Best Mountain Bike Stems
- Best Overall: Wake Stem 0-60 Degree
- Best Alternative: Fomtor 7 Degree Bike Stem
- Best Value for Money: Renthal Apex Stem
- Best for Downhill: Truvativ Hussefelt
- Best Budget Option: Race Face Chester
- Best Entry Level: RaceFace Respond Mountain Bike Stem
- Best Heavy-Duty: Burgtec Enduro MK3 Stem
- Multi-Use Stem: One Up EDC stem
- Most Wide-Range Length: Ritchey WCS C220
- Best Design: Race Face Turbine R
A good mountain bike stem is hard to find.
And when you do, it’s usually way out of your price range. It can be frustrating finding the right one for your bike without breaking the bank.
We looked into this problem and found that there are a lot of great stems available at all different price points – but they’re just scattered across the web in little pockets here and there. That’s why we created this site so you can quickly compare every stem on the market side by side in an easy-to-read format with no fluff or marketing speak!
- Best Mountain Bike Stems
- 10 of the Best Mountain Bike Stems
- What to Look for When Buying the Mountain Bike Stems
10 of the Best Mountain Bike Stems
Best Overall: Wide range rotation for swift adjustments
- Aluminum alloy with four bolt bar clamp
- 90mm/110mm in length with 31.8mm diameter
- Weighs 260/290 grams
- Up to 60 degrees rotation
- Fits BMX and MTB
Wake features a 60 degrees rotation. This wide-range rotation supports easy indoor storage while reducing the chance of theft. The aluminum alloy material plus four bolt bar clamp assures durable and swift adjustments on the angle and height of your handlebars.
With the more extended stem adjustment, you can have a better pedaling position on steep climbs by diverting your body weight on the front. Wake stem is a fit for BMX and MTB, so this is a plus for versatility.
Installation is relatively easy. Just attach to the front fork system and secure the reliable four bolt bar clamp.
Best Alternative: Stable and excellent performance
- CNC machined aluminum alloy with four bolt bar clamp
- 60mm/70mm/90mm lengths with 31.8mm diameter
- Weighs 115 g
- +/- 7° rise/drop
- Fits BMX, MTB, DH, road bikes
Fomtor stem offers a hybrid of convenience, stability, and excellent performance. The four-size stem length allows perfect fitting to a comfortable riding preference. With the reversible rise or drop of 7 degrees, you can easily switch to a more aggressive or just a typical comfort ride. Surely you’ll enjoy the switch on a rugged and straightforward trail.
Constructed with CNC machined aluminum alloy, Fomtor offers one of the lightest with fancy carbon fiber finish look in the market. Plus, it works well with most MTB, BMX, DH, and road bikes. The tool-free installation saves time and energy. Use the four bolts for a secured position, and you’re good to go.
Best Value for Money: A classy design for the roughest conditions
- 2014-series aluminum
- 6 degrees rise
- 40 mm/50mm/ 60mm/70mm/80mm/ 90mm with 31.8 diameter
- Weighs 110 g
- Fits to MTB, DH, free rides
Heavy-duty with a classy design, courtesy of Art Deco, is what you will get with the Renthal apex stem. The CNC machined aluminum ensures a durable and stiff stem that can withstand the roughest conditions of the hills. It is also rust-free, so you know it will last long.
If you enjoy the adventures of enduro and trail rides, you will love the 6-degree rise of Apex. The oversized clamping system secures the bar with a 240-degree hug eliminating targeted stress points that can cause bar failure. Plus, with the 6-length variations, you will indeed find one that suits your best.
Best for Downhill Riders: Strong and stiff but with a slight weight penalty
- Forged 6061 aluminum alloy with M5 bolts
- 4-bolt handlebar clamp design and 2-bolt steerer tube clamp
- 0° stem angle and rise
- 40 mm/ 60mm in length with 31.8mm diameter
- Weighs 210 g
- Fits MTB, DH, free rides
If you enjoy the thrill of downhill rides, then Truvativ Hussefelt is a perfect choice. Thanks to its 0-degree stem angle and shorter length, you will have a solid and stiff stem. The shorter 40 and 60 mm size is best if you feel stretched with the longer ones. It also allows you to ride in a more vertical position which prevents back problems.
The forged aluminum-alloy assures prolonged use. With the four M5 bolts and 2-bolt steerer tube clamp, fastening the stem to the handlebar is effortless.
Best Budget Option: Reliable and robust at a reasonable budget
- Forged 2014 aluminum alloy with 4-bolt handlebar clamp
- 0° stem angle and rise
- 40 mm/50mm/60mm/70mm in length with 31.8mm diameter
- Weighs 160 g
- Fits MTB, DH, free rides
If you need a stem that has plenty of strength at a price that matches your budget, Race Face Chester is an excellent pick. It offers a forged 2014 series alloy construction that minimizes stress and doesn’t undermine strength. The U-shaped design clamp creates a mechanical joining far from just bolt torque. This means it can take lots of bar-wrenching plus dreadful landings with ease.
