TranzX Revives the Suspension Stem with new AntiShock Technology

trans X anti Shock

There was a time that it was thought that suspension stem would revolutionize the bike industry. Predating most suspension forks, various linkage and parallelogram equipped stems from companies like Girvin and SoftRide graced the front end of rigid mountain bikes. As the elastomers dried up, so did the suspension stem’s popularity. TranzX is revisiting the suspension stem concept, but with a much different approach. Instead of trying to provide actual suspension, TranzX is just looking to take out the road vibration with a hinged stem that offers +1, and -2° of vertical movement to absorb vibrations. As far as we can tell, the Antishock technology simply relies on a mechanical hinge with the upper and lower steerer clamp bolts built into separate pieces of the stem. A hinge pin then connects the two, with what we’re assuming is some type of vibration absorbing material in between. In spite of the additional feature, the stem will still weigh in at around 200g for a 100mm.

The 6061-T6 aluminum stems will be offered in 80/90/100/110/120 mm lengths in April 2014 through their OEM clients with a suggested retail of € 99.00 (~$135).

Comments

Mattbyke - 12/05/13 - 4:13pm

There’s a good reason this idea went the way of the dinosaures

Slow Joe Crow - 12/05/13 - 4:43pm

I rode a bike with a Girvin flex stem once. The handling was so disconcerting that I immediately decided to spend the extra money on a bike with a cheap RockShox fork instead. There is a reason why flexy stems and seatposts fell out of favor. I think full CF or carbon wrapped stems are a better way to deal with road vibration.

Quickie - 12/05/13 - 5:18pm

I’m too stupid to figure out how it works based on the picture, but I like the idea. I would be a little hesitant to use it on a mountain bike where precise steering is at a premium, but for where I live (flat) it would work well on the road bike. That said, I also think the Ergon seatpost looks comfortable…..and at this moment I realize I am Fred.

Must fight urge to purchase a Leopard-Trek jersey on clearance at the local Trek dealership

Tim - 12/05/13 - 6:12pm

I don’t know how much a typical high-end road stem weighs, but I am guessing it’s around 50g lighter than this at least. That said, the concept doesn’t seem as bad as that of the Girvin stem of yester-yester decade. Slow Joe Crow remembers how those things made your bars tilt forward significantly whenever you hit bumps. But this thing only budges and is unlikely to have the same effect. Is it worth 50 or so grams? It depends on who you are.

Steve M - 12/05/13 - 6:46pm

Last time I checked steering was accomplished by turning the bars- not by a slight amount of vertical compliance. This stem looks like a really good idea if it takes the sting out of the stuff that suspension forks have a hard time with- little chatter bumps. If it works in practice you can sign me up.

Ventruck - 12/05/13 - 7:36pm

Bar with enough vertical displacement is going to make handling feel horrible – especially at extremes past your preferred height. Transx likely considered that and spec’d the range accordingly to not make that an issue though. I just don’t think it’s so compelling of a measure past good tires, pressure, gloves, bar tape/grips – hell even the carbon bar some get desperate to buy in hopes of minimizing vibration.

Sevo - 12/05/13 - 8:01pm

Funny how the trolls poo poo a really fantastic idea. Especially like the comment “there is a reason this idea went the way of the dinosaurs”.

Ha. Yeah mattbyke. Why don’t you provide a little more detail? Oh don’t have such? Yes my child, that’s because you don’t your history.

Suspension stems are a beautiful thing. In fact, the Softride version is still a hell of a devil and actually works very very well. Multiple national and world championships were won on this stem, and Tom Ritchey used eon for a long time after they were made. Good chunk of the mountain bike races in the Midwest at that time of the Softride stem we’re won on a soft ride.

The idea is solid. Just many read too many forums and have Mountain Bike Action subscriptions for far too long. You’ll be seeing more of these in the years to come.

patrik - 12/05/13 - 8:18pm

Too heavy. Sorry. Next.

eric - 12/05/13 - 9:50pm

Sevo-

It doesn’t matter who used them or to what success. The fact is they aren’t used anymore because they are an inefficient way to increase comfort while doing very little (if anything) to increase performance.

That said I’m with Steve on this one. If it works I’d give it a shot.

