photo from QBP.com
p> Oooh, I just saw this on the Deda Elementi website.
p> The site states the stem has an 82deg angle (ie negative 8deg), but the standard Zero100 stem is the 82 while this Pista Zero100 is actually 67deg (23deg down). Deda boasts that this stem will be the star at the London Olympic velodrome, but though I really like this stem, it ain’t gonna be the star.
Why? Well, take a look at the heavy hitters in the World Cup track scene, and you’ll see that their bikes are really low profile. Whether they are riding carbon or aluminium, the tops of the headsets are already so low that there is no need for a severely down angled stem to get the bars suitably low. Indeed, 3T’s new Scatto sprint bar has a very short drop, and I bet it’s so that a rider can use a stem that isn’t angled up so much. So called “pista” or “track” stems date back to a time when track riders used steel bikes with horizontal top tubes and very little seatpost exposed, which placed the bars quite high by modern standards unless a pista stem was used. And the days of steel bikes being ridden to Olympic gold medals on the track are past.
Ok, some high-level track riders will use this stem…probably shorter riders. A 6’3” rider can easily find a frame that’ll fit him super small, but for the shorties out there those fancy carbon track frames only run so small. But even “Pocket Rocket” Aziz Awang has a riser stem on his bike.
So why bother making a pista stem? Because nowadays a huge proportion of track bikes never see a velodrome….traditionally styled track bikes that consumers are dropping mad cash on. Deda is making a smart marketing move to garner some cash from this trend.
Wait, am I implying that seriously Euro cool Italian Deda Elementi is chasing style trends to line their pockets? Well, maybe I’m being a little dismissive….I mean, it’s not like Deda is going after the trick-fixie crowd….
p> ….or maybe they are.
Yet as easy is it is for me to make fun of Deda’s marketing fluff, I still rather like their Pista stem. As a short rider, I hate the market wide trend of making headtubes taller. I don’t really think of myself as using a particularly low handlebar height, but I need to slam a 73deg stem down to the headset on any bike with more than a 105mm headtube (integrated). For instance, Ridley’s have a 130mm headtube on their smallest frame…ridiculous. I’d use the Zero100 Pista on any bike with more than 120mm of headtube, or if I was using a TT base bar and aero extensions.