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Press Release

Designer Kirk Pacenti is best known as the leading advocate for the game-changing 27.5” (650b) mountain bike wheel size. But when he addressed a packed house of MTB editors and industry buyers At Sea Otter last Friday, the topic was an entirely different kind of game-changer: breaking the 30mm stem barrier.

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“Riders have been using shorter and shorter stems for years to improve handling in increasingly technical terrain” Pacenti explains. “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.”

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Enter PDent, Pacenti’s patent-pending technology that offers an elegantly simple solution to the 30mm barrier. PDent features a dimpled bar allowing the use of stems as short as 12mm (the initial product is 25mm). As the PDent logo implies, dimpling the bar (D) lets is come closer to the steerer tube (P).

Pacenti explains, “In CAD terms, the “dimple” is a swept radial cut forming a pocket that allows the bar to wrap around the steerer tube. The dimple is designed to allow for a range of head tube angles (63° - 69°), 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.”

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PDent technology is already rolling out, with production samples later this month and full commercial availability by year-end. And Pacenti is already in discussions with several large manufacturers interested in licensing the technology.

“But the bottom line,” he says, is not just about PDent technology, or even about making shorter stems. It’s about opening doors to help designers create better bikes.”

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Complete PDent information is available at pdent.pacenticycledesign.com. Photos by David Andrews.


About Pacenti Cycle Design

Pacenti Cycle Design designs and makes complete wheels plus hub, rims, tires, and other components for road and off-road riders. Founded in 2001 as BikeLugs.com, founder Kirk Pacenti originally supplied custom frame builders with lugs, tubing and frame components, as well as design and consulting services.

In 2004 Pacenti began sketching out a mountain bike design that utilized the then-obscure 650b wheel standard. While the 650b wheel—sized midway between the established 26- and 29-inch standards, and also known as 27.5—had been in production in European commute and utility bikes for decades, Pacenti was the first to use it in a modern mountain bike application. He showed the first production 650b mountain bike at the North American Handmade Bike Show in 2007, and has been supporting the fast-growing 650b wheel size standard ever since with a range of innovative tire and rim designs.

Pacenti is also a longtime bike industry veteran with a background that includes Bontrager, Giro, Litespeed, Merlin, Tomac and Lynskey.

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