Devin - 12/05/13 - 11:23pm

Interesting- I had a conversation about Softride bikes and stems just this morning. We were laughing about how terrifying it was to hit a bump going downhill and have your handlebar dive underneath you. Awesome road bikes, terrifying mountain bikes.

Thankfully, this is absolutely nothing like the Softride stems and looks to have real merit. That said, if you can fit 25 or even 28mm tires on your road bike you’ll have this thing beat by a mile AND get better traction.

Ajax - 12/05/13 - 11:53pm

This sounds, in concept, like a good idea. It wouldn’t have as much suspension as the old Girvin designs. Still, I think they need a video to convey how this works. I could be sold on the idea if I could see how it works and pictures only don’t give the complete message.

gringo - 12/06/13 - 2:36am

this is very interesting and should not be auto-relegated to the back of the line along with an old Girvin.

_if slow joe crow really believes a carbon WRAPPED stem damps vibration better than a non wrapped stem, then the marketing department has done their job well.

NASH - 12/06/13 - 6:11am

Carbon wrapped stems do work although I prefer to use carbon headset spacers to absorb road vibration.

Argh - 12/06/13 - 7:24am

@NASH they do not absorb big vibrations

uglyyeti - 12/06/13 - 8:00am

I had a Girvin flexstem, and one of the several challenges (and one that the parallelogram Softride stem didn’t have) was that the handlebars rotated with the suspension. With the single pivot design, a few degrees at the steerer tube will translate to a fair amount of travel at the hoods. On a mtb, shifters and brake levers rotating wasn’t a huge deal but rotating bar ends were impossible – the same thing will happen to some degree riding on the hoods with this stem.

Mattbyke - 12/06/13 - 8:41am

Sevo.
I’ve had a Girvin and a soft ride. I’m of the vintage to have bought them new. I’ve been racing and riding since then and now. I try to have an informed opinion . At the very least the concept helped push sus. Fork development . I’ve also had every type of sus seat post . There’s a reason or two they fell out of favor too.

Steve M - 12/06/13 - 9:30am

Total ‘travel’ on this is about .2″. The Girvin certainly had inches.

Slow Joe Crow - 12/06/13 - 12:40pm

@Gringo, my views on carbon wrap’s vibration damping effects are based on a Kevin Cameron column about using carbon wrap to dampen resonances on industrial robot arms and MotoGP frames, plus several years of riding an OEM carbon wrapped seatpost. Marketing had nothing to do with it.
I also understand that this is not a Flex Stem or Softride, but any time you add a pivot point and an elastomer there will be some additional movement which will likely get worse as the pivot pin wears. I would also be concerned about the potential for the steerer tube clamp to produce stress risers in carbon fiber steerer tubes.

Psi Squared - 12/06/13 - 8:05pm

There’s physics to back up the idea that CF wrapped metal bits transmit smaller amplitude vibrations than the same metal bits bare. At the metal boundary a not insignificant amount of energy is not transmitted into the CF as the result of vibes being reflected at the interface. Add to that the fact that CF will tend to transmit fewer vibes as the result of its pattern of boundaries and harmonics of the CF matte, and you end up with a structure that will tend to transmit lower amplitude vibes over a smaller or different frequency range.

Funny guy - 12/06/13 - 11:36pm

Just a thought, what happens when this hinge eats it’s way into the carbon fork steerer… Then we will see some Hincapie-eske bike handling….

Marvin8 - 02/21/14 - 9:18pm

Still have my trusty Jamis Coda hybrid city bike with a Girvin on it that I absolutely LOVE. Have taken it on 40 mile road rides at a decent pace with no problems whatsoever….UNLESS I hit a sizeable bump. Having the bars dive down is indeed disconcerting and a bit dangerous, but then again, I have the mushiest green bumper instead of the firmer red one. Would I ever use a Girvin on a mountain bike? HECK NO….way too dangerous. As for this TransX, I’d buy it in a heartbeat if it wasn’t so outrageously expensive. $135 for a road stem is craziness.

Raul - 03/08/14 - 6:03am

Your article is about the brand TransX.
On the device pictures I read TranzX.
Isn’t this a bit amateuristic?
OK, dyslectism is allaround but nobody noticed?

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