For the last two years, I've been using graveling bikes to travel. In my garage there are two, both from Salsa, a full-blooded Warbird and a traveling Fargo. There are considerable differences between the two wheels, but one is identical. They don't have a suspension fork. You don't expect that at Warbird, and you can expect that at Fargo, but I don't have that convenience on him either. And so, when I came across Redshift's stem image on Twitter, I never hesitated to buy it.
Think of this article only as a performance and not as a test. It takes longer-term use for a good test, which the northern weather here still doesn’t want at the moment.
Why did I decide to get this idea in the first place? The reason is obvious. I wanted to test whether the ride would really be more comfortable with at least some suspension than without it. That’s all you’re looking for.
For the price of 3.990,- Czech crowns, it arrives in a neat red box and weighs 258 grams at 80 mm. The supply includes a set of elastomers and a product for disassembly and assembly of a liner that fixes the elastomers inside the image. At first I was afraid of the assembly, but it turned out to be completely unfounded. The installation is easy to understand even from the images in the accompanying manual. If that’s not enough for someone, then instructional videos can be found online.
The first step is to remove the liner fixing the elastomers inside the stem, using the supplied product to attach the screws to the stem with the correct inscription − outside and use the attached screw to pull the liner out. Then you choose the slope of the stem, I chose +6 degrees, you select the elastomers values according to the table, and you put them in the inside. You turn the product over and again, using the screw, push the fixture insert in. Easy and fast.
The stem can be mounted on both rams and even handlebars, and it is important to choose the correct value of elastomers. In the manual you can find a table for the types of handlebars and so you just need to know your weight and you can simply read from the table what elastomers to use. The weight range is quite wide and in my case 74-84 kilograms.
I suppose, at my weight of 77 kg and my 2 kg bag, that range will be sufficient.
I already have the stem mounted on my graveling, and I’ve done some test runs totaling 250 kilometers (no satchels yet), and I have to say it’s working just as I expected. On broken roads, rocky stretches, dice, he relieves his hands and entire upper body. The ride feels smoother. Yes, he gets mostly holes. As a matter of principle, its construction cannot dampen the transverse projections, and it behaves in exactly the same way as a normal imagination when crossing the projections. But nor did I expect otherwise. There’s a pitchfork for that, and I really don’t want that for a graveling. The stem is best muffled when driving in the lower grip or when driving in the levers. In contrast, on top grip, on climb, his reaction to the holes is almost zero. It doesn’t sink and it works smoothly. But more will be revealed by his longer-term test. And you have to wait for that, after all.