If your arms get tired and hands go numb after spending hours on the bike, you might want to have a look at the new ShockStop from Redshift Sports (makers of the Switch Aero System). This shock absorbing stem isolates your upper body from the imperfections of the road, letting you ride further and more comfortably without compromising steering responsiveness or current bike fit.
The ShockStop is a single-pivot shock-absorbing suspension stem that is designed specifically for riding on less-than-perfect roads or gravel. The subtle pivot design allows the front end of the bike to move up and down over bumps in the road while your hands follow a smoother path, cushioned by the elastomers inside the stem.
According to the company, the shock absorbing stem reduces forces transmitted through your hands by up to 70 percent compared to a standard stem. The effect is comparable to switching from 23 mm tires at 110 psi to 32 mm tires at 50 psi, without any of the added rotating weight, rolling resistance, and aerodynamic penalties. Road buzz is almost completely eliminated and impacts from larger bumps and cracks are dramatically muted.
The ShockStop uses the same sealed cartridge bearings that are used in high-end mountain bike suspension pivots, and the forged aluminum components are extremely torsionally rigid, so climbing and sprinting feel natural. The travel is limited to 1-2 centimeters (6 degrees)–enough to provide cushioning against most road impacts, but without affecting the geometry or handling of your bike.
Dual interchangeable elastomers let you tune the stiffness to match your desired ride feel–choose firmer settings to retain a more traditional front-end feel when you are racing, then dial in a softer feel for endurance rides, touring, or training.
The ShockStop stem fits virtually all road, hybrid, commuter, and triathlon bikes. It comes in a variety of standard lengths and angles to match your existing bike fit. The stem clamps directly to 31.8 mm handlebars and fits 25.4/26.0 mm bars with included shims.
I am super curious how this would feel on a gravel bike or cyclocross bike and I can definitely see it appealing to touring bikes, as long as handling is not impaired. My arms get pretty tired after hours bouncing around the trails on my cross bike.
The $89 early bird price is already gone but for $99, you can pre-order your ShockStop shock absorbing stem with expected delivery in April.