Sea Otter: Pacenti PDent makes sub-30mm stems possible

Simple solution to longstanding barrier could alter bike frame design

Components Sea Otter Classic

2015 Sea Otter Classic

How short can you go? Pacenti says 12mm.

How short can you go? Pacenti says 12mm (click to enlarge).

Designer Kirk Pacenti is arguably best known as a leading advocate for 27.5 mountain bikes, but his latest push is in the realm of stems — really short stems. Last weekend at the Sea Otter Classic, Pacenti unveiled a new bar-stem combo that would break the 30mm barrier.

Dubbed PDent, Pacenti’s patent-pending idea offers an elegantly simple solution to the desire for shorter stems. PDent features a dimpled bar, which allows it to come closer to the steerer tube, which in turn allows the use of stems as short as 12mm. The initial product offering is 25mm.

“The dimple is a swept radial cut forming a pocket that allows the bar to wrap around the steerer tube,” explained Pacenti. “The dimple is designed to allow for a range of head tube angles, from 63-69 degrees, plus several degrees of fore/aft rotation. By dimpling the handlebar we can make stems pretty much as short as we want. And unlike current sub-30 stems, we can also keep stem and handlebar heights just as low as traditional designs.”

If all goes according to plan, this could be you by the end of the year.

If all goes according to plan, this could be you by the end of the year (click to enlarge).

Pacenti says that PDent technology production samples will be available later this month, with full commercial availability slated for year-end. He’s also in discussion with several manufacturers interested in licensing the technology.

“Riders have been using shorter and shorter stems for years to improve handling in increasingly technical terrain” Pacenti said. “And designers have started making frames with longer top tubes to accommodate them. But until now, the shortest practical stem available has been 30mm. Any shorter, and the handlebar runs into the bike’s steerer tube. Further evolution of frame geometry has come to a standstill due to the limitations of stem design. PDent technology is about more than making shorter stems. It’s about opening doors to help designers create better bikes.”

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This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2015 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.

About the author: Mtbr is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.

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