In the last 4 + years that I have lived where I do now I have noticed and felt the roads get worse each month .
I have been wondering if I would have to give up riding a Road Bike altogether or if there was a way to make each ride
not as painful .
First I looked into getting a Full Carbon Bike, but they are not made for comfort they are made for speed .
The one exception ( perhaps one of just a couple ) is the Bike called the Roubaix , New for 2018 released in 2017 was the latest generation of Roubaix with what Specialized calls the Future Shock, a little shock built into the stem/steerer tube of the fork.
Good, ... but I already have a nice Aluminium Specialized Road Bike . The Price difference between what I could sell my Bike for and a new Roubaix is just not within by Budget/Income Level .
About a year ago I notice a Crowd Funding Campaign by a company raising funds to produce a product they call the Shockstop Stem.
I have been looking at this for nearly a year, but not sure if I should buy one , or put that money into another bike with a suspension fork up front , and regulate the Road Bike for very short and low speed trips and/or just use it on the trainer.
Well the roads have gotten so bad around where I live that I had to do something, finally after a year of looking at it on the internet I decided to buy one.
I built my Aluminium Road Bike with it's Carbon Fork, up as a Flat Bar bike because it is more economical to do it that way. the side benefit of that is a slightly more comfortable riding position.
So because of it being a flat bar and wanting even more of a comfortable ride I bought the 30 degree rise 100 mm long Shockstop stem.
Before installing it on the bike I went on a 2 mile ride where there are allot of cracks in the road, they are small enough to not allow a suspension fork to travel past its stiction zone. so all the vibration is sent right through the tires/fork/stem/handlebars/arms right up into a riders neck vertebrae. So with the Rigid Carbon fork on the Road Bike it is the same or worse .
Then I installed the Shockstem Stem and went on the same section of road less than an hour after the first ride.
The first thing I noticed is a little play in the stem before the little rubber elastomer starts to compress. ( Redshift Sports says to use just one elastomer in the 30 degree rise stem ) .
But I quickly became accustomed to it , in fact in that short ride I actually like it because it helped a little with those cracks that are small enough to not let any suspension go into its travel, even this new Shockstop Stem.
It does take larger bumps to engage the elastomer enough to have it compress to give the stem it's " suspension ".
What I noticed within just a couple of miles was that this stem was not giving me suspension like a smooth high end suspension fork, rather it was allowing less shock up through my arms into the Neck.
What was very noticeable was that now the carbon seatpost with elastomer in it that I have on the bike was ... Now , the center of my attention.
So who is going to want or need this Shockstop Stem ?
Anyone who rides on rough roads / Gravel Riding , etc. is going to want to buy one .
Anyone who is reaching the age where riding a rigid fork bike is not comfortable and/or where a ride is negatively affecting their Neck Vertebrae / Disc's / Nerve's ... is going to Need to buy One.
This stem is going to be on any Rigid Fork bike I ever have in the Future .