SoftRide Suspension Stem Stem

3.56/5 (55 Reviews)
MSRP : $249.00


Product Description

Softride Suspension Stem


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Reviews 1 - 15 (55 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dan cuaron a Weekend Warrior from abq

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2008

Strengths:    a 29ers rigid fork companion works great with rigid fork. absorbs that nasty jolt you get from off roading. arms wrist hands feel great after 4 hour rides . with carbon fork weight is super sweet around 2 pounds .

Weaknesses:    have to spend a lot more for stem than a regular stem. have to run flat bar . 25.4 diameter. lenght may be an issue only ones i seen are 130 and 150 mm long

Bottom Line:   
rebirth for rigid 29ers you can have precision handling plushness & lightweight.great for xc technical riding. not intended for hucking or extreme downhilling. this is great for long rides. fatigue is greatly reduced. you have to shop for bargain. there are 4 models from softride from steel to lightweight aluminum. make sure you ck size of diameter they come in 2 sizes. riders that want to have comfort and still enjoy rigid fork precision will enjoy this product. i must mention that there no feeling of instability of bike with suspension stem . again this was a 29er review. happy trails.

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Favorite Trail:   gallup nm

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $65.00

Purchased At:   swap meet

Similar Products Used:   girven flex stem

Bike Setup:   raleigh xxix+g. had 2 rigid forks with bontrager carbon and salsa moto grande. 2 suspension forks reba & marathon sl. crossmax c 29 with x_9 sram ,stylo team cranks bb7's brakes

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Joseph Seckelman a Weekend Warrior from San Diego, California, USA

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2007

Strengths:    I have used it for 14 years and loved it until today.

Weaknesses:    Metal fatigue at the stem, after 14 years of use caused it go give way while I was going down hill and I ended up with holding my handle bars with no connection to the bike! Needless to say I crashed. It is a great product but would recommend changing it more frequently than I did.

Bottom Line:   
Good but watch it, the metal fatigue could kill you.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   Adams Avenue Bike

Bike Setup:   Specialized Epic Pro carbon fiber bike with Shimano Dura Ace gear throughout

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tom from Portland, ME

Date Reviewed: May 4, 2007

Strengths:    Small to medium bumps are totally eaten up.

Weaknesses:    Small amount of side to side play.

Bottom Line:   
Fabulous for commuting and touring. Mated with big, low pressure tires and a good saddle and you'll be smiling:) Really takes edge off. But if getting air time is what you like, get a fork. Sudden drop offs can be really disconcerting. Air = Weightless = "Oh Nuts!"

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Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $130.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   Forks of many types. Name it, I've probably tried and/or owned it.


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scott a Cross Country Rider from Mesa, AZ

Date Reviewed: January 16, 2007

Strengths:    Light weight compared to a fork.
Works well on the small stuff.


Weaknesses:    flexs side to side.
Doesnt do any good on rough down hills.


Bottom Line:   
Works very well on the smaller rough stuff. Great for cross country stuff. Light weight. I used to ride a full suspention bike. I rode a single speed and decided to build one. I used a softride stem on it and I love it. I havnt riden another bike since.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Bike Setup:   Bridgestone MB1 (converted to a single speed), a-class wheels, XTR crank, Avid brakes

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Erin a Cross Country Rider from Tacoma

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2006

Strengths:    Tar and gravel roads -> silky

Weaknesses:    There is a slight bit of wobble when really rocking the handle bars. Just learn to ride quiet.

Bottom Line:   
This product is for people who want to ride hard on sketchy paved roads. Frost Heaves, tar/gravel, roots and concrete slabs are all smoothed by this product. Softride stem > super fluffy low presure tires.

It's starting to show it's age after 9 years and two multi month fully loaded tours.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $125.00

Bike Setup:   Old C-dale T series

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jeff Bogardus a Cross Country Rider from Kenosha, WI, USA

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2005

Strengths:    GREAT for commuting!!!!

