Full Speed Ahead (FSA) is renown for producing all manner of components for all genres of cycling, including gravel bikes. It seems every other week, a new product related to gravel bikes is launched or spotted in the wild under development.
Judging by this proof of concept prototype stem I spotted in plain sight at last weekend’s Dirty Kanza expo, FSA haven’t been sitting idle.
Thus far, I have ascertained this stem is tentatively named “VAS”, aka Vibration Absorbing Stem, designed for gravel and drop-bar off-road riding.
At the heart of VAS is a polymer bushing and hinged center clamp that isolates the handlebar from the stem, whilst preventing rotation and slippage at the same time.
Isolation lessens the vibrations and impacts from a rider’s hands, arms and joints which in the long run, makes for a more comfortable ride. Over a 200-mile course such as Dirty Kanza, saving energy no matter how small the amount, adds up at the end of the day.
Weight and other specifications are unknown at this time, but the stem is compatible with the usual 31.8mm handlebar size. Whilst the stem was not race-tested at the 2019 Dirty Kanza, one of FSA’s representatives did record some test miles at various parts of the course.
Article first appeared on Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.