Science in the Age of Experience

 May 15-18, 2017 • Chicago, IL



AM Challenge 4: Design a Bike Stem


The stem is the component on a bicycle that connects the handlebars to the steerer tube of the bicycle fork. Sometimes called a goose neck, a stem's design belongs to either a quill or threadless system, and each system is compatible with respective headset and fork designs. In the Quill system, the stem inserts into the steerer tube, which is threaded and does not extend above the headset. This is not the case in a Threadless system since the stem clamps around the steerer tube, which is not threaded and extends above the headset.

Problem statement

For this challenge, we will be considering a threadless system. It is made of two parts, a handlebar clamp and a steer tube clamp. A stem commonly has the following geometric specifications:

  • 10° Angle
  • 100mm Length

Participants will be provided the design space for the steerer tube clamp of a threadless system. Participants must optimize the design considering the following criteria and conditions.

Evaluation criteria

  • Lightweight
  • Reduce manufacturing cost
  • Reduce maximum principal stress

Details for this AM challenge such as part geometry, material data, loading and boundary conditions will be emailed to Hackathon registrants one month prior to the Hackathon.