|The Redshift Sports ShockStop Stem|
Many of you that have frequented the blog may know that I reviewed a Redshift Sports ShockStop stem for RidingGravel.com in 2017. Actually, if you want all the lowdown on this stem, read this review. It was the one where I talked about all the techy stuff.
So, I've had that stem, which Redshift let me keep, by the way, in continuous use since then. I'm pretty convinced that the construction, design, and durability of this stem is very good. People ask me about the elastomeric springs, if they get softer with time, or are they affected by weather, or if they get stiffer with age, and on and on. The answer is that this stem feels as good now as it did nearly three years ago. Only one problem with it on the main bike I use it on......
It was a tic too short.
I've been using it on the Black Mountain Cycles MCD over the second half of the time I've had this stem and the fit needs to be tweaked a hair. I did some pretty detailed calculations when I set that bike up, and for a while, I was good, but the longer, lower Noble Bikes GX5 has altered my feelings about my fit and now I'm transferring a bit of what I've learned there over to the MCD. This stem is a 100mm one vs the 90mm one I had.
Now for a bit of transparency: Redshift provided me with this stem and did not charge me for it. That said I am not being paid, nor bribed here. In fact, I would have gladly paid for it. I even asked for a price from them, so now you know.
|Everything that matters is hidden inside.|
Also, the thing with this is that it sucks up the stuff you need to have dealt with- higher frequency vibrations. Gravel can cause a lot of the sort of rattling that this stem can damp out. Oh, and did I mention that the stem comes with five different durometer elastomers to fine tune the ride with? Yep. Want it soft and compliant, or stiffer and have it give only over really harsh stuff? Well, you can get both and in between too. You can set it up to account for a handlebar bag, or you can have 'sag" or no sag, or whatever. It is easy to tune with the provided elastomeric springs which are color-coded and marked with a numeral which coincides with a chart in the instructions. That shows you how to swap elastomers and how to install the stem as well.
And like I say, it's nearly invisible and seems to be a really long term part that needs little to no maintenance. I have to check the fasteners from time to time, like you would any stem, (or you should be if you aren't), so nothing special here to have to consider in terms of feeding and care. There is one downside, and of course, that is weight. Given that almost anything else you do will also add weight, complexity, and if it doesn't add those two, it will add cost. The ShockStop Stem costs $149.99 retail. So, it is a bargain in the vibration damping world that actually works.
|If you didn't know, you'd be hard pressed to tell I have a suspension device on this bike.|
My initial misgivings about this thing were that it was going to do what every stem with a pivot does- they get sloppy and loose. But this stem shows zero inclinations of getting loose. It feels solid. You can get out of the saddle, rock the bars, and it feels completely natural. So, I'm sold on it. That's why I got another one, and teh one i took off I'll likely put on my Fargo, because it will fit there.
NOTE: Once again, I did not pay for this second ShockStop Stem and I was not sent the thing to write about it, so I am not being compensated for this. I just am passing along my experiences on a component I feel would be beneficial to many gravel riders.