Suspension Stem

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DarkNewt
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Suspension Stem

Postby DarkNewt » 14 Jan 2015, 11:12pm

Hi All,

I am looking to buy a suspension headset to replace my suspension forks on my touring bike (I will go back to solid forks).

Does anyone:

A) Have any experience of them
B) know where I can buy one
C) Know if they can be locked out

I know all the arguments about suspension on a touring bike, but I go down a lot of paths and it has proven useful and it's a matter of taste i like them. However I just thought hey why not experiment with a suspension headset, that should do the trick!
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

Valbrona
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby Valbrona » 15 Jan 2015, 3:40pm

Okay, so what's a suspension headset?
I should coco.

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Si
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby Si » 15 Jan 2015, 4:23pm

Well, as no one else has supplied an answer yet, and so you don't feel left out in the cold, I'll vent my limited knowledge.

Back in the day the Girvan Flexistem was the one to have. It gave a small amount of movement, but early ones relied on elastometers which could go hard after a while. It will damp lower mid range bumps but isn't any kind of replacement for good suspension forks. Of course it was lighter, cheaper and required less maintenance. I've no experience of the newer sprung girvan stems that went on the I beam bikes.

Since then they have become less popular as suspension forks have come down in price but there are still some knocking around. Tranzx do one that has some kind of absorption between stem and steerer clamp but I've no experience of them.

One this you need to think about though is what you are going to replace the suspension forks with - you make need to find a fork that is suspension corrected (i.e. the same length as your current fork when loaded), and has similar trail/offset. And be aware that there are all different types of rigid fork: an MTB rigid fork for a disk brake will be stiff and uncomfortable with light tyres, a race fork will be stiff and have very tight clearances which prevent the use of touring tyres and mudguards, whereas a good touring fork will be comfortable and have good clearances but may be a tad expensive.

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DaveP
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby DaveP » 15 Jan 2015, 5:05pm

My first thought was that the OP was referring to something like the Cannondale Headshock system, which I doubt could be adapted.
A little more detail about what you are trying to accomplish might be useful :)
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully...

manybikes
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby manybikes » 15 Jan 2015, 5:26pm

Yes the Girvan Flexistem is what I used on my tandem (which I think is oversized ). I found it very useful for preventing the numbing of the hand and fingers because I seemed to need to hold the bars more firmly as my stoker shifted around a bit. For tarmac and gravel tracks etc it was fine - but not for head banging atb stuff.

yostumpy
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby yostumpy » 15 Jan 2015, 6:33pm

i Have a Girvin Flexstem if any one is interested, 25.4 quill , so that's oversize oui?

DarkNewt
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Location: West Midlands

Re: Suspension Stem

Postby DarkNewt » 15 Jan 2015, 7:25pm

Valbrona wrote:Okay, so what's a suspension headset?


DaveP wrote:My first thought was that the OP was referring to something like the Cannondale Headshock system, which I doubt could be adapted.
A little more detail about what you are trying to accomplish might be useful :)


What I am trying to accomplish is replacing the suspension fork on my hybrid touring bike but retaining some suspension so I thought I would experiment with a suspension stem/headset. I have put an ask in the wanted section and I am looking for some on ebay, will see where I get!

I will report back if I manage to get a suitable unit and how it goes.

I know they are not popular now, however with the number of people using hybrids for touring I think a lockable suspension headset would be a good idea, I have a friend who will make an adapter to lock it out when I get one or I have seen some replacement suspension dampers that have a built in lockout switch.
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

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andrew_s
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby andrew_s » 15 Jan 2015, 9:33pm


DarkNewt
Posts: 388
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Location: West Midlands

Re: Suspension Stem

Postby DarkNewt » 15 Jan 2015, 10:04pm



I took a look at that and too expensive as a first experiment and they are only shipping for beta testing. Short stem too..
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

mercalia
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby mercalia » 15 Jan 2015, 10:57pm

You could try using 2 layers of dense foam pipe lagging ( cheap) got from B&Q on the handle bars. Not only do u get a modest isolation but also increase the surface area of the bars so less pressure on any part of the hand. I use ties for the under layer and velcro for the top.

DarkNewt
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby DarkNewt » 15 Jan 2015, 11:20pm

Hiya,

I have a 25% nerve damage in r/h due to being knocked off during my solo JOGLE and then riding last 800 miles in a metal brace for the wrist. I got a lot of numbness so I have spent a lot of time learning how to prevent the nerve damage and numbness. I use a lot of things to prevent this and fatigue which means I currently have no issues, the main reason I am looking for this is to replace the suspension forks on my touring hybrid bike as I only use the suspension when it gets a little rough and so I don't need lots of suspension but want some. I am leaving for a 4 month tour around the uk coast and the irish coast at the end of June so felt this would be worth a try beforehand. It would let me remove my current suspension forks with lockout and fit a standard set that I can then replace my front pannier with the surly nice trucker one as well!

For interest I did the following to cure my nere damage:

1. fitted multiposition bars
2. Ergonomic Grips
3. Phat Tape with gel inserts
4. Spent a lot of time learning how to fit my bike
5. Learned how to keep the arch in my hand to prevent pressure on the nerve something no one else seems to speak about.
6. Learned how to listen to my body so that I rest my wrists if fatigue means I am letting nerve pressure occur

all of the above means I no longer have any numbness and despite cycling a lot of long distance I don't get any issues.
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

Bikefayre
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby Bikefayre » 16 Jan 2015, 3:20pm

So 'nineties!!! There was one for mountain bikes available in America that had a pivoting stem with built in suspension. In all my years of putting bikes to sleep and the endless number of older bikes have only seen these in books! MTB handlebar stems can take a Maes drop bar [road bike], yet again have not seen this style for nearly ten years! So try Googling mtb suspension stems and good luck!!! For myself due to diabetic neuropathy like to fit a larger section tyre at the front than normal an easy way to add front suspension on a non suspension bike, even better if you can fit 'suspension' balloon tyres such as Schwalbe's Big Apple plus fit foam or special grips as well.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 16 Jan 2015, 3:53pm

Hi,
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GIRVIN-1-SUSP ... 2a4a945b04

Not this price more like £20, I have several on my bikes and they do work very well, not just a fashion.
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DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Suspension Stem

Postby DarkNewt » 16 Jan 2015, 4:24pm

hiya,

i have seen the girvin wouldn't go with the elastomer, I have seen a few but looking for one compatible with 1" bars and a head. Im glad someone finds them useful, I really think they have a home with long distance touring bikes especially hybrid.
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

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andrew_s
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Re: Suspension Stem

Postby andrew_s » 16 Jan 2015, 7:38pm

Softridedid a stem that may be bodgeable for Ahead, if you can find a 1 1/4" model.
It seems that the steerer clamp was sized for a quill rather than a steerer, so you would need to get the larger size and shim it. It may also be that the underside of the clamp isn't flat.

I'm not at all sure that suspension stems hadn't died before threadless headsets arrived.