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Bontrager Race XXX Lite OS Carbon Road Stem

Bontrager Race XXX Lite OS Carbon Road Stem £149.99

The Race XX Lite OS is the latest carbon stem from Bontrager, and it their first road-only offering. It’s made from high compression moulded uni-directional carbon fibre, with a forged aluminium (and very highly polished) front plate.

Four bolts hold the front plate in place, and it is clamped to the steerer tube by two opposable bolts either side of an angled clamp slot. Weight for the 130mm tested is just 146g, roughly 23g lighter than the previous incarnation. The design promises to be friendly to carbon steerer tubes, with max torque settings are printed on the stem.

The stem, supplied in a smart box, comes complete with a Bontrager top cap and a selection of spacers of different heights for reaching the desired setup. A nice touch. Bontrager offers the stem with seven degrees of rise and to fit 31.8mm clamps only. Seven sizes from 70 to 140mm are available.

The looks. Many won’t be sold on the stem’s looks, with its flash stripes and highly polished front plate. But as it’s been designed for the new Trek Madone, perhaps it’ll look more in keeping on one of those than on the test bike it was fitted to. At this price you’d expect exemplary finish, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

With the stem bolted into place, it did seem to reduce some of the road buzz when compared to the aluminium stem it replaced. Detecting differences between stems is always a tricky task, but the Bontrager didn’t offer any noticeable flex when pulling the bars side to side, and they remained taut during sprints and when leaning on the bars up the climbs.

With the high price it’s going to be hard to justify this stem from a value perspective, but the performance is certainly without question second to none. I feel price may not play a factor in the decision to buy this stem though…

The stem comes with a five year warranty.

Verdict

Light and stiff, looks great and is a fantastic upgrade to any bike, if you can afford it.


good Looks, weight, quality,

bad Expensive

performance 9

value 7

overall 8

  • www.bontrager.com
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