Downhill rides are better and more extreme with the 0-degree stem angle and rise. The 31.8 mm and 35 mm handlebars come with a wide range size, contemporary options and reasonable weight. The classic black color also adds to the overall swag of your bike.
Best Entry-Level: Essentials for mountain adventures
- Forged 6061 aluminum with 4-bolt handlebar clamp
- 10° stem angle and rise
- Interlocking U-Shaped Handlebar Clamp Geometry
- 45 mm in length with 31.8mm diameter
- Weighs 194 g
RaceFace Respond offers the essentials of a stem specifically for your mountain adventures. It is wielded with blasted 6061 aluminum, which gives a blend of strength and rigidity for high-intensity performance. The shorter stem of 45mm and 31.8 mm diameter allows a more swift and active feel.
Respond also comes with an interlocking U-shaped clamp. This design ensures more balanced rides by transferring most of the weight to the rest of the stem. The four-bolt clamp keeps your ride steady. Finally, with the 10-degree rise, you will enjoy a more aggressive ride with better handling as you go on the trail.
Best Heavy-Duty: Superior strength, impact, and fatigue resistance
- CNC-machined 6061-T6 aluminum with two-piece front clamp
- 10° stem angle and rise
- 35mm, 42.5 mm, 50mm in length with 35mm diameter
- Weighs 155 g
Burgtec Enduro is another “must” stem on the list for your downhill rides. It offers a wingsuit accuracy for extreme rides that demands precision. With the CNC-machined aluminum, you are assured of superior strength, impact, and fatigue resistance.
Another great feature of Burgtec is the increased clamping surface area on the steerer tube, which significantly improves rigidity. The result is a rock-solid feel as you go downhill. Plus, the stainless steel bolts are rust-free so that they can last even in the grimmest weather.
You also get to choose from the wide-range color and length variations so you can enjoy customizing your bike.
Multi-Use Stem: Hidden wedge system for your tools
- CNC-machined aluminum
- Allotted space for your tools
- 0-degree rise
- 35 mm and 50mm in length with 35mm diameter
- Weighs 166 g
The One Up EDC offers a “next level” stem with its multi-purpose stem. It comes with a hidden wedge system that can contain the EDC tools inside the fork steerer. You get to carry your multi-tools without worrying about where to place them on your bike.
Don’t worry about durability because it is made of CNC-machined aluminum and weighs less than 200 grams. You can choose to use the 35mm or 50mm lengths. To help you install with precision, there is a thick line at the center which serves as your guide.
Most Wide-Range Length: From the more aggressive 60mm to the more relaxed 140mm
- 2014 aluminum alloy with press-fit handlebar clamp
- with a 6-degree stem angle and rise
- 140, 130mm, 120mm, 110mm, 100mm, 90, 80, 70, 60 mm in length with 31.8mm and 35mm diameter
- Very lightweight at 132g
Shifting from the different stems is quick and easy with WCS C220. It comes with wide-ranging stem lengths from the more aggressive 60mm to the more relaxed 140mm. Installing is also sweat-free, thanks to its press-fit handlebar clamp with 220° complete wrapping, which lessens wear and tear.
Though C220 comes at a super lightweight of 132 grams, you can still depend on its excellent stiffness and stability because of its aluminum alloy composition. The +/- 6-degree rise is a perfect match for your enduro and mountain adventures.
Best Design: With anodized colors and a rainbow palette
- 7075 aluminum with Top-Lock clamping system
- 0-degree stem angle and rise
- 32, 40, 50, 60, 70 mm in length with 31.8mm diameter
- Available in 9 color variations
- Weighs 124 g
If you are meticulously checking the designs of your bike parts to match the modern chic fashion in biking, RaceFace Turbine R is an excellent choice. It comes with anodized colors and a rainbow palette, so it indulges your creative mind. The CNC body ensures outstanding stiffness for the widest and burliest rides. The length variations also offer four sizes with 31.8 diameters
for a more direct steering response.
One more feature of Turbine R is its Top-lock system. The two upper fasteners are fully braced to the bottom clamps and reduce uneven clamping. Thus, there is a stiffer and snug fit union between the stem and bar.
Finally, the 0-degree angle of the stem allows you to enjoy the adventures of more aggressive rides.
What to Look for When Buying the Mountain Bike Stems
Mountain bike stems are all over the map when it comes to pricing. You can easily find ones under $20 or for hundreds of dollars. What you get in return goes up exponentially when you pay more, so when you’re paying a lot, consider what’s important to you and what kind of riding style that stem will fit best for.
