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Thread: Carbon stem?

  1. #1
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    Carbon stem?

    Is there carbon stem on market?

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    Is there carbon stem on market?

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    I'm pretty sure Enve makes stems that are carbon.
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  3. #3
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    Giant makes great carbon stems.

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    MCFK, Ax Lightness, etc... But neither are as light as Extralite Ultrastem UL3 (25.4mm bar) or Hyperstem (31.8mm bar)..

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    I will look at extralite stem. Enve is way too expensive.

  6. #6
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    Wren are roughly the same weight as the Extralite at something like half the cost last time I checked. 89g for 100mm.
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    Would a carbon stem reduce weight?

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    Hyperstem is listed at 79g for 100mm, and I know for a fact that my 90mm came in underweight at 69g.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    Would a carbon stem reduce weight?

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    No. Carbon is not an ideal material for a stem. Stems are omni-directionally loaded and carbon is uni-directional. Other parts like wheels and bars it works great and reduces weight.
    Stem Review - Fairwheel Bikes Blog

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    Would a carbon stem reduce weight?

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    Generally no, carbon doesn't lend itself well to things that have small complex shapes and threads for bolts. Better for bigger structures, especially bigger simple structures like handlebars, etc.

    Ritchey also makes the WCS XC stem, similar construction to the Wren, a bit more spendy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    No. Carbon is not an ideal material for a stem. Stems are omni-directionally loaded and carbon is uni-directional. Other parts like wheels and bars it works great and reduces weight.
    Stem Review - Fairwheel Bikes Blog
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Generally no, carbon doesn't lend itself well to things that have small complex shapes and threads for bolts. Better for bigger structures, especially bigger simple structures like handlebars, etc.

    Ritchey also makes the WCS XC stem, similar construction to the Wren, a bit more spendy.
    Well said guys. I run an MCFK stem, but it's 76g. That's light, but still in line with lighter alloy versions. Given the reinforcing that must be done, the manufacturer can't take advantage of typical weight savings with this material. While it's been great (What does a stem have to do anyway? Not break I suppose!), it is absolutely not worth the price:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/weight-weenie...l#post11528489

  12. #12
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    While its Stiffness to Weight ratio is good, the Extralite stem had the third highest Average Deflection, making it one of the flexiest stems they tested.

    Also...

    Quote Originally Posted by sfer1 View Post
    I would avoid Extralite like the plague. I've had issues with 3 of their products. Overpriced and unreliable. Also, their warranty is non-existent.

    Broken CyberEnd
    Carbon stem?-broken-cyberend.jpg
    When I contacted them about its abnormal deterioration (before it broke), first they played dumb saying my pictures weren't clear enough and then they called it "surface abrasion." A freaking piece of aluminum had chipped off!!! A few months later, it broke (luckily, while I wasn't riding my bike).

    HyperBar
    Carbon stem?-markedhyperbar.jpg
    I used carbon paste and tightened the stem bolts to 3Nm. It was used in combination with a stem that features well rounded edges at the bar clamp. After just one very light ride, spent mostly on the road, I removed the HyperBar to adjust its position just a bit and inspected it. I didn't like what I saw. I shipped the handlebar to them to have it inspected (assuming they would replace it, which they didn't do). First, they implied this was caused by me not knowing the correct tightening sequence, which I found both insulting and laughable. Then, they called it a "0.07mm deep superficial compression of the finishing surface." Anyone with good working eyes can tell it's much deeper than that. It's by very far the deepest dent I've ever seen in any of my carbon handlebars. And I've been riding carbon handlebars for a decade. I've never had this issue with any bars made by AX Lightness, MCFK or Ritchey. In fact, I tried the same stem with a Ritchey carbon bar that I had laying around and it didn't leave any marks at all. What happened here is they had little experience with carbon, but they thought they could make lighter handlebars than AX Lightness, MCFK or Schmolke. The end result is an unreliable product.