Weaknesses:    If using it for MTBing - spend the money and buy a sus fork...

Bottom Line:   
This is a commuter's dream. I commuted more than 3,000 miles in 2004 and this stem takes the edge off at 5:00 a.m. - especially during the winter-to-spring transition when hitting the hidden potholes on the city streets. I'm 270+ lbs. and this stem is great for taking the bite out of a rigid fork set-up at minimal cost. Also great for relief while physically rehabilitating from rugby weekends during the summer. To be honest, this stem would never be found on my MTB (Gary Fisher Marlin that has definitely been "Clydesdale-upgraded") but could potentially be added to my Specialized Sequoia road bike (which has also definitely been upgraded) in times of need.

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Favorite Trail:   Milw Cty Oak Leaf - it gets me to work

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Bike #3: Rehabilitated, Police-Auction-Special, Cannondale F400 CAAD1 Alum frame w/DuoTrac sus fork (weak), Deore LX 9spd derailleurs, Shimano Exage 500 Cranks w/Salsa 9spd rings (48-38-26), 12-25 cassette, Christmas tree lights & purple fringe (not really but considering it), 27" Velocity "Twin Hollow" wheels, DiaComp center pulls, and, of course, the SoftRide sus Stem.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by STEVE CAIRNS a Cross Country Rider from PERTH SCOTLAND

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2003

Strengths:    GOOD PARALELL FUNCTION, UNLIKE GIRVIN FLEXSTEM. LESS BOB THAN A PAIR OF SUSPENSION FORKS. LIGHT WEIGHT.

Weaknesses:    I HAVE THE YELLOW MORE EXPENSIVE MACHINED MODEL. THE PAINT TENDS TO FLAKE OFF FROM TIME TO TIME. SPARE PARTS MIGHT BE A PROBLEM IF REQUIRED.

Bottom Line:   
AS LONG AS YOU LOOK AFTER IT AND GREASE AND TENSION BOLT REGULARLY YOU SHOULD HAVE NO PROBS.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $140.00

Purchased At:   EDINBURGH BIKE CO-OP

Similar Products Used:   SUS FORKS


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Havens a Cross Country Rider from Minneapolis, MN

Date Reviewed: October 14, 2002

Strengths:    Minimal Maintenence
Super Reilibility
Light Weight


Bottom Line:   
This product works and works well. I have riden it hard for 7 years for 15,000 plus miles. Raced it on a college team for two of those and have taken it for a week in Moab, Utah and down trails at Mt. Hood on a few occasions. It has been taken apart once for cleaning. I have never had to replace the bushings and it still works like it did when I rode with it the first time. As others have stated the stem shines in tight technical and general crosscountry riding. It is not as good for fast down hill decents but, if you are a "capable" rider its strengths far outweight its weaknesses. I have demoed suspension forks that cost $600 plus and would still pick my Soft Ride over them.

The Softride suspension stem should be used by anyone who is looking for relief from suspension maintenence nightmares and all of you weight concious riders out there. Suspension forks are great for their intended purpose, but if you ride tecnical crosscountry, Softride is the way to go.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Bike Setup:   2002 Specialized Stumpjumper M4
150mm Aluminum Softride Stem
Kinesis Max Lite Aluminum fork
Magura Rim Brakes
XT & XTR Parts Mix

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by silly boy a Cross Country Rider from sillytown, silly

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2001

Strengths:    when you talk about the weight compared to a REAL sus fork, you should add the weight of your fork too. Silly. Great suspension for your hands, nothing for the bike.

