Thomson Stem Dec21

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Thomson Stem

Someday, when I become one of those people who buys multiple bike parts, I’ll write reviews of different models of the same component. But for now I’m just going to write reviews of non-specific bike parts. Like “wheels.” With conclusions like “one of the roundest parts of my bike.” I’ll do this until I’ve named off every piece of my bike. As time goes on and I run out of bike parts, these reviews will grow more and more boring. Eventually you’ll be reading my reviews of things like Velox rim tape and alloy nipples.

Today I’ll be reviewing an often overlooked and under appreciated component: the stem.

What do I know about my stem? It’s black. And it connects my handlebar to my steerer tube. Sometimes I hold onto it when I’m walking my bike. I rarely hold onto it when I’m riding – that would be silly. They have different names on them, and these names are directly proportional to price. Mine says “Thomson”. The Thomson fellow who widdles each one (by hand) has no idea that his name should have a silent P. The elder Thomson’s are deaf and named their children phonetically, the same way ABBA learned the words to Dancing Queen. His website has an Ayn Rand quote, so he may be an objectivist, which means he beleives in both pure laissez-faire capitalism (like Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan) and volcanic aliens (like Tom Cruise and Beck.)

I misspelled “misspell” up there. But then I corrected it.

I think that when stems are good, people will use words like “stiff” and “light”. When they are bad, people will describe them with words like “broken” or “Forté.” Mine was very expensive, so I think that it feels stiff and light. But I’m not sure, because I don’t have anything to compare it to.

Also, it’s 110mm. I think that Mr. Thomson charges the same price for all of them. So the best value is the 140mm. Because it comes with the most aluminum. And I believe that most equals best.

If you have a bike but no stem, you should buy one because it will help you steer.