Handlebars and Stems


What’s the difference between the handlebar STEMS?

The handlebar stem is the tube that connects the handlebars to a bike’s headset, built into the frame.

For custom Bike Fridays stems are sized according to your body measurements or alternatively, to the dimensions of your existing bike if that is what you ask us to do.

There is some choice available although our bike designs work best with the stems we have specified, and would recommend you sticking to that unless you have good reasons to deviate.

A Bike Friday stem can be fixed or adjustable in length. A fixed length stem riser (the vertical tube) saves weight, and most people do not alter the height once it is right. An adjustable stem is heavier but allows the flexibility of having different riders or riding positions.

Apart from stem adjustability there are three types of stem design:

* Quill Used on the basic models, this is a heavier, traditional stem which inserts into the stem riser and is tightened down by a top bolt. Adjustable.
* Aheadset-style The new standard, a clamp-on stem seen on most standard bicycles in bike shops these days. Generally found on the lighter, higher-end designs of the all-around models like the New World Tourist, Crusoe and Pocket Llama. Unsplit drop bars can work with this stem too. Fixed and adjustable riser available.(Fixed required on front suspension models)
* Bike Friday Custom Adjustable stem A Bike Friday innovation that supports all handlebar types. It is a curved stem riser that looks rather like the neck of a swan. The extent of forward curve provides the level of extension required. Generally found on drop-bar road models like the Pocket Rocket, Pocket Rocket Pro and Air Friday.
* Custom Ultralight stem This style of stem is custom-made by the same hands that procure the Custom Adjustable stem and is equally compatible with all handlebar types. From a distance, they can be a bit difficult to tell apart from each other visually. But by using different tubing and making the stem fixed rather than adjustable, we can make a stem that is nearly a half-pound lighter and yet noticeably stiffer. This is the stem for the high performance minded cyclist and it ensures a perfect fit. This comes standard on the Pocket Rocket Pro, and Air Friday. It’s available as an upgrade on the Pocket Rocket, and other models.

The process to attain your new stem starts by supplying you with a “fit stem,” which allows you to adjust it for both rise and reach. You ride it for 30 days, get it set up where you like and send it back to us in a provided pre-paid FedEx box. We then use it as a template to make your new stem and send it back to you at no additional charge. This program is currently available only in North America, but if you live in another locale, please inquire. Maynard Hershon likes it!