TOR's Clever Stem and Easily Rebuildable Pedals - Taipei Cycle Show 2019

Mar 27, 2019
by Mike Levy  
Taipei Cycle Show 2019
The TR stem uses a wedge system to clamp the steerer, and the 38mm-long model weighs 138-grams.


Stems and platform pedals have been done to death by now, right? I mean, how many different versions of the same (or similar) thing can there be? It turns out there are still a few clever ideas out there.

TOR is a brand new component company who, when the parts become available in five or six months time, will offer rims, thru-axles, handlebars, seatposts, tools, and their neat TR and XR stems and pedals pictured here.


Taipei Cycle Show 2019
Taipei Cycle Show 2019
See that split wedge between the stem's body and the front of the steerer tube? TOR says that it requires 30-percent less torque than a more common two-bolt design.


Let's look at their CNC stem and its 'Constrictor System' that employs a split wedge design to clamp down on the steerer tube. There's a single gold-colored bolt that runs through the stem body and the two wedges, and TOR is saying that the layout requires around 30-percent less torque than a more traditional two-bolt setup.

But there have been wedge-equipped stems before, of course, so what's different about this one? I was told that the shape of the wedges, which wrap around the steerer more than others I've seen, apply a much more evenly spread squeezing force.

The wedge system also makes for an extremely clean-looking design, with no clamp bolts on the backside of the stem that can leave bloody holes on unprotected knees. Ouchy.

The TR model is intended for, you guessed it, trail riding, and it can be had in a 38mm length that weighs 138-grams, or a 50mm version that adds 32-grams. There's also a cross-country model, call the XR, that ditches two of the faceplate bolts to save a bit of weight, and both models will go for $85 USD when they hit the shelves.
Taipei Cycle Show 2019
The black and gold color scheme certainly give the stems a high-end appearance.


Taipei Cycle Show 2019
The 330-gram TR pedal will go for $140 USD, and it features a clever split bushing design to make maintenance simple.


TOR also had their upcoming platform pedals on display (they'll have clipless models eventually, too) that not only sport a unique shape but also have some unique internals. The 330-gram, $140 USD TR pedal is pictured here, but all of the models use a neat split bushing system that should make rebuilding them quite easy.


Taipei Cycle Show 2019
Taipei Cycle Show 2019
They certainly look different than your run of the mill platform pedal.


The split bushings are exactly like they sound: Instead of being pressed into the pedal body tight enough to make pushing them out a real PIA, each half snaps into grooves machined into the body. When you pull the axle out, which will be available in all the usual flavors, both the inboard and outboard bushings come out with it. The idea is to turn a frustrating job into a really easy one, and after tinkering around with them at the show, it looks like they've done exactly that. There are no sealed bearings, either, which usually means there's a buttload of friction, but these spun with nearly bearing-like smoothness.


58 Comments

  • + 34
 Instead of micro-waving some stuff that have been seen over and over again, one good and usefull innovation would be to have something allowing to align stem/wheel. Every time I come from my DH bike to ride my Enduro bike I end-up pulling my (few) hair out to try to have this damn stem aligned.
  • + 40
 Yeah most annoying thing ever. You end up removing your mudguard because it increases the asymmetry feeling, then no matter how you align it, you end up doubting it's really straight for the whole next ride. Then you ask friends if they think it's straight and they end up telling you "I think it should be a bit more to the right" when you thought it was too much to the left. Then you hit a tree and you have to start all over again.
  • + 74
 Put a straight pipe or a broomstick against the stanchions on the arch of your fork. Align that to your handlebars. Done
  • + 24
 @Happymtbfr: that's the smartest thing I've read on PB for a long time.
  • + 3
 That's what I don't get. Someone came out with those stupid grips and bars with the angle cut end, which makes no sense. If only we could get fork manufacturers and stem companies to come together for a standard for their customers. It would be easy to have some sort of key-way in the steerer that matched one in the stem.
  • + 8
 @zede: “no matter how you align it, you end up doubting it's really straight for the whole next ride” this
  • + 15
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: That could potentially work to get the alignment, but if the key-way prevented the stem from being able to twist in the event of a crash that could cause other problems. I don't get why anyone is that concerned about it anyway, just eyeball it. Who cares if it's some tiny degree off, no suspension bike itself is perfectly straight anyway. Also you're placing a ton a faith in a whole bunch of different companies making different products somehow keeping the same alignment. What do you do if your stem is locked in a key-way but not straight?
  • + 2
 If your stem looks somewhat alligned and you don't notice anything wrong, why would you care?
  • + 2
 @IntoTheEverflow: well for most things, any setting will always feels fine on the parking lot or during the first 10minutes of riding. Wrong saddle angle > feel it after 2h.
Wrong brake angle > feel it after few hours of park. Bad stem alignment > you feel it only in certain type of turns.

