PDA

View Full Version : Cookie cutter Taiwanese stems from Bontrager and Zipp


dgauthier
05-17-2005, 04:19 PM
Check out the latest new Taiwanese reinforced plastic stems on cyclingnews.com:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=photos/2005/tech/newarrivals/may13/bontrager_race_xxx_lite_stem05
http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=photos/2005/tech/reviews/zipp_bar_stem/zipp_145_carbon_stem01

Some manufacturers add value by at least designing (if not even manufacturing) their own innovative components. Not Bontrager and Zipp, who'd rather just slap their label on an "off the shelf" commodity product popped out of a mold in Taiwan. (Not just any product either, but a your-life-depends-on-it stem!)

Am I the only person who finds this tremendously insulting to their intelligence? These companies don't even *try* to differentiate themselves. How stupid do they think we are?

I applaud everyone on this board who, by patronizing Serotta, has voted for quality and innovation with their wallets. I hope everyone here will continue to eschew junk like this, when confronted by it in the marketplace.

(Rant over.)

e-RICHIE
05-17-2005, 04:29 PM
Check out the latest new Taiwanese reinforced plastic stems on cyclingnews.com:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=photos/2005/tech/newarrivals/may13/bontrager_race_xxx_lite_stem05
http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=photos/2005/tech/reviews/zipp_bar_stem/zipp_145_carbon_stem01

Some manufacturers add value by at least designing (if not even manufacturing) their own innovative components. Not Bontrager and Zipp, who'd rather just slap their label on an "off the shelf" commodity product popped out of a mold in Taiwan. (Not just any product either, but a your-life-depends-on-it stem!)



Am I the only person who finds this tremendously insulting to their intelligence? These companies don't even *try* to differentiate themselves. How stupid do they think we are?

I applaud everyone on this board who, by patronizing Serotta, has voted for quality and innovation with their wallets. I hope everyone here will continue to eschew junk like this, when confronted by it in the marketplace.

(Rant over.)


"the universe is expanding".

Steel Israel
05-17-2005, 04:39 PM
If you don't like em don't buy em. That's why we have choices.

vaxn8r
05-17-2005, 04:45 PM
Some manufacturers add value by at least designing (if not even manufacturing) their own innovative components. Not Bontrager and Zipp, who'd rather just slap their label on an "off the shelf" commodity product popped out of a mold in Taiwan. (Not just any product either, but a your-life-depends-on-it stem!)

Well I guess it depends on who designed those stems in the first place. Did the article say?

Climb01742
05-17-2005, 04:50 PM
i'm a little uncertain what makes these stems crap. other bontrager stuff i've used is quite good (their seatpost in particular.) why are they crap? (not meant as fighting words, just seeking further explanation.)

ada@prorider.or
05-17-2005, 04:53 PM
i would not want them
both T 300 fibers plain weave
the lowest strenght you can buy

gdw
05-17-2005, 05:06 PM
This isn't exactly a new practice. Companies in all kinds of industries have done this for years. Relabelling a good product benefits both the marketing company and the consumer. Bontrager/Trek and Zipp are saving themselves the cost of designing a new stem and then having it made to their specifications. The consumer saves because the price of the stem is less than it would be if the marketing company had to cover the costs of design and manufacture. If you like a design just shop around and buy it from the least expensive source. Supergo, Performance, and a number of other mailorder stores will probably be selling the same stem in a few months under their own label.

Tony Edwards
05-17-2005, 05:14 PM
I must admit I'm a little surprised at the Bontrager variant - KB has always been a bit of a skeptic, and a man of great integrity IMO. I personally can't imagine using anyone's carbon stem, but I guess if I had to I would have thought his was a relatively safe one.

e-RICHIE
05-17-2005, 05:23 PM
i am personally scared-to-death by cf stems
as well as cnc-ed aluminum stems, especially
the ones with the itty-bitty bolts. i had my own
"personal jesus" moment with one 3 years ago
and it was a slow ride home.
hey - thanks for reading.

fg165
05-17-2005, 06:22 PM
Perhaps due to my fixation (pun intended) for track bikes, I am inherently drawn to quills... much like the jewel bellow.

