Do 0mm stems have a place on road bikes?

Analog Cycles thinks your stem is (possibly) too long

“Long stems are going the way of the Dodo” claims Maryland's Analog Cycles, with the release of its handmade 0 and 30mm w(Right) stem for road, adventure and touring bikes.

Why make such a short stem for the road?

40, 50mm and shorter stems have become the norm on mountain bikes in recent years, and with good reason: a shorter stem (when paired with a longer reach) makes for far more confident handling, particularly on steep terrain.

On the road, the advantages aren’t totally dissimilar: a short stem mellows-out your fit without making a bike feel sluggish. If a bike is designed specifically around a shorter stem, it also allows you to lengthen your front-centre, which is useful if you need to improve clearance for mudguards or wide tyres.

The w(Right) stem is Analog Cycles’ take on a super short stem of old (the name of the stem is a play on the Wright brothers, whose designs inspired the stem).

The aesthetic of a 0mm stem is... unique?
The aesthetic of a 0mm stem is... unique?

The fillet brazed chromoly stem is available with a 30 or 0mm offset and either 26.0 or 31.8mm diameter clamp. It is handmade in LA (by the same guy who makes Crust Bikes’ equally leftfield stems) and is available in either a raw or clear coated finish.

The listing for the stem on the Analog site goes into much more detail and I highly recommend you read through it if you’re keen to learn more.  

Who is this stem for?

The stem is a great, albeit a relatively expensive way to experiment with the change in handling that a short stem provides. The stem also opens up doors for those with very short torsos that may struggle to get a touring/pootling-friendly upright position using a conventional stem.

The w(Right) stem will of course primarily only be of interest to those with touring/adventure bikes, but the concepts could just as easily be applied to go-fast bikes.

Note that the stem is only available as a quill stem for now, so unless you fancy cutting threads into the steerer of your fork you’ll have a hard time fitting this to a modern road bike. A threadless stem is in the works.

w(Right) specs and pricing

The w(Right) stem comes in at $140 or $185 depending on the finish and pre-orders are open now, with delivery expected some time in April.

While this is obviously a fairly extreme example, I'm excited to see more people experimenting with road bike geometry and hope that 2018 brings much more of this sort of stuff.

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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