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DMR Defy 35+
A stem solely designed for dirt jump bikes from a top brand. Featuring an interesting split design.Check Price
Photo by porkercon
One of the most popular cheap products. Almost $100 cheaper than the most expensive on this list. Next level stiffness.Check Price
Stems for mountain bikes and dirt jumpers may seem simple but there's surprisingly a lot that can change between individual stems. Just for example, road biking and trials biking stems have a super long reach and BMX/Dirt Jumping bikes have almost nothing.
Your biking stem needs to be strong, durable and have a suitable geometry for your riding style. You'd be surprised by how many different geometries can affect the way a bike feels on a dirt-jumper bike.
You can learn more about some of the geometries, measurements and stem types using this guide written by Spank Industries.
Hope Gravity Trail Stem 2023
Photo by hopetech.com
I don't think I've ever negatively reviewed a Hope product, they're just built so well. The Gravity stem was released to target the longer travel trail riders engaging in gravity riding.
Hope AM was the name of the direct predecessor to this product. Although the AM was predominantly a downhill MTB stem, the Gravity line is proven to be much stiffer and slightly lighter.
A more advanced CNC machining process using 2014 T6 Aluminum has shaved weight from unnecessary places, resulting in a clean, elegant design.
As with all Hope products you can pick from a range of different colors. These anodized colors are a staple of the brand at this point. I think I could spot a Hope stem just by seeing the amazing colors.
Again, a split design has been used with a zero-gap connection between the plates and the body of the stem.
I can only really hate the price of this product. While it's been researched, designed and developed really well, it's hard to accept spending over £100 on such a small bike part. For serious riders who ride dirt jumps as well as trails this will be great for you.
- Length: 35mm, 50mm
- Clamp Size: 31.8mm, 35mm
- Steerer Clamp Diameter: 1 1/8"
- Rise: 0°
- Weight: 172g
Sram Hussefelt Bike Stem Review
Photo by porkercon
The Truvativ Hussefelt stem is another one of those average-looking blocky stems. I don't see this as a super impressive stem but it completes the task well. It's no surprise this is one of the cheapest stems you can buy for a mountain bike.
You won't see fancy features like a zero gap clamp or countersunk stainless steel bolts on this stem but the underlying structure and geometry is sound and very stiff. I'd use this stem if I couldn't afford one of the more expensive products on this list.
Another plus for this product is its ability to be used almost anywhere. A lot of riders get annoyed with brands as the spacers and forks prove difficult to fit on their bike. Sram has made sure to appeal to newer riders with this stem by making it fit the majority of bars and forks on the market.
The Hussefelt branding on the front of this stem is premium and looks good. Unlike the bad reviews for the NS stickers, the branding here is completely metal.
On a final note, I wouldn't upgrade to this stem but I would definitely ride with it if I was new to the sport or needed something cheaper. If I was upgrading I'd look for something a little lighter.
Photo by porkercon
- Material: 6061 T6 Aluminum
- Clamp Diameter: 31.8mm
- Length: 40mm, 60mm
- Rise: 0°
- Steer Diameter: 1 ⅛”
- Weight: 203g
Dirt Jump Biking Ultimate Guide
This is a guide on the history, riders, tricks, products and future of dirt jump riding. Get all of your information and tutorials here.
DMR Defy 35+ Dirt Jumping Stem
Photo by @lost.yak
We love DMR because they're one of the few companies that actually dedicate a significant portion of their time and resources towards dirt jumping and slopestyle. This is why almost all of their parts are a great recommendation for this type of riding. The DMR Defy stem is no different.
Like the Spank Split, they have opted to use two small separate plates to clamp the handlebars instead of a full front or top plate. As I mentioned before, using this method removes weight but you will see a lot more of the geometrical printing of the bars underneath.
DMR has CNC machined the Defy stem out of 6061 alloy to reduce weight and keep the clean style. You may notice that the back of the stem is rounded and the head-tube bolts have been countersunk. DMR did this to reduce the likelihood and severity of bumping your knees.
I've heard dozens of positive reviews for this stem. Most of them agree that the best occasion to use this product is when riding downhill or on jumps. The low 27mm stack height and a 5mm rise promote a durable construction with great customization potential.
One final thing I love about the Defy 35+ is the clamp design. They've used something called a Top-Close clamp, which benefits from the advantages of a front load and top load stem.
Photo by @lost.yak
- Material: CNC 6061 Alloy
- Clamp Size: 35mm
- Stack Height: 27mm
- Reach: 35mm
- Rise: 5mm
- Clamp Design: Top-Close
- Weight: 176g
Spank Split Mountain Biking Stem
Photo by vitalmtb.com
Spank Industries are featured more and more often on this site. They make really good quality products for many areas of a dirt jump bike.