    Hyper JR hub with scuffed red ring
    Carbon stem?-extralite-hyper-jr.jpg
    I bought the hub brand new from r2-bike. I didn't bother complaining about it, because I figured it was just cosmetic and shipping stuff from Argentina to Europe is expensive. Terrible quality control on a 400 euro hub though.

    Oh, I almost forgot. When I posted about the issue with my HyperBar on foroMTB.com, another user shared pictures of his broken one. His HyperBar broke at a non-clamping area and the grip looks intact, so they can't blame it on him missing a step in the tightening sequence nor crashing. This guy decided to throw it away and never buy anything made by them again. I should have done the same thing, instead of wasting even more money mailing my handlebar to them.
    Carbon stem?-bgm3sr.jpg

  13. #13
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    Absolute bollocks . Carbon stems are perfectly fine to use as long as you get one made by a decent manufacturer . MCFK make awesome stems . My stem came in at 62grams which is lighter than any Extralite stem . Also Extralite stems clamp at two points on the steerer whereas a carbon stem will wrap all the way round .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb K View Post
    Absolute bollocks . Carbon stems are perfectly fine to use as long as you get one made by a decent manufacturer . MCFK make awesome stems . My stem came in at 62grams which is lighter than any Extralite stem . Also Extralite stems clamp at two points on the steerer whereas a carbon stem will wrap all the way round .
    Hey Seb -I don't think anyone said there's an issue with carbon stems. They just can't beat alloy weights as dramatically as with a frame for example.

    Also sfer is referring to his bad experience(s) with Extralite, and I believe their stems are alloy anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    Hey Seb -I don't think anyone said there's an issue with carbon stems. They just can't beat alloy weights as dramatically as with a frame for example.

    Also sfer is referring to his bad experience(s) with Extralite, and I believe their stems are alloy anyway.
    Ah my fault . I was referring to alexbn921 comment . I should have replied directly to him .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb K View Post
    Ah my fault . I was referring to alexbn921 comment . I should have replied directly to him .
    I never said carbon couldn't be used for stems or that there weren't any good ones. Stem construction simple doesn't play to the strengths of carbon. The wrapped carbon alloy stems are a bad idea though.

    People often underestimate the value of a strong stem. It has a dramatic effect on the feel and handling of a bike. I'm a big guy and would never trust an ultra light stem on any bike regardless of what it's made from.

    I would run an enve stem if someone wants to give one away.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb K View Post
    Absolute bollocks . Carbon stems are perfectly fine to use as long as you get one made by a decent manufacturer . MCFK make awesome stems . My stem came in at 62grams which is lighter than any Extralite stem . Also Extralite stems clamp at two points on the steerer whereas a carbon stem will wrap all the way round .
    Looking at mainstream companies, you know, ones that put out parts that have the company reputation on the line, there is no weight difference between carbon and aluminum stems. There are always those companies that will make ridiculously lightweight parts that won't hold up in various situations and in some cases are downright dangerous. Some weight weenies love these things to death and some of them get away with using them with no issues. Once you get to some of these KCNC, Extralite, Wren and others, all bets are off. You might find a "lighter" component, but it gets increasingly harder to justify it as a "better" component as the weight goes down. Maybe there is something that MCFK knows that Envy does not, but more than likely Envy is designing a stem for a reasonable cross-section of riders and conditions.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb K View Post
    MCFK make awesome stems . My stem came in at 62grams which is lighter than any Extralite stem.
    What length and degrees of stem did you get? Their lightest advertised weight is 77g for the 70mm, and they list their 90mm at 83g, whereas my Extralite 90mm 6 degree came in at 69.

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    I've got a 70mm Kalloy Uno on my ride that comes out to 95g with steel screws. If it flexes, I can't detect it. The same size from Wren is 76g. Both are rated for MTB use. I'd take either over carbon anything. It doesn't hurt that they're respectively $25 and $60.

