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12 Strongest BMX Stems of 2018

MICHAEL SCOTT    •    OCT 1 2018    •    Comments


lightweight bmx stem BMX stems! One of the most underappreciated bike parts I believe. I don’t blame people for not putting as much thought into BMX bike stems as they do when buying wheels or frames. Unless you’re an experienced rider who knows exactly what feel they need for their riding style or over six and a half feet tall the style and size of your stem won’t affect you much.

What most people don’t know is that just a small difference in stem angle or size can give you a much easier time when trying to do certain tricks. For example, a shorter stem that keeps the bars closer to the head tube will allow you to bring the back of your bike up much easier and let you lock in your front stalls and nose manuals.

Front load or top load stem is a popular question in the world of BMX. If you’re being pedantic then you can find several factors that could affect the decision of one over the other but the only significant factor is the aesthetics of each of them. Some people argue that front load stems are less reliable and weaker due to the fact that all dissipating force will be spread over the stem bolts, which over time could wear on the bolts and cause them to fail or seize.

I don’t believe this argument to have much basis as the front plate hugs the bars well and can actually support a lot of abuse in itself without compromising the bolts.

If you’re notorious for heavy landings or front wheel landings and believe that this factor could affect the stem itself then a top load stem may be the best idea for you.

The following list features a relatively even mix of top load and front load stems from many different BMX manufacturers around the world. Check them out and leave a comment at the end with your thoughts.



S&M Credence Turtleneck Stem BMX

bmx stem
So, let’s begin with the Credence Turtleneck BMX stem made by the one and only S&M. The Turtleneck stem is a top load design with no angle at all. Not the most complicated design but this top load is CNC machined in the USA from a block of 6061-T6 aluminium. S&M have another stem named the challenger that is almost identical to this newer Credence Turtleneck. The only main thing altered between these stems is the newer one has a narrower shape and a nice reduction in weight due to the internal cutout. The stem has a lovely curved design around the rear serving as a nice design feature and protection for your knees when spinning those bars. The S&M stem has a height of 31.5mm and a reach of 52mm. As you probably know, top load stems are much better for taller riders and bikers that have far harder landings than normal. This stem is no different in being much better suited to the taller rider but don’t be put off if you’re smaller and prefer higher bars.
Specifications:


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Fit Aitken S4 Best BMX Stem

best bmx stem

I LOVE the colours of this Fit BMX stem. The gold bolts against the black stem fit amazingly well together. This isn’t the only colourway of the Fit stem but I do believe it’s the nicest.

This stem is one of Mike Aitken signature products. Aitken is a BMX dirt jump rider riding for Fit Bikes. Aitken has been through several different signature products including the Aitken 1 and 2 complete setups. Back in 2008 Mike actually nearly died riding trails in Pennsylvania. His comeback was incredible though and has gone on to be a bit part of the trail riding community.

Something surprising but actually kind of cool is the way Mike Aitken rides his signature stem. As you can see in the image below Mike actually rides the stem upside down so his bars are lower on his bike.
Specifications:

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Primo Aneyerlator V3 Bike Stem

stem bmx

This great top load stem is an amended version of Tony Neyer’s signature front load stem. Machined from 7075 aluminium, Primo have managed to shave the weight of this stem down to 264 grams. To get the weight down so much, Primo have hollowed out their clamping bolts as well as the centre section of the stem. Primo has developed three colourways for this stem. The gorgeous oil slick, always looking great but hard to make blend in with normal coloured bikes; the silver and the black, which both look great and subtle on nearly every bike they’re used on.
Specifications:

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Federal Love Handlebar Stem

bmx bike stem

The Federal Love BMX stem. This is the signature design of Mark Love. Mark has a nice mid school vibe about his street riding.

The shape of the Love stem is very similar to some of the others on this top load stem list. A very simple design with a slight forward angle on the handlebar clamp. This clamp is CNC machined from a slightly lower grade of aluminium than most of the other clamps on this list. The 6061 aluminium has also been internally machined to save some extra weight.

To allow a flat top cap to fit flush with the top of the stem Federal have included a slight recess in the top.

The Love stem has been manufactured with a reach of both 48mm and 52mm, not too much different from most other top load BMX stems. The rise of this stem is a little lower than average, in my opinion making it much more suited to the averaged sized rider that still likes to ride a top load stem.

Another cool feature of the Love stem that you may not have noticed on the regular images is one of the colourways of this stem. It is a gorgeous grey to black gradient from the back to the front of the stem.
Specifications:

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Profile Mark Mulville Push Stem

bmx headset

Yet again Profile have designed a gorgeous BMX part. I’m not sure whether it’s the manufacturing or the vibrant colours that attract me to this stem the most. It’s safe to say Profile have pulled it out the bag in both departments.

The Push stem is the signature part of Mark Mulville, an awesome dirt jump rider and surfer. Mark has been riding for over 25 years and throughout that time has accumulated some fairly decent sponsors, including Profile, Vans and Kali.

This top load Profile stem has been heavily influenced by Mark’s riding style. The gorgeous single pieced machinery, strong material and the fact its top load all add confidence you aren’t going to break this stem when riding big trails.

I hope I wasn’t the only one wondering where this stem acquired its name. Well, it turns out Push is the name of Marks’ favourite trails, quite a fitting tribute I think.