I think this product is a clever but simple design that can be used on a lot of different types of bikes. The Split name comes from the front cap. Unlike most stems, it has been split into two neat pieces of aluminum clamping either side of the stem to the bars.
It's clear that having a split design is a nice way to reduce weight. I think it also keeps the design attractive and tidy. Just be sure to keep both pieces together when taking out the bars.
I've never experienced any flex or movement when riding with the Split stem. A small stack height of just 34mm has enabled Spank to offer a truly zero-degree rise. Perfect for weight distribution and strength while hitting large jumps. You will need to make sure the rise of your bars is enough to ride comfortably.
As you can see from the specifications below, Spank has developed this in 4 different reach lengths. This will fit every discipline from All Mountain to enduro, E-Bikes and obviously dirt jumps.
- Lengths: 33mm, 38mm, 43mm, 48mm
- Rise: 0°
- Diameter: 31.8mm
- Stack Height: 34mm
- Weight: 133g, 138g, 140g, 143g
- Material: 6-Series, alloy 3D forged
Profile Mulville "Push" Top Load Stem
Photo by profileracing.com
Generally, Profile is seen as more of a BMX brand. I haven't seen many brands with such a good amount of useful experience as Profile though. That's the main reason I think this stem is a good fit for dirt-jumping bikes.
The Mulville name comes from the professional BMX rider, Mark Mulville. Working with Profile, his sponsor, they've developed, re-developed and promoted the Push stem for over a decade now. It's reported that Mark opted for the Push name after his favorite dirt jump trails.
You won't see many top-load stems on mountain bikes. It's mainly a variation used on BMX bikes. However, due to the amount of time you're spending in the air throwing your bike around, I think a BMX-style stem could be quite beneficial.
Profile CNC machines some of the highest-quality alloys in the USA. If you've been around BMX bikes then you'll have heard of Profile providing some of the strongest and prettiest parts you can buy.
Although I highly recommend this product there are a few issues that could put you off. If you're a British or European rider then the size of the American bolts will probably be different from the rest of your bike. It's not surprising that Europe and America can't agree on just one size of allen bolt.
Speaking of the bolts, I've heard some people describe them as rusting very quickly. It's not a big issue because you can just replace them but you might find it annoying if you live in a wet country.
One final point is the price. You'll probably be paying around $100 for a Mulville Push stem. Profile provides amazing quality but you can definitely find a stem that's good enough and a little cheaper.
- Steerer Tube Size: 28.58mm
- Sizes: 48mm, 53mm, 58mm, 63mm
- Colors: Black, Polished, Red, Blue, Green, Purple, White, Matte Black, Gold, Aqua
- Stack Height: 33mm
- Rise: 31.7mm
- Clamp Bolts: 5/16”
- Pinch Bolts: 5/16”
- Weight: 283g
Mark Mulville and 10 Years of the Profile Push Stem
Spank Spoon 350
Photo by spank-ind.com
Another Spank product. This also features a split design although this is more of an all-rounder mountain bike stem. Spank offers this at a relatively low price point with the advice that all mountain bikers will find it useful.
As with the other Spank stem, you'll have a true zero-degree rise and ultra-short, 35mm stack height. The higher-rise bars featured in our DJ bars post will be useful here as the different rise options can give you any riding feel that you need.
You will also see the micro increments that Spank prints on the alloy. You can use these along with the lines printed on bars to dial in your setup.
Originally this stem was sold with a 31.8mm diameter. More recently they released the 35mm variation with a lot of new colors. Hence the name Spoon 350.
Fatigue resistance, structural integrity and durability are all greatly improved by the forging process Spank has used for this product. You can tell this stem is forged due to the grainy texture and smoother angles.
The lower price is explained by the clamp bolts and lack of a zero-gap design. You will see on the more expensive Split stem that the clamp tightens so accurately there is no visible gap between the plate and the body. A slightly cheaper forging process adds to the ugly gap. As for the bolts, I've noticed that these are pretty standard and not hidden well at all. They get banged up quite quickly once you start riding on the trails.
- Length: 35mm, 45mm
- Rise: 0°
- Diameter: 35mm
- Stack height: 35mm
- Weight: 138g, 147g
- Material: 6-Series Alloy
NS Chemical Stem
Photo by https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/
NS is another brand that concentrates a lot of effort on slopestyle and dirt jump bikes. The Chemical stem fits into that category. It's a very traditional mountain bike stem with a very blocky look. You might suffer in the weight and granular adjustments category but you can be sure this is a strong and durable product.
A cold-forged and custom-machined piece of 6061 alloy is used for this product. A 40mm length will keep your body weight in a comfortable position over the center of your bars.
