10 Best Mountain Bike Stem In 2021 – Expert Buyers Guide And Reviews
Welcome to the best mountain bike stems available in the market today. If you are not sure what a stem is? It is simply the component in the bike that joins the handlebars to the steerer tube of the bicycle fork.
Once you understand what a stem is, it’s important to know that a bicycle stem has a major impact on the performance of your bike. If you are one of those people who love cycling for long distances, you will find most often that a good stem results in a good ride, and can make a significant difference for the best budget mountain bike.
Compromising on the quality of the stem means you will never have a smooth ride. There is a good chance you will experience backache due to the unbalanced ride provided by a poor stem. It is, therefore, wise to select a stem that best fits your bike.
Selection, however, is not easy if you lack the know-how. There are many factors to put into consideration to help you make a smarter decision. I have created a detailed guide. I hope that by the end of this review, you have what you need to make a better decision, and if you are considering a budget bike please check out my best mountain bikes under 200.
Things to Consider when Buying the Best Mountain Bike Stem
The following factors should never be left out when it comes to selecting the best mountain bike stems.You should consider each factor before making your decision.
The length is a measure from the middle of the headset stem cap bolt to the middle of the handlebar. It will guide how a bike handles. The top tube length will dictate how short you can go before you begin to experience many negative handling traits.
For example If your bike has a short top tube, putting a shorter stem will not be a good choice. It will feel as if you are riding a bike which is too small for you, so always aim for a stem length of between 1.9“ (50mm) and 3.1“ (80mm) for maximum results.
If you have a shorter stem on your bike, then you should consider increasing your handlebar width. It will help a lot in adding stability and control. This is because handlebars work perfectly in conjunction with stems to dictate your hand’s position on the handles.
The rise is the angle of the stem’s body. Stems come in different rising angles. Your handlebars dictate the front end height of your mountain bike. A higher front end will mean having bars with more rises.
A lower front end can be achieved using flat bars. The best place to start is a stem of about 5-6 degrees or zero degrees if you are considering a stem shorter than 2.7“ (70 mm). This should result in a nice neutral placing of the bar clamp area.
The diameter of the handle bar where the stem clamps should always be considered as some competent may need to be adjusted to fit its size, the most common diameter standard for mountain bikes is a 1.25″ (31.8 mm), Which usually gives the most strength, durability and lightness for the size, you can often find larger diameters such as 1.37″(35 mm) or smaller ones 1“ (25.4 mm) but keep in mind some lights or computer brackets may not fit this stem sizes and will need to be adjusted.
When selecting the best mountain bike stem, the stem material cannot be left out as it will determine the durability of the stem you buy. A good and budget friendly stem is usually made of aluminum which gives you a good balance of a lightweight and yet strong stem. Try to avoid stems made of steel which are usually much heavier and can break easily, you can find them mounted on cheaper bikes like children bikes. Although Aluminum is the most popular used material, carbon fiber is the material of choice if you have the cash to spend.
Four bolt vs Two Bolts stem
I usually prefer to go with the four bolts as the clamping force is distributed in a more even manner and it feels as having a much stronger grip, although the two bolts stem should do a good job and it’s easier to properly torque then the four bolt one
We try to avoid overpriced stems which will add very little in comparison to their competitors and find reasonable yet good quality stems, we find that for the best mountain bikes stems out here you should expect to spend anywhere between 30$-70$
Top 10 Best Mountain Bike Stem Reviews
If you are thinking of purchasing the best mountain bike stem, here are some of the top quality options you can check.
1. Race Face Respond Mountain Bike Stem
The best value for money stem and our top pick, A Well made very tuff stem, easy to install with an attractive pricing, If you are experiencing any back pains this is The best mountain bike stem for back pains
- 6061 Aluminum – A very strong material which gives this particular stem high durability
- Color – Comes in sharp black
- Clamp Design – Although it is a four bolt clamp design its installation is super easy
- Interlocking Handlebar – The stem has an interlocking u-shaped handlebars clamp geometry. This ensures that more load is transferred through the stem body and not the bolts. Thus less weight is exerted on the bolts
- Faceplates – The stem comes with faceplates which help to eliminate stress. The faceplates will protect your bar from bending or eventually braking
- Weight – A reasonably light stem, although not the lightest but offer more resistance when cycling. It weighs only 7.58 ounces (215g), which is a good weight for a mountain bike
2. Truvativ 40 0-Degree 42 Height 31.8 1-1/8 Hussefelt Stem
Also included in the category of the best mountain bike stems the Truvativ 40 0-Degree 42 Height 31.8 1-1/8 Hussefelt Stem is selected because of its uniqueness and excellent features and this is our best value for money option
- 6061-T6 Aluminum – Made of a forged aluminum 6061-T6 this material is strong! and will last for a long, long time, The strong material will offer maximum durability for your stem and bike
- Color – A big advantage is that you can pick from 2 colors – Snow white or Blast black to suit your mountain bike and preferences
- Clamp Design – A 4-bolt handle bar clamp design which gives it a strong grip and a 2-bolt steerer tube clamp with a zero degree stem angle and rise
- Sturdy and well Fitted – The stem is well crafted, It is a short stem which will fit perfectly into your bike. It is well fitted for mountain bikes
- CrMoBolts – The stem comes with its own bolts. Which make the installation super easy
- Weight – With only 7.16 ounces (203g) Truvativ stem is considered a lightweight stem, when comparing between the best MTB stem you always want to make sure you look at a lightweight stem, Which this one is coming close to a carbon fiber stem
3. Race Face Ride Mountain Bike Stem
We already covered a RaceFace mountain bike stem, this one is made in Taiwan, The stem is nicely designed. Well built to match any mountain bike. The following are some of the features that make it unique.
