There’s something about a great looking stem, and the Enve Alloy Mountain Stem is certainly a looker. 3D forged then machined out of aluminum, it’s a nice balance of lightweight and reliability. As I often find myself staring at my bars and stem, having this crown jewel mounted to my steerer is a pleasure.
Features & Specs
- Material: aluminum
- Lengths offered: 35mm, 50mm, 65mm (31.8mm and 35mm) (tested: 31.8mm, 35mm)
- Rise: 0º
- Stainless steel hardware
- Stack height: 40mm
- Listed weights: 115g (35mm) 139g (50mm) 160g (65mm)
Enve is known for their premium carbon handle bars, and as you’d expect, the Alloy Mountain Stem is designed to complement their line, with beveled edges on the clamp area to prevent damage to the bars. Even better every edge of the stem is beveled to eliminate sharp corners, which could prevent damage to the rider in the event of a crash. I had to get stitches to my knee once from a squared edge on a component, so this is an appreciated feature.
The Enve Alloy Mountain Stem is 3d-forged, then machined into its final form. (see our initial post on it here) It’s available in 31.8mm and 35mm bar diameters. Personally, I’m not a fan of the overly stiff 35mm standard, which IMO is more of an industry marketing trend, that just gives more arm pump on descents, which is really a down grade if you look at it that way.
I’ve been running the Spank Oozy Stem for sometime, which is a significantly wider than the Enve when as viewed from above, but I’m not a fan of the short stack height of the Spank stems. I personally don’t the short stack height trend, which is a great option if you’ve cut your fork steerer too short, but it looks wrong on bikes with short head tubes when paired with a big stack of headset spacers. In stark contrast, the Enve stem and its 40mm stack height, feels just right and has a nice profile.
The Enve stem replaces a 30mm stem on a size S4 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO, and with a 475mm reach, the additional 5mm hasn’t been noticeable and works well for me.
On the trail
One only notices when a component like a stem doesn’t perform as expected. Otherwise, it’s a silent piece of gear that is nice to look at and serves to keep your bars securely attached to the steerer. The Enve provides a stiff, confidence-inspiring interface between the bars and the steer tube, while being nice to look at.
The Enve stem replaces a 30mm Syntace Megaforce2 stem; I reviewed the Syntace stem a few years back and while it’s been a lightweight, reliable performer that I’ve brought with me through a few builds, everything wears out. For aggressive mountain biking, it is a good idea to retire components before that point, and having the fresh Enve stem is reassuring. In terms of weight, the Enve is only a gram more, and didn’t resort to ti bolts to get there.
If you’re looking for light weight, it’ll be hard to beat Enve’s M6 carbon stem, ($300) which is listed at at only 85g for the 35mm. That is light. (The carbon model does utilize ti bolts) I am a fan of carbon fiber in some applications, I personally prefer the reliably of an alloy stem for securing my bars. I also find the alloy stem much nicer to look at the the carbon M6. Plus you can add some bling to your bike at half the price as the Enve Alloy Mountain Stem will only set you back $140. I’ve had my eye on one since they were released and having spent time with it, I can say its a piece of bike bling you’ll continue to enjoy more with each ride. Learn more and get yours at Enve.com.