Way back in the early 90s, before real suspension was invented, Girvin came up with the innovative Flexstem. Designed to soak up a bit of trail buzz, which would otherwise be transmitted to the rider’s upper body, the Flexstem was little more than a normal stem with a hinge and an elastomer. Some riders complained that when using a Flexstem, the constant rotational motion of the handlebar would irritate their wrists. Nonetheless, the Flexstem plugged a gap for a few years until real, fork suspension arrived on the scene, and was then forgotten by nearly everybody.
The StaFast suspension stem
Now fast-forward to Fall 2014, when sta-fast announce they have developed an innovative suspension stem for bicycles, retailing at the hefty price of $350 United States Dollars.
Although unlikely to pose a threat to fork-based suspension on mountain bikes, one might expect the StaFast to find its niche in the touring and commuter bike scenes, where rigid forks are the norm.
The good old Girvin Flexstem
Little more than a hinge and a bit of rubber added to a quill stem, yet a huge innovation in its time.