It always look somewhat aligned, and it takes time to notice what is wrong, and that precisely the problem.
  • + 2
 @Happymtbfr: How is it possible that i never thought of this.
  • + 2
 Who ever feels like making it and selling it gets a sale from me. Have a compass like piece that can be inserted into the stem bolts like an alan tool. (The bolts that hold the bars.) and allow for a laser that can be tilted at different angles to see if it is centered in different parts of the tire. There.
  • + 4
 Do you have the same problem with saddles?
  • + 10
 SPLINED STEERER TUBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you know... like CRANK ARMS AND BOTTOM BRACKETS?

yeah, I know I'm yelling.
  • + 2
 @IntoTheEverflow: Righto. They are probably watching their front wheels roll over stuff as well, instead of looking up the trail. Bernard Kerr or some other tip-top level rider may be able tell without looking or measuring whether the stem is aligned, but the 99.8% absolutely cannot and it doesn't matter......
  • + 0
 @chillrider199: I think instead of a laser device to help me get that last nanodegree of perfect alignment, I can guarantee that I, and everyone else, would benefit much more from a new tire or 2.
  • + 1
 some company had some system like this last year... you can find it on pinkbike... but the easy way is to visually align the font edge of your stem's face plate to the the front edge of your fork's arch... its really easy to discern if the two edges are parallel or not... your brain is good at that... if your stem face plate is not straight, you can remove it and the bars, and line up against the straight surfaces of the stem (you can find some straight surfaces where the faceplate bolts on) and the back of your fork arch (which is also normally straight)...
  • + 2
 @ridintrials: sorry but in a bad crash I want my bars to be able to spin or twist a bit instead of snapping or bending. Just as both your legs are slightly different lengths so are your arms.A percentage of a degree in your bar alignment isn't going to make any difference in performance.
  • + 5
 Don't try to adjust your stem with your tire. Simply align your handlebar to your fork crown, or fork dropouts - depending on the bike. No innovation needed here.
  • + 2
 @konamat: This. Can't belive this is down the bottom of the replies. It's the simplest and easiest way to line them up.
  • + 1
 @Allen82: it is not really easier. You still need to rely on "are my eyes well aligned with everything ? Or is everything not aligned ?"
  • + 8
 Ride more. Get older. Stop caring.
  • + 3
 @zede: If your bars are parallel to your crown. Then it's aligned...
  • + 3
 Get stem pinch bolts slightly tight. Stand over frame. Sight down stem. Align back side of bar to front side of fork crown. Not difficult. If you can’t accomplish this, you probably shouldnt be doing any of your own maintenance.
  • + 1
 If @TheOriginalTwoTone: we don’t need a key way just a line down the back of the fork align in between your stem perfect every time.pretty simple I’m sure there’s a reason they don’t do it but they could put a clock pattern on the base Incase of a misprint with an o clock number to reference how far off your line was it might work
  • + 1
 @loganflores: exactly my thought, it would make aligning your stem dead easy (as long as you have a normal stem) and nobody would be moaning because "in case of a crash". Btw in the DH world we are running integrated stems for a good 10 years and yeah sometime you bend your handlebar but that's with a double-crown fork, it will most likely never happen on a single crown fork. Having to start doing the pedal thing 2/3 years ago and those stupid stems on single crown forks made me remember how archaic it was on DH bike too, my last non integrated stem was from 2008, time to catch up like.
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: I’m in the middle of trying to find the sweet spot with my new bar driving me nuts every time I think I have it right I 180 and it’s off by just a bit one way. I just want a painted line down the back of the steerer.
  • + 1
 @lifeofloon: Very very very good point, something that I did not consider. However, double crown forks are not forgiving in this manner and it could be said that "typically" bikes with double crowns are prone to worse or more frequent crashes.

As to the arm length question, let's keep un-evolved baboons off bikes... Just kidding.