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    I guess that carbon stem is ruled out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlownCivic View Post
    What length and degrees of stem did you get? Their lightest advertised weight is 77g for the 70mm, and they list their 90mm at 83g, whereas my Extralite 90mm 6 degree came in at 69.
    I got the 70mm with 17 degree angled stem . Very stiff and light . I also bonded it to the Schmolke TLO bar using kevlar/twaron fabric . It would look a little odd bonding an alloy stem although I have seen one done with an Extralite stem . It just says 'ralite' on the stem !!!

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    Kalloy uno stems user here. 60mm steam measured out to 84g with steel screws. As with the above, if it flexes, I can't tell. $25 shipped. I've taken my bike down things an xc hardtail shouldn't go down and have went over rocks I should've died on. Zero problems with the stem and no problems holding my answer pro taper 750 sl carbon bar.

    Other than proving to people that you have money or if you need something under 50mm, I honestly don't see a reason for any other stem.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    I guess that carbon stem is ruled out.
    Take a dump before you ride and you'll probably save more weight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xblitzkriegx View Post
    Kalloy uno stems user here. 60mm steam measured out to 84g with steel screws. As with the above, if it flexes, I can't tell. $25 shipped. I've taken my bike down things an xc hardtail shouldn't go down and have went over rocks I should've died on. Zero problems with the stem and no problems holding my answer pro taper 750 sl carbon bar.

    Other than proving to people that you have money or if you need something under 50mm, I honestly don't see a reason for any other stem.
    Stems to some people are like jewelry. It's a part on a bike that is seen right away.

    My GF replaced the black Race Face Atlas stem I gave her for a blue Atlas stem... because it matches her blue Hope hubs.

    Me...I have a thing for Syntace stems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Take a dump before you ride and you'll probably save more weight.
    A fair thing to say. However, no matter how massive a toilet breaker you drop, your bike still weighs the same.

    If you're not on a downhill bike, a lighter bike is almost always a better choice as long as the durability is there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    Stems to some people are like jewelry. It's a part on a bike that is seen right away.

    My GF replaced the black Race Face Atlas stem I gave her for a blue Atlas stem... because it matches her blue Hope hubs.

    Me...I have a thing for Syntace stems.
    I didn't consider that when posting. You're right.

    That being said, this winter I'm considering stripping the stem and polishing it.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by xblitzkriegx View Post
    A fair thing to say. However, no matter how massive a toilet breaker you drop, your bike still weighs the same.

    If you're not on a downhill bike, a lighter bike is almost always a better choice as long as the durability is there.
    Just trying to help Picard out since he's gone all frowny on us. He could also remove the kickstand and save some weight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xblitzkriegx View Post
    A fair thing to say. However, no matter how massive a toilet breaker you drop, your bike still weighs the same.

    If you're not on a downhill bike, a lighter bike is almost always a better choice as long as the durability is there.
    Yeah, but go to an XC race and take a look at the fast experts and pros bikes. You don't see the ridiculous weight weenie stuff like carbon rotors and KCNC seatposts. You usually see well proven components, probably ones with pretty low failure rates and good support should the need arise. The class of the extreme weight-weenie is something different entirely, usually bikes that don't get ridden that fast or that hard. There might be a few out there, but by and large not what I've seen at the races and definitely not the ones winning or placing top 10.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Yeah, but go to an XC race and take a look at the fast experts and pros bikes. You don't see the ridiculous weight weenie stuff like carbon rotors and KCNC seatposts. You usually see well proven components, probably ones with pretty low failure rates and good support should the need arise. The class of the extreme weight-weenie is something different entirely, usually bikes that don't get ridden that fast or that hard. There might be a few out there, but by and large not what I've seen at the races and definitely not the ones winning or placing top 10.
    You make some fair points.

    The carbon rotor (Kettle) was a flop, so I would hope no one is running those anyway, so agreed, we wouldn't (or shouldn't!) see those at XC races.

    I think the rest is a mix of factors. Local availability is a big one. Unsure where you're based, but you'll see more Euro brands raced in Europe. Also, among Pro, sponsored riders and teams, they'd want a vendor with bigger resources to cover availability and support, as you mention. Boutique brands couldn't match that.

