Zoom 120 mm 1-1/4 inch cr-mo MTB quill stem

Zoom 120 mm 1-1/4 inch cr-mo MTB quill stem

Zoom is a relatively famous old school brand that had a line of MTB-parts such as stems, handlebar, bar ends and seatposts. They are probably most famous for the Zoom stem which was OEM-equipment on quite a lot of bikes back in the day and for a handlebar with integrated bar ends called the Brahma-bar.

In a time when the mountain bike world was inflated with cool CNC-machined parts that reached legendary status even before being widespread (just think of the Magic Motorcycle crank) I think many Taiwanese producers of mountain bike parts where scratching their heads wondering how they could capture a more upper end market in USA when anything Made in Taiwan was spit at by MTB enthusiasts.

Solution to the problem?

Easy, first change name from a strange Taiwan corporate name to “Zoom” which sounds better and more international. Second, sponsor world famous XC-racer Ned Overend with Zoom parts (prepared with extra bright and visible white colored Zoom decals) and there in a day when XC-racing had more spectators than DH-racing Zoom got more brand exposure than any obscure Taiwanese MTB-parts manufacturer of its time (I believe).

Over to the stem:

This is actually a really nice looking Zoom manufactured cro-mo stem thanks to its nice plated polished look. I guess the stem is not an aftermarket Zoom stem. My sources actually informed me that this stem was OEM-speced on Wheelers top of the line bikes during 1993 (the Easton Varilite monster ARC-look-a-like hardtail with rigid aluminium fork).

Aftermarket Zoom stems only have one bolt on the front of the stem, but this one has two, as we all know, two is always better than one, so this must be better.

Dimensions are, 120 mm, 1-1/4 inch and a slight rise, I quess 10 degrees. Since this is a steel stem there is some surface rust around the cable hanger and inside the stem (it has since been sprayed with rust proof spray. A really nice looking quill stem in the rare 1-1/4 size and in short 120 mm, most stems from back when DH-racing was won with rigid bikes tended to be at least 135, if not 150 mm long.

10 Euros and this stem flies away from my box-truck into the sterer tube of a vintage MTB-fork.

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Posted in Stems on Oct 18th, 2009, 10:54 pm by Retro mountain biker   

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