- Aluminum 6061 – Forged & shot peened from 6061 aluminum, offers high strength and fatigue resistance at a reasonable price
- Color – The stem comes in black, making it blend well with any other bike color.
- Four-Bolt Bar Clamp – Just like in the above cases, the clamp design is a four bolt one. This will serve to enhance maximum securing in the position of the stem to your bike and avoid issues
- Weight – The stem weight is less than Race Face Respond Mountain Bike Stem, It weighs only 4.93 ounces (140g) making a nice selection for long distance riders as it will offer less wind resistance since it does not add more weight to the overall weight of the bike.
4. Race Face Atlas Mountain Bike Stem
This stem is one of the most popular Mountain Bike Stems, although a bit on the pricey side, it is a very high quality mountain bike stem
- 6061-T6 aluminum – Aluminum 6061-T6 is the material of the day. Offer more durability over time and a lighter weight option
- Color – Comes in red and black, making it a more attractive option to some
- Four Bolt Bar Clamp – The stem has four bolt bar clamps to hold the bar securely in position. Also it also has interlocking u-shaped handlebar clamp geometry for additional firmness.
- Stress Riser – The stem has faceplates which act as stress risers. They help in preventing the bar from bending or breaking. In short, they relieve the bar off excessive stress.
- Additional Clamping Power – The stem comes with opposing bolts on the steer tube clamp. These bolts serve to provide extreme clamping power on the steer tube. They also reduce stress on the system.
- Weight – One of the lightest stem in the category of best mountain bikes stems weighing only 5.29 ounces (150g)
5. FIFTY-FIFTY Aluminum Alloy Mountain Bike Stem
FIFTY-FIFTY Mountain Bike Stem renders first-rate components at a budget-friendly cost. It grants you an appropriate bend and liberates you from shoulder pain. Let’s get familiar with the splendid features of this sharp-looking stem.
- 6061T6 Aluminum – This stem is made of 6061T6 Aluminum, which has a high demand for anti-corrosion. It does not break or bend under pressure. It maintains an excellent finishing characteristic as well as provides a durable riding experience. This heat-treated material allows you to carry on with any weather condition, whether extreme hot or cold.
- Color – You can pick from 5 different colors Black, Blue, Green, Purple and Red
- Finite Element Analysis (FEA) – FIFTY-FIFTY Bike Stem exploits FEA in order to assure maximum safety. It has been designed for off-road cycling. Moreover, they added a labor-saving automation CNC to lessen every bit of additional weight.
- Suitable adjustment – The Close Gap faceplate design of this stem provides a fine adjustment along with effortless installation. It is an integrated figure which is competent for 31.8mm handlebar.
- Weight – This aluminum alloy bike stem is as light as a feather, weighing only 4.65 ounces (132g). It guarantees maximum speed as well as delivers in-depth comfort while riding a bike. These features make it the best mountain bike stem among all other products.
6. Ritchey 4-Axis Adjustable Aluminum Alloy Bike Stem
Ritchey Adjustable Bike Stem is well built and preserves top quality. This company has assembled it with the most delicate cycling equipment, which proves it to be one of the best mountain bike stems. Additionally, this stem is a beneficial choice for those who cannot seem to discover a friendly riding position with most other bike stems.
- Stainless steel – Not our preferred choice for a mountain bike stem, as it can break more easily
- Color – Comes only in black, Its BB black finish displays a glossy and striking look.
- 3D-net forged shaft – Ritchey 4-Axis Adjustable bike stem features a particular 3D-Net shaped forged shaft to save weight. It is a pressure-resistant component that combines with a broached clamp. Thus, it delivers an uncompromising strength as well as lightweight.
- Durability – Ritchey bike stems come up with stainless steel bars and steered bolts that provide longevity of the stems. The four-bolt faceplate allows more safety than a two-bolt or a single bolt connection.
- Perfect fit – The big advantage of this stem is that it lets you adjust within a range of +/- 55 degrees. Ritchey stems make it a snap to get the handlebars where you need them, leaving you with an upright position
- Comfort – This stem will give you a more intimate riding experience than the conventional ones. If you yearn for maximum comfort along with a more excellent vision of the road, you should pick Ritchey stems.
