The Prime Primavera Carbon stem is a good-looking tiller that's available in a decent range of sizes. It's not especially light, but then it's not especially expensive for a carbon stem either. If you're tweaking your bike setup then it's one to consider. You can get lighter stems for the same money and less, though.
The Primavera Carbon stem is nicely made. The main body of the stem is all carbon – this isn't just a wrap job – and it's well finished in matt black with a shiny logo. The faceplate is aluminium, and the hardware is good quality.
The steerer bolts thread into an alloy insert – you can't put a reliable thread in carbon – and they're not bonded into the stem, so careful you don't lose them if you pull the bolts all the way out.
The stem has a 31.8mm four-bolt clamp and a pretty standard +/- 6° rise, and it's available in 10mm increments from 80mm to 130mm. Slap it on your bike and tighten everything up and it does a fine job. There's plenty of stiffness in the stem, and it'll look the part on any modern road bike. The branding is subtle and the overall performance is good. The only time you'd notice a stem would be if it was doing something bad, but there was no flexing or creaking or any other issues.
Normally, making stuff from carbon means that you can make it lighter for the same performance, if not the same price. Frames, wheel rims, bottle cages, saddle rails, handlebars, cranks... they all tend to follow that rule. Stems are a bit of an outlier really, because the specific twisting forces that they need to counteract are handled so well by a simple metal tube; stick a clamp on each end and you're good to go.
For that reason many of the lightest stems out there are alloy; it's pretty straightforward to make a sub-100g stem out of a more exotic aluminium alloy. Even something mid-range like a £50 Genetic STV stem is lighter for less than half the price (the Prime's RRP is £129.99, but Wiggle is selling it for £89.99).
Carbon stems tend to be a bit more pricey than this; something like an FSA K-Force or a Zipp SL Sprint is north of £200.
So if it's a weight saving you're looking for, a carbon stem is a poor route to take. If you're fiddling with your position on the bike, or speccing up a new one, and you're after a nice looking, good value carbon stem to complement your carbon frame and bar and seatpost, there's no reason why the Primavera Carbon stem wouldn't do the job for you.
Good value carbon stem for cockpit tweaks and new builds
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Prime Primavera Carbon Stem
Size tested: 110mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Offering great stability, low-weight and confidence inspiring control, the Primavera Carbon Road Stem completes the ultimate Prime cockpit.
A carbon fibre body and aluminium faceplate provide a superb interface with your handlebars and help reduce hand and upper body fatigue on rough roads, while the carbon construction is torsionally and laterally stiff so it's ultra-efficient as you're zipping into corners or sprinting for the line.
The faceplate is cold-forged aluminum, which provides a highly reliable and strong grip on the handlebar, enhancing your steering.
At just 130g for a 120mm stem, the Primavera will shave precious grams from your race ready machine, rivaling many stems at a much higher price point."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Material: Carbon Fibre
Length: 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130mm
Rise: +/- 6
Clamp Diameter: 31.8mm
Steer Tube Clamp Diameter: 28.6mm
Faceplate Material: Aluminium
Face Plate Torque: 5.5Nm
Steerer Tube Torque: 5.5Nm
Weight: 130g (120mm)
Nicely made and finished.
It does the things stems do, no issues.
No problems during testing; it'd be easy to lose a clamp insert which would be difficult to replace.
It's not heavy but you can get lighter stems for less.
Stems don't major on comfort, stiffness is their thing.
For a full carbon stem, it's pretty cheap.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's good: stiff and good looking, not expensive.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Nicely made, stiff, good value.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not especially light, non-captive clamp inserts would be easy to lose.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For a full carbon stem, it's cheap.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes inasmuch as you can enjoy a stem.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, in the right circumstances.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a decent stem, for sure. You can get lighter stems cheaper, but if you like the chunky carbon look then it's a pretty good value way of getting it.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
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.