The brilliant design of the Chemical stem allows you to run it either way up. Installing it regularly will give you a 3mm rise while upside down it will have a -3mm rise. I find this option useful when I don't know how many spacers I want to use and how high from the headset I want to be riding.
I've only really experienced one issue with this dirt jump stem and that's the decals. NS has opted to only show a simple logo but they've not applied it well. I've found it comes off far too easily with no way of applying it again. Not a problem if you're running the stem upside down but for most riders, the logo is a plus.
- Material: 6061 T6 Aluminum Alloy
- Clamp Diameter: 25.4mm
- Reach: 40mm
- Rise: 3mm
- Length: 40mm
- Weight: 174g
Hope AM FR Dirt Jumper Stem
Photo by pkstumpyevo
The AM stem from Hope is super rigid-looking. In a lot of ways it's similar to the Gravity stem but with a more solid-looking design. Again, it's developed in 35mm and 50mm lengths for the different types of riding Hope recommends this product. As a dirt jump rider, I'd always advise the shorter stem for your bike.
Around the rear of the product, Hope has aggressively sculpted the alloy. They've removed a lot of unnecessary material to improve the weight without compromising on strength.
In terms of design, Hope reminds me a lot of Apple. The colors, material and machining are always well thought out and impeccable. You can't fault the manufacturing with the zero-gap clamp and engrained CNC machining marks.
- Weight: 133g
- Length: 35mm, 50mm
- Colors: red, orange, blue, purple, gun smoke, black
What's the Best Stem Cap to Use?The job of a stem cap is to clamp the stem tightly onto the headset, frame and bars. Most people use the stem cap that has been supplied or developed by the manufacturer of the stem. You just need to look for a high-quality material that isn't obnoxiously large. Profile and Hope are two of my favorite brands for products like stem caps.
What Makes a Good Dirt Jumping Stem?
I look for several different things when buying a new stem. Firstly I want to make sure the brand actually designed the product for dirt jumping or a similar discipline, such as downhill or enduro.
Next, I look for geometry. For dirt jumping, I like a short reach of around 30 - 40mm and a zero rise, which most stems in this category are.
I also like to look into the materials used on the stem. As mentioned elsewhere, a 6,000 series allow is the best for dirt jumping with stainless steel or titanium bolts.
What is the Best Length for my Stem?
Bike stems come in a plethora of different lengths. Trials biking or road stems are long while BMX and dirt jumping stems are shorter. Having a short stem will keep your center of gravity farther back and allow you to throw the bike around easier.
The best length for a dirt jumper bike stem is between 30mm and 50mm. You'll see that most of the products on this list fit into that category. It's only a difference of a few centimeters but the feel of the bike will vary a lot.
What are the Measurements on a Bike Stem?
A dirt jumper stem contains more geometric angles than you'd think. The most important of which is the reach, rise and stack height.
Reach is measured in mm (Millimeters) and describes the length of the stem. It's measured from the center point of the hole for the steering tube to the center of the clamp. This measurement also ignores the stem's rise. The extension is the same measurement but it takes the rise into account, often referred to as the stem length.
Rise is measured from the center of each clamping area. You obviously can't measure this directly due to the reach so this figure is calculated by where the line would bisect the two locations.
The height refers to the vertical part of the stem. It ignores the rise, reach and extension.
What is the Best Material for a Dirt Jumper Stem?
The best and most common material for dirt jump bike stems is a 6,000 series alloy. You'll see that most stems on this list are made from this model of aluminum.
Other stems are made from titanium or steel but these aren't normally used on DJ bikes.
How Much are Dirt Jumping Stems?
The cheapest stem on this list is under $30 and the most expensive is over $100. I would expect to pay anywhere in this range for a new dirt jump bike stem.
How do I Maintain my Dirt Jumper Stem?
You should maintain and clean your bike stem like any other part on your bike. You need to remove your stem every so often and clean the areas that attach to your forks and stem before installing it again. If you see your bolts start to rust then you should consider replacing them.
How to Install a Dirt Jumper Stem?
Several steps need to be followed when installing a DJ stem. Firstly you need to establish how many spacers you need to use. Add these to your steerer tube first.
Next, add your stem to the steerer tube on top of the spacers and follow that with the top cap and top cap bolt. Your first bolt to tighten will be the top cap bolt. This is to clamp the forks and bars to the frame as tight as possible. Make sure the forks and bars are lined up at this point.
You can then tighten the clamping bolts on the steerer tube. This will keep the alignment solid and tight enough not to move.
Finally, add the bars and tighten them. You should tighten opposite corners to make sure you get even pressure over each area of the bars.
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