From the minds that founded the carbon Oval Concepts brand way back in 2002, comes a new aerodynamics focused component company – Aero Design Swiss. With decades of experience in the bike industry, carbon component production & aerodynamics, the team is jumping back in with a unique aero carbon stem that allows riders to adjust handlebar position. Under the tagline Get Fit to Fly, the stem lets riders fine tune fit and their aero position on the bike. Aero Design is Kickstarting their Aero Stem to get it off the ground, and make it easier for cyclists to affordably experiment with the different bar positions for an optimal balance of power output and speed in real world riding…
After selling the Oval brand to the parent company of Fuji, Kestrel & Breezer back in 2009, Morgan Nicol and wife Simona Brauns-Nicol have for the most part been seen on the tire development & production side of Challenge. But Nicol is a triathlete at heart and so getting back to aero focused components was probably only a matter of time, and now with the growth of aero road bikes the market continues to expand.
This crowdfunding campaign for the one-size-fits-all Aero Stem is the starting point he hopes will lay the ground work for continuing to develop speed & comfort optimized components for the cyclist.
The Aero Stem offers adjustment from effective 50mm-150mm lengths through the use of an interlocking set of internal spacers sandwiched between the carbon main body and the carbon top of the clamshell stem design. It can be combined with an integrated set of fairly conventional steerer tube spacers to increase bar height from 20-100mm from the top of the headset cap to the center of the bar.
The Aero Stem itself is a -17° stem, designed perfectly flat and out of the wind on bikes with a typical 73° headtube. Its long carbon body is 255mm in length overall and is slated to weigh in at just 149g. The stem itself is made of molded carbon fiber, while the adjustment blocks/spacers will be constructed of an injection molded 3M Glass Bubble material that balances lightweight & rigidity.
The stem will clamp handlebars with a standard 31.8mm round clamping area. It will work on bikes with tapered or straight steerer tubes with the standard 1 1/8″ clamping area, requiring 40mm of steerer stack for clamping.
The Aero Stem is available now on Kickstarter to backers that pledge their support from 150 Swiss Francs (~$155 or 132€) as Early Birds. There’s a second level that takes that up to 200 Fr. including a measuring tape to dial your fit once the first 100 are gone (down from the final expected retail price of 250 Fr., or $260/220€.)
Future add ons & accessories aren’t set in stone yet, but the stem has a removable nose cone designed for adaptability. There is talk of a nose with integrated lights, an attachment for your power meter’s head unit, even of a mobile phone mount and aero bar extensions. We’ll have to wait and see what all pans out after the crowdfunding runs its course over the next month.
It seems that the stem is the first of any projects to come from Aero Design Swiss, and this Kickstarter is only the first evidence of moving towards production. We’ve already seen teases of the next products in the pipeline – aero handlebars, plus aero TT, road & adventure framesets including new aero forks. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
The Kickstarter runs through September 4, with stems set to get to backers just over eight months from now in March 2018.