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Fat Biker
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426 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just ordered a new 31.8 carbon handlebar which is an upgrade from my 25.4 Truvative L.E. and now I need a new stem. Reviews here on MTBR show that the Kore Elite and the Thompson Elite and X4 are considered top of the line but is either better than the other? The Kore can be had for $50.00 including shipping and the Thompson is nearly twice that much. Is the Thompson worth the extra money? I ride mostly intermediate XC trails with small drop offs. I weigh close to 240 with all my gear. Thanks in advance for the advice!
 

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Church of the Wheel
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746 Posts
I can't comment on the Kore, but the Thomson stems (and seatposts) are one piece of equipment that are pretty much universally respected, which is rare in the bike industry. They're not the lightest, and they're not the cheapest, but they are contenders for stiffest and strongest. At 240 you can put a lot of leverage on stuff, so a Thomson would be a great choice.
 

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Eh, not much of...

a difference in quality. It just depends on which design you prefer. I've owned both and can say that the Thomson is a much nicer stem in both design and appearance. I don't care for the hinged bar clamp design of the Kore, they tend to creak at the hinge unless with a bit of light grease. Not a big deal, but I don't like grease anywhere near carbon bars or seat posts. If they do get grease on them around clamping surfaces they will slip. But if you are careful you should be able to lube the hinge on the Kore without gettting it on the bar. Anyway, your choice, both are good stems. For my money you can't beat a Thomson for strength, durability, and stiffness, and they look good too! :D

Just do yourself a favor, no matter which stem you end up with, get a torque wrench and use it! And make sure you follow the bar manufacturers torque spec. Carbon bars are cool, and they are quite strong and durable. But it is easy to crush or crack them with too much torque on the stem clamp if you over torque them. Take it from a shop rat that has replaced way too many cracked carbon bars and seat posts due to "hamfist syndrom".

Both are good components, and will work well, and both are carbon friendly. The Thomson is stiffer and stronger IMHO, but the Kore is certainly a good stem too. Your choice.

Good Dirt
 

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Fat Biker
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426 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! I went with your advice and bought a Thompson stem. It came in the mail the othe day and man is it beautiful. I was going to buy a Monkeylite carbon bar but the wife grabbed an Answer ProTaper carbon bar for me she found on sale for $55.00. They look great together on the bike.

I appreciate you advice.
 

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Cheers! said:
I didn't know KORE was still in business. I have a yellow Kore stem that is 130mm long (useless now) for back in the day ultra long stem, super short handle bar setup.

If weights were the same I would run a KORE for nostalgia sake.
you can buy new old stock on ebay, not sure where else to get them. I got a couple for about $30 each.

 
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