenario for stem length, this could be it. You can run the super XC 120mm drop stem only when you’re climbing to keep the front end planted and shift your weight forward. But at the same time you can pull yourself up and back for the descents with a 6 degree rise and stubby 55mm enduro stem. Calling a 95mm stem a trail stem might be a bit of a stretch these days, but as a medium setting it might not be that bad.

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In the end, does the benefit of having different stem lengths outweigh the added weight and complexity of the stem? Is dropping your stem and seat post at the same time feasible on the trail? Without riding it who knows, but watch the video to decide for yourself.

3FSTech.com

41 COMMENTS

  1. Way cool. Not sure I’d own it personally, but I’d love to ride it. This might be one of those things that you try and love.

  2. This makes as much sense to me as a dropper post, so why not? Really would have to try before judging. I’m guessing this falls well into the old considerations of benefit/weight category (weight almost always wins for me… so no dropper posts here either, but that’s just how I roll). I applaud 3FSTech for creativity though. Haven’t seen this idea before…

  3. we can get dropper crank arms now? I really want that 185mm length for touring, 175 for cross country, and 165mm for the velodrome without having to break out the workstand.

  4. I will need color coated levers to remember which lever does what…. or someone needs to rig up one lever to rule them all….. that also makes transformer noises when everything switches from climb to descend.

  5. The Italian language makes is sound so much cooler and nifty. Cool video showing what it does though. It took a while for the dropper post to be standard equipment but it is now.

  6. I’m developing in my lab a serum which grows extra fingers on each hand so that we can all operate all the levers on our bikes. Are you kidding me! With all this dumb stuff on bikes its going to be like operating a foosball table while pedaling and riding over roots.

    I’m also developing a system which uses one lever on each hand, and by pressing the levers in a select sequence the bottom bracket shell and chainstays lengthen or shorten to make your bike handle the terrain better.

  7. Or you could just properly size your bike in the first place. Dropper posts work because the seat is in the way when you need to do technical maneuvering. I’ve never had my stem be in the way (other than maybe an OTB, but this isn’t going to help in that case).

  8. Not sure I would want to ride around with something that looks like a pistol mounted to my bars. I guess the acronym AIM is somewhat of an inside joke at HQ?

  9. All I can think about is that thing loose and having the bars drop in front of the headtube. The scorpion to end all scorpions.

  10. It’s a technically creative solution to a problem nobody else has. Also the extreme negative rise seems like it would seriously mess up you position and bike fit. With exception of XC 29ers I’ve never seen a negative rise stem on a mountain bike. It seems like you would need a longer than usual steerer and lots of spacers to get the bar heights right.

  11. Please, please, please–can’t Bike Rumor mock something, just once? Not every kickstarter idea deserves fair and equal consideration.

  12. I ride a lot and with a lot of people, both road and mountain, in the SF Bay Area and abroad, and I must say that I have never seen about 98.9% of the “innovative” products showcased on BR on anyone’s bikes.

    Like most of those products, there seems to be a lot of kudos and atta-boys for the creators, but I don’t think that translates into the one thing these futurists need: cash money.

    Is their only goal to get a mention on BR? Because it doesn’t seem like making money to fund their passion is their goal. Otherwise, their ideas would be somewhere in the vicinity of being real-world usable, and somewhat desired.

  13. I agree! At what point do you just ride? All this modern mumbo jumbo makes no sense to me, especially when the first concept isn’t 100% real world applicable! Carburetors! Cantilever brakes! Apple II!

    Really, the ultimate finger to the improving technology of the bike industry is to go for a barefoot run. Then you’ve really stuck it to those inventors who happily tinker around to see what ideas survive to become taken for granted in a few years.

  14. So I loved eliminating a decision with 1X . It truly works with some gearing tweaks for added range.
    Added Southpaw KS Lev dropper lever in that spot. Good , work s great. But I hate thinking about flipping levers on suspension so back to 36 Float and my beloved Turner Burner which really rides great on 90% of terrain in full open.
    I cannot fathom adding another lever or button, switch. I ride to escape and relax. I find excessive decisions about what gear or compression setting or air pressure or stem rise and reach to be noise I’d like to avoid.
    Now get off my lawn!

  15. The old Scott and more recent Jones bars accomplish much of the same thing but with substantially less weight, cost and complexity. Dropper posts are also kind of interesting. Everyone thinks they’re a recent thing but anyone who has been around mountain biking long enough still remembers the Hite Rite – a simple part that was way ahead of it’s time.

  16. Allan – 10/30/15 – 2:12pm
    I mean, they couldn’t have waited for that girl’s herpes sore to heal before filming this?

    I went back up and watched the video because of this.

  17. I had this design concept for an adjustable frame. Push the bar lever and everything changes. Initial prototypes worked fine, all the riders loved the idea of one button on the bars doing everything at once. We stopped development though, after a rider pushed the button too hard and we discovered the frame could also fold up like a Dahon.

    While some saw it as a whole new market, the two hours it too to extricate the rider from the frame was seen as a down side.

  18. @Garth

    I’m with you on Tinker (that is Tinker Juarez, right?), but I think that’s due to the Cannondale Headshock that can’t be seen in that picture. Probably a unique problem for Cannonade 26ers. I like a lot of drop, and I never had more than like a -6 degree stem on a 26er MTB.

  19. I love how Mountain bikers demand simplicity in one hand, (1x drivetrains, etc), but with the other hand demand the ability to make their bike a transformer with the push of a hydraulic button that requires mad maintenance.

  20. I work at a bike shop and I can already see old people wanting to buy this stem, flip it upside down and use it as an adjustable rising stem.

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