- Weight – At only 7.72 ounces (219g) this is a good lightweight stem
7. Race Face Aeffect 35mm Stem to 90mm
Race Face Aeffect Stems are widely admired throughout the world. A top-quality 35mm clamp stem. This nice-looking stem which will keep your bike responsive in a reasonable pricing
- 6061 T6 aluminum – showing a significant strength-to-weight ratio. The high resistance to corrosion enables it to adjust to any inclement weather.
- Length – Race Face Aeffect Stem has approached with a diversity of lengths; 50mm, 60mm, 70mm, 80mm, 90mm. You can select any stem length to gain a brilliant balance of steering along with pedal-efficient positioning. The variety of lengths made it the top rated mountain bike stem.
- Four Bolt clamps – The four-bolt design of the stem has an adequate grip onto the steer tube and bars
- Stem Rise – Race Face 35mm Stem uses +/- 6 degrees stem rise, allowing you for a more aggressive riding adventure. The handling characteristics and pedaling position is much more efficient, Its steer tube diameter is 1-1/8 inch.
- Weight – 160g (5.64 ounces) which puts it in the lightweight division
8. Funn Funnduro MTB Stem
Funn Funnduro Stem has the characteristics of a trail racing bike that will exceed your expectations. The fit on the steer tube is entirely snug with loose bolts. If comfort is your major priority, you should go for it, this is why the Funn Funnduro stem is one of the best mtb stems, among other prevailing stems of the market.
- 6061 Aluminum alloy – from high-quality AL6061, This is tough enough for the harshest conditions
- Color – You can pick from 5 different colors Black, Blue, Gray, Orange and Red
- Length – Funn Funnduro Stems are available in multiple heights, e.g., 35mm, 45mm, 60mm. These are perfect sizing on a bike; in addition, The bars will be closer to the saddle hence putting you in an upright position.
- CNC Finishing – Funn Funnduro Stem is made from 6061 aerospace grade alloy, which has a full CNC finish. It creates less friction, while mounting, on the other hand, promotes both inflexibility and lightweight.
- Fitted Dimensions – The bar clamp diameter of this stem is 31.8mm, and the stack height is 30mm. These are a perfect match for any mountain bike. Its rise is 0 degree, which works great with a 28.6mm fork steer tube.
- Weight – You can choose the weight of the stem following your riding requirements. The variations of stem weight include 3.88 Ounces (110g), 4.33 Ounces (123g), and 5.22 Ounces (148g). Having a selection of the products of different weights is a great option to find out the best alternative for you.
9. Truvativ Stylo T20 Bicycle Stem
Truvativ Stylo is the way to go if you are into a durable stem with a higher firm clamping power as compared to the rest. It is one of the most budget friendly stems, The following are what make it unique and the best in the market.
- 6061 Aluminum alloy – The body of this stem is made of 3D Forged 6061 Aluminum Alloy. The clamp also has an AL-6061 finish. The material offers more strength and fatigue resistance.
- Color – Only comes in sharp black
- Four-bolt handlebar – The stem has a four-bolt handlebar clamp and an additional two bolt on the steerer clamp part. This will serve to hold your bars securely in position without worry of your stem breaking off.
- Length – length is about 110 mm, which means this is quite a long stem and will get you going in a higher position
- Flip-flop Design – The stem comes in flip flop design which allows the cyclist to dial in their position. It also has a handlebar clamp that features an open window design. The stem is fit for cross country, trail all mountain bikes.
- Weight – weigh only 5.11 ounces (145g) these are great measurements for your mountain bike stem.
10. Funn Equalizer Bike Stem with 10mm Drop or Rise, 35mm Bar Clamp
The Funn Equalizer is unique in the way you mount it, you can install it up for 10mm drop or 10mm rise, this gives you a wide range to adjust the stem in a way that fits you best, Although It’s in the more pricey range, this is a great option
- 6061 Aluminum alloy – The body of this stem is made 6061 Aluminum Alloy, Which offers more strength and fatigue resistance.
- Color – With a wide range of colors, you can pick from 6 different colors Black, Blue, Gray, Green, Orange and Red
- Four-bolt handlebar – The stem has a four-bolt handlebar clamp with a wide clamping area which makes a very secure connection between bar and stem.
- Length – length is about 5.2 inches (132mm)
- Weight – weigh only 6.07 ounces (172g) these are great measurements for your mountain bike stem.
Congratulations if you have read up to this level. I hope that by now you know what is good and what is bad when it comes to selecting the best mountain bike stem.
The factors such as handlebar width, bar diameter, construction, clamp design, and the rise which I listed above as considerations should be taken into account carefully if you wish for a good stem.
The list of nine best mountain bike stems discussed above was purely selected based on the performance factors. I have used some of them and trust me they proved to be the best. Purpose to purchase one and you will never regret it.