Weaknesses:    not a real bicycle suspension option

Bottom Line:   
Silly product

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Favorite Trail:   silly singletrack

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by John a Racer from Littleton/Steamboat CO USA

Date Reviewed: May 29, 2001

Strengths:    -less fatigue on hands

Weaknesses:    -doesn't do anything for control
-no real reason for product


Bottom Line:   
Sure this stem may take some fatigue away from your hands just like a suspension seatpost will take some pain away from your arsk. However, these products are like band-aids, they don't fix the problem, they just cover it up. Your bike will not steer any better with this stem. You might feel like you can steer it better because you aren't being bounced around as much but the first and foremost idea of any suspension is to KEEP THE WHEELS ON THE GROUND, this does nothing for that. Anyone how says that this stem is going to "feel" or work better than any suspension fork is not thinking this through. I will give you that it may help when riding at extremly slow speeds, but at the price of over 100 bucks why not just get a lower end suspension fork. At least it will help keep the wheels on the ground and your steering will improve. Now I realize that many of you may be very attatched to your old rigids but take some advice from me and go out and get a new bike. There have been leaps and bounds made in mountain biking since that last serious rigid bikes where made. (yes, some crazy's still make rigid bike that cost a ton and are very well done) Just go out and demo any Hardtail or FS XC bike, you'll be blown away.

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Favorite Trail:   any singletrack

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   none like it

Bike Setup:   Bridgetone MB-1 (rigid) XT/LX. Friends bike (bike tested). My bike is a Homegrown Pro

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jimg a Cross Country Rider from san francisco, ca, usa

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2000

Strengths:    usual stuff: light weight, doesn't affect frame geometry, low maintenance...

Weaknesses:    starts to lose it at higher speeds and on technical downhills

Bottom Line:   
Softride stems are awesome for slower technical riding, but not as good as speeds increase (perhaps the add-on damping unit helps, though I've never tried that). I used to live in PA and did slow technical singletrack riding, for which the stem shined. Moved out to CA, and now ride BIGGER stuff, which includes long fast downhills, both fire roads and singletrack. The Softride isn't as good here--I can literally feel the bike stop underneath me whenever I hit a downhill bump, and often the stem starts bouncing around, making the h-bars hard to hang onto. Much better than riding rigid, however! As others have said, the stem isolates your upper body from front-wheel jolts, but those are still transferred through the frame & seatpost to your butt, which is why I added a suspension seatpost, to much improvement. I started riding on the first-version, black welded-aluminum model, which I purchased used for $125 from rec.bikes, and then upgraded for $100 through Softride when the pivots wore out--they let me trade in that model for a newer 1995 version, which has the extruded girder-style top linkage. Apparently their customer service used to be better than other reviews would now indicate. I have another bike with an old Manitou M3 fork on it, and it's much better suited for the style of riding I now do. Softride stem is good, but for a select type/style of riding. For more details see my Softride page at http://www.slackers.net/~skoop/Bike/stem.html I'm going to put a supension fork on my C'dale now.

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Favorite Trail:   skeggs

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $225.00

Similar Products Used:   nothing like it

Bike Setup:   1994 Cannondale 3.0 Series frameset (think M700) built with a mix of LX, DX, Deore, Gripshift...also a Thudbuster Quadrapivot seatpost.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by HTY a Weekend Warrior from Palo Alto, CA USA

Date Reviewed: June 15, 2000

Strengths:    Doesn't screw with the Geometry.
Unique Looks (Frankenstem)
Relative Light Weight.
Cost, $100 for Cro-mo version


Weaknesses:    Limited lengths going smaller.
Not for the extreme stuff!


Bottom Line:   
I've had this Aluminum Softride stem for almost 4-years now and it performs adequately. Considering the alternative of screwing with the Bridgestone's unique handling characteristics, this stem is a much better alternative. It does a good job absorbing light/moderate bumps but on the major ones forget it! My only complaint is that in the Aluminum and Pro versions 135mm is the shortest it goes. The way my frame (16.5" c-t) and body size is I need something shorter. The only alternative is to go with the heavier but cheaper Cro-mo version which at 120mm; however, that may not be enough. Again if you are upgrading a rigid forked bike that wasn't designed for a suspension fork this is the way to go!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Ritchey Stem

Bike Setup:   1993 Brigestone MB-3; stock with rigid fork and thumb shifters and a Ritchey cro-mo frame

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Risk a Cross Country Rider from Kula, Maui, Hawaii

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2000

Strengths:    Does not change the geometry of the bike.
Less maintenance than a fork.
Keeps the front end of the bike rigid.


