This looks like a sensible, well designed product. Can you tell us the design elements which make it different from an Extralite?
Thanks for the compliment. The Wert Straight Shooter stem lacks a key design features characteristic to Extralite stems, namely the steerer clamp design with the slot in the barrel section. Other than that both stems can be produced on the same CNC-machines.
Apart from having a larger diameter barrel to increase stiffness (with a similar wall thickness as many other aluminum stems), Wert stems need less weight in the clamps. The transition from barrel to clamps also requires less material due to the larger size of the main section. Additionally, the proprietary bolt design enables even further weight loss in the clamp areas by a different approach to how a spherical bolt head interacts within its seat. Some brands use washers to achieve this, so double the parts. The grooves are predominantly for cosmetic purposes, although on the 3 gram bar clamps significantly reduce weight without suffering loss in clamping effectiveness. For example, the previous generation prototype required merely 2.5Nm to clamp several high-end carbon handlebars like the Schmolke TLO and Syntace Racelite2 Carbon without bar slip or posing any threat to damage or breakage by an effect called carbon notching. Like I mentioned earlier, Wert products need to be safe to a fault.
There you have it, the engineering recipe for a Wert stem. No magic whatsoever. Now anyone can make lighter stems with this formula.
Wert Cycling just uses sound and honest engineering. Why no other brand hasn't put certain engineering principles together in a similar way is beyond me but that's exactly where there lies opportunity for Wert. It's been a steep learning curve though, which required acquiring deeper knowledge and experience of production methods than engineering skills. Following the stem, we'll apply the same to pedals, wheels, and seat posts and hopefully offer these products soon enough.
any chance for a variety of angles? (I've always wanted a 12* stem - something right in between the 6* and the 17*, but no one makes one...)
±7.5º and -17º is what Wert can offer. Technically, it's possible to do other angles, except this would be very time-consuming. However, if someone is willing to compensate Wert for the added effort/expenses of custom length and/or angle stems, we'll gladly offer them. Tip: Extralite is said to now offer a -12º stem: http://www.extralite.com/Products/HyperStem%20OC12.htm