Bicycles

ShockStop suspension bike stem has a heart of rubber

ShockStop suspension bike stem...
The ShockStop handlebar stem pivots to soak up road vibrations
The ShockStop handlebar stem pivots to soak up road vibrations
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The ShockStop handlebar stem pivots to soak up road vibrations
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The ShockStop handlebar stem pivots to soak up road vibrations
The ShockStop doesn't allow the bar to flex laterally (relative to the stem), so it shouldn’t affect steering
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The ShockStop doesn't allow the bar to flex laterally (relative to the stem), so it shouldn’t affect steering
The ShockStop is available in a variety of lengths and angles, and should fit most road, hybrid, and commuter bikes
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The ShockStop is available in a variety of lengths and angles, and should fit most road, hybrid, and commuter bikes
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Hand numbness is a very common complaint among cyclists, and one of its major causes is road vibrations being carried up into the handlebars. Over the years, various companies have attempted to address the problem via suspension handlebar stems that incorporate coil springs, air-sprung shocks, or elastomers – and they’ve all looked a little "unusual." The ShockStop is the latest take on an elastomer-based suspension stem, but it looks completely normal.

The device has a forged 6061-T6 aluminum alloy body, inside of which is a pivot point (incorporating sealed cartridge bearings) and two interchangeable elastomer inserts – each stem comes with several sets of the inserts, in varying levels of stiffness.

When the front wheel hits a bump in the road, the stem absorbs much of the energy by pivoting 1 to 2 cm (0.4 to 0.8 inches). Its compliance is determined by the stiffness of the inserts, as selected by the user based on personal preference and riding conditions. That said, it’s intended mainly for road riding.

It’s also important to note that the ShockStop does not allow the bar to flex laterally (relative to the stem), so it shouldn’t affect steering.

The ShockStop doesn't allow the bar to flex laterally (relative to the stem), so it shouldn’t affect steering
The ShockStop doesn't allow the bar to flex laterally (relative to the stem), so it shouldn’t affect steering

Should you be interested, the device is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. It’s available in a variety of lengths and angles, and should fit most road, hybrid, and commuter bikes. You can get one for a pledge of US$89, assuming it reaches production. Potential backers might also want to check out the Bam City handlebar, in which the bar itself flexes to absorb vibrations.

Redshift Sports, which is the company behind the ShockStop, previously had success crowdfunding its Switch Aero System, which allows a road bike to be used as a triathlon bike.

Source: Kickstarter

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3 comments
David993
What goes around comes around? In my stable I have a Roberts DB, 1994 vintage, equipped with a Girvin Flexstem which provides about 2cms of vertical movement and eliminated the harsher vibrations felt through steel Project 2 forks! I hope the inventors of ShockStop have cleared all the necessary patent and copyright laws?
Guy Lamoureux
I tried something like that 15 years ago. And it didn't cure the hand numbness that came with cycling because it comes from my neck !! It took a long time for me to discover this. Now, I have a very vertical position and I don't get numb hands. My guess is that lots of persons have the same condition but don't know it.
Charlie_Horse
David993 - "In my stable I have a Roberts DB, 1994 vintage, equipped with a Girvin Flexstem which provides about 2cms of vertical movement ... I hope the inventors of ShockStop have cleared all the necessary patent and copyright laws?"
So the patent would have expired in 2014 in not earlier, which may explain the appearance of multiple offerings. Thudbuster patent also expired in 2015.