Hidden Nation – Sidewinder Stem

This is the story of my hidden nation stem. Ever since I saw the designs for this stem I thought that it looked like a really good product. I waited for about six months for them to be manufactured. Then one day I saw them advertised on wiggle.co.uk for less than hidden nation were going to sell them for. I emailed them to ask how long it would take to get it and they said about 10 days. So I made the order and waited and waited. Then one day I saw Nigel and he had just ordered this Hidden Nation stem, direct i think. It came the next week. I still hadn’t heard anything from wiggle.co.uk, so I emailed them.

Apparently my order had been cancelled becasue it was so old. I wasn’t over the moon about this. Hadn’t they told me it would only take 10 days? Shouldn’t they have told me that they were going to cancel my order? So I sent them a rude email and they sent me out the stem quite quickly.

stem1TN.jpgJob done, so I thought. Then a few weeks later I see Nigel again and Hidden Nation, or whoever he got the stem off, have been in touch with him and sent him replacement bolts becasue apparently the ones provided weren’t long enough. I wondered why my bars had been slipping a lot.

I was going to email wiggle.co.uk again but I was lazy. Then about a week later Tim got something from the post office telling him that there was a package for me. He went to pick it up, but he had to pay about a pound because the postage didn’t over the weight. Inside were my new stem bolts, a polite letter and a free sticker, which was very nice of Hidden Nation, but it would have been good if they’d have paid the postage.

Anyway with my new bolts in the stem and my sticker on my frame for good luck, it all seems to be working fine. This stem is probably the lightest BMX stem ever, but it seems very robust.

I really like the design – having the bolts at the side means there is more knee clearance, and less sharp stuff to hit your legs on. It is really easy to put on, and, unlike my old stem, doesn’t make any horrible noises when you tighten it, or when you are riding. Aside from this I can’t say that I noticed much of a difference, but I think that is generally a good thing with bike parts.

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