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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can road stems be used safely for mountain bike use. I've looked at a couple of manufacurers sites for weight specs between their road/mountain stems and they are practically identical. What is the real difference???
 

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baalan said:
Standard is 26.0 for road, but if they are both 31.8??
31.8 should work OK. You have to be careful with the other sizes though- for a long time, different MFG's used slightly handlebar/stem diameters... 25.4, 26.0, & 26.8 I think. I saw this a lot working at shops, customers would bring their bikes in for repair because no matter how much they tightened the stem, the bars would rotate down and forward. Usually they were mixing brands... (i.e. cinelli bars with deda stem etc).

I would avoid it personally.
 

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baalan said:
But it would be just as strong?
Some road ones are built very lightly and anything on the front end of your mountain bike shouldn't be...especially things like stems.

Thomson make good strong stems. Don't take any chances with lightweight stuff, it's worth the extra dollars to be safe. The LAST thing you want to happen is for the stem to break while you are travelling downhill at warp speeds.... :eekster:

R.
 

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I had some road bars snap in half on me once, when I hopped up onto a sidewalk. Granted they were old crappy bars and I had been riding cobbles every day as part of my commute.

I managed to keep the bike upright but it was one of the scariest things ever, watching the right (broken) side of the bars bounce off the front wheel spokes while I tried to steer with only the left side of the bars and slow down with only the front brake, all while going downhill. Once I got down to about 5mph the bars went into the spokes, the bike endo'd and I was able to run out of it!

That was on my way to work... I didn't need to drink any coffee that day. ;)
 

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mtnkiwi said:
Yip, just get a Thomson and be done with all the wondering.
Until you notice cracks developing in your faceplate. There have been several reports of this on the forums (and I've seen one myself). I wonder why Thompson sells replacement faceplates as standard items?

Just get something forged rather than CNC'd and not uber-lightweight.
 

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I think Thomson is just one of those things you end up trying because there is so much hype about it, certainly not the be all & end all.
Personally I didn't like the small bolts and it seemed like they can be finnicky about torque too (I don't have a torque wrench), besides I have heard to the bolts getting stuck (or bound) to the stem, but that is "hearsay".

OP why were you thinking of getting a road stem? Price wise there should be heaps of MTB specific alternatives that are suitable.

I imagine the road stems aren't that different, probably come in longer lengths and have different sizing as mentioned above. Can't see why they wouldn't be safe for normal mtb riding (like XC without drops & jumps etc).
 

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If you are 31.8, take a look at FSA's stems. They are relatively cheap and ussually make no designation between road or mountain.

Thompson makes some sweet components, but i have never seen the point in spending that kind of $$$ for a stem. The seatpost, however, is a different story.
 
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