Combining the stem and handlebars into one carbon piece is something that brands such as Syncros
, Gemini and Bontrager
have been doing for a short while but Faserwerk has now taken it one step further and removed the stem altogether.
Faserwerk is the component arm of Arc8 bikes
, a brand founded by former BMC and Santa Cruz engineer Jonas Mueller. Mueller is taking full advantage of Arc8's in-house production facilities to create some unique components including the world's first one-piece 3D-forged carbon seatpost and the Rockstock riser bar with viscoelastic damping.
Now he's designed and released the Baslerstab (Basel Staff) that takes "a logical step" and bypasses the stem altogether. Instead of a stem, a circular cutout attaches directly to the fork's steerer tube, with a clamp bolted on from the back holding it there. Don't worry though, this isn't the same as the super-short 10mm stems from the early days of Forward Geometry
and in fact your hands should remain in roughly the same position as with a regular set up thanks to the shape of the bar with virtual stem lengths of 35mm and 50mm both available.
So why bother? Well, the main reason is because of the weight savings. This bar and stem combo is DH rated, 800mm wide and has a claimed weight of 240 grams - for comparison, Gemini's DH only Pollux
is claimed to weigh 255 to 275 grams. Some other key figures from this bar include a 15mm rise, 9° backsweep and 6° upsweep.
The component is made in two parts with the bar itself bladder moulded to create a lightweight, high performance tubular structure while the clamp is made using a CPMC (compression molding compound) process that apparently reduces "resin rich areas or voids."
The bar is priced at €/$299. More info, here