|The original Flexstem?|
Suspension stems had a revival early nineties with the Girvin Flexstem and others and the concept has reared it head again recently but here is possibly the original. The Dupi (PIerre DUmas of St Etienne) stem hails from France and dates from the late forties.
The Dupi is a nicely made piece of kit though a bit heavy despite the dural construction. I haven't yet ridden with it so can't comment on performance though I suspect it is perhaps suspect. The downfall seems to be that there is no damping at all on the rebound and it just returns with a metal on metal clash.
In my mind flex stems are just a gimmick and seem to get marketed on a cyclical basis with just enough time in between for people to forget how useless they really are and for nostalgia to kick in. Overall if you want a bit of cushioning to the wrists there are three decent options - front suspension, soft bar tape / grips or handlebars with a bit of flex engineered in.
The bolt that goes down through the top of the Dupi stem does nothing where it is in the pictures but is the optional lock out bolt - you can unscrew it and fit it through the horizontal hole.
The Dupi is perfect for my Etoile Phantomesque project. I'm still on the hunt for more eccentricly designed thirties and forties components to fit so if you have anything appropriate going spare please get in touch...
|Dupi stem by PIerre DUmas of St Etienne.|
|The key to riding comfort, possibly...|
|And here is what it will be fitted to. Etoile Phantomesque.|
|Another Dupi stem.This image lifted|
from the Forum Tonton Velo site.