Thursday, February 16, 2012

Adjustable stems are dangerous

I finally took the plunge and upgraded to a modern day road racer. This Trek 1000c is a great entry level roadie, I liked it right off the bat and found only one significant problem with it. The adjustable stem that came on the bicycle possibly previous owner made an upgrade from the original factory one who knows but it's more harmful then useful. This particular adjustable stem design features 2 bolts (one on each side of the reach part of the neck) that are used to adjust the height and angle of stem. With these bolts fully tightened this stem produces a wobble at any speed hitting any small bump or imperfection on the road.
I was riding the bike yesterday and I decided to do a minor sprint along some traffic I got up to 21.3 mph and had to ease off because the front end no longer felt safe due to the side to side wobble of the handlebars caused by the adjustable stem. My personal opinion is this particular type of adjustable stem is more harmful for a rider then useful it is poorly made with cheap alloy and a poor concept. Replacing a stem is a simple upgrade and stems now a days weight anywhere from 115grams to 150grams. I will have a fresh new stem on this ride for cycling season.

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