There’s a lot more to this A-head stem besides a classy, high lustre silver finish, with all the beauty of polished aluminium without the need for Autosol. Traditionally Nitto have remained faithful to 25.4 clamp diameters but they’ve opted in favour of 26.0 here, which ensures compatibility with most brands of contemporary road bars (although the smaller diameter version is available to special order; or alternatively fit a Nitto shim to enjoy the best of both worlds).
Similarly, while 1 1/8in fork columns are becoming increasingly standard, this works just fine with inch steerers thanks to the supplied, colour co-ordinated shim.
Attention to detail is generally excellent, although I was slightly disappointed with the take-it-or-leave-it eight degree rise. While this is probably fine for most and flippable for more aggressive positioning, it feels as though this has more to do with lowering production costs.
Similarly, while there’s a reasonable spread of lengths (90-120mm) the options of 80 and 130mm would be nice.
Whether used with regular or narrower bars (shimmed), the four-bolt design grips like a vice and despite considerable efforts, I couldn’t persuade the bars to move, although the face bolts benefited from a liberal greasing. Rigidity seems good from the 100mm test model, although thundering along rougher sections of road out of the saddle, I could detect some flex with my full weight on the bars.
In short, sizing issues aside, this is a well thought out stem at a keen price and might be of particular interest to those who like to experiment with their bars, and want the option of swapping between bikes.
Weight: 182g (100mm).