A great thing about Profile and their BMX parts is the variety of colours they offer for every product they make and the Push stem is no different. Profile has got everything from black and silver all the way through to cyan purple and gold, currently totalling 12 different colourways. In my opinion, the matt black is always the first choice when buying a new BMX part though more recently there has been a camo colourway released for the Profile Push stem that looks equally as smart.
Specifications:


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BSD Race V2 Top Load Stem

best bmx front load stem

BSD have definitely graced the world with one of the cleanest looking top load BMX stems. The BSD Race V2 stem is a slightly angled top load stem made from a tough but very clean looking metal. There’s no fancy CNC machining here for added aesthetics or inner weight reduction. BSD have simply produced a styled block of aluminium and I have to say, it looks awesome.

I’ve never been one for gram counting on small things like a stem when building a bike but if you are concerned about the overall weight of your bike then this stem may not suit you as much as some of the others on the list. Since there’s no fancy CNC machining to shed some material the stem weighs in as 298 grams, nothing significant but it is a little more than others.
Specifications:

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Fly Volcano Top Load

front load bmx stem

This is the Fly Volcano stem, the stem I ride on my Fly Neutron. The flatter top load design with the less prominence it gives the stem really appeals to me.

The mixture of seamless curves on the top plate of the stem coupled with the harsher lines and design of the main body mix perfectly and definitely causes less traumatic knee experiences.

The Volcano stem has a wider clamping area, anti-slip grooves that fit well with the grooves of BMX bars, and wider bolt heads in order to give the rider as much reliability as possible. This stem clamps its teeth around the bars it’s holding harder than any other clamp I’ve ever tried, you won’t have to worry about adjusting the angle after a hard landing.

The wider and stronger machining does, unfortunately, mean that this stem has a little more weight behind it than some people are comfortable with, though I can only offer good reviews when talking about the Volcano stem. I have never felt an excessive amount of weight on the front end of my bike as a result of this stem.
Specifications:

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Box Components Hollow Stem Front Load

bmx stem bolts

Before writing this list I had never actually heard of Box Components, but after seeing their Hollow stem and a couple of their other products I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on them from now on.

The Hollow boasts one of the most unique designs on this list. The engineers and designers at Box have definitely spent some time perfecting this stem as it not only looks brilliant but ingeniously keeps weight down.

One of the best aspects of this stem, which is what a lot of BMX riders is going to love is the position of the clamping bolts. Unlike the majority of other stems on the market, the Box Hollow has it’s clamping bolts the centre of the stem. If you’ve ever slammed your knee into the sharp rear of a BMX stem you will understand how useful this feature really is.

The curved back will not only stay out of the way of your knees more but the apparent curvature will cause a lot less pain when you do inevitably mess up a trick and go careering into the stem.

Hollow stems are forged from high-quality 6061-T6 aluminium, allowing it to be machined into the skeletal design we see in the image. By focusing on the design and shape of the stem, Box has managed to get this stem down to a measly 218 grams, which could very well be the lightest on this list.
Specifications:

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Fiend Garrett Reynolds V3 Bike Stem


best bmx stems 2018

The Fiend Reynolds Stem is another one with a very square, box like design. This is a very traditional shape with a lot of supporters but it does unfortunately add weight that isn’t needed in other designs. Having said this, Fiend has tried to get rid of some weight by machining out a section in the centre. It’s hard to see on stock images of the stem but if you are able to take a look just inside the bar clamping area you will see a big chunk of metal that has been machined out. This newly developed stem has an increased rise of 8.25mm, making this stem very suitable for shorter riders who are regular bars are a little too high to get good manoeuvrability.
Specifications:

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WeThePeople Patrol BMX Stem

wethepeople patrol stem

The Patrol stem is another one of my favourites. With the shape and design idea being similar to that of the Fly Bikes, it’s not as in your face and flamboyant as some of the other stems being produced.

The Patrol stem is based on the popular trail style many people used to ride. This is characterised by the smooth subtle shape, coupled with the wider face plate of 47.5mm that will support bars strong enough to ride trails.

Another feature I love about stems like this is the CNC’d cut out for the top cap. The way flat top caps can fit perfectly flush with the top of the stem is great.
Specifications:

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Colony Official Stem

top load stem vs front load

Colony have made this stem as a great item for the smaller rider but the clean, tough look can be pleasing for any rider. The 7075 T6 alloy this stem has been machined from is much tougher than the inferior 6061 metals vasts amounts of other stems are made from.

Ryan Guettler is a dirt and freestyle BMX rider from Australia. Ryan became a popular rider around 2004, making his X Games debut just a few years earlier. Ever since then Guettler has been improving his riding more and more, winning competitions in disciplines such as street, dirt and freestyle.

This Colony stem is the signature design of Guettler and I think it’s a nicely fitting design for his riding style.
Specifications:

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Premium Sub 10 V3 Front Load Bicycle Stem

bmx stem size chart

At first glance, you’d think the Sub stem would be the heaviest on this list due to the clunky and box like design. In fact, this stem is on the far lighter side, weighing only 275 grams.

The Premium stem is CNC machined from 6061 alloys. This is not the highest quality it could be but the block like design with large face plate makes up for the inferior strength to the other stems on this list.

As I’ve said before, I love the countersunk design in the top of some stems. This one has again been designed in such a way. The countersunk design can be accompanied by a flat top cap of the same colour which will give the stem great continuity that could even look as though it is one solid piece of metal.
Specifications:

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Written By Michael Scott from Tresna Clothing

I do not take any credit for the photographs in this article. All credit to original photographers









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Michael Scott

Owner of Tresna BMX. I'm a Web Developer, BMX Rider and Photographer. I make sure to keep the site looking nice, full of articles and working properly.

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