It's my rare Suntour Superbe road quill - never used!. If it were not for my radical 58 degree (drop) Nitto track stems. Id use it.

Climb01742
05-17-2005, 07:49 PM
i am personally scared-to-death by cf stems
as well as cnc-ed aluminum stems, especially
the ones with the itty-bitty bolts. i had my own
"personal jesus" moment with one 3 years ago
and it was a slow ride home.
hey - thanks for reading.

richie, what is your stem of choice? and how do you know if an alu stem was cnc-ed? and what the heck is "cnc-ed"? yours in cluelessness...

ada@prorider.or
05-17-2005, 07:52 PM
richie, what is your stem of choice? and how do you know if an alu stem was cnc-ed? and what the heck is "cnc-ed"? yours in cluelessness...

cnc
computerized numerical control (machine)

e-RICHIE
05-17-2005, 08:08 PM
richie, what is your stem of choice? and how do you know if an alu stem was cnc-ed? and what the heck is "cnc-ed"? yours in cluelessness...

i use the oval concepts r700 forged stem.
i had another brand cnc-ed stem fail, and
brother, once is enough. in my pea-brained
attempt at explaining this, cnc-ed products
begin as chunks of aluminum and everything
that doesn't look like a stem is machined away.
afterwards, the holes are drilled and tapped.
otoh, a forged stem basically is, er, forged
into the basic shape. i don't know what happens
after that. the rub is that the grain structure
(or something else very important) used for the
chunk in cnc-ed products is made from stuff that
is too rigid or too hard or maybe the molecules
only line up on shaboth. whatever it is, i was
ever wary of it BEFORE i used cnc-ed stems,
and swore off the goods after my "personal
jesus" moment.
hey - thanks for asking.

ada@prorider.or
05-17-2005, 08:14 PM
i use the oval concepts r700 forged stem.
i had another brand cnc-ed stem fail, and
brother, once is enough. in my pea-brained
attempt at explaining this, cnc-ed products
begin as chunks of aluminum and everything
that doesn't look like a stem is machined away.
afterwards, the holes are drilled and tapped.
otoh, a forged stem basically is, er, forged
into the basic shape. i don't know what happens
after that. the rub is that the grain structure
(or something else very important) used for the
chunk in cnc-ed products is made from stuff that
is too rigid or too hard or maybe the molecules
only line up on shaboth. whatever it is, i was
ever wary of it BEFORE i used cnc-ed stems,
and swore off the goods after my "personal
jesus" moment.
hey - thanks for asking.

well it can be done right
but becuase aerospace alu with proper heat treatment the maching on cnc machine its not easy the most people buy easy machine alu that do not give that problems and of course have no heat treatment and is cheap

but again could done right if people knwo what they are doing
that's the problem the people who make them mostly
do not bike otherwise they would not make it like that
cees

e-RICHIE
05-17-2005, 08:17 PM
well it can be done right
but becuase aerospace alu with proper heat treatment the maching on cnc machine its not easy the most people buy easy machine alu that do not give that problems and of course have no heat treatment and is cheap

but again could done right if people knwo what they are doing
that's the problem the people who make them mostly
do not bike otherwise they would not make it like that
cees



AMEN, BROTHER!!!!!!!!

bcm119
05-17-2005, 08:25 PM
e-Richie, which cnc-ed stem with itty bitty bolts caused your personal jesus moment? I don't want to have a moment like that. Were there any extraneous circumstances that could have caused the failure?

csb
05-17-2005, 08:41 PM
... would it be pronounced similar to the nonsensical art movement
fom the twentieth century?

coylifut
05-17-2005, 08:48 PM
I'm affraid all the really light stuff. Stems, bars, posts. you name it. It's starting to remind me of the "drill a hole in everything" 70s

Kevin
05-17-2005, 08:51 PM
It's starting to remind me of the "drill a hole in everything" 70s

