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  1. #1
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    Fat bike suspension stem

    After over a year of pounding over ruts and roots on Florida trails, I decided to try fitting a suspension stem to my Salsa Mukluk. Having a lot of experience with the now defunct Softride products, I found a NOS Softride Stem on ebay for $80. This stem is a parellogram with a spring inside for the suspension.

    While it had the 1 1/8" headset, the clamp was a 27mm, not the Salsa's 31mm. The LBS found a new handlebar in the QBP catalog ($22) that would fit and I opted for a 40mm rise on the bar. The original stem was shorter than the Softride, so rotating the bar backward allowed me to almost duplicate my past riding position. It is possible to adjust the pre-load on the stem and the spring has an elastomer "bump stop" inside of it.

    After a 15 mile test ride Sunday, I was very happy. I used to get beat up on several fast downhills on rutted trails and now this was much smoother. I weighed everything before and after and the Softride stem added 410 grams over the stock setup. See the pics for details.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fat bike suspension stem-dsc09667.jpg  

    Fat bike suspension stem-dsc09676.jpg  

    Fat bike suspension stem-dsc09679.jpg  

    Fat bike suspension stem-dsc09684.jpg  

    Fat bike suspension stem-dsc09687.jpg  


  2. #2
    ouch....
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    How much does that move up & down?

    Man we need some decent fat squishy forks.....
    Riding.....

  3. #3
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    I was ready (and I'm still ready) to try one of my JP Morgen stems on my fatbike, the only thing that is stopping me is that I have a Maverick hub with a special 24mm hub so is not like I can just poop a rigid fork on her..

    I use one on my mountain tandem and love it..


    Ps: for them to work you need to put a "Load" on it, so try to keep the bars as low as you can take it..

  4. #4
    Living the thug life.
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    Not the yellow with ti bolts? Yours is way heavier by like 20 grams. Thomas Frischknecht would not be impressed.
    I proudly ride for these guys.

    My blog.

  5. #5
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Man we need some decent fat squishy forks.....
    They're here already.

    Those are a great thing, I have a threaded one in my case at work, wish I could find the threadless version, I know I'd put it to use on something. They worked great BITD.

    "Suspend the rider, not the bike".....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  6. #6
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    I used to ride a Softride mtb that came with a Softride stem and had their beam rear suspension. The stem worked great but the beam was terrible off road - it always wanted to catapult me over the handlebars on rough terrain.

    Other than the fact that the company no longer supports anything other than bike racks, the problem with the stem is its length: I don't think they ever made a stem shorter than 90mm and most are much longer than that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    They're here already.

    Those are a great thing, I have a threaded one in my case at work, wish I could find the threadless version, I know I'd put it to use on something. They worked great BITD.

    "Suspend the rider, not the bike".....
    I've never ridden the CNC'd version. But, if they're anywhere near as bad as the cheaper stamped steel version, I'm surprised you'd consent to be in the same room with one- given your complaints about the flexy, indeterminate handling of a Maverick SC32. All the suspension stems I've ridden (Girvin and otherwise) gave me about as much confidence as a stem made out of lasagna noodles... are the CNC'd versions really that much better?

  8. #8
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    Replying to the question about travel, the handlebars move down about 2.5 inches when I push down. If I really hit something hard on a down hill, I'm guessing they compress 3.4 to 4 inches. There is an elastomer "bumper" which looks like a small chapstick inside the spring, I guess as a last resort.

    The primary focus is to remove the pounding that goes into your arms. Here's a close up of the stem on the Mukluk. Also, here's a photo of my Softride collection; their motto was: Suspend the rider and not the bike. The blue Cross hybrid has the old quill-style front stem. The red Rocket TT7 was sold a few years ago.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fat bike suspension stem-dsc09688.jpg  

    Fat bike suspension stem-softrides-2.jpg  


  9. #9
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    Dose anyone still make a soft-stem type item anymore.

  10. #10
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    I had one many moons ago. I still remember the first time I plowed into a curb with it.

  11. #11
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    Did it feel less curbish with the soft-stem

  12. #12
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    i'm going to use this thread at the shop tomorrow to make everyone laugh.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captlink View Post
    Did it feel less curbish with the soft-stem
    When I woke up, I was feeling no curb.

    Had the pre-load a *tad* on the light side...

  14. #14
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    Can one set pre-load for curb.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by axebiker View Post
    When I woke up, I was feeling no curb.

    Had the pre-load a *tad* on the light side...
    One of the reasons why the Hydrolic version is much better, the spring loaded version on the softride just "wedges" into the sidewalk and brings the rear tire upwards..

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captlink View Post
    Can one set pre-load for curb.
    Trial and mainly...error. But yes. Coming from a shock to a Softride...ugly.

  17. #17
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    I saw a fatbike sans wheels and was thinking about building up a 29 wheel set for it and the suspension stem I thought may smooth the ride you know add curb appeal.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captlink View Post
    I saw a fatbike sans wheels and was thinking about building up a 29 wheel set for it and the suspension stem I thought may smooth the ride you know add curb appeal.
    Hey-oooooo!

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