Admittedly, having the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in the US for the first time going all the way back to the 1950’s is a big deal. There was just an article about it in the Wall Street Journal for crying out loud. To celebrate, Vanilla Workshop is putting out a limited edition Integrated stem that commemorates the occasion in a distinctly Vanilla way.
Just how do you create a stem that goes for $550? Read on to find out.
Vanilla starts with their Speedvagen Integrated stem – a carbon stem that features a built in routing for cantilever brakes that eliminates the need for a brake cable hanger. The stem itself has a carbon body with a cold forged alloy face plate that is secured with titanium bolts. A stainless steel internal routing for the brake cable is molded into the stem with a gradual radius so that the housing enters through the front of the stem and the brake cable pops out of the bottom.
The stem tips the scales at 133g and considering you are eliminating the cable hanger and a good chunk of housing, there is another 50 some odd grams lost as well. Stems are offered in 90, 100, 110, and 120mm lengths with a 6° rise, 1 1/8 steerer clamp, and 31.8 bar clamp. Because there is no need for the brake hanger, the Integrated stem offers the lowest possible stack height for cross bikes without a fork mounted brake hanger and reportedly cuts down on brake chatter with less cable friction.
If you’re wondering what part of the process allows a stem to fetch a $550 price tag (some are already sold), it’s not the stem. Well, partially not the stem. You can pick up a standard issue Speedvagen Integrated stem for a comparative value of only $350. So what does that other $200 get you?
For starters, you’ll be one of only 13 people lucky enough (wealthy enough?) to have this custom stem gracing your bike. Vanilla enlisted the help of Coat Paint Shop to create a custom Louisville 2013 edition in the Vanilla “stars” and stripes pain scheme.
While supplies last, buyers will have the option of either a black or white paint job with each featuring the same limited Louisville graphics. Stems are pre-order only, limited to 13 pieces as mentioned (2013, get it?) with each piece signed and numbered. Orders are due in by February 17 and expect to ship out on March 18th.