Fit your existing MTN bike in smaller spaces.
September 13th 2018
At the Toronto Bike Show, we discovered a new type of folding stem that fit only 1″ handlebars, like on the CHANGE 702 commuter bike. It’s been popular, and we looked forward to being the first store carrying the upcoming folding stem for 1.25″ handlebars.
And yet, we encouraged the designer not to bring this to market too quickly.
So certify it first with some destruction testing. And I personally have been riding one for a couple of months, over speed bumps and off curbs.
Now it’s finally ready for prime time.
Why fold your stem?
But first, why introduce folding parts to a perfectly good mountain bike? And if you’ve already got a CHANGE 809 or 812 folding mountain bike… your whole bike folds in half. Who cares about the stem?
As you can see from clicking the image below, a folding stem narrows the footprint of any bike. Combined with pop-off pedals, you can now fit your bike against the wall of an office, in a hallway, in a rack that’s already full… or simply slide it into your Subaru without those bars and pedals grabbing the carpet and shredding it.
Same thing if your bike already folds. Sometimes you don’t want to pop off the front wheel. Just flatten your bike instantly and go into a store, knowing your bike isn’t taking up the whole sidewalk.
Is it rugged?
The Revelo THINstem turns only when you want it to. Two connected cams on one lever (shown in the right-side view below) keep your bars firmly locked in place. Even if that somehow comes undone, a secondary fail-safe system puts a tongue in a groove so your bars physically cannot swivel on their own.
To turn your bars, undo the latch and pull up. The tongue slips up out of the groove, and the bars can turn 90 degrees in either direction.
What about comfort?
The most noticeable difference with a Revelo THINstem is that it raises the bars about one inch. If that’s a problem, the THINstem may not be for you.
If bars an inch higher are OK, or even a positive step, then a THINstem may be a good option for you. It comes in two lengths, 70mm and 90mm, replacing standard manufacturer stems that are either 70mm or 80mm, giving you more control over how much you lean forward.
At some point, we’ll probably have a “flatten your bike” kit of stem and pedals. For now, you’ve got all you need to make this happen on your own.
Bob Forgrave is president of Flatbike, an
ecommerce company offering full-size folding bikes
and kits to make any bike take up half the space.