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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am looking to buy a new stem for my Santa Cruz Blur XCc, I believe it needs a 1 1/8" straight steerer with 31.8mm bar.

Right now I have an Easton EA70 (9 cm) I feel stretched out so I'm thinking I should get either a 6cm or 7cm.

I was originally thinking about getting a Thoson Elite X4, but then realized I could get Syntace 109 and shave off about 40 grams.

Universal Cycles -- Syntace F109 Stem


Does anyone have any recommendations? Is the Syntace 109 a good choice, is there anything lighter or better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I found a Ritchey Carbon WCS C260 for a little less than $80 on ebay, I think it weighs even less than the Syntace 109. I'm tempted to order :eekster:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
lol, that's pretty funny. I wonder why they would do that.
 

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ACHOO
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Not only is the WCS carbon heavier, but also flexier (weaker). Pointless.
Interesting, Ritchey claims the WCS carbon matrix is 14% stiffer (less flex) than the alloy only WCS counterparts.

Do you have different information that indicates it is flexier?
 

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I run the Syntace F109, v. nice and lightweight stem. Not cheap; $90 is what I paid. Apparently there is a eBay stem that rivals it in weight (search threads here..there is one dedicated to it). One thing on the Syntace that I wasn't happy with; the length is measured with it in the upright position (it has a slight rise). I run my in the negative rise position and it was *slightly* longer than I had wanted (5mm..not a huge deal).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So is there a general consensus on what the lightest stem of them all is? Is it the Ritchey?
 

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I was in the hunt for the lightest 50mm stem and found Twenty6 products. Check them out if you are looking for a light 50mm stem, very stiff (most 50mm stems are), the lightest I could find at 118 grams and comes in 11 different colors! I have one on my ALL MT bike and on my XC bike.
 

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I've owned the X4, the F109 and one of the ebay Uno stems (Bi King Uno ?6? Lightweight MTB Road 31 8x60mm Stem 86g Black LT57H | eBay).

I'm 160lb XC rider using 680mm bars. The F109 is the lightest, but if I move the ti hardware over to the ebay stem, it comes to within a couple of grams. The thomson is heavier by a good bit. I don't really notice any stiffness difference between the 3 in real world riding, but I'd probably give the edge to Thomson in the 'twist the bars unnaturally while sitting still' test.

The Thomson is beautifully made - a real work of art and it matches my Thomson post. The F109 is well made, but not as pretty as the Thomson - it's more of a rough powder coating instead of the nice machined/anodized finish of the Thomson. The ebay stem graphics are gaudy, but the come off easily with Goo Off. Once off, the finish is similar to the F109, though not quite a nicely finished.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't worry about the quality of the ebay stem when I first started riding it. Stem failure is something I would want to deal with. That said, the stem has been completely reliable and is a heck of a bargain. The Thomson is the winner in the looks department, and the F109 is super light, and doesn't leave me worrying much about quality.
 

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I just think that this is a major safety component of your bike so why chinch it? I agree with the post above; my Syntace has a rough feel but its a super-nice unit and should have quite a bit of QA/QC testing to ensure that it holds up.
 

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I'd check out the Uno stem. There is a pretty big thread on the Uno stem over at Weight Weenies.

I have a Thomson X4...its a nice stem...but heavy and the 70mm is only available in a 0 degree. I needed to go lower so I got a 66mm Syntace Flatforce.

There are the super light stems...like the MCFK. Its 75 grams...but you're going to pay somewhere around 400 for it.
 

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ACHOO
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I'd check out the Uno stem. There is a pretty big thread on the Uno stem over at Weight Weenies.

I have a Thomson X4...its a nice stem...but heavy and the 70mm is only available in a 0 degree. I needed to go lower so I got a 66mm Syntace Flatforce.

There are the super light stems...like the MCFK. Its 75 grams...but you're going to pay somewhere around 400 for it.
Yikes, paying $400 to save ~25g is crazy - even for me.
 

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My Syntace was right around 108g for $90 - this is a 75mm.
 

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Loaded Components has a stem that weighs 99 grams. My friend just put one on his fat bike. Nice part.
 

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You don't mention your riding style, but if not getting too much air, don't rule out Thompson X2. Available for $50 on EBay a couple of times per week, and meaningfully lighter than X4. I've had one on my Niner hardtail for several years without any issues... again, no big air for this old guy so YMMV.
 

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Phlegm, I've owned the carbon matrix stem, and own the C260 that replaced it. Also, have Syntace, Thomson X4, X2, Deda, experience to compare. You can go off the marketing or the testing review by Fairwheel in their 2014 stem review (valuable guide, look it up): "Unlike the 260, the Ritchey 4Axis carbon did not test well. This was the highest deflecting stem of all tested stems. Combined with it’s near average weight and the stiffness to weight ratio was the 2nd worst in the test. This is an older design by Ritchey and seems to be on it’s way out with the 260 looking like the logical replacement."
 
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