Years ago, I had a first-hand experience with cycling-born man pain. I was biking along a new trail that I was rather unfamiliar with. And by trail I mean unforgiving rock garden filled with one- to two-foot baby heads. I was slogging along, barely rolling foward when my front tire came to an abrupt stop thanks to a rather large, straight rock that I just didn't have enough momentum to roll over.
As anyone who's ever come to a fast stop in a car knows, just because your vehicle stops moving, doesn't mean your body does. No, my body went jerking forward and my crotch slammed into the stem.
Now ordinarily, you'd be thinking that it was the home-video-style ball slam. But this particular instance was nothing of the sort. You see, I actually hit the stem with the shaft. And while I was thankful for not having smashed my balls, what followed was an equally painful and far stranger sensation comprising an awkward, stinging pain shooting deep up the urethra. It was qually as bad as a ball shot, and perhaps worse since nothing had ever prepared me for the sensation. To this day, if I think about it, I get chills.
Long story short, I know that there's a clear market for something like The Stemie. And though I'd like a better product name, and possibly a more plush, padded product, I can definitely see the value in attaching one of these to your stem. Designed to absorb some of the shock caused by the unstoppable man-part momentum, The Stemie slides over that sharp, angular, metal stem and provides a little cushion should a short stop send your junk hurling in its direction. Consider it a cup worn on the outside.
The Stemie is made from a soft silicone shell and attaches around the stem with a strap. According to the company, it fits most bike stems.
Considering its purpose, I'd really like to see a little more padding on this thing. A thin piece of silicone over a hard, metal edge just doesn't seem like it will get the job done. Anyone that's ever taken one in the nards knows that it's not necessarily how hard the object is, but how much force it hits with. The fact that they make specific mention of the fact that it's not a safety device (probably for legal reasons) doesn't inspire any extra confidence. And if I'm riding around with a rainbow-colored ball helmet on my bike, it'd damn well better work that one time when I need it.
If you're more optimistic than I am, you can get your Stemie for $19.