Studio 54? ;)

Kevin

e-RICHIE
05-17-2005, 09:12 PM
e-Richie, which cnc-ed stem with itty bitty bolts caused your personal jesus moment? I don't want to have a moment like that. Were there any extraneous circumstances that could have caused the failure?


on the lower stem plate hole, where the 4mm bolt
fastens down - that tapped hole split wide open as
i was sprinting during an interval workout. as i was
doing my business, i felt a moment of doubt, this,
at at least 35 mph. during that split second of out
of the saddle madness, my h'bars felt loose. i composed
myself, freewheeled to a stop, and immediately,
my h'bars rotated upwards. for the life of me, i
could not find anything. i rode home, holding the h'bar
in the riding position; any sudden braking or shifting
moved it within the stem. when i got home, i went to
undo anything that had a tool head on it, and noticed
that the entire underside of the stem was split open
and the split emanated from the hole that was tapped
for the 4mm stem plate bolt.
serenity now.

Big Dan
05-17-2005, 09:18 PM
Something similar happened to me after hitting a bump with an ITM quill stem.
Rode home on the drops because the bars were moving, first thought the bolt was loose.
The whole bottom part of the stem gave up the ghost..... :eek:

e-RICHIE
05-17-2005, 09:26 PM
Something similar happened to me after hitting a bump with an ITM quill stem.
Rode home on the drops because the bars were moving, first thought the bolt was loose.
The whole bottom part of the stem gave up the ghost..... :eek:



well it's ***** products like that what gives me the
urge to summon up a howard beale window moment:
"i'm mad as hell and i'm not gonna take it anymore..."

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Network

dgauthier
05-17-2005, 09:27 PM
(. . .) cnc-ed products
begin as chunks of aluminum and everything
that doesn't look like a stem is machined away.
(. . .) a forged stem basically is, er, forged
into the basic shape. i don't know what happens
after that. the rub is that the grain structure
(or something else very important) used for the
chunk in cnc-ed products is made from stuff that
is too rigid or too hard or maybe the molecules
only line up on shaboth. whatever it is (. . .)


May I help out on the explanations?
I'm sure you could explain brazing a heck of a lot better . . . ;)

E-richie's explanation of CNC machining is essentially correct. A block of metal (aluminum, in the case of stems) is placed into a computer controlled milling machine, and the part is carved out (the correct term is "milled"), just like carving a shape out of soap, wood, marble, whatever. The good thing about computer controlled milling is that very complex shapes can be produced to very precise tolerances. The bad thing about milling is that the carving cuts through the grain of the metal, which reduces the strength of the finished part.

When a part is forged, a block of metal is forced into shape under pressure. Depending on the mechanical properties desired in the finished part, varying amounts of heat are used to help make the metal flow into the desired shape more easily. (A blacksmith shaping a yellow-hot horseshoe with a hammer is an example of forging.) The good thing about forging is that the grain of the metal flows through the part, following the contours of the part's shape. This makes the part tremendously strong. (In fact, forging produces the strongest parts of all the metal shaping processes.) The bad thing about forging is that there are limits to the precision that can be achieved in the final shape, as well a limit to the complexity of the part.

I would submit that forging is an ideal way to make a bicycle stem, since strength is of paramount importance. Also, the tolerances achievable through forging, though not as good as cnc milling, are more than good enough for a bicycle stem.

e-RICHIE
05-17-2005, 09:38 PM
May I help out on the explanations?
I'm sure you could explain brazing a heck of a lot better . . . ;)

E-richie's explanation of CNC machining is essentially correct. A block of metal (aluminum, in the case of stems) is placed into a computer controlled milling machine, and the part is carved out (the correct term is "milled"), just like carving a shape out of soap, wood, marble, whatever. The good thing about computer controlled milling is that very complex shapes can be produced to very precise tolerances. The bad thing about milling is that the carving cuts through the grain of the metal, which reduces the strength of the finished part.

