Mountain bike handlebar stems come in many different forms and price points, this guide will help get through the choices and find your perfect stem.
Mountain Bike Handlebar Stem FAQs
What are the standard mountain bike handlebar stem sizes?
Most stems come in 31.8 mm and 35 mm. 31.8 was the standard size until the latest oversized 35mm became the latest trend in the MTB industry.
What are 6 degrees stems?
These allow you to change the rise of the stem by turning them upside down.
What is the Stem height?
Mountain bike stems range from 40mm-150mm in height.
What are 3D forged stems?
3D forged stems are generally lighter as aluminum is compressed under high pressure to create the stem. The other method is CNC machined, which uses advanced cutting technology to shape the aluminum into shape.
How do you fit a mountain bike handlebar stem?
Check out this video from the Global Mountain Bike Network.
The Sauserwind Top 10 Mountain Bike Handlebar Stems
Chrommag Ranger V2 Stem
The Chromag Ranger V2 mountain bike handlebar stem is CNC machined. Length options are 31-70mm and the total weight is 140g. The Ranger V2 is suitable for a 31.8 handlebar diameter.
If you are looking for a 35mm stem clamp, you can try the Chromag Hifi 35mm MTB handlebar stem.
Renthal Apex Stem
This 240mm stem from Renthal has a lot of the actual body cut away to reduce the amount of weight, making it 118g. This mountain bike stem is CNC machined and used for 31.8 mm handlebars. The stack height is 40mm with an oversized center bore. We love the 2-tone color scheme and it looks awesome on a bike. The Renthal Apex also has markings to allow you to align your handlebars perfectly.
Thompson Elite X4 MTB Stem
Bike Thompson is a Georgia based mountain bike part manufacturer who takes things very seriously. Their sister company is a world leader in manufacturing aerospace parts. This stem has been improved from the original, very popular, Elite stem which has been available for a few years. They have managed to shave another 20g off the total weight and still has a stack height of 40mm. This stem is aimed at multi-category from downhill to enduro. Stem lengths can be bought from 40mm 130mm.
Niner RDO Stem
As the name implies, Niner specializes in 29″ mountain bikes and parts. This stem is marketed as ‘race ready’ and aimed at competitive mountain bike riders with its stripped down design. This is an ultralight stem at only 118g and has an 8 degrees rise. We love the cool graphics on this stem and the low weight.
Raceface Atas Mountain Bike Handlebar Stem
This 31.8 stem by Raceface looks amazing and is a lot cheaper than some of the rivals. This clamp has a zero rise and also comes in red and black.
Truvativ Hussefelt MTB Stem
This is a very good quality mountain bike handlebar stem for the price, under $30! This is another 31.8 mm clamp comes in two lengths, 40mm and 60mm. Its a great tough stem but is on the heavy side at 200G+.
The clamp is recommended for Downhill and Freerides due to its strength but can be used across all MTB categories. This clamp is very easy to install and we managed it in under five minutes in the Sauserwind office.
See also our guide to mountain bike pedals, another MTB part to upgrade.
Cheap Mountain bike Stems on Amazon
Race Face Respond Mountain Bike Stem
- Forged and blasted 6061 aluminum for high strength and fatigue resistance at a reasonable weight
- Four bolt bar clamp holds bar securely in position
- Interlocking U-Shaped Handlebar Clamp Geometry transferring more load through the stem body and not the bolts
- Faceplate eliminates 'stress risers' which could cause your bar to bend or break
Another best selling product from the guys at Raceface. The mountain bike stem is made of forged aluminum and has four bolts which secure the handlebar into place.
If you have any questions this Raceface stem you can speak to them on the above Amazon page. This is a fantastic stem with lots of positive reviews.
Total stem weight: 195g
Truvativ 40 0-Degree 42 Height 31.8 1-1/8 Hussefelt Stem
- FORGED AL-6061 - Forged from supper strong 6061-T6 aluminum to handle extreme situations and unexpected terrains
- LIGHT WEIGHT - Lightweight aluminum body is bored out for weight reduction for a minimal weight just over 200g
- FEATURES - 4-bolt handle bar clamp design and 2-bolt steerer tube clamp with a 0-degree stem angle and rise
- SPECIFICATIONS - 40mm length stem with 31.8mm handlebar clamp and 1-1/8in steerer clamp diameter
- APPLICATION - Recommended for downhill, freeride, MTB, and all mountain performance
Another forged stem which is manufactured by Truvativ who produce a range of mountain bike parts. Truvatic is owned by Spram. The 40mm of this stem is measured from the center of the MTB handlebar to the center of the stem itself. This stem is perfect to use with carbon fiber MTB handlebars, just make sure you check the correct torque.
Fits all 31.8mmm bars and weighs 204g.