PRODUCT REVIEW: ENVE ALLOY MOUNTAIN STEM
Enve Alloy Mountain Stem
Enve is well-regarded as a top-level composite engineering company, but what most don’t know is that to make a carbon part, a machined aluminum mold must be made first. “To be successful as a carbon manufacturer, you must first have an intimate understanding of machining. Behind every successful carbon design is an equally clever mold design that was machined typically from aluminum or steel. In short, we’ve been machining metals at Enve from the beginning. If you ever have the opportunity to tour Enve, you’ll see that a good percentage of our manufacturing facility is dedicated to our machine shop.
Our machining expertise has played a crucial role in Enve’s success from the beginning,” stated VP of Engineering Scott Nielson. Clearly, Enve knows a thing or two about premium components, but here at Mountain Bike Action, we never take anyone at his word until we’ve had firsthand experience with the product. So, this month we placed Enve’s all-new alloy stem on one of our test bikes to see how this piece of aluminum eye candy would perform during our ride.
Tech features: Enve’s goal for the new alloy Mountain stem was to utilize the design of its existing M Series carbon stems, but offer them at less than half the price. This means more riders can experience a full Enve cockpit without breaking the bank. Now riders can rep the Enve name on their bikes for $125, whereas the M Series carbon stem has a sky-high price tag of $280. Of course, you’d expect a carbon stem to come with a premium price, but for less than half the price and a marginal difference in performance, the new alloy Mountain stem is sure to be a hit with any rider who lusts after the Enve brand. Available in both 31.8mm and 35mm clamp diameters, along with a zero-gap design, Enve’s stem provides quality engineering at an affordable price.
Additionally, the stem is available in 35mm, 50mm and 65mm lengths. These short stems are ideally suited for bikes with modern geometry. To earn the right to bear the Enve name, the stems feature a smooth, beveled surface, creating a highly refined, machined look. The minimalist stem begs for attention and quickly gets it from any rider who loves bike components. The slim and sleek design also helps prevent riders’ shorts from catching on the stem or their knees from getting scratched or cut. Our 50mm stem with a 35mm clamp surface weighed an impressively light 139 grams.
Field test results: Once our stem showed up, we took a few minutes to just hold this masterpiece in our hands for a while. The smooth edges, single-sided stem bolts and zero-gap clamping surfaces demonstrate great attention to detail throughout. We quickly mounted up our new stem and paired it with Enve’s M7 carbon handlebar, which retails for $170 dollars. Together, this cockpit retails for a more reasonable $290 compared to Enve’s $450 full-carbon cockpit. On the trails, we were met with a stiff yet compliant feel diving in and out of corners or barreling down rock gardens.
Most of this performance, however, seemed to come from the handlebar, with the stem playing a less important role. That said, the stem is a beautiful work of art that complements the handlebar well. If you have the money to go all in, you’re sure to be pleased with your decision; however, a carbon handlebar upgrade is likely a better decision than upgrading just your stem. The bottom line is that Enve proved they have expertise in manufacturing components from all types of materials.
• Premium product at an affordable price
• Guaranteed to make your friends envious
• Smooth and sleek finish
• Marginal performance upgrade when just swapping stems
STAR RATING: ★★★★½