SLAMSlam That Stem

As a cycling enthusiast, I often envision what I would change about every aspect of the bicycle. One limiting factor presented itself with the popularization of the integrated headset. The top bearing dust cover often drives the lowest height of the handlebar and due to its height does not allow for optimal positioning for cyclists who want their front contact points to be lower on the bike for optimized fit. Some cyclists have even been known to remove their dust cover and ride without it to achieve the desired position, which drastically decreases bearing life. Others have filed down their dust caps to achieve proper fit. Some even buy whole new headsets with lower stack heights. This phenomenon and the related media has been documented on a local cyclist’s website, www.SLAMTHATSTEM.com. Partnering with Ryan Kelly, the owner of this website, we discussed a solution to this problem and focused on one bicycle manufacturer with a race bicycle that was being widely used by local and professional teams. With the help of www.SLAMTHATSTEM.com I have brought these to market in a limited quantity. 100% USA made, mostly local in Massachusetts. The parts can be purchased here.

Stock dust caps these days are limiting adjustability and are overdesigned. Switching headsets on the bicycles that come stock with these large dust caps is expensive and a takes a good amount of time and skill. This project allows to users of the CAAD 10 bicycle (and a few other bikes) to swap out the oversized dust cap quickly without too much cost or hassle. This provides the user with a wider range of fit options to properly adjust their bicycle to the right position. It can be used with or without spacers on top of it.

I designed the SLAM THAT STEM dust cover after looking extensively at headsets, the bearings, and the bikes they would work with. After checking these parameters to try and find a median size for compatibility, I realized that this would not be possible and focused on making them for one specific bicycle. I prototyped the design back in Baltimore on my lathe and tested it on my personal bike for several weeks before developing a new design and fabrication method (forming die) and testing this on the team bikes of B2C2 and the MetLife Pro Cycling Team. Design verification and safety testing was also achieved by running some FMEA on Solidworks before final production occurred.

These blanks were punched in Michigan, formed in Massachusetts with a custom die, and anodized and laser marked by 2 separate local shops in Massachusetts. As an engineer and designer, I try my best to keep the fabrication as close to home as possible to limit the footprint in between the shops and be able to interact with the shop in person during projects. Though the blanks were punched in Michigan due to a significant cost savings, the rest of the fabrication and QC was done in Massachusetts, where I could be sure the parts were within specifications. The next run of this project will likely be done completely in Massachusetts if we are able to make a larger number. The packaging was done using circular clear stickers put on 2X2” coin envelopes, where the stickers double as promotional material for the project. The logo on the packaging was designed by Brian Zager http://bkzgrfx.tumblr.com/

  • Die stamped 6061- T4 Aluminum
  • Anodized and Laser Marked
  • Technical specs can be found on the website.