Redshift Sports ShockStop Stem: At The Finish- by Guitar Ted
Shock absorbing components and frames are a big deal now. That said, there isn’t much that you can buy and slap on to your existing bicycle like this component. The Redshift ShockStop Stem is a unique bit then. Something that looks “normal”, is versatile, and tune-able. The Redshift ShockStop Stem has been ridden over three months now. Now it is time to reach the end of this review, so I will be giving my final verdict on this component. You can read the last update HERE in which I describe the changing of elastomers and how that affected the ride.
Moving parts in the handle bar or stem area are generally not looked upon as being a good thing. As a bicycle mechanic in a professional setting for twenty years, I can say that I’ve seen my fair share of problems with adjustable stems or stems with suspension built in. Parts lose their stiffness in a hurry with many of these components and the bits that provide the spring and damping effects are generally not up to the task. The Redshift Sports ShockStop stem is nothing like these components I have seen, handled, and ridden in the past. It is one of the rare stems that has a shock absorbing quality that actually seems to work and is a pleasure to ride. So, there is the short and sweet of it, I liked how this stem worked.
However; the ShockStop offers more than a simple solution. It is actually tune-able. Redshift sends several elastomers of differing spring rates, and as I outlined in the last update, the process yields results that are noticeable. Elastomers……yeah. If you remember the past experiments with elastomers, especially in suspension forks of the 90’s, you may not have a very high opinion of them. However; Redshift claims they have used a better engineered elastomer. I can say that so far, this is true. However; only a longer term test will reveal whether or not this is the case. ShockStop owners I have heard from express no issues with the elastomers, so that’s a good sign. I plan on keeping this stem in use until such time I feel a longer term update is warranted.
Of all the attributes of this stem, besides the obvious shock absorbing function, I think the most appealing is that it is not proprietary to one bike or component. It is all packed in to a simple stem format. This means I could swap it from bike to bike, unlike the systems some manufacturers are using. Not that those are not good systems, but if you sell a bike with a proprietary stem/head tube vibration reduction device, you cannot retain the vibration reduction benefit and put it on your next bike. With the ShockStop Stem, you can do that.
At The Finish: The Redshift Sports ShockStop stem is a sleek looking, almost normal appearing stem that has a hidden talent for absorbing vibrations. It isn’t light, for a stem, but as a vibration taming device, it is one of the lightest options out there. There is a bit of technical futzing that goes in to finding the correct elastomers and orientation of this stem, but the results seem to be worth it. Any competent wrench should be able to manage the change to the elastomers. Gravel road chatter is greatly reduced and the stem’s operation is invisible while riding, unless you want a really active, (soft) setting. This is a game changer in terms of riding and seems to reverse the trend of previous efforts in this vein. The ShockStop does what it claims to do and does it well without drawing attention to itself, which is rare these days.
NOTE: Redshift Sports sent over the ShockStop stem at no charge for test and review. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.