Redshift Sports ShockStop Stem: At The Finish

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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.

Redshift Sports
Unless you know what you are looking for, the Redshift Sports ShockStop Stem will go largely unnoticed by casual observers.

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.

Redshift Sports
While the ShockStop stem may look innocuous, it packs a lot of vibration damping capabilities.

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.

Discuss and share your questions or thoughts about gravel bikes, gear, events and anything else on the Riding Gravel Forum.

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Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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12 thoughts on “Redshift Sports ShockStop Stem: At The Finish

  1. Thanks for the review.
    I hope you are able to review the Tranz-X Anti shock stem and compare it to the Redshift.

  2. I really like the idea of this stem. If I get it I would be fitting it to a ’96 vintage mtb which already has ( a working) rock shox front suspension. Would it be overkill, redundant, or could it be a viable addition?

    1. @thomas- I recall something along these lines being tried back in the 90’s. Theoretically, it should work if you set up the components to absorb different sorts of trail inputs. How that would work for you in practice would be something you would have to experiment with.

      Getting two disparate parts to work in harmony probably will be a great challenge, in my estimation.

      1. Ted, Thanks for your response. Sounds a little over my head at the moment. If I go to a rigid fork I’ll definitely consider the redshift option. And thanks for one of the best websites around.

  3. I’ve had my ShockStop on my CX/Gravel bike now since July and I REALLY like it! In fact, I liked it so much that I bought one for my Trek 2100 road bike. I live in Hinckley, MN and some of the tar roads around here are R-O-U-G-H! The ShockStop stem does just what the name implies…it STOP the Shock! Road joints that previously gave a WHAM, are now more like a ba-bump, especially when riding on the Aero bars. Previously, that road shock went right up my arms and into my shoulder/neck area. Ouch! Not anymore!
    So back to my CX/Gravel bike…I’ve been riding it on the farm/cow/deer trails around my home instead of my dual suspension MTB and I feel it’s a faster ride, probably mostly because it’s lighter and it has lighter 33mm Tires. It climbs like crazy! If I drop my tire pressure to about 30 PSI it’s really quite comfortable. I also have a suspension seat post with about 1 inch of travel) That small amount of travel (I b’lieve they, RedVerz, state 12 mm and then whatever length stem you have creates a longer arc, probably in the 1 in. area)
    I b’lieve it allows my to run a little lower PSI, because it absorbs my weight going down into the bars and front tire and it definitely allows better control, as it maintains a higher level of tire contact and steering control.
    This past weekend I and a few friends did a 100k Gravel ride and it was super comfortable. I wouldn’t leave home without it!

  4. I did the 60 mile Gravel Grovel in Hoosier National Forest, Indiana last week with the Redshift stem. This is a mixed terrain type of race with mostly gravel but also some singletrack and rough doubletrack thrown in. I have done this in the past and the course has wreaked havoc on my hands and wrists by the end. I came out of the race with no hand pain. It was invisible on the ride. I have ridden mine for a couple of months and convinced a friend to try one and he also had the same opinion. It really does take the shock out of hits, such as the unexpected pot hole in the road and just gravel vibrations in general. A big thumbs up.

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  7. Any word on how the Redshift works with a fully loaded handlebar while bikepacking? I love the idea of this stem, but not sure how well it would work with a fully loaded handlebar. I’m talking a harness with perhaps a 14L bag loaded with tent and sleeping bag, and two feedbags with waterbottles in them. That would be quite a bit of weight. I believe Redshift indicates that you can have stuff on your hadlebars with no problem and just have to go up to a stiffer elastomer. Any experiences out there with loaded handlebars?

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