Weight is a big deal when you’re trying to shave weight off your mountain bike. But weight isn’t everything – you want something solid and durable enough for aggressive riding as well as looking fabulous on your bike.
There’s no denying that carbon fiber looks great and weighs less, but it also comes at a much higher price tag than alloy. Aluminum, on the other hand, is cheaper but heavier. Steel is another great option for weight savings and affordability – but it’s also heavy.
For beginners, weight isn’t as big of a deal, so you can save weight by choosing aluminum for its affordability. For advanced riders or racers, weight is critical. You’ll want to select carbon fiber even if the price tag doubles the weight because it’s worth it for your performance.
Bolts are a great feature to have on your stem. More bolts mean you can adjust the height and angle of your handlebars much easier. Even if your existing bolts aren’t stripped, it’s a good idea to get a new set because they can be easily stripped from crash landings or just from being loose over time.
Some are super simple, while others have crazy design elements, but they’re all rad-looking! Even though the design isn’t a significant factor in choosing mountain bike stems, it’s still nice to get one that looks good on your bike.
The most common design is a straight design that looks very similar to a standard stem. There are also curved design stems that give you more clearance on the handlebars and make your bike look more aerodynamic.
For length, you want to look for a stem as long as your current one. If it’s too short or too long, the handling of your bike will be completely different and could be dangerous if you’re not used to it!
Height is a little bit harder to judge, but if your current mountain bike stem doesn’t have any bolts on it, you can measure the length of your existing stem.
If you have some bolts, just test out different heights with the handlebars until it’s comfortable enough for you. You want to make sure that your handlebars are at a height where you have good posture and control over your bike, so there is no strain on your back, shoulders, or wrists.
The best height is when you’re sitting upright, and your elbows are slightly bent. From there, check that the length from the tip of your elbow to your wrist is about equal to that length from your elbow to your shoulder – so they’re even. Once you’ve got the length right, the angle of your elbows will balance out the length of your arms.
Handlebar and Stem Clamp Diameter
Handlebars are usually 26mm or 25mm, while stems can be 31.8 or 22.2 mm. The stem clamp diameter shouldn’t affect the handlebar size you choose as long as they’re the same number!
In general, though, it’s best to get a stem with the same clamp diameter as your handlebars.
There are many different dimension options for buying a new mountain bike stem. There are full-sized, cut-down, and even specific models for certain types of bikes like Surly, Pivot, and Santa Cruz.
Full-sized models are what you’re used to seeing on your bike and can be found in most bike shops. They come with dimension sizes such as 100, 110, or 120. If your current stem is one of those dimensions, then all you need to do is find one that’s the same dimension. But if it isn’t, it doesn’t matter because all stems are adjustable.
To find out what dimension you need, just measure your current stem. For example – if it’s 110mm, you want a 110mm or larger one for best fitment. The same goes for 60/70/80 dimension stems – they can be interchanged without affecting the performance of your bike because the length is adjustable.
Cut down, and specific dimension stems are for when you want to make changes like a shortened cockpit or build a unique custom mountain bike. Make sure the handles of your stem aren’t too far in front of the bars; otherwise, it will be hard to hold onto!
Some mountain bike stems focus more on specific riding styles, but most can be used for just about anything. For example, many specialist stems offer better support and improved control because they’re built out of lightweight and strong materials like carbon and aluminum alloys. The only downside is that specialist mountain bike stems tend to be pretty expensive.
Most specialist stems have extra bolts on the outside of them, allowing you to easily flip the stem over if you break either one side or your handlebars. The bolts are usually thicker than standard mountain bike ones, so they can take more impact without snapping.
Brand name mountain bike stems are good quality and have better manufacturing tolerances for less weight. Many specialist stems are manufactured in-house by the mountain bike company themselves, so it’s an opportunity for them to showcase their brand and show how much work they put into making bikes that will outlast you!
It can be a little difficult to choose a specialist stem as a beginner because there is a lot of specialist terminology. The best thing to do is check out the reviews of specialist stems on this site to familiarize yourself with how they’re used and what people think about certain brands!
Buy specialist mountain bike stems from top brands that you know have reasonable quality control. Be aware that putting specialist parts on your bike can drastically increase its value, so if you’re into that, specialist stems are a great addition to your mountain bike.
Good specialist mountain bike stems should be light and strong but not too heavy or won’t perform well. Buy specialist stems from top brands like Cane Creek, Easton, FSA, Renthal, Shimano, and Thomson.
Having difficulties which stem to add to your cart? We recommend our top pick, Wake Stem, with 60 degrees rotation and offers swift adjustments on angle and height. The longer stem also allows a better pedaling position. Finally, installing is quite easy and reliable with the four-bolt bar clamp.
Have a fun ride!