Thomson Elite X4 stem £80

Sets the benchmark in stems

BikeRadar score 4/5

As a contract machining company who also make bike components, it’s odd that USA-based Thomson have become the benchmark in stems. They've built a devoted following, thanks to the CNC wizardry in their in-house stem and seatpost production.

The X4 exhibits a wealth of CNC scalloping to produce a 7000 series aluminium classic whose smooth lines help spread stress and loading. Its solid build quality and no-compromise looks camouflage a respectable weight, making it suitable for anything from cross-country to all-mountain riding and more.

A 44mm-wide face plate is internally reamed to provide two 10mm-wide contact rings that clamp the bar – minimal by some standards, but we've had no issues with bar slippage. The bar clamp is carbon-friendly and on the trail the X4 has a confident feel and knee-friendly steerer clamp shape. Laser-etched graphics complement the quality looks.

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