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  1. #1
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
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    Ritchey WCS 4-Axis to Ritchey WCS Trail stem.... worth it?

    I have a 5ish year old Ritchey WCS 4-Axis stem on my MTB. Its always kind of bothered me that my mountain bike has the same stem as my road bike. Is that stem really stiff and sturdy enough for the application? I noticed the new-ish WCS Trail stem is not much heavier, and purported to be stiffer and stronger. Stiffer appeals to me if it improves steering precision and tracking. I'm getting some new bars anyway, is this a worthwhile upgrade? Will I notice any difference?
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  2. #2
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
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    the real question is do you notice anything bad about your current stem?

  3. #3
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
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    Well, I'm swapping out my bars because they're not quite wide enough. The new bars are a little more stout so I'm wondering if my bars should be too. I notice the difference between my relatively flexy "race" wheelset (King/Stan's 355) and my "training" wheel set. My experience with stiffness is that I don't notice I'm missing it until I try something stiffer.
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  4. #4
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
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    if your getting wider bars you will put more leverage on the stem so i would go for it. you may not notice a difference with both parts replaced but i think if you just replaced the bars you would notice something was up.

  5. #5
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
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    UPDATE: I replaced my Titec Pluto bars with Easton Haven. I cut them down a bit but they are still 2" wider than my old bars. Don't know if its the stiffness or the width, but a lot more control getting sideways in the corners and launching and landing (small) jumps.

    So I'm thinking a stiffer stem might be a huge boon. I'm just trying to decided between Thomson X4 and Ritchey Trail. Both are 0-degree rise compared to my current 6-degree rise WCS, which is causing me a bit of consternation.
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  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: reformed roadie's Avatar
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    The Ritchey Trail stem is money...went from a Sunline XC to the Ritchey Trail and it is noticeably stiffer and creak free. Weighs about the same, if not lighter.
    It will be significantly lighter than the Thomson.

  7. #7
    Dropshot Champ!
    Reputation: redmr2_man's Avatar
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    with 30in bars and the 4axis stem, it flexs and creaks pretty bad.

    go trail if you can!

  8. #8
    Ow!
    Reputation: clydecrash's Avatar
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    The name has already been mentioned--Thomson. Yes, you can save some weight (26g?), but with Thomson you are certain to get a strong and stiff stem. Of course, you might knock out Thomson because it costs more, but I think MSRP is about the same.

    Not bad mouthing Ritchey. I am currently considering a Ritchey Carbon Trail bar. It is just I never think about my Thomson stems.

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