Many of you may know that Shawn and I have been making custom handlebar stems for a long time and in fact designed and had made a job specific fixture to make stems with several years ago. However, until recently there were some fit and finish issues that I was not satisfied with. The issues were twofold, the first was that the binders we were using came pre-slotted. This was a time saver on seat tubes, where the slot width seemed appropriate, but the slot was too wide for a stem. The solutions was to find unslotted binders, which a request to one of our suppliers eventually accomplished. The second issue was that the piece of tubing that clamped to the handlebar looked like…well, a piece of tubing- no shape. Another supplier, Paragon Machine Works, provided the solution with a machined sleeve which tapers from an outer diameter of 31.75mm in the center to just over 27mm at the edges. Take a look at the pictures of prototype using the new pieces. I think you’ll appreciate the shaped clamping piece and the nice tight clamping slots. And oh by the way, Paragon also bores the inner diameter to exactly 26.0 for a perfect fit with the handlebars.