Interbike 2013: Syntace gets l-o-w

by Marc Basiliere 8

Slam that stem.  And those bars.

Shorty got low low low low,  low low low low
Shorty got low low low low,
low low low low

Perhaps a reflection of the peculiarities of the German bike market’s love of saddle-to-stem drop or of certain companies’ insistence that even sub-5′ riders should be on 140mm 29ers, but the most unique thing at Syntace’s Interbike booth was easily their Flatforce stem.  In essence a dropped version of the Megaforce stem reviewed last month, the Flatforce is intended for riders having a hard time finding a good position on longer-travel 650b and 29in bikes. The 44mm version shown here an extreme example- 55mm, 66mm, and 77mm versions are also available with 88mm, 99mm, and 111mm models in the works.

Yup.  That's low.
Yup. That’s low.

According to Syntace materials, the 55mm stem puts the bars’ centre 12mm below the headset top.  Longer versions go even lower thanks to drop relative to the steering axis.  Syntace has tested the Flatforce to the VR-3 downhill standard and gives it the green light with bars up to 800mm wide.  Not many will need this stem- but those who do will sure be glad to have found it.

Lower still
Lower still

But wait!  What if one needed to go even lower (or would like to use a more traditional stem)?  For them, there are the Vector Carbon Low 5 and Low 10.  That’s right, these 8- and 12-degree sweep carbon bars come in a 5mm and 10mm negative rises.  When we asked Syntace general manager Tom Mayerhofer last year what special engineering was needed to develop the Low series of bars, he responded ‘we put the decals on upside-down.’ Syntace is Distributed by OneWay distribution, in the US by Radsport USA.

Comments (8)

  1. Love the upside down decals comment.

  2. That stem just looks impotent….

  3. ‘Negative rise’ surely that would be a drop?

  4. Syntace is Distributed by OneWay distribution

  5. Would it not be better to design the frame properly in the first place?

  6. Love it when Syntace talk about their made-up standards 🙂

  7. I need one ! Hard to make front ends as low as you’d like for 29er’s , even with 1.5 headtube and internal headset they can still be tall at the front.

  8. While I do think that any bike that needs such daft stuff applied to it is fundamentally wrong, I am glad for Syntace not using angles to describe the drop of this stem. A length and rise (drop) is much more informative.

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