Zipp 145SL stem review£169.99

Carbon masterpiece

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It's certainly not cheap, but this carbon fibre masterpiece will beef up and beautify any cockpit. We’re often worried about the integrity of carbon gear, but Zipp’s stem is created from no fewer than 50 separate pieces of carefully hand-wrapped carbon fibre.

The six titanium bolts for the faceplate and rear steerer clamp are sourced from the same supplier as Ducati’s Moto GP programme too. The result is an impressively light (136g in 100mm) oversized diameter thin-walled shaft that feels rock solid on the bike, however hard you corner or wring its neck when climbing.

The chunky alloy faceplate gets a polished and engraved logo around the centre hole and it comes in a snazzy silver tin. Zipp also include a carbon steerer cap and removable alloy shim so it’ll fit one-inch aero bike steerers.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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