When a part is forged, a block of metal is forced into shape under pressure. Heat is used to help make the metal flow into the desired shape more easily. Forging comes in two varieties: "hot" and "cold". "Cold forging" is "cold" only in the metallurgical sense - that is, the metal is heated to temperatures of several hundred degrees prior to shaping. In "hot forging" the metal is heated to thousands of degrees. (A blacksmith shaping a yellow-hot horseshoe with a hammer is an example of "hot forging".) The good thing about forging is that the grain of the metal flows through the part, following the contours of the part's shape. This makes the part tremendously strong. (In fact, forging produces the strongest parts of all the metal shaping processes.) The bad thing about forging is that there are limits to the precision that can be achieved in the final shape, as well a limit to the complexity of the part.

I would submit that forging is an ideal way to make a bicycle stem, since strength is of paramount importance. Also, the tolerances achievable through forging, though not as good as cnc milling, are more than good enough for a bicycle stem.



yeah what howard beale said.

Needs Help
05-17-2005, 10:59 PM
cnc-ed products begin as chunks of aluminum
and everything that doesn't look like a stem is machined away. :D

columbusslx
05-18-2005, 12:02 AM
Maybe just T300 on outer layer for cosmetics?? Have you seen details of layup?? Maybe uni-d inside? A lot of people think if a part isn't 3 or 6k weave it isn't carbon. I am more concerned about how and where the bolts go/don't go.

100% correct about CNC-ed stems all, esp. 4mm ti bolted ones (e.g. Newton)

i would not want them
both T 300 fibers plain weave
the lowest strenght you can buy

Climb01742
05-18-2005, 05:01 AM
ok, let's review. carbon stems are prone to failure. cnc'ed alu stems are prone to failure, which after a quick scan seems to cover most alu stems. what the bejesus (personal or otherwise) is a :bike: to do? :rolleyes:

BumbleBeeDave
05-18-2005, 06:13 AM
. . . I just DON’T understand you guys! You’re just impossible to please! I mean, the captions BOTH say the stems are “beefy” . . . What ELSE do you want?? Sheesh! . . . ;)

BBDave

William
05-18-2005, 06:16 AM
ok, let's review. carbon stems are prone to failure. cnc'ed alu stems are prone to failure, which after a quick scan seems to cover most alu stems. what the bejesus (personal or otherwise) is a :bike: to do? :rolleyes:

Let e-RICHIE braze you up a steel lugged stem. ;) Now, get in line!


William

e-RICHIE
05-18-2005, 06:52 AM
ok, let's review. carbon stems are prone to failure. cnc'ed alu stems are prone to failure, which after a quick scan seems to cover most alu stems. what the bejesus (personal or otherwise) is a :bike: to do? :rolleyes:


forged alu.
oval concepts, ritchey, 3t, deda...
they ALL make them.

Too Tall
05-18-2005, 07:46 AM
When in doubt use what CoMotion specs. :)

Cees suppose this "Beefy Stem" were made using a harness satin weave or a CF cloth of your choosing....would you ride it? Can we make a CF stem considerably lighter than forged Alum and still retain similar margain of safety?

E-issimo - so you changed religion? ;) Reminds me of a joke about a preacher, a rabbi and a monk all about to jump from a sinking ship.

Grant McLean
05-18-2005, 10:17 AM
Cyclingnews.com is a site I like. But this is crap. Are people really stoopid?
Reading that a 145 gram carbon stem is "light" makes me laugh.
A $40 ritchey pro stem is 145grams. (http://www.ritcheylogic.com/stems.htm)

I'm with the others who said that they wouldn't use "scary" light stuff, but
this is not one of them. Just about every carbon stem out there is heavier than an
aluminum counterpart. The popular ITM "millenium" stem in aluminum stem weighs
135grams, and the "carbon" wrapped version weighs 145 grams.

Don't get me started on OS stems! The Millenium OS stem weighs 165 grams!

It seems the bike business is going like the Stereo business, where if it costs more,
it must be better... my $.02 (canadian)

grant

CNote
05-18-2005, 10:27 AM
ok, let's review. carbon stems are prone to failure. cnc'ed alu stems are prone to failure, which after a quick scan seems to cover most alu stems. what the bejesus (personal or otherwise) is a :bike: to do? :rolleyes:

.

