Myth, you have skills dealing with people as well as engineering and designing. Here's to you
Thank you for your kind words. Feel free to PM me.
Though I suspect mfg has gotten better since those stems were produced.
Yes and no. This stem could've been prototyped a few years ago. It's rather my own insight that needed improving and, through advancements in CAD/CAM and CNC-machining, my experience and understanding of the process increased. Nowadays, the multi-tasking mill turn lathes that this stem will be produced on are more commonplace and so is experience in operating them, thus cost price has come down to a more affordable level. For example, what Extralite
accomplished all these years is often highly underrated and I highly respect Sergio and Alessandro's efforts.
There are some components, like a super light stem cap which makes no difference to anything structurally. No problem with that. But a stem, and bars... are the last places I want to be a guinea pig for something. So, sorry... even if you paid me I would not feel comfortable testing something like this. That's not to say I wouldn't come around after extensive testing with much heavier riders than myself, as well as lab tests to failure, etc., and knowing how many cycles to failure something like that can withstand, proved that it was indeed safe. Hopefully you have and will test it extensively in a lab situation before you get real folks to try it out for you.
I get where you're coming from. It goes without saying that I would never purposely endanger your life. More than once have I been in a state of certain death, though I wouldn't even wish these dreadful experiences upon my worst enemies (and I don't consider anyone my enemy). Nevertheless, my offer entails that you'll receive one of the first production units that will have met all testing requirements generally accepted in the bike industry. That means that it'll adhere to the same standards as the stems you ride now. It's in your right to refuse.
Regarding the steel cranks, yes, I do like steel as a material for cranks although I still think (unsurprisngly) that nothing surpasses carbon fibre for weight vs stiffness in a crankset. The Clavicula to me is still the benchmark. I'm sure I've seen the picture of those cranks doing the rounds before though Mythic and in carbon form as well. Are these cranks actually going to be produced or is it just a bit of a dream still?
I consider Dura-Ace, Red Exogram and Super Record the benchmarks, though THM did a fantastic job with a carbon crank that's been around for a decade now. I know I can design better than the ones already made, I just don't have the resources at the moment. That steel crankset represents an investment of nearly a quarter million euros since 2006, and that design hasn't been translated into production due to too many factors being outside my capacity to resolve. Should Fibre-Lyte wish to make a carbon stem, I still got a couple of ideas that I'm sure you could work with and so far haven't been realized. Just saying.
There's more you can do to differentiate yourself from the competition.... offer it in different angles..... -12, -8,-4.... the numberof -10 deg stems is a v.small pool. you could do different lengths too ,...105,115,125.....
don't put on ugly 'flip/flop' graphics ie. that you can read whichever way up the stemis flipped.
Sure, custom lengths, angles and graphics are no problem. It'll require a surcharge to cover the added costs and extra time and effort. To keep stock of a plethora or lengths, angles and colors is simply unmanageable, therefore the first available Straight Shooters stems will be black anodized in length variations between 80-130mm with an angle of ±7.5º. Anything else is custom. Later on, we might also release standard lengths in -17º. Our first priority is to launch an awesome product onto the market and expand our range gradually and organically.A little backstory:
I grew up in an era where Ringlé, Cook Bros, Machine Tech, Kooka, Magic Motorcycle, Grafton, Sweet Parts etc. embodied the coolest parts. Many top mountainbike pro's were racing them. Since the turn of the millennium, it seemed that the bike industry moved away from such brands and moved to more generic equipment with engineering getting better and mass manufacturing become cheaper. Suddenly, high-end wasn't bleeding edge anymore.
Wert Cycling should be considered an attempt to revive the cottage industry CNC-machined components, except with unprecedented levels of engineering and manufacturing. Wert Cycling basically follows the same development proces as used in F1. The accomplished weights by no means make my parts less safe than others, since they undergo the same testing as e.g. your average 3T or Ritchey equivalents.
Tom Ritchey, as well as the owner of 3T, are personal acquaintances of mine. Both tried to hire me. Part of me wanted to work with them but my urge to develop parts and succeed on my own terms prevailed. I may not have their resources, but I do my utmost to give big brands a run for their money and offer rides an cool alternative, like in the old days.
After dozens of design iterations, my initial prototype was done and it had some flaws. Upon examination, these issues were analyzed and subsequently resolved. For example, the previous (2nd) generation 150mm prototype developed a small and barely noticeably crack at the handlebar clamp at around 86,000 of 100,000 cycles. Test over. Back to the drawing board. However the unlikelihood of a rider to experience such an issue, my stem needs to survive the test. The solution: increase wall thickness with more than 250% and smoothen the transition to the clamp, thus eliminating this stress concentration. Additionally, the OD of the main section slightly decreased from Ø40mm to Ø37.5mm, partly because the tested stem felt too stiff and created a harsh front end feel.
I expect a future Wert customer to notice a solid and feeling inspiring confidence in their Straight Shooter stem. Not only does it look more massive, it'll hold up under the same abuse as others, perhaps even better. With its high torsional and vertical rigidity, this stem can be especially appreciated when sprinting and climbing out of the saddle. I hope that this stem paves the way for more bike parts with the same level of passion and commitment to bridging the gap between perception and reality, and also performance and attainability.
I hope weight weenies everywhere can appreciate the work already invested.