Written by Rick Nelson Thursday, 11 May 2006 00:00
I ordered a 90 degree 120mm stem initially but found out the 120mm length was on backorder so I ended up getting the 110mm instead. It turns out that was a fortunate move on my part, the 110 feels perfect so the 120 would have been too long for my use. On a side note, Salsa offers this stem in 24 size options in both road and mountain versions so you should be able to find the rise and length you are looking for. By using Scandium as opposed to typical aluminum formulas, Salsa is also able to get this stem's weight into the 140 gram weight range which is very nice when you consider a comparable Thompson stem is around 200 grams. Not a huge difference in weight but every little bit helps.
My first impression out of the bag was this is one mighty fine looking stem. It has fairly understated graphics (at least compared to Salsa's frames!) with Salsa's chili logo on the polished silver end cap. Set up was a snap as one would expect from a stem with the only exception being the replaceable ss barrel nut thread inserts, you need to be sure they are aligned properly in order to thread the bolt through but as long as you don't take the bolt all of the way out you have nothing to worry about.
The true test though was how it felt on the bike. I was a bit worried that at such a light weight and its svelte lines, there would be a good deal of flex in the stem. It turns out that mated to the Salsa Moto Ace bar that I was using, the combo is significantly stiffer than the Bontrager Race Lite stem and bar that I had been using. If I were riding a rigid front end, this might have been a drawback but since I've got a Reba taming the stutters at the front end, the added stiffness is welcome.
After riding the stem for a month, the best thing that I can say about this stem is that I forget that its there which is exactly what I want from a stem. If I have to spend precious time thinking and worrying about it, than its probably not the right one for the job.
So, at the end of my 30 day test period, when Al threatened to bust kneecaps if he didn't see reports soon, I told him I would be keeping this bad boy.
Excerpts from "Racin' Rick"
The Complete "Racin' Rick"
|Salsa Pro Scandium Stem: 110mm, 90°, 25.4, SUL. The Salsa Pro Scandium S.U.L. mountain and road stem is constructed of one piece of forged M9 scandium. One-piece, 3D-forged body and forged front cap. S.U.L. technology; flip-flop design. Replaceable stainless steel barrel nuts on steerer clamp. Height 39mm...|
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