Grant McLean
05-18-2005, 10:53 AM
Originally Posted by Climb01742
"ok, let's review. carbon stems are prone to failure. cnc'ed alu stems are prone to failure, "


I guess you are kidding, but that's an outragous statement. Along the lines of "all Americans are fat and stupid" or "all Liberals are pinko commies"

Other than anicdotes, I think most component manufacturers today test their products more than anyone in the past. The fact that some stuff breaks is reality, and often due to the misuse and overtightening of bolts. Not to sweep aside the issue of safety...it's a serious one. Misinformed generalizations don't add to the safety factor either.

_grant

Climb01742
05-18-2005, 11:09 AM
Originally Posted by Climb01742
"ok, let's review. carbon stems are prone to failure. cnc'ed alu stems are prone to failure, "


I guess you are kidding, but that's an outragous statement. Along the lines of "all Americans are fat and stupid" or "all Liberals are pinko commies"

Other than anicdotes, I think most component manufacturers today test their products more than anyone in the past. The fact that some stuff breaks is reality, and often due to the misuse and overtightening of bolts. Not to sweep aside the issue of safety...it's a serious one. Misinformed generalizations don't add to the safety factor either.

_grant

grant, i was being funny. or attempting anyway. at one time or another, virtually every cycling product has been called into question on this forum. i was having fun with the "its all crap" school of thought. i'll try to be funnier next time. :D

ada@prorider.or
05-18-2005, 01:12 PM
Maybe just T300 on outer layer for cosmetics?? Have you seen details of layup?? Maybe uni-d inside? A lot of people think if a part isn't 3 or 6k weave it isn't carbon. I am more concerned about how and where the bolts go/don't go.

100% correct about CNC-ed stems all, esp. 4mm ti bolted ones (e.g. Newton)

if they do the t300 on out side and stiffer on inside then its even more silly becuase you add weight not straight
the way the bolts are then attached is in the same constuction
also when you put ud in a constuction that's must use for torsion is even more silly in my opinion
rember also the strenght comes from the most out side
so if you put the more stiffer fiber on the inside the out side has no use
well gone bit far in explanation of constuctions
basicly its simple

ada@prorider.or
05-18-2005, 01:15 PM
When in doubt use what CoMotion specs. :)

Cees suppose this "Beefy Stem" were made using a harness satin weave or a CF cloth of your choosing....would you ride it? Can we make a CF stem considerably lighter than forged Alum and still retain similar margain of safety?

E-issimo - so you changed religion? ;) Reminds me of a joke about a preacher, a rabbi and a monk all about to jump from a sinking ship.

its not a beefy stem !!

when its done right sure but not the construction look like this one

bostondrunk
05-18-2005, 02:09 PM
I saw one of those zipp stems on a buddies bike the other day. It looed really nice. Isn't that what counts?
How many people here have carbon handlebars? :rolleyes: :beer:

ada@prorider.or
05-18-2005, 02:16 PM
I saw one of those zipp stems on a buddies bike the other day. It looed really nice. Isn't that what counts?
How many people here have carbon handlebars? :rolleyes: :beer:

of course
but safety first please
is it not stange that uci has a rule that all wheels above a certain size must have approval and testing total cost 20.000
and that stems ,forks ,handle bar there is no safetly rule

cdmc
05-18-2005, 02:35 PM
I guess that I should reconsider using a Thomson Stem since it is CNCed and will probably break based on all the comments here. :rolleyes: Obviously the Thomson is going to have many failures being it is CNCed and all the guys who ride mountain bikes (including downhillers) that have been running them for years without problems are going to crash and die.

William
05-18-2005, 03:17 PM
Some more then others.

I guess that I should reconsider using a Thomson Stem since it is CNCed and will probably break based on all the comments here. :rolleyes: Obviously the Thomson is going to have many failures being it is CNCed and all the guys who ride mountain bikes (including downhillers) that have been running them for years without problems are going to crash and die.

