Renthal Integra Stem Review

Aug 30, 2011
by Simon Paton  
Renthal Integra Stem
The Integra uses a horizontally divided, two piece design to create a light and stiff direct mount stem.

Renthal Integra stem details:

• Direct mount stem that fits BoXXer mounting pattern
• Adjustable reach: 45mm or 50mm
• Uses a horizontally divided, two piece design
• Weight: 136 grams (including hardware)
• MSRP: $109.95 USD, £99.95 UK


On the outside: We first saw the new Renthal Integra stem at the Fort William World Cup in 2011 on Fabien Barel's Mondraker as head mechanic Paul Walton was trying to keep it under wraps. A week later they were spotted on the front of the Monster Energy - Specialized team race bikes of Sam Hill, Brendan Fairclough and Troy Brosnan. Not surprising really, as both teams are running the Renthal Fat Bars on their bikes. The new Renthal Integra stem will fit the Fox 40, Bos Idylle and any other fork that uses the Rockshox BoXXer mounting pattern. The Integra stem will be available in late Summer for Europe and slightly later for those in the US, and will retail for $109.95 USD.


Renthal Integra Stem
Renthal's Integra stem is pared down to only what is needed to get the job done.


Integra details: The Integra stem is CNC machined from 6082-T6 aluminium and is based on Renthal's own unique design of a horizontally divided, two piece construction. Renthal says that they identified a great deal of instability found with direct mount stems featuring separate left and right clamps that some other designs make use of. These separated clamps, or even three piece clamps, joined by a faceplate, rely too heavily on the strength of the mounting bolts, says Renthal. This type of stem is very common in the world of motocross, something Renthal know a thing or two about, and it has to be taken into consideration that motorcycle handlebar clamps use massive M10 or M12 steel bolts, rather than much smaller M6 bolts that are employed on mountain bikes. The Integra stem uses solid looking, horizontally-divided, two-piece design, and features an upright U-Shaped handle bar clamping zone. The design makes for an uninterrupted cradle for the handlebar, eliminating the split in the clamp under the bar that can cause stress risers, which in turn can lead to handle bar failure. Renthal's Ian Collins had this to say about the stem's design:
bigquotesIt's just not Renthal policy to look at products out there in the market and try and improve on them. Simply taking existing products and thinking 'how can I make that lighter/stronger/stiffer/better' will result in an improvement, but that's just a single stage of evolution. The real advantage is gained when you start with a clean sheet and take it right back to the basics. Identify the key features and properties required by a component to perform to the maximum when related to today's bikes, today's riders and today's courses. This is how the Integra came to look, and be, so different to everything else out there. Whether we are developing a component for Olympic Cross Country or World Cup Downhill, weight is always a priority. With a direct mount stem there isn't a huge amount you can do to the actual stem body to make it lighter, as there is very little material there in the first instance. So we looked at the product as a whole and developed a design that could do away with a quarter of the heavy steel hardware. The Integra uses just six bolts to mount the stem and clamp the bars, rather than the usual eight bolts. That two bolt reduction accounts for over 10% of the complete product weight. - Ian Collins, Renthal

Renthal Integra stem
The Integra's two piece design makes for less parts and less bolts, saving weight and raising stiffness.


Testing the Integra: Installing the Integra is easy, although it does need a different technique than a standard direct mount stem requires. Start by placing the handle bar in the stem clamp, but don't clamp the bar in place yet. Now you can mount the stem to the top crown using the four large M6 bolts (greased and torqued to 10Nm), and then insert and tighten the two M5 bolts to clamp your bar in the correct position (greased and torqued 7Nm). Renthal is already implementing an improvement on the next production batch of their Renthal Fat Bar to have the laser engraved clamp center and angle markings wider due to the stem's clamp being so wide that it hides the markings, making life a little trickier for centering the bar. This is something to keep in mind if you aren't going to be using Renthal's Fat Bar with the Integra stem.

The goal of any high-end stem is to provide a lot of support and rigidity, but keep the weight as low as possible. In order to meet the first two demands Renthal has constructed the solid, two piece design with a whopping 64mm wide bar clamping zone. Why so wide? Most rider's downhill bars measure up at least 750mm wide, some even wider, and are therefore exerting more leverage than those old, skinny bars of yore. The Integra's broad 64mm clamp provides a more secure feel at the bars, boosting confidence and control. Think back to the first time that you installed a 2.5" wide downhill tire on the front of your rig, foolishly making you feel like a World Champ and able to go twice as fast. The Integra’s two piece design integrates the handlebar clamp into the body of the stem, allowing the use of just six bolts to both mount the stem and clamp the bars, as opposed to the usual eight. This gives a significant overall weight reduction. Note that Renthal quote the weight of the stem with all mount hardware, making the 136g weight one of the lightest on the market. FEA (Finite Element Analysis) was used heavily in the development of the stem, allowing the removal of all unnecessary material. The most striking example of this is the removal of all the material from the front of the handlebar clamp. It was identified as not being needed, so it was simply removed.


Renthal Integra Stem
You can choose between 45mm and 50mm reach options, but mounting it in the shorter position does mean that there will be a small amount of overhanging material over the rear of the crown.


What's not to like: Some will say that the price of $109.99 USD is a lot of dough for a stem, but it compares similarly to offerings from other manufacturers. It was smart of Renthal to make the Integra adjustable in reach, but running the stem in the 45mm position means that you'll end up with a slight overhang at the back of the crown - watch those knees! Changing the bar can also be more of a hassle, requiring you to remove six bolts instead of the usual four as on other stems. Not a huge deal, but worth noting nonetheless. And if we were to nitpick we'd like to see the stem's laser etched reach markings a bit larger and easier to read.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesRenthal have worked hard to make their Integra stem stiffer, stronger and lighter than the competition. We have seen wider stems in the past, as well as separate left and right individual, dual clamps that may weigh slightly less, but the Integra manages to combine that low weight with the stiffness of a burlier option. Renthal have thought outside the box, offering a uniquely designed direct mount stem that tackles the issue of weight and stiffness from a new angle.




Do you like what Renthal has done with their new Integra stem? Let's hear what you think about it!

Check out the Renthal website for more info or Renthal World Wide Distributors to track one down.


70 Comments

  • 20 1
 $110 = £100? I dont get why the price is so jacked up over here? They are machined here are they not?
  • 47 2
 "I dont get why the price is so jacked up over here?"

Really?

Remember we live in the UK

With added rip-off and fcuk you TAX
  • 20 1
 prices over here are total bullshit
  • 4 2
 This could be completely wrong, but could it be that there is a much greater demand for products in the US, therefore to reach any form of target revenue they can afford to sell at a lower price? Don't quote me on this though, it's only a theory Wink
  • 8 29
flag taletotell (Aug 30, 2011 at 4:26) (Below Threshold)
 demand should raise prices.
  • 1 0
 Not necessarily.
  • 4 0
 demand shouldnt raise prices neccessarily, witth over 300mil people living in the states, selling at lower prices will benefit greater than selling at higher ones. why do you think all the canadians swarm down to the states to buy stuff? BECAUSE its cheaper. with only ~30mil people in canada cosumer goods go way up.
  • 4 0
 UK - a place where everything is more exspensive because we can!
  • 1 0
 It's a joke. I'm considering a holiday to New York just so I can buy a Santa Cruz frame at not-rip off prices. If I get other things the holiday could pay for itself.
  • 2 1
 But does the number of people in the states lead to the lower price?
By your theory Toyota should be the cheapest car in the US. Cars might be cheaper but that is due to more low-end competition since gas is comparatively cheap so the poor can have cars too. High end cars such as Bugatti and Ferrari are still super expensive when purchased new.
Crap cars are cheaper, but so are pacific bikes.

Also, there are a lot more cyclists everywhere else in the world. Europe should have the cheapest stuff by a long shot since everybody and their grandmother rides. In the US it is still a up and coming sport with many people thinking it is for kids. Demand in Europe for mtb's and road bikes is way higher, so a business can charge a lot and still be sure of a buyer. In the USA the prices would have to be kept low as an incentive to purchase the part at all.

You want proof, price a used dh bike in vancouver on craigslist and another in New Jersey.
  • 1 0
 taletotell is right. Look at a supply demand curve. If you were to look at one for the US next to one for the EU, the EU demand curve would be shifted to the right. So at any supply the price is going to be higher than the equivalent US. There are also other factors like lower tax rates and more lax regulations leading to lower costs in the US. That is without even taking into account foreign currency exchange rates.
  • 6 23
flag poozank (Aug 30, 2011 at 10:19) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe you Brits should stop bitching about the taxes and revolt
  • 5 1
 Your asking for negative props...
  • 10 0
 @ poozank you need to pay more attention to international news reports mate
  • 1 0
 It's not just bikes that are more expensive, even software or electronics are priced at, or close to, 1:1 with the dollar.
  • 1 0
 I've heard computers are crazy expensive. I think that has to do with taxes though. I've heard prices get worse if you want a mac in austrailia.
  • 1 0
 it doesnt correlate TO EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT but as far as produce, and food, etc goes. its cheaper.
  • 2 0
 Don't forget the effect of currency conversion rates. As the pound gains in strength (which it's bound to do some time) this stem and other UK made products will start to cost a lot of in the USA/where ever. It's easy to see this stem costing $150 within 12-18 months in the USA, but it'll still be £99 in the UK..