    However, WRT failure rate, I think there's some brand perception involved. Unsure how scientific this test was, but you can see that some smaller brands outperformed bigger names. The Ritchey example in particular performed poorly, which is counter to my expectations for sure.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    You make some fair points.

    The carbon rotor (Kettle) was a flop, so I would hope no one is running those anyway, so agreed, we wouldn't (or shouldn't!) see those at XC races.

    I think the rest is a mix of factors. Local availability is a big one. Unsure where you're based, but you'll see more Euro brands raced in Europe. Also, among Pro, sponsored riders and teams, they'd want a vendor with bigger resources to cover availability and support, as you mention. Boutique brands couldn't match that.

    However, WRT failure rate, I think there's some brand perception involved. Unsure how scientific this test was, but you can see that some smaller brands outperformed bigger names. The Ritchey example in particular performed poorly, which is counter to my expectations for sure.
    Who rides 100+mm stems anyway

    I have the Ritchey 260, for precisely these reasons, I think it's the 70mm, it's less than 100g, good stiffness to weight, etc. That test definitely shows the carbon stems not saving any weight. There are plenty of people that will build up light bikes with light components in the races, nice hubs like DT, but those have a proven strong freewheel mechanism. Once you start going significantly lighter, you start to lose some of those reliability factors and in a race, it's critical that you don't break down. So my point was just that you usually don't see a lot of the super exotic stuff. Heck, my super light Ai2 rotors are great for most winter, but they heat up super fast on extended heavy-braking downhills. There's no where for the heat to go.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  31. #31
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    I just installed an EXTRALITE HYPERSTEM in my road bike. 68g for 80mm is super light. At first sight u cant believe how small are the bolts and I bought an special torque key wiha germany made with 3nm of torque. I tested in a long ride jumping over bumps and cobble roads to test it also tried to move the handlebars to see if it moves and it was really perfect have any problems I am happy with it but I dont think to buy one for my mtb
    I want the carbon mcfk in 17 degree in 70mm

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    Quote Originally Posted by andresco50 View Post
    I just installed an EXTRALITE HYPERSTEM in my road bike. 68g for 80mm is super light. At first sight u cant believe how small are the bolts and I bought an special torque key wiha germany made with 3nm of torque. I tested in a long ride jumping over bumps and cobble roads to test it also tried to move the handlebars to see if it moves and it was really perfect have any problems I am happy with it but I dont think to buy one for my mtb
    I want the carbon mcfk in 17 degree in 70mm
    No problems whatsoever in MTB XC bike.
    Can't find any problems or deflection on mine 90mm hiperstem with hiperbar combined

  33. #33
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    I really hate when people say things like 'take a shit - it's cheaper ' . I mean seriously . The bike will still weigh the effing same .

    'The carbon rotor (Kettle) was a flop, so I would hope no one is running those anyway, so agreed, we wouldn't (or shouldn't!) see those at XC races.'

    Guilty !!! I still run a 180mm on my trail bike . Pretty good disc IMO but I will be changing them soon .

    'I want the carbon mcfk in 17 degree in 70mm' .

    Same as mine dude . You won't be disappointed . Just remember to go easy on the bolts . The face plate bolts are tiny 4mm and the stem bolts are 5mm .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb K View Post
    I really hate when people say things like 'take a shit - it's cheaper ' . I mean seriously . The bike will still weigh the effing same .

    'The carbon rotor (Kettle) was a flop, so I would hope no one is running those anyway, so agreed, we wouldn't (or shouldn't!) see those at XC races.'

    Guilty !!! I still run a 180mm on my trail bike . Pretty good disc IMO but I will be changing them soon .

    'I want the carbon mcfk in 17 degree in 70mm' .

    Same as mine dude . You won't be disappointed . Just remember to go easy on the bolts . The face plate bolts are tiny 4mm and the stem bolts are 5mm .
    I wasn't being serious and sorry, I forgot we were in the Weight Weenie forum where you guys take this a lot more seriously. And you may not know Picard very well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

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    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

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