Which way is the wind blowing? :confused:



William

Grant McLean
05-18-2005, 04:25 PM
Climb1742 wrote: "grant, i was being funny. or attempting anyway. at one time or another, virtually every cycling product has been called into question on this forum. i was having fun with the "its all crap" school of thought. i'll try to be funnier next time." softly, softly.


Geeze, Climb1742 if you are going to be funny, don't you know you
have to officially become "E-Climb1742" ???

Found my funny bone

Grant

Fixed
05-19-2005, 04:51 PM
Let's not forget that stem might be made by a 12 year-old working for a dollar a day[slave labor]so we can put it on our $3000 frame.

bostondrunk
05-19-2005, 06:04 PM
Let's not forget that stem might be made by a 12 year-old working for a dollar a day[slave labor]so we can put it on our $3000 frame.

Oh give me a break...... :crap:

Kevin
05-19-2005, 06:13 PM
Let's not forget that stem might be made by a 12 year-old working for a dollar a day[slave labor]so we can put it on our $3000 frame.

A dollar per day? That is an outrage. I can remember when a dollar got you an entire weeks worth of labor from a 12 year old. Kids today do not know the value of a dollar. :D

Kevin

bostondrunk
05-20-2005, 08:07 AM
A dollar per day? That is an outrage. I can remember when a dollar got you an entire weeks worth of labor from a 12 year old. Kids today do not know the value of a dollar. :D

Kevin

hahaha :p :beer:

Fixed
05-20-2005, 08:31 AM
I know when you have a drug habit and shut out the world be happy be drunk.My great grandfather was born a slave and it is still in the world.As long as we have everything we need who cares?

saab2000
05-20-2005, 09:17 AM
Nobody here is making fun of slavery. It is one of the atrocities which exists in the world unfortunately and is perhaps the most notorious shame in US history, greater even than the destruction of the Native Americans.

But there is no credible evidence (that I have seen at least) that our made-in-Taiwan bicycle components are being made by slaves or using slave-like wages or using inhumane conditions.

Comparing US work rules and those in another country are like comparing apples and oranges. The employees of a bike factory in China or Taiwan may well consider themselves to have excellent jobs with a good future.

Outsourcing is a complex issue.

bostondrunk
05-20-2005, 09:22 AM
I know when you have a drug habit and shut out the world be happy be drunk.My great grandfather was born a slave and it is still in the world.As long as we have everything we need who cares?

And some of my relatives were killed during the holocaust. But I'm still a fan of Jan Ulrich. Cant live in the past.

dirtdigger88
05-20-2005, 10:40 AM
some of my fore fathers were apes- but I still laugh at them at the zoo- and I have no real feeling for the single celled organisms that spawned the life that created my ape fore fathers

Jason

e-RICHIE
05-20-2005, 10:44 AM
a waste is a terrible thing to mind.
a thing is a waste and terrible.
uh.
got it!
a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Fixed
05-20-2005, 11:30 AM
You guys might like to check out Amy Goodman,for a white person with insight.So long from Fixed.

bostondrunk
05-20-2005, 12:04 PM
You guys might like to check out Amy Goodman,for a white person with insight.So long from Fixed.

So long, from someone without insight!

JohnS
05-20-2005, 12:14 PM
You guys might like to check out Amy Goodman,for a white person with insight.So long from Fixed.
It must be hard to ride in a straight line with that big chip on your shoulder. :D

BumbleBeeDave
05-20-2005, 12:57 PM
How did THIS thread get hijacked, too???

We start out talking about stems and end up arguing over drug use and slavery. What the H#ll is going on with this forum the last few weeks? so many people sniping over so many little things.

Would you people PLEASE go ride your bikes and stop this! . . . :no:

BBDave

William
05-20-2005, 01:13 PM
Would you people PLEASE go ride your bikes and stop this! . . . :no:

BBDave

Suited up and on my way out the door right now. :p

William