Bike fit can be a bit of a fluid arrangement, with fit requirements often changing from year to year based on growth (or shrinking for some), changes in flexibility, injury and the like.
For some, finding the right stem can mean quite a few trips to the bike shop and a pretty penny spent on components. However, Morgan Nicol, the man behind Oval Concepts (now owned by Fuji), thinks he may have the solution and is seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter for his Aero Design Swiss Adjustable Stem.
The basic premise behind the stem is to let riders make minor tweaks on their bike to optimise aero body position while also maintaining a comfortable position where you can breathe and create power.
Although the idea behind the design may initially sound a bit half cooked, it is worth noting that Nicol has 35 years experience in the bike industry and has worked with athletes and teams such as Mario Cipollini, Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans to solve fit and aerodynamic challenges.
The stem offers 50mm to 150mm in length Colin Levitch / Immediate Media
The one size fits all stem offers an adjustable length of 50mm to 150mm using interlocking injection moulded 3M Glass Bubbles.
According to Aero Design Swiss, they are light weight, high strength, low density, low shrinkage, hollow glass microspheres made from soda lime borosilicate glass.
Aero Design Swiss goes on to say the 3M glass bubbles are engineered to withstand the temperatures and pressures of injection moulding to securely hold your handlebars and prevent slippage.
Measuring 255mm in total length, the stem sees a -17-degree angle and pancake-flat design so it sits completely horizontal on a bike with a traditional 73-degree head angle to minimise air resistance. The body of the stem is made from carbon and is claimed to weigh 149g.
The interchangeable interlocking 3M glass bubbles allow standard road bars to be moved back and forth Colin Levitch / Immediate Media
At the front, the nosepiece is removable and the Aero Design Swiss is teasing the possibility of interchangeable nosepieces with integrated headlights, a powermeter attachment and a rubber nosepiece to make group riding and racing with the stem safer.
Aero Design Swiss also says it’s working on a smartphone attachment for the stem, aero bar extension and arm rest mounts with fore/aft adjustability and are in the process of securing UCI approval for the component.
Aero Design Swiss says the nose is removable and it plans to offer upgradable nosepieces Colin Levitch / Immediate Media
The stem is compatible with handlebars with the standard 31.8mm round clamping area and will work on steerer tubes with a 1 1/8in diameter. Aero Design Swiss says it also has aero time trial, road, and adventure forks in the works as well as two handlebars and a frame too.
Live now on Kickstarter, Aero Design Swiss is looking to raise CHF30,000 (approx £23,487 / $31,030 / AU$38679). To find out more or to get in on an early bird deal check out Aero Design Swiss’ campaign page.