Weaknesses:    Not good for blasting downhill.
Undamped (Cromo model).


Bottom Line:   
I've had my Softride stem (CR 140) on numerous bikes since 1993. Yup, the stem is seven years old and is still reliable as ever. I've never had to change the bushings, just shoot some oil on them.

I must admit that I had the stem sitting in a box unused while I experimented with the latest suspension forks (i.e. X-Vert's, Zokes), but decided to resurrect the stem when I rebuilt my beater bike.

I like the way the stem works with the fully rigid set-up of my Yeti. I mainly use the bike for commuting, and in this environment, the stem works better and more efficiently than a suspension fork.

The stem works well on cobbly country roads and semi-rough fire roads. If this is the type of terrain you ride, then the stem can handle it.

I sometimes ride the bike with a big front tire (i.e. 2.3") and run lower air pressure if I need a softer ride in rough off-road conditions.

Overall, this product fits me well and is well suited to the bike that it is on.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Bike Setup:   Yeti Pro Fro
Accutrax Fork,
XT, XTR

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by singlespeeder a Cross Country Rider from sonoma county

Date Reviewed: January 27, 2000

Strengths:    cost-cheaper then a good quality suspension fork
doesn't change geometry of bike
good option for older bikes with 1" headset


Weaknesses:    cost-too expensive for a stem
side to side flex
no color options


Bottom Line:   
it does what i want it too. it soaks up all the little bumps and rocks dotting the trail. BIG improvement over fully rigid setup. no more sprained fingers from all the hits. doesn't do well on big hits but i try and avoid those anyway.
haven't had any problems with bolts loosening at all.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   nothing else like it

Bike Setup:   old Al frame set as singlespeed with original rigid fork

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Aaron a Cross-Country Rider from Santiago, Chile

Date Reviewed: December 20, 1999

Strengths:    
Weight.
Cost.
Looks.
Responsive.


Weaknesses:    
Looks.
Cost.
Plush - what's that?
Stem is long at 155 mm


Bottom Line:   
Got this bike used for a great deal. The front suspension is a little odd and many people don't even realize that you have it 'cause they're so trained into the fork. It works very well for what I do - commuting on pothole strewn streets. It takes out the bumps and is well matched to the rear suspension. No problems with fork flex as it's rigid. No problems with suspension bob when you stand up.
Now comes the debate about the future of this product. Suspension forks are continuing to decrease in weight and price. So, when Softride talks about the weight being half to a quarter of a suspension fork, they are not including how much their aluminum fork weighs (the exact weight is not given on their website). Comparing their rigid fork plus stem to a lightweight suspension fork plus stem - idunno, but I suspect it's pretty close. Even if the suspension fork were more, you'd gain a fair amount in travel length and suspension. Now that Marzocchi and Manitou have introduced radically lightweight forks (1 kilo for 80 mm of travel), the days may not be many for the stem. At least on the trail.
In the world of commuting, hybrid bike and especially touring this is a very serious option. Particularly touring because a traditional fork cannot accept a rack. So you either lose the suspension and suffer or the rack and trade space. I talked with a Swiss cyclotourist going from Argentina to Chile (about 5000 kilometers) and he absolutely loved it. It also a good option for someone with a rigid bike looking to add some pading with buying a new bike.
The stem is long and you should think about that as well.
Anyway, very good product. Softride needs to get their act together on customer relations though.

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Favorite Trail:   
Alameda

Duration Product Used:   
3 months

Similar Products Used:   
Nothing like this. Usual litany of front suspensions.
Indy C.
Noleen ELT


Bike Setup:   
Softride Powerwing MTB

Reviews 1 - 15 (55 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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