German component maker Vecnum promises more mixed-surface comfort with an all-new freeQENCE suspension stem. Looking to smooth the ride of almost any bike with a rigid fork – road, gravel, cyclocross, commuter, or touring bikes –  the new 4-bar parallelogram stem delivers more travel than we’re used to seeing in suspension stem, with easy adjustability for most riders, almost universal fit, all at a relatively low weight penalty.

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm 4-bar suspension stem

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm travel 4-bar adjustable suspension stem, gravel bike jump

c. Vecnum

Vecnum says the new FreeQence stem project was a direct result of founder Marzell Maier’s growing gravel bike passion. But looking for more off-road comfort on a rigid bike he wasn’t happy with the weight, feel, or finish of other suspension stems on the market. So they set out to design their own – now promising to “effectively reduce vibrations and impacts by up to 75%“.

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm travel 4-bar adjustable suspension stem, side

They wanted to offer a bit more travel (most suspension stems top out around 20mm, like the similar weight Redshift ShockStop) so chose a 4-bar parallelogram layout that keeps the handlebar (and your levers) from rotating as it moves through the 30mm of travel. That also is said to ensure you get the same suspension feel whether your hands are on the tops, hoods, or in the drops.

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm travel 4-bar adjustable suspension stem, gravel trail riding

That’s interestingly the same amount as RockShox’s new XPLR Rudy fork or even Lauf’s simple Grit SL leaf spring fork, but both of those require a tapered steerer and end your hopes of hauling bikepacking on your fork. It’s also 50% more travel than the new integrated BMC URS LT fork travel. The new Vecnum FreeQence stem can be retrofitted to any bikes with a 1.125″ steerer and 31.8mm handlebar.

Tech details

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm travel 4-bar adjustable suspension stem, adjustment

Much like a suspension fork, the FreeQence stem is designed to be set 1/3 into its travel for sag (10mm positive/up & 20mm negative/down travel). To do that, Vecnum built-in easy 3mm hex stepless adjustment of the internal linkage to suit riders from 50-120kg (110-265lb), without changing the performance or damping of its elastomers.

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm travel 4-bar adjustable suspension stem, top

Weight was also as big a concern as durability, so Vecnum machines the FreeQence stem in-house from 7075 aluminum, and it rotates on replaceable slide beatings (bushings) around hollow titanium axles. Claimed weight is just 287g for the shorter 90mm stem, up to 317g for the 120mm FreeQence stem (~50g more than a conventional alloy stem).

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm travel 4-bar adjustable suspension stem, side

Vecnum says their FreeQence suspension stem design carefully tucks its linkage & spring inside, protected from dirt & mud to minimize maintenance needs. The stem’s suspension travel is said to be “homogeneous and linear, but with strong progression at both ends”. So you should get a smooth & quiet ride, without any harsh top-out or bottom-out feel over rough terrain, but still shouldn’t feel the need for any lockout.

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm travel 4-bar adjustable suspension stem, angled

The Vecnum FreeQence suspension stem was designed to fit most relatively modern bikes, needing just 42mm of exposed threadless 1 1/8″ steerer above the headset, and will clamp any 31.8 handlebar with its 4-bolt removable faceplate.

Vecnum freeQENCE – Pricing, options & availability

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm travel 4-bar adjustable suspension stem, sizes

The 30mm travel, made-in-Germany Vecnum freeQENCE suspension stem is available now for 300€, with a 2-year warranty. The boxy, machined aluminum stem comes in three lengths (90, 105 & 120mm) with 3° rise,  all anodized black.

Vecnum freeQENCE 30mm travel 4-bar adjustable suspension stem, air

Add a bit more comfort to your ride, with less hand & arm fatigue, just in time for the holidays.

Vecnum.com

16 comments

  1. Space Raccoon on

    317g for the 120mm is “~50g more than a conventional alloy stem” ? More like about 150-180g more than even a pretty basic alloy stem – you’d have trouble even finding a regular stem that weighed 260g.

    Reply
  2. Brian Barber on

    Back in the day we would use old MTB tubes and slide over the Alsop and Girvin flex stems to keep pivots clean.
    Good to see old ideas rebirthed.

    Reply
  3. Seraph on

    This looks great. The price is a bit high but I can see that a lot of work went into the design so it makes sense. It would be cool to see an even lighter SL version come out at some point.

    Reply
  4. PStu on

    Unlike RedShift’s Shockstop stem, it doesn’t look like you can mount a GPS or other accessory on the step. On my bike, I have the RedShift accessory mount to put the headlight out front, with the GPS mounted on the stem. If that is not a concern, looks like a good product.

    Reply
  5. O. on

    This looks like extremely similar design to Cirrus Cycles Kinekt suspension stem, that was released a while back. I believe Cirrus Cycles was given the license from Alsop/Softride. The weights on this version look much lighter, but the Cirrus is over $100 less.

    Reply
  6. Patrick on

    Very cool. I had at least 10k miles on a Shockstop stem before buying a Lauf this year. I love the Lauf, but it made me even more impressed with the Shockstop stem. It’s really impressive what can be done for comfort for relatively low money and weight, but I absolutely do not miss the wrist rotation that went along with it. Or being able to get a similar effect in the drops. This looks like it has real potential!

    Reply
  7. Tim on

    Remember that elastomer hardness changes with the temperature. I remember riding Manitou and other elastomer forks in the 90s, and on a colder day the elastomers would freeze solid. On hot days, you’d have fifty percent sag.

    Reply
  8. Seraph on

    @cameron: not every bike will accept bigger tires. The biggest my Crux can take is 38c while still leaving room for a little bit of mud.

    Reply
  9. Dinger on

    @Cameron, like Seraph points out, some bikes have tire size limitations. Big tires are heavier and slower in most cases, too. With this and other compliance features (re: thud buster seatpost) tires can also be kept at safer pressures without beating up the rider as much.

    Reply
  10. Ned on

    Next year, the industry will come out with suspension forks for gravel bikes, and in 3 years, we see long travel full-suspension gravelers and 2.4″ tires.
    This stem is the final proof that gravel bikes are nothing but 90’s mountain bikes with warmed up failed ideas.

    Reply
  11. WorkOnSunday on

    3degree rise, is it reversible ? redshift can be +/-6 degree which gives adjusting rider position abit more flexibility if this is fixed at +3.

    Reply
  12. John Schott on

    Work of industrial art, no doubt about it. Would love to try one. The n+1 subscribers will find a home for this on their gravel bike that sits between their xc mtb hardtail and allroad bike in the quiver. Otherwise, for us mere financial mortals, we can only drool in envy; or pick it apart on an internet thread.

    Reply

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