My riding yesterday up in the woods showed me just how poor my fitness and bike handling skills have become. Rather than inspire me to ride more, it made me want a custom stem to put the midge drop bars a little higher and closer! Specifically, a 52 x 180 stem like the one illustrated below.
Anyway, instead of riding this morning, I researched custom stems.
Vanilla, Sycip, et al. seem to only make stems for their custom frame orders. MAP cycles (one of my favorite Portland builders) will do a custom $325 stem. Ahearne will do a fillet brazed stem starting at $275.
It looks like the bargainz are the $135 stem ($165 with removable face plate) from Rex Cycles, a possible $175 Rock Lobster (a good match for a Bontrager, I think), and Willits’, $150 Scorcher stem. Wes Williams has made hundreds of super-high-rise stems for exactly this purpose.