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Direct Mount Stems Review

It seems crazy to imagine it now, but there was a time when we used standard stems on our DH bikes. If you had a crash it seemed that more often than not when you picked your bike up again your stem would no longer be pointing the way that it should. That was far from ideal in a race run, and just plain annoying the rest of the time. Thankfully though the idea of bolting a stem directly to the upper fork crown was brought across from the motorbike world, and we’ve never looked back since.

For a while we had the usual situation in the world of mountain bikes where compatibility was an issue, but eventually all the fork manufacturers saw sense and now we are left with a standard direct mount bolt pattern. So, as long you haven’t got an ancient set of DH forks you should be able to mount any of our selection of stems to your forks. What makes a good direct mount stem though? Well it’s the same as for most other components, as in it needs to be light, stiff and strong. Stems though are one area where manufacturers can go to town a bit with styling, so once you’ve got those three fundamental things ticked off you can start to let your heart make the final decision as to which one to go for. That said, your chosen one obviously has to be available in a rise, length and bar clamp diameter that suits your needs.

Easton Havoc 35 Bolt-On

When combined with Easton’s oversized 35mm carbon bars this stem results in one of the lightest setups going. Despite being incredibly light Easton reckon this is one of the strongest and stiffest stems on the market, and we wouldn’t argue with that. Reach wise you can adjust it to either 45 or 50mm and the design keeps your bars nice and low. If you prefer running skinnier bars then Easton also have another very nice offering for such purposes.


  • Price: £79.99
  • Weight: 110g


If you have enjoyed this article, check out more at Dirt Mountain Bike. 

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