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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:47 pm 
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wassertreter wrote:

What's not obvious to me, however, is what the results mean for real world riding. Does a stiffer stem make you measurably faster?


No in this case stiffer is not necessarily faster. However stiffer results in better feedback and tracking of the bike and generally a better handling bike. To be totally honest I doubt that the stem alone makes that much difference as well. However when you add up deflection from a stem, handlebar, steerer tube, frame etc... the differences can be quite dramatic.

velonista wrote:

Is there any reason why your tests don't include a single "knock-off" Chinese carbon stem? Of course, there is no inherent anti-bias against them on the tester's part! And there's certainly no conflict of interest in regard to any undisclosed relationship between an authorized dealer and the makers of some of the name-brand stems on test! Perish the thought! Right?


Yes there are plenty of reasons we didn't include any. Mainly because we don't support the counterfeit market, just the same as we don't support buying and selling of stolen bikes. I have no interest in validating what they do by including them in any of our testing.

As for biases, I never claimed to be unbiased in our reviews/tests, in fact I claim the opposite. Our reviews clearly have a section of "opinions" Obviously opinions are biased since it's based on what I like and dislike about each item. The testing and numbers section though is not biased, as the results are whatever they are.

velonista wrote:

So what you're really saying is the ultimate aim of these tests is to sell brands of stems (and bars) that the tester's employer stocks in their store!


Again, that's incorrect. Having been in business for over 40 years we have accounts with virtually every manufacturer in the industry. I can't think of a single brand of stem that isn't available to us. So no it's not to promote anyone over the other, as we can sell virtually any stem on the market. In fact we regularly choose to test things that we don't generally stock and when we feel items do well we may add them to our stock. So it does benefit us to test things that aren't our general stock items.

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Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:47 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:48 pm 
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kulivontot wrote:
velonista wrote:


Is there any reason why your tests don't include a single "knock-off" Chinese carbon stem?



I'm guessing it's because fair wheel bikes doesn't stock or sell them? FWB is a store not Tour magazine. They really don't have any obligation to test every single item on the planet, especially if it encourages you to purchase a product from another vendor.



Hear, hear! I have no problem with them carrying out a test that only includes products that they sell. Why not, they aren't a charity and shouldn't be harassed for not behaving like one! Thank you Fairwheel for taking the time to conduct the test. FWIW, my request would be to test a 3T ARX LTD carbon and Kalloy Uno 7.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:51 pm 
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drainyoo wrote:
Curious about this as well. What are the benefits of a stiffer stem other than "feel". Does a less stiff stem affect power transfer to the pedals?


It is usually about control when sprinting and cornering. Some sprinters in particular want a very stiff stem. If a low stiffness is ok with you though, then there is no good reason to go stiffer. A more flexible stem might soften the front end ride quality a bit... though this has more to do with vertical flex rather than torsional.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:57 pm 
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velonista wrote:
This sounds like the perfect opportunity to prove - with (ostensibly) scientific objectivity - whether or not all the scare-mongering about so-called "low quality" Chinese replica carbon stems has any scientifically-proven basis.


It wouldn't prove anything if he had. This isn't a strength or QC test... just weight and stiffness. A strength test would be much more involved and costly. If you are willing to pony up the money though, I'm sure it could be done...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:03 pm 
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wingguy wrote:
...you have absolutely no right to expect that legitimate bike dealers should validate choices for you...

You've Freudian-slipped with your mention of validation!

madcow wrote:
...I have no interest in validating what they do by including them in any of our testing...

There's that word again! (more on that later)

I appreciate you taking the time to address my question, madcow. I got no beef with you personally - nor with your store. You sound like a level-headed type of cat. You are a credit to the scientific method; in both your protocol and in your level-headed response to everybody's questions and comments.

Most of my posts were in "self-defence" against the unscientific, angry, venomous attacks by your followers in reaction to my questions and comments.

Because those people who buy retail can never admit to themselves that buyers who pay wholesale for reverse-engineered (a.k.a. "generic") products made a smarter buying decision than they did, they therefore attack and begrudge the smarter buyers of generic products for their nous in sourcing parts that don't cost an arm and a leg!

This test is so popular because it provides its groupies with validation that assuages their embarrassment at being made a sucker for spending hundreds and thousands of dollars above the actual cost of materials & production of name-brand products! And what do they get for all those thousands they spend? They get some kind of nebulous, intangible, warm, fuzzy feeling of "exclusivity".

In layman's terms, the resentment people feel toward the availability of generic, "placebo" products is just good old-fashioned "JEALOUSY"! How else can they explain the venom with which they lash out against so-called "knock-offs"? Such products being available in the market is no skin off their teeth!

Buyers of reverse-engineered products can talk about name-brand products dispassionately and objectively. The reverse can't be said for buyers of name-brand products that talk about placebo products. Its always with hate, rage and resentment.

In other words, a classic case of Deal Envy!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:14 pm 
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I think part of the confusion comes from you using the terms, "reverse-engineered (a.k.a. "generic")" interchangeably. In my opinion these two are not. I have no problem with generic products, these being items made by companies without a "name" tying them to the industry, and these products being of their own design. Reverse engineered though is theft of a design that someone else did.

You also mentioned that paying more than the actual cost of materials and production is for suckers. I know for a fact that both Shimano and Enve spent a lot of money and time on R&D for their carbon stems which of course has to be factored into the price. Without companies like these willing to spend money to develop a new design there wouldn't be any designs for other companies to reverse engineer and rip off.

Also you assume that because price is the most important aspect to you, that this is also true for others. Some people have other concerns be it weight, design, aesthetics, country of manufacture etc... It's also true that not every stem we tested is super expensive, we tested stems as inexpensive as $40.

Lastly you stated that "Buyers of reverse-engineered products can talk about name-brand products dispassionately and objectively. The reverse can't be said for buyers of name-brand products that talk about placebo products. Its always with hate, rage and resentment." This is a generalization that isn't true. There are members of both groups that are objective, and there are members of both groups that are not-objective. Being a member of either group does not dictate how objective someone can and will be.

I really don't have any interest in arguing about counterfeit items, i just wanted to clarify some points so that hopefully we can move on.

We've already begun testing of road bars and will follow that with mtb bars and a couple of other tests, but somewhere in the near future we plan on doing another round of stems in which we'll try to include a wide range of stems.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:17 pm 
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Hi,

Quote:
Because those people who buy retail can never admit to themselves that buyers who pay wholesale for reverse-engineered (a.k.a. "generic") products made a smarter buying decision than they did, they therefore attack and begrudge the smarter buyers of generic products for their nous in sourcing parts that don't cost an arm and a leg!


Not sure I even want to reply to this but it seems to me that someone is as confused as a barking bird.
So, to you every product is also available as a "generic" product? And generic products are all "reversed engineered" ? Really?

Sigmund Freud is offering you a rebadged dictionary.... for free. :mrgreen:

Ciao, ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:35 pm 
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Thank you very much madcow, your handwork is appreciated very much : )


C


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:36 pm 
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I would love to see Zipp Service Course SL stem on the test too.


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 Post subject: Kalloy Uno
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:15 pm 
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Location: Sierra Foothills, California USA
Thank you meester Cow !! Another request for any of the Kalloy UNO stems.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:50 am 
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Great test!

I'd like to see an Easton ea90 and ec90 if possible.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:48 am 
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madcow wrote:
[...] stiffer results in better feedback and tracking of the bike and generally a better handling bike.

Admittedly, I have been a bit dismissive about the stiffness discussion in the past. But now, that I started to use really flexible handlebars (Al Ritchey Evocurve), I have to eat my own attitude. When going a brisk pace on the gravel, there is a low frequency "motion of the sea" sensation on the drops. Just from riding along, no pulling on the bars or anything, not sure I like it yet. Can only imagine how this bars bend when an actual sprinter starts to pull on them in a to-the-line effort.

Ed: typo

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Last edited by HillRPete on Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:39 pm 
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real world (appears to be mtn bike version)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:11 pm 
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Your cork grip tape will flex\deform under your hands and change a few mm while riding over bumps.

I consider myself a sprinter. I switched from a 3T Integra/Ergonova combo, which the test shows is one of the stiffest stems, to a Pro Vibe Carbon/Carbon compact T800 UD combo.

I can assure the stem flex isn't noticeable by 2mm whatsoever. Furthermore, the Shimano T800 UD bars are way stiffer than the Ergonova by 3T. The 3T you could easily move/flex around with your hands/arms with some force. Shimano, about as stiff as an aluminum setup I used to run, just more comfortable.

Next, I switched from Foil Team edition, one, if not, the stiffest HT frame on the market, to a Foil 15, which is a step down, yet, the ride is slightly better, but I can assure you also, I feel no flex from the 3T/Team combo compared to the Shimano Pro/Foil 15.

Long winded I know on the post, but the point is, combinations are just as important than just one component.


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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:11 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:12 am 
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For what it's worth, I'm the engineer who consulted with Jason at Fairwheel on this test. (Confusingly, I'm also named Jason).

If you're worried about losing power to elastic deformation, use a metal stem and bars. Carbon fiber damps well due to hysteresis. The same hysteresis that damps vibration also absorbs some of your effort. It's a tiny, tiny portion, so I don't think it's worth worrying about even if you're Chris Froome.

Personally, I use a Ritchey 4-Axis aluminum stem and an Easton EC90 SLX bar. I perceive some vibration damping benefit to the bar and I'm not too troubled about any hysteresis losses. They're certainly not what's keeping me out of the Tour.

Cheers,

Jason


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