Arguably one of the most innovative bicycle parts of the last decade or more is the patented Elementary stem. Winner of the Design Distinction award in ID magazine’s 2005 Annual design review, it is the first known BMX bike part to win accolades in the design community. Two years of prototyping, revision and continuous ride testing. The result is a design with superior clamping power at half the weight of an ordinary stem. One bolt simultaneously expands four wedge components to clamp the handlebar and fork steerer tube in place. Five years since its introduction, brings you the Elementary v3. The v3 includes helicoiled threads, a tongue and groove wedge system, and milled out body. These features make installation easier while increasing torsional rigidity and reducing weight. The Elementary is available without Gyro® tabs, although a rear wedge with Gyro® tabs is available from Odyssey. It is the only stem that has a right handed or left hand set up. The bolt has a standard right handed thread, but the head can be positioned on either side of the stem, depending on your preferred tightening hand. The single bolt is 8 mm Allen bolt and every Elementary since day one has had one 8 mm Allen wrench is included. The v3 as a 50 mm reach and fits on any 1 1/8 fork. At 8 ounces it is one on the lightest BMX stems available. The only stems that come close use holes all over, titanium or hollow bolts, and make huge sacrifices in strength for weight savings.
A Handlebar stem, sometimes referred to as a neck, is a clamping device that holds a handlebar in perpendicular arrangement to a fork. These three pieces, working together with a headset attached to a bicycle frame, are your steering system. The stem can either be Quilled or shafted or Threadless. Threadless stems are one of the most important cycling innovations to effect BMX. There is no respectable bike made in the last decade that doesn’t use a threadless stem. The typical threadless stem is an aluminium unit that holds the bars with almost infinite adjustment front to back and side to side. While the side to side is usually adjusted to parallel to the front wheel and frame, the front to back is arguably the most important adjustment on any bicycle. It is where you hold onto the bike, and is entirely personal.
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