Hammerhead360 stem uses elastomer inserts to soften the ride
There are already several suspension handlebar stems that incorporate a linkage, which allows the bars to move vertically relative to the steerer tube. The Hammerhead360 is different, though, in that the bars move relative to the stem itself.
Manufactured by Mississippi-based XC Gear, the Hammerhead360 is essentially a mountain bike-specific version of the company's existing Mako360, which is made for motocross motorcycles.
The former incorporates a machined 6061 T6 aluminum body that clamps onto the bars and the steerer tube, much like any other stem. Between the stem's clamp rings and the bars, however, are a set of ring-shaped soft elastomer inserts.
These reportedly soak up vibrations by allowing the bars to move both vertically and horizontally relative to the stem's main body – hence the 360 in the name, as in "360 degrees." By contrast, most suspension stems only allow for vertical movement … although they do offer significantly more travel.
Users can choose between three damping levels, by selecting between inserts of differing firmnesses. The stem itself is 45 mm long, and works with bars with a center diameter of 31.8 mm.
The Hammerhead360 can be ordered now via the company website. You'd better be sure you really want it, though, as it sells for a whopping $399.99