The Redshift Shockstop stem is a suspension stem designed in the USA and over the years has gained a lot of very positive reviews.
With the exception of adding a suspension fork to your bike, this is about as good an upgrade as you can make to improve the front-end comfort of your bike. Especially for its somewhat reasonable price (US $170 on Amazon).
One of the only comparable solutions is the Specialized FutureShock. But it comes with the Specialized Diverge gravel bike, so you will either need to get a whole new bike…
Or you could simply fit the Redshift ShockStop stem to your current bike.
Redshift’s suspension stem uses elastomers that allow up to 20mm/0.8″ of handlebar deflection. The softer the elastomer combination, the more flex you will get.
Redshift suggests different combinations depending on rider weight and type of the handlebar but I strongly recommend experimenting a bit to find the best solution for you. I preferred the softest combination designed for a drop bar, as it gave me noticeable flex in all situations.
Ride Impressions of the Redshift ShockStop Stem
Before using the Redshift ShockStop, I always thought that keeping my arms loose and putting more weight on the back of the bike was the best way to mitigate the impact of vibrations on gravel roads. And of course, loosening your arms and hands still helps.
But the Redshift ShockStop basically takes care of all front vibrations for you, so you can enjoy gravel roads for a longer period of time.
Keep in mind the best results are felt when riding in the hoods or drops. This stem is not as effective on the bar tops because you have less leverage over the elastomers.
Vibration Test Results
You can see my vibration measurement procedure & outdoor test courses HERE.
For this test, my Jamis Renegade benchmark bike was set up with 700C x 43mm Panaracer Gravelking SK tires using both a rigid FSA stem and a Redshift ShockStop stem. These stems have an identical length of 90mm and a 6-degree rise.
We can see that the suspension stem is able to absorb 23,3% more vibration on the bumpy forest trail at 40 psi. And it was 30,3% more comfortable when I lowered the tire pressure to 20 psi. These are huge comfort improvements!
If you’re wondering why the lower tire pressure yielded more comfort, it’s simply because the tire at a lower pressure can absorb lots more vibration. In fact, the stem is likely working slightly less effectively due to its higher spring rate.
But even without the tire doing a lot of work (40 psi), the stem is working incredibly well.
The vibration damping is a touch lower on the fast gravel road, but it’s still well over a 20% improvement compared to a rigid stem. That is pretty incredible.
The Redshift ShockStop stem works wonders and makes your ride both more comfortable and enjoyable. That’s based on my subjective experience and my objective vibrations measurements.
If you want to maximise your front-end comfort, this stem is one of the best comfort upgrades you can make. I will certainly be installing this suspension stem on my benchmark bike for all future tests.
You can support the CyclingAbout Comfort Lab by purchasing a Redshift ShockStop stem on Amazon. Simply click HERE to make your purchase, and a small commission will come our way.