If a rider has a shorter arm, and the bars are "slightly off" in the OTHER direction, this would compound the problem. So maybe a spline that has such a fine tooth pattern so folks could dial them in? Or perhaps even better, a top cap interface "tool" that "bites" to the TOP of the steerer (think DT Swiss star ratchet but with way more teeth), then is removable once the fork is set.... then you have the best of both worlds and stems are free to continue their current design.

added bonus, this may be a feature that could be machined onto existing steerer tubes.

oh know, i've said too much... Patent Pending. PATENT PENDING!!!
  • + 1
 @ridintrials: very nice response. Thank you.
I guess when I was pointing out slight arm length differences I was trying to get at the fact that the body can compensate quite well for slight variables like that and we never even notice. I mean we all have slightly differing leg lengths and how many people notice or feel that while peddling?
I'm also a single crown fork kinda guy. I've just never been able to include a dh rig in my fleet. As such, I have really speak to seeing one up or its unique differences.
I do like the idea others have mentioned about a tooled line on the steerer tube that could be used to line up with a similar marking on the stem. Now we just need to convince the manufactures that this is a minor but good addition/change for everyone.
  • + 13
 *buys gold ti bolt kit* Now my all black components look high end
  • + 13
 Did gold for my Son's NS Clash junior. even fitted saint brakes hoses Big Grin

www.pinkbike.com/u/poah/album/NS-Clash-Jr
  • + 7
 @poah: good looking bike! Nice work.
  • + 4
 If you put the clamp bolt / split on the handlebar side, then the clamping force is affected bij the clamping of the handlebar.
When the wedge is on the rider side, then the clamping is independant from the clamping of the handlebar, seems better to me when they are independant
  • + 3
 Mike... maybe if you have time tomorrow, I can show you something pretty interesting. How is it?

www.facebook.com/hnam.lee
  • + 5
 No naked photo please
  • + 1
 Whats the stack height on the stem? Had issues in the past swapping forks between bikes and not having enoungh steerer tube left to clamp safely on. This looks like it could be perfect in those situations.
  • + 1
 These $140 pedals allow you to replace the bushings by just pulling on the spindle?
Seems like your pedal might fly off your cranks mid-run, doesn't it?
Maybe I am missing something here...
  • + 1
 Might happen to your pedals also if you miss something. The retaining nut that is.
  • + 1
 You guys really can’t get your bars straight?

I suppose it’s the next generation, skills diminishing, pretty soon people will throw away their bikes if the bars get crooked.
  • + 2
 oh stfu
  • + 1
 Wouldn't having the stem compress around that portion of them effect how the bar clamps fit around the bar? And if you mounted the bar first, wouldn't that limit the amount the stem can tight around the steerer tube?
  • + 1
 Love the stem. Clean looks, round non harmful edges. Hope they keep the stealthy look and up the stealthiness with some black screws!
  • + 2
 Not to mention the Syncros Cattlehead stem, that used the split clamp back in the mid 90’s...
  • + 1
 Azonic stems had it, Straitline had it. Heavy.
  • + 1
 DMR too, tighten wedge stems enough for the stem not to slip an it crushes the steerer
  • + 2
 The original Thomson 25.4 stems were this pinch design as well- I put mine on my nieces bike. Those old school syncros stems with the hinges bar clamp and pinch design are still dope
  • + 1
 Oh that is a pedal I would really spend more then my usual 50 bug's on. How big is the platform? I hope this will be at least 110x110mm big.
  • + 2
 It's spaced a nice distance from the crank, it appears. I like that. A wider stance is nice on a mtb.
  • + 1
 @fr3er1d3r: yes , that's why I like them too. I have a awkward position for my foot on flat pedals, also the pedal is total flat. Most pedals except the new Shimano ones are bigger near the thread/bearing.
  • + 3
 @fr3er1d3r: Exact opposite of the Chromag Contact pedals that bring your feet closer to the cranks. So the TR pedal is something to consider for bow-legged folk.
  • + 1
 Pedal dimensions? About the only spec I care about on a pedal. Weight is far behind.
  • + 2
 Honi soit qui mal y pense
  • + 1
 Hasn't the split bushing been used in Crankbrothers Stamp for years?
  • + 8
 No that's the pedals that split... in half... when you breathe near them
  • + 1
 @ctd07: Never had any troubles with mine in two years and 1500km+, I guess yours did not like your attitude towards them Big Grin
  • + 1
 No high-rise bars with that stem.
  • - 1
 hideous caca

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