Road cyclists dream of riding on smooth tarmac. The reality is bumps, ruts and potholes. The longer the ride the more shocks are transmitted through the handlebar to the hands, arms and shoulders. Which naturally leads to fatigue and discomfort.
Some manufacturers are building shock-absorbing features into the front ends of their frames, such as Specialized’s Future Shock and Trek’s Top Tube Isospeed.
But what are the options for the road cyclist who wants a more comfortable ride from their existing frame? Using thicker bar tape and/or padded gloves are one option. Switching from 23mm wide tires to softer-riding 25mm or even 28mm tires is another option.
What to do if you want more comfort but don’t like riding with thick bar tape and thickly padded gloves, or can only fit 23mm or 25mm tires on your bike? The Redshift Shockstop stem may be your answer.
The Redshift Shockstop stem pivots at the steerer tube clamp to provide shock absorption at the bar.
The Shockstop has a 20mm range of travel for drop bar bikes and 10mm of travel for flat bar bikes. The degree of travel can be customised to suit your body weight and riding style by installing the appropriate elastomer blocks inside the stem. The stem uses two elastomer blocks.
The Shockstop comes with five different elastomer blocks, each with a different durometer or hardness rating. This allows the Shockstop stem to cater for a range of rider weights from less than 52kg / 115lbs up to more than 93kg / 205lbs.
Does the Shockstop stem work? Absolutely.
With my hands in any position, the ShockStop does an admirable job of removing road buzz and smaller shocks from potholes and broken tarmac.
Handling is not compromised by the addition of travel in the bar, even under braking and hard cornering. The Shockstop smooths out the road surface without being obtrusive.
The Shockstop stem is available with a +-6º tilt in 90mm (264g) , 100mm, 110mm and 120mm (298g) lengths. It is also available in a 100mm length with a +30º tilt.
This is not the lightest stem around but it is by far the most comfortable stem.
This stems fit a standard 1 1/8″ steerer clamp diameter and 31.8mm handlebar clamp diameter. Shims are available for 25.4mm and 26.0mm steerer tubes.
Redshift also makes computer and utility mounts that attach to the stem faceplate. The computer mounts cater for Garmin, Wahoo, Cateye, Joule, Mio, Magellan, and Polar units.
The current price for a Shockstop stem on the Redshift Sports website is USD149.99. This stem is definitely worth every cent.
I bought one and I like it so much that I bought a second one to put on bike number two. The Shockstop stem is that good.