These days, a lot of people commute by bike. Some people like biking because it is good exercise, others because it saves money and the environment. Bike riding is a whole different experience on its own. While riding bikes, people can enjoy sightseeing and fresh air at the same time.
There is a bike for everyone. If you like biking in the mountains then you can get a mountain bike. If you like to roam around in the streets with your bike then you can get a road bike. And if you want a perfect balance of both worlds then you can go for a hybrid bike. There are even different kinds of bikes for men and women.
Most people don’t know about it but a bike stem plays a very important part in a smooth bike riding experience. The bike stem is a very small but very important part of a bike that acts as a joint between the bike handle and the bike frame.
What is a Bike Stem? (Detailed Overview)
A bike stem is a component that connects the handlebar and the frame of the bike. The bike stem has to be strong because it helps in giving direction to the bike. There are basically three types of bicycle stems.
- Threadless bike stem: It clamps around the steerer tube of your bike’s fork.
- Adjustable bike stem: It allows the rider to easily alter the angle of the bike on the stem itself without having to replace the entire bike stem.
- Quill bike stem: It is inserted in the fork of the bike and is held in place from the inside.
Things to Consider While Buying a Bike Stem
All the bikes, be it fat tire or rocky mountain bicycles come with a bike stem but if you want a better and smoother biking experience then you can get a new bike stem. Buying a bike stem is an investment. If you got the right bike stem in the first place then you’ll not have to look for it again and again. Before getting a new bike stem, consider the following points.
It’s important to check which clamp dimensions are compatible with your handlebar and steerer tube. You must check the steerer tube clamp diameter and handlebar clamp diameter before getting a new bike stem. Bike stem measurements are very important.
The stem angle is a vital component. Generally, the stems range from a positive 17 to a negative 10. The positive angle is called stem rise and the negative angle is called the drop. If you’re a casual biker then you should go for a slight positive because it is more comfortable. If you’re a racer then you should go for a slight negative angle because it will help you achieve a good speed. Stem angle road bike should be on the positive side.
Bike Stem Length
The stem length of a bike affects the reach of the bike from the saddle to the handlebar. The longer the stem length, the longer the reach. Stem length ranges from 35mm to 130 mm. Bike stem sizes matter the most when it comes to choosing a perfect bike stem for your bike. If you feel like your body is stretching while riding then you should go for a shorter bike stem. If you feel like your body is too close to the handlebar then you should go for a longer stem.
Best Bike Stems For Your Bike (List From the Experts)
We have selected these bike stems for different kinds of bikes. Road bike stem, fat tire bike stem, you’ll get it all here. Follow the given list.
Range Gen 3 Bike Stem
It is best for mountain bikes and is made up of aluminum. It comes in 40 mm and 50mm sizes. The main problem with this bike stem is that it provides 0-degree rise. Though it is lighter in weight as compared to its previous version.
This bike stem has a detachable mount, in case you want to attach a light or camera. So, if you want to record yourself while biking, go for it. It is most compatible with 31.8 mm handlebars.
Service Course B2 Bike Stem
It is overall one of the best bike stems available. This bike stem has versatile rise options and multiple finish options. It is the best for road bikes. Service Course bike stems are made up of Aluminum alloy which makes them suitable for outdoor use. It has a 40 mm stack height. The only issue is its bulky design.
Aeffect Bike Stem
The best thing is, it is pocket friendly and reliable. Aeffect is ideal for mountain bikes and is made up of aluminum. It is a strong and stable stem, best known for its control and reactive steering. It has an interlocking four-bolt bar clamp system which helps in its strong grip with the handlebar and the bike frame.
Shockstop Suspension Bike Stem
If you ride on bumpy roads and your bike doesn’t have suspension then you can go for this bike stem with closed eyes. It comes with a 20 mm suspension travel which helps in fatigue reduction. The Shockstop suspension bike stem is made up of Aluminum and is best for gravel and road biking. It also comes with the rising option of positive 6 to negative 6 degrees. It can be quite expensive though. However, we still recommend riders go for full suspension mountain bikes under $1000 as suspension gives you a different riding feel.
Comp Multi Bike Stem
Doesn’t matter what your bike type is, it is the one size fits all kinds of bike stem. If you want a mountain bike stem or road bike stem, you get everything pocket friendly and highly adjustable. Made up of Aluminum, it provides 10 rise options, from -20 to +28 degrees. This bike stem can be used on a variety of rides based on the rider’s preference.
Most people do not realize what a big part the bike stem plays in a smooth biking experience. The bike already comes with a bike stem, so if you want to upgrade your bike, make sure you get the right bike stem.
Consider all the points like where you ride the most and what features you want to upgrade with before getting a new bike stem for your bike. Last but not the least, measurements are the most important thing, if the bike stem doesn’t fit your bike, it will be of no use.
FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions
Q1- How long should the stem length MTB of my mountain bike be?
The MTB stem length of a mountain bike should be between 50mm-80mm. A long MTB stem is more useful in mountain bikes, as it helps in climbing using a narrow handlebar. If you have a mountain bike, you should definitely go for a long MTB stem.
Q2- What size bike stem do I need?
Measuring bicycles stem sizes can be confusing. To know the length of the bike stem you need, start by measuring the middle bolt of your bike’s headset from the top to the center of the handlebar. Make sure that you measure the length in millimeters or centimeters. Bike stems from 70mm to 140mm are available in the market. You can select the bike stem according to your measurements.
Q3- How to measure stem length?
If you want to measure the stem length, it is measured from the middle of the headset stem cap to the middle of the handlebar. Make sure that you measure the stem length either in centimeters or millimeters and if it’s comfortable to fit in your bike rack for a hitch.