Stem stiffness versus weight. What are your thoughts?

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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by AdyM

I run a ritchey c260 road stem (110mm) on my XC hard tail and have no complaints, not sure how well the 3mm bolts it uses will hold up, but I really love the look of it and can't see any flex in it with the 720mm carbon bars i'm running

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by Getter

I've never been able to really notice any flexing in my stem.

How do you tell if its the stem or the bar flexing? There is so much movement in the front end...with the suspension fork and low pressure in my tire. I'm using a Syntace Flatforce stem with a Niner RDO carbon bar. Before that...I had a Thomson X4 and 3T Arx Pro.

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by cerro

Getter: Try an Extralite stem and compare it to the Flatforce and you will notice flex ;) Not feeling it while riding, just when changing to something stiff
/jonas l (my cyclingblog)

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by DanW

Stem stiffness doesn't bother me at all riding. Durability and cost would be my main drivers in picking a light stem. Highly safety critical part I wouldn't be taking any chances on, regardless of standards met. Personally I'd want to see some Syntace-esque testing or see years of happy customers before buying but that is just me.

Stiffness variations between stems can be pretty shocking in isolated tests or parking lot, grip the wheel and twist the bars type things. I am happily riding a Syntace F99 which is a hell of a lot less stiff than a Lefty OPI stem. Do I notice it on the trail? Barely to be honest since the stem is just one part in a chain of flex (wheel, wheel-fork interface/ fork/ bars). The difference in stiffness between a Lefty and a regular fork was far more noticeable on the trail IME, for example.

Basically, not too fussed on stem stiffness but I would personally take some convincing on the durability side of things. I'd like to try and Extralite or the stem in this thread, but the weight savings are so marginal over KCNC, Rotor, Syntace, etc for a massive increase in cost. Even if you could show it was super safe and durable it sounds like it is out of my personal price range.

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by Ottoturbo ... -review-3/ No Syntace F109, but I have been happy with mine on the roabike. Getting the 3T ARX Team -17 degrees for my MTB.

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