The purpose of a stem is to connect the handlebar to your fork's steerer. This can be accomplished by using either a quill or threadless type stem.
A threadless or not-anymore-so-commonly-referred-to "aheadset" type stem uses a clamp on both ends. One end clamps around the smooth, threadless steerer and the other end clamps around the handlebar. This makes handlebar and stem changes extremely easy due to the removable faceplate inherent in threadless stems. In addition, this style of stem is typically stiffer than their quill counterparts due to the wider cross-section, so this style is more popular with speedy bikes (Pass Hunter) and bikes meant to take beatings (Piolet). Our threadless stems come in a variety of sizes and rises, all based around the 1 1/8" steerer size. Traveling with this stem is a bit more involved as you need to take care not to lose spacers as well as the 7 screws (4 faceplate, 2 steerer clamp, 1 top cap) which hold your cockpit together.
All of our stems measure the same way, center to center - center of clamp/quill to center of handlebar clamp along the rise or drop angle. The stem pictured above is 90mm.
The VO quill stem gives a more upright position, perfect for tourists or those who just want a more heads-up position.
The Grand Cru Quill is a -17 degree position. Most traditional headtube angles hover around 73 degrees (give or take a degree or half), so when the stem is installed, the classic number 7 look is achieved.
For the best of both worlds, we also offer a quill threadless adaptor. This allows you to use a threadless stem for the convenience of a quill's quick adjustability and a threadless stem's easy handlebar and stem switches. Simply install the threadless stem on the adapter and proceed just as you were installing a quill stem.
The Tall-Stack Stem uses the -17 degree position to take up spacers as well as provide the number 7 look we know and love. This stem is available in only 31.8, but we offer reducing shims for 25.4 and 26.0 handlebar clamps. This stem is not compatible with the quill threadless adaptor since the steerer clamp is longer than the adaptor's.
Slammed stems, ugh. If you have a steel, threadless steerer, raise your stem as high as you want. It's better to ride your bike and be comfortable than not ride your bike because you lean too far over. Break out from the conformity of wanna-be pelaton'ers and internet "experts". Embrace your comfort and reject those who bring you down.