Renthal Apex Stem
Today marks the official release of Renthal’s new Apex range of stems, and refreshingly there’s been no mention of the word ‘enduro’. Renthal reckon these stems cover all sectors of mountain biking thanks to being light enough for XC use, yet stiff and strong enough to deal with 780mm wide bars. So yes, I guess that does cover enduro.
We already love Renthal’s excellent Duo stem, which is still being made, but we’ve got a feeling these new Apex stems may eventually replace the Duo. Apart from looking pretty stunning these new stems have got some nice little features. The main one, which follows in Renthal’s tradition of liking to clamp bars in a unique way, is the 240 degree wrap twin bar clamps. The idea behind this is two-fold. Firstly it helps minimise the stress on your bars, and secondly it has allowed Renthal to remove far more material from the stem body than would be normally possible, without sacrificing strength and stiffness. They certainly are light with the 40mm version coming in at just 118g, and we’ve never known Renthal to produce something that isn’t bombproof.
Click on the gallery below to see the stem from all angles, and all the various lengths.
The only slightly awkward thing about this design is that you have to carefully feed each of the clamps onto the bar from the narrow part, but we don’t really think this is much of an issue, it’s just different really. Also, judging by the amount of material that has been taken out of this stem the idea obviously works, so we think any slight faff compared to a regular stem is probably worth it. It’s not like you change your bars all the time anyway, and it’s certainly easier than Renthal’s Duo stem.
Shape and size wise these will be available in a whole pile of lengths; 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90mm to be precise, plus we got a sneak peak at an ultra short 32mm prototype that could make production at some point in the future. The stem can be run either way up giving +/- 6 degrees. We think this is a great move because it’s not such a large rise/drop that it looks kooky, yet we welcome the fine tuning of bar height that it will allow. Fans of 35mm bars may be a bit gutted to hear that these stems will only be available to fit 31.8mm bars, but that doesn’t bother us because we have no problems at all with the smaller size.
Overall then we like these new Renthal stems a lot. The design makes sense, they are beautifully finished, right down to the stainless bolts with captive washers, and they’re as light, stiff and strong as we could ever wish for. Would we change anything? Well we know the gold finish is a bit of a Renthal trademark, but it doesn’t look great on all bikes, so we just wish they’d at least make a plain black version. The same can be said for their bars. That’s nitpicking though, and you’d have to be a true bike tart to turn one of these stems down just because of a bit of gold, and we can’t think of any other reason to turn one down. Good price too.
40mm – 118g
50mm – 127g
60mm – 136g
70mm – 140g
80mm – 149g
90mm – 158g
Want to see more Renthal products? Try these: