The Apex is a departure from Renthal’s original two-piece Duo stem design, with a more conventional look than its predecessor and a new clamping system that enables Renthal to make it even lighter while keeping the stiffness needed for running a wide bar.
The twin front clamps wrap 240 degrees around the bar, which means they have to be slid on from the side rather than popped over the top. It only takes a few seconds longer than usual to fit the stem, but the tolerances are tight and we did find we were unable to use the Apex with one bar that had particularly thick paint in the central clamp area. So don’t throw away the packaging until you’ve made sure it fits!
Our 50mm stem (the Apex is available in 10mm increments from 40mm to 90mm) weighed in at an impressive 130g and has a six-degree rise or drop – great for 29ers with a tall front end – depending on which way up it’s run. It’s super-stiff and has proven itself dependable on the trail, laughing off some pretty serious crashes.