Bontrager Race X Lite stem review£49.99

Great value lightweight performer

BikeRadar score4/5

It may not look much, but Bontrager’s RXL mountain bike stem is a seriously lightweight performer for the money.

The simple cold-forged 7050 T6 aluminium body means no extra machining costs for a price that’s half of most of its super-light competitors. It’s done accurately enough to use this 114g waif for everyday trail riding without worry though.

There is more flex than usual if you really wrench it, but that’s par for the course for diet stems. The closely spaced four-bolt clamp with ovalised front and rear faces is designed to allow flex and reduce stress on matching super-light bars. Bontrager boost value by including a star-fangled steerer nut and a handful of spacers too.

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: 45
  • 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 than 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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