A forged 7050 aluminium stem for £50 sounds like a good deal, but the Bontrager Rhythm has more to offer than just value. The size range – 50-120mm – shows that it aims to cover a spectrum of riding styles.
It’s a thoughtful and distinctively designed stem with a beefy look but a sensible weight. The steerer clamp is knee-friendly, with a rounded aft section and tucked-away bolt heads. Bontrager have gone for an uninterrupted full-height steerer clamp rather than separate top and bottom clamps, with an angled slot.
This should be better for the steerer, by spreading the load over a wider area – worth noting if ﬁtting to a carbon steerer. Torque settings are engraved on bar and steerer clamps. The Rhythm’s bar clamp spaces the four bolts out and, combined with the fat extension, delivers a stout feel.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.