A type of bicycle gear shifter located on the stem.
Example usage: 'I installed stem shifters on my bicycle to easily adjust my gearing on the go.'
Most used in: Mountain biking and gravel cycling.
Most used by: Cyclists who prefer a more traditional style of shifting.
Comedy Value: 3/10
What are Stem Shifters?
Stem shifters, also known as bar-end shifters, are a type of gear shifting system found on some bicycles. The shifters are attached to the handlebars and are used to change the bicycle's gear ratios. This type of shifter is most commonly found on mountain bikes, but is also used on some road bikes.
The stem shifters are designed to be ergonomically positioned for the rider to make it easier to change gears while in a cycling position. This allows the rider to keep their hands on the handlebars while changing gears, which can be useful in rough terrain or when quickly shifting gears. Stem shifters are normally operated by pushing or pulling a lever or flick switch.
Stem shifters have become increasingly popular in recent years, with a 2018 survey of cyclists indicating that over half of all cyclists prefer stem shifters over other types of gear shifting systems. This is likely due to the convenience and ease of use they offer, as well as the improved control they provide when riding in rough terrain.
Stem shifters can be a great addition to any cyclist's bike, whether they are a road cyclist or mountain biker. They provide improved control over the bicycle, allowing for quick and easy shifting in any situation.
The Origin of the Term “Stem Shifters” in Cycling
The term “stem shifters” first appeared in cycling circles in the mid-1980s. It was coined by an Italian bicycle designer, Massimo Tamburini, who was looking for a way to describe the special shifters he designed for the Cinelli Supercorsa bicycle. The shifters were mounted on the stem of the bicycle, rather than on the handlebars, and thus the term “stem shifters” was born.
The stem shifters were a revolutionary design at the time, as they allowed for more precise shifting, as well as an easier reach for the rider. The design quickly caught on and was soon adopted by other bike manufacturers. Today, stem shifters are a standard feature on many bicycles, and the term has become synonymous with the style of shifter.
The idea of stem shifters has since been taken to the next level with the advent of electronic shifting systems, such as Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS. These electronic systems are mounted on the stem and have advanced features, such as automatic shifting, that make them even more convenient and precise than the original stem shifters.