OK, enough hammer, back on the horse:
Tree Bike Co are the legendary little guys of bmx. They only make new shit when it's better than the old shit, they don't advertise much so just rely on the quality of their stuff to sell itself, they don't do gimmicks, and they should be the heros of anyone that rides bmx and has ever laid hands on any lathe or some kind of rudimentary milling set up.
Their most recent bit of machinemanship is to be a stem they've done with the help of Super Rat Machine Works. At the risk of waving a red flag to the nothing-is-new-that-was-done-in-84 crowd, I'm saying that this stem features a new clamping system.
I can't tell you exactly how it works, but I can try to tell you exactly how I think it works. Will that do? I'd say the collar that goes around your fork steerer is slightly larger than the cavity that it sits in, so as the top and bottom pieces of the stem are tightened, the collar finds space by contracting in on itself and clamps your steerer in the process. Of course your bars are also clamped by the two bits of the stem body.
That was a shit description, but it's all I've got. Hopefully you get what I'm talking about, and hopefully what I'm talking about is what actually happens. Do you ever feel like you're wasting your time reading this? You could always go back and watch that MC Hammer clip in my last post.
Anyway, here's some pictures of the Stem With No Name and some captions from Sam Tree himself:
One stem. Three pieces. Four bolts. High Five!
He had some other captions for here, but the first one was better
I once had a hand in designing a stem.
It was shit.
Well... I didn't actually design one, I just made an almost entirely unresolved sketch. And although it may well have turned out to be shit if it was ever made, the shittiness that I'm refering to is that it attempts to solve a problem that I don't really even think really is a problem. You see, I had a friend who had an idea to design a stem that slotted onto your steerer so that your bars were all nice and straight. Of course people have been putting handlebars onto bikes for years and you don't often hear someone complaining that they just can't get their bars straight, but working on the principal that my hunches are very often wrong and just being generally keen to draw some bike stuff, I had a go and came up with this:
It's based around Superstar's Neutral fork which has an internally fluted steerer tube, but is probably too complicate to bother even trying to manufacture, especially when you consider that even 0.1mm slop in any of the fits would probably be amplified to a really noticeable amount of movement in the bars. My friend didn't like it and so together we came up with this:
That one might have been a little more realistic, and could have been done by machining a really slight groove down the sides of the steerer rather than the fluting that I sketched. But really you're probably just complicating things without really adding much other than the possibility that due to some slight error in jig set up or whatever, you'd end up making bars that locked on crooked to the steerer. That said one of the advantages of this idea is that the stem could come with two sets of wedges - with or without tabs - so it would also work without the slotted fork.
Anyway, whay am I posting all this? Well, apart from trying to make things a little more interesting, I'd been thinking that the Shola stem which was around at InterBike might be trying for something similar with what looks like little grub screws on the clamping collar:
And while we're talking stems, I may as well try to make up for some recent slackness by posting up the current incarnation of T1's Cyclops stem that was also around at InterBike. But that's it, I'm all outta stem news: