A few years ago, while we were working on a batch of Speedvagen 'cross machines, we noticed how clunky the traditional cable hanger system was. It seemed like such an afterthought, never really meant to be a part of the bike, just this sort of booger hanging off the nose of an otherwise really slick racing machine. I guess that next step was kind of like wiping the nose of the traditional cross bike. In that moment we think 'cross bikes grew up a bit. Maybe now they're just anxious teenagers with too much energy. A little like the U.S. 'cross scene these days, making a move to be a more well recognized and legitimate as a sport instead of a hobby.
That year we started talking to our old friends at ENVE about what we could do to clean up the typical 'cross cockpit. They worked with us over the next year to design, develop and test our new stem prototype. What we got was a lighter, smoother stem reinforced where it matters and tested for integrity.
Testing in-house is one thing, riding it, hard, that's another. We put the stems on our team bikes for a couple of seasons and made more refinements based on our teammates feedback. Their experience was that it essentially eliminates front-end chatter while braking. The additional benefits that came with smoother cable routing, lighter braking action and 51g weight savings rounded out an improved rider experience.
In 2011 we offered the stems as an upgrade on our Speedvagen cross machines and most of our customers opted for them. We started to think that this could be a stand alone component.
This is the first time that a Speedvagen component is being offered separate from the frameset and we’re stoked to offer something that we feel brings real value to all 'cross racers.
If you would like to know more about our stems you can check them out here.