After a bit of stem swapping, I’ve ended up with a new Thomson X4 90mm stem paired with a Bontrager Rhythm Pro bar, together they should beef up the front end of the Hemlock a bit.
The incessant creaking from the bike was beginning to get on my nerves, so I decided to attack some of the pivots armed only with a set of allen keys, a hammer, some grease, and a healthy dose of ignorance. I didn’t manage to get the rockers off completely, and I’m still not entirely sure how you’re meant to remove them, but I think the creaking was due to an over-tight pivot between the rocker and seat-stays. Loosening it off slightly appears to have solved the problem, although it probably means that the bolts will fall out, the pivot will collapse, and I’ll die horribly in a nasty accident next time I ride the bike. Now where did I put my thread-lock?