There is a quiet but growing trickle of adjustable stems for serious road use. Aimed at time triallists looking to find their optimum position, this stem has a lot to offer for anyone experimenting with handlebar height. Adjustment is laughably easy: loosen the 6mm bolt head three turns and the stem can be moved within a range of plus/minus 55 degrees. When you’ve chosen your position, tighten it three turns and you’re ready to go, making for hassle-free, mid-ride adjustments.
Thanks mainly to cheap models, adjustable designs enjoy a reputation for having the rigidity of a blancmange, so I fitted it to my cyclo crosser and sought out some bridle path. Thundering through the rougher sections, leaning hard on the bars, I could detect a little flex but on tarmac this was negligible compared to a conventional stem. The belt and braces four-bolt face eliminates any chance of slippage (although the bolts on the test model benefited from a liberal greasing) and the classy black finish is understated and will just get treated to a bath of anodising remover when it looks tired. Ultimately, Deda has produced a great looking, versatile stem which has performed very well, although I have some reservations over the long term durability of the locking clamp assembly.