Just been writing up the BMC SLC01 Pro Machine that's just in, and it got me all angry about carbon stems again. Not because it has one – sensibly BMC spec the EA90 – but just because they exist, really. Why do they exist? The EA90 and EC90 are a good case in point. The EA90 is an excellent stem. The EC90, which is £100 dearer and 5g heavier, is average at best. Why even bother?
I test rode an MTB with an '07 EC90 stem a year or so back. I could move the bars an inch up and down at the ends. Carbon doesn't cope well with the twisting forces that a stem encounters. In an ideal world you want some kind of large diameter metal tube with... oh.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.