Zero length stems

Remember these?

Well not only is Gee Atherton on 650 wheels right now (snore), but he and Rach are also on custom fork crowns and super short stems.

  1. I don’t know if Mark Beaumont is on running the same CNC atrocity as well.
  2. I don’t know if the fork crowns are custom, but they are raw aluminum w/o anodizing, and it would make sense. Different offset is likely, probably to balance the variance in trail length for 650 wheels and also to counterbalance the shittiness of the short stem.
  3. I don’t know any of this officially, but it’s easy to spot in videos and photos. I’m guesstimating here, but I also think I’m a pretty good guesstimator.
  4. I have no idea why they thought this was a good idea. Hey Gee, remember the part midseason last year where you went from totally dominant to 2nd or 3rd place at every race, and Steve Smith beat you all the time? That probably had more to do with training and mental toughness, and less to do with your bike not having some ill-conceived “cutting edge” widowmaker bolted to the front of it. You know how every bike you’ve ever had for the last 13 years has had a 45-55mm stem on the front of that, and how comfortable you are on that setup? Yeah, THAT’S probably what you want to change for next year, not more or less pushups or mangos vs. kale in your protein smoothies. Also, just remember that you’re running Conti tires. I would recommend solving that problem before going down the rabbit hole of Cesar Rojo’s short stem conspiracy theories.
And I’m not saying he crashed and hurt his knee because of the stem. That’s stupid, and nothing in life is ever monocausal. But he probably didn’t not crash because of not that stem. Just saying.

And about that video: HOW GNARLY ARE THOSE CONDITIONS. That track was a straight up death challenge course, just look at the slide at 3:37 to see how deadly it was. Homie on the Orange went into that corner knowing he was going to slide and then opened the throttle anyway. Savage. If I was at that race I would have spent half of practice sitting on my bike outside the tape crying to myself and watching the real men ride. Brits are way gnarlier than us, and the guy who’s getting 37th at a BDS race would be getting 3rd at our national champs. You have to scroll down to 12th place in the results sheet before you get to someone who isn’t a regular in the World Cup top 20, and that’s not including Gee who didn’t race. And they invented punk rock.

9 thoughts on “Zero length stems

  1. +1… how can people not understand; mega slack head angle+zero stem=NO WEIGHT ON THE FRONT TIRE?

    I'd think with slacker HA and longer wheelbases we'd start to see longer stems. Not sorter, definitely not zero. yuck.

  2. Continental DH tires are actually really good, especially the Kaiser Projekt. You should try them.

  3. I'd guess they are trying to account for the longer front end due to the 27.5 wheels, wanting to keep their reach the same as last year. Might be over-thinking it, and under-feeling it. A fit algorithm probably told them this was a good idea, but fit isn't all math; as you noted, all their previous bikes had roughly the same stem type. They should probably just invest more time into getting used to the bike. Unless they can't, because the design doesn't work. Ruh roh.

  4. I just read the Pinkbike enduro sash article and felt like vomiting. They all should be murdered by Robots, I finally get it.

    Why do you need weight on the front wheel on a real DH track? Turn with your head and body, hang on with the hands. If you are reaching out with your arms and and trying to 'torque' your bars with your long stem, you might be better off racing shorttrack.

    The lines between Rampage and World Cup DH racing are getting blurred.

  5. Why do you need weight on the front wheel on a real DH track?

    I don't know- maybe so the tire has grip? do you not understand that traction = coefficient of friction x normal force?

    more weight on tire (normal force)= more traction. You NEED weight on the tires (yes both of them) to turn.

  6. I don't know what to think anymore when it comes to handlebar setup. Completely lost. Could TeamRobot please provide a guide for the thoroughly confused DH racer?

  7. It should also be noted that Steve Peat at 7:00 was pinned in full control on those rocks, despite Adam Brayton going down two shots prior. We Americans are terrible at downhill because our courses are too easy.

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