Look at Hope brakes. They used to be a premium cost compared to Avid/Shimano/Hayes in the UK. Since the pound is (relatively) weak over the last couple of years, prices have gone through the roof whilst Hope have remained static. So, we can get a Tech X2 for the same price as an Elixir 5. That suddenly looks very competitive.
  • 1 0
 Demand would normally cause an increase in prices, but only if supply cannot be easily changed. It is likely cheaper due to mass production, lower wage rates lower tax and america also doesnt have to import much in the way of machinery/raw materials unlike britain where we simply specialize in services... Smile
  • 1 1
 Bike stuff made is the USA is generally super expensive. It's asia that has the cheap production prices. The USA import the vast majority of all its bike stuff.
  • 1 0
 Revolt? London riots due to a rise in tuition fees? Do you watch the same news?
  • 8 1
 Why the F... they keep making stems for boxers? I have damn 888, and as far as I know there are ONLY 3 companies who makes stems for them, but I like only 1 (Sunline); furthermore they cost 2 times boxer stem.

WHY?!

Why punish me for having 888.
  • 1 0
 They're not, it just means you can't buy this one, there are plenty of great 888 DM stems out there.
  • 8 0
 It is not a stem for boxxer. ALL forks but marzocchi use it. It is a standard. The italians are just stubborn for not adopting it and they are the guilty ones. buy a stemcrown.
  • 1 0
 i was thinking the same
  • 8 0
 The 2012 Marz use the Boxxers direct stem mounting pattern...
  • 1 0
 if what i have read is true then 2012 is gonna be off the hook for 'zocchi! they really have stepped up their game well. the talk coming from the establishment is incredibly bullish! i think i will time my next fork purchase with 2012!
  • 1 0
 Recently Marzocchi revealed a new top crown that now has the boxxer standard, so you will soon have the same choice as everyone with fox 40s and boxxers Smile

......sadly (for you) you'll have to buy that top crown which will be at least £50 so you're pretty much doomed to spend loads of money
  • 1 0
 i have no reason to buy forks now so i am cool for the mo! and i am planning on upgrading to evo ti's so it will fit in with my grand plan for world domination...... er........ i mean for my new build! so i have already menatally for a cash haemorrage in the new year! but cheers for that nugget! i'll have mine with white lowers and blue stanchions please!
  • 1 0
 Since there are people who actually read my post, let me ask.

Wich stem should I buy to 888, that I have (RC2X, 2006 I think the last Italy made series). Beside mentioned Sunline, Nukeproof (found one), and dedicated Marzochhi (I have it). Im not going to change my fork, just to buy some good looking stem Wink .

Every suggestion will be considered. Price does matter.
  • 1 0
 I would *think* you could just buy a new top crown and then whatever stem you wanted, the distance between the legs *should* be the same since 2006. But double check with Marz first....
  • 1 0
 Since price does not matter chunked or hope if they make one.


@Opfor - they changed the stanction diameter after 2007 so 2012 crowns wont fit.
  • 1 0
 To bad would have been nice to retro it.
  • 9 0
 Looks pretty awesome to me
  • 4 2
 but is the hope integrated a better option
  • 1 0
 Yea a bit of a hefty price but still looks pretty neat.
  • 4 0
 I think renthal are really leading the market at the moment. They've really hit the ground running entering the cycling industry and literally within months of their MTB existence top pros are running their bars. I like how they're using 'know how' from the motorcycle industry to advance the technology of the cycling industry rather than just taking whats there and printing their own logo on the same design everybody else uses. They're bringing something new and I like it, it's just cost that will prove to be a problem.
  • 1 0
 not all of Renthal's products are costly, i bought a Renthal chainring for £40. It's so light and stiff, and ive had it for a year and there's only some small signs of wear. Although on the stem the price may be high, Renthal are putting out some really high quality products.
  • 1 0
 £40 is still quite a lot for a chainring, but I agree, it is affordable and I know what my next chainring will be.
  • 1 0
 yeah it is expensive but in the long run it's definately cheaper, and so light!
  • 1 0
 A British company with a product manufactured in England that costs the British customer twice the price that it costs a customer that's 3'500 miles away. Demand levels or not that's bad pricing policy. Cheers Renthal kinda regret ordering that SR4 chainring off you now!
  • 1 0
 I have to say, I'm loving some of these economics theories!
However, if it is machined in the UK and is exported to the US and is 2/3rds of the price even after import tax that is a little ridiculous.
But then again, if you're keen to waste 100 quid dropping a few grams from your 40lb bike then that's up to you. It might make a miniscule difference to a pro downhiller but it's nothing more than expensive bling for everyone else.
  • 5 1
 HOpe integrated crown stem, any day.
  • 2 0
 yeh buddy, you know whats hot
  • 1 0
 Gold too boots. Smile
  • 1 0
 Mine Cracked after one year of use, only tighten to manufacturer torque. Pretty disappointed of Renthal, they said it is lightweight but super strong. www.pinkbike.com/photo/13298697
  • 1 0
 would have been a lot nicer if it could be flipped over to allow for a second variations in bar height...!! 100 quid is a lot to pay for 5 mm travel in reach alone.
  • 2 0
 I bet Mik Hannah wishes he had one of these earlier this year when he sheered his stem bolts off his bike...
  • 1 1
 I'm sure it's a great stem, but I'm kind of surprