Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontload

So I noticed a tweet from @SubrosaBrand today mentioning a Hoang Tran bike check on RIDE that featured some prototype Subrosa products. Word? Curiosity killed the cat, but there's too many of the damn things around anyway. I clicked, and somewhere a tabby exploded.

Well, the only prototype Subrosa stuff I saw were the stem and the grips, and seeing that new grips are a dime a dozen these days, I figured we should check out the stem:



Or not. Hm. A milled-out, split-cap frontload stem. Where have I seen that before? It's more or less the skeleton of a Shadow stem. And here I thought toploads were making a comeback. This is what happens when 4-foot-11 12-year-old kids (or 25-year-old adults) insist on running eight-plus inch rise bars, I suppose. Not that I expected Subrosa to re-invent the, um, stem.

That said, let's see some thinking outside the box! How about a pair of 17-inch rise two-piece bars and a stem that goes in between the fork crown and the lower bearing race? Sure, you'll need some sort of extra piece to hold your forks on, and you won't be able to do barspins or tailwhips anymore, but won't that be a relief more than anything else?

That, or everyone could chill on buying super-high rise bars unless they really need them so there'd be no need for stems like this—but what am I talking about? That would just be crazy.


29 comments:

Stephen said...

Fuck the walls until the T1 stem is released from its hell prison.

RJ said...

In the MTB world I see guys running negative rise stems and riser bars all the time...almost makes me as nuts as the guys who run a 45° rise, 100mm stem and drop bars.

traskVT said...

so so true.

Anonymous said...

why would anyone run a front load stem that isn't Solid (animal since they're almost the same anyway)?

Anonymous said...

How come no one ever makes note of the fact that it IS placing the bottom of your bars in a different spot, thus effecting how it feels? If you used a top load stem and lower bars to have your hands in the same spot, they would still feel differently.

Anonymous said...

The side of that stem isn't too nice to look at. Would've looked better with one smaller hole.

Word: Angst.

EvilOlivE said...

@ Anon 4:45, not so sure about that. i think the only thing that would make it feel different is the stem offset and height between your grips and the ground. once the bars are clamped to the stem it acts as one. i could maybe see the stem design changing amount of mass outside of the spinning axis (center of head tube), but i doubt it would make enough difference to feel.

the thing that gets me is: the people that usually talk shit about the drop stems and high bars are usually the same ones calling kids weight weenies and/or picking on kids for caring too much about what their bike looks like. hypocrites. what reason could you possibly have to hate on this other than the extra weight, and that it just plain "looks dumb" to you?

Thomas said...

that thing looks scary. i'll stick with my OG solid stem!

Anonymous said...

Chill out

nate said...

The thing that still gets me is that they went through all the trouble to mill out the stem, but they left half an inch of steerer tube sticking out the top of the stem. . . whatever.

John said...

nate: They needed that material to make the spacers, duh.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so all modern frontload stems are descended from the original Redneck, which was an update of the 80's era GT Mallethead stem, which is remembered as one of the only stems from the 80's that would hold your bars still for more than an afternoon. It was a popular design, and none of the toploaders of the day (except for maybe DK stems) worked well so S&M updated it and made the Redneck.

Has anyone ever stopped to wonder WHY that frontload design held the bars better? And which ones hold up better now? Because if all things are equal with modern stems, you're just a well off picking a stem based on the color.....

Anonymous said...

Stupid asian...

Anonymous said...

What a POS stem. An Odyssey Elementary stem is 10000000000000000000000000 times better than this POS stem that will either get snapped or pinched out.

I gues dumb people deserve getting shit products...

Also that asian guy is as dumb as a pile of rocks. Why does he even bother to run those hideous ugly stupid stem if he didn't bother tpo cut down the steerer tube? Dumbass...

Beau said...

Unless you cut the steerer a microbillimeter below the top of that stem you would have to use a spacer, if you cut anymore than that the stem would only be clamping on the bottom and that tiny area in the middle. Elementaries are garbage, how are you going to bring the worst stem since the primo casket into this? There is no reason to run anything but a solid, they are perfect in every aspect and likely will be for years to come.

robbosstache said...

the solid stem is solid. everything else is scrap metal.

Gilroy M. Goocherov said...

TOPLODE 4 LIEF

Anonymous said...

"Elementaries are garbage, how are you going to bring the worst stem since the primo casket into this? "

Beau is either a troll attempting to piss off Odyssey, or he's purely idiotic on a cosmic level.

Clod said...

@EvilOlivE

no difference in feel? imagine an 8" steerer tube with a topload and a no rise straigh one piece bar!

you're hands will be in the same position be I doubt the steerering will feel the same.

Smitty said...

^^^
I like it.

S&M and FBM, let's have a contest to see which of you can be the first to whip up a 8" steer tube fork, put together this setup and put a picture of it on your blog as one of the new "prototype designs" on test. Bonus points for using an inverted top load.

Matt said...

I love that people brought race into this. Real nice there folks.

Beau said...

It would feel exactly the same. Imagine you have the drop stem and 8 inch bars you have now. Without changing anything, connect a steel tube from the top of the stem to the center of the crossbar. Still feels exactly the same at this point (ignoring weight). Now remove the existing stem and the bottom of the bars, you have essentially what the guy proposed, and it would feel no different. Like Anon said earlier, once it is connected it is one piece, if the position of your hands and headset doesn't change the feel won't.

Anonymous said...

you're being ridiculous if you think that moving the spot the bottom of your bars are located but keeping your hands in the same position won't change the "feel"

EvilOlivE said...

It would "feel" like it looks different. haha

but seriously, what kind of "feel" are you talking about though? i agree that some things would feel different. like your bars would be smaller so they would probably feel stiffer. it would decrease the weight so it would feel lighter and the front end would pop up faster. less mass outside the spinning axis should make the bars spin with a little less inertia.

i was talking more about how it would feel to steer. and for that i dont think it would make a difference. what youre proposing is basically like a mountain bike with flat bars. given everything else equal, the steering shouldnt feel any different. what about the new sunday 24" bikes. the bigger wheel would make it steer different, but again, given everything else being equal it should steer the same.

Anonymous said...

Beau

"It would feel exactly the same......headset doesn't change the feel won't."

*Raises a B.S. flag*

G.S.GUCCILIFE said...

verification word :Goatedit

and aint got anyting to say,damn....

Anonymous said...

I have a better one: direen

eh hehe

Ty said...

7" steerer tube and 1" bars? That's getting into scooter territory...
I ran a Casket for years and it never slipped once. A friend said I need a new stem. So I tried the Fly and it broke in a week. My Elementary V1 has only slipped twice.

sbc_sldgr said...

the steering would only change feel if you ran the bottom of your bars closer to the steerer tube. ie- a 35mm reach stem vs a 50mm reach stem. if youre running the same reach it wouldnt matter how far up your stem is and how low your bars are. same concept as a director fork folks. the reach stays the same you just ues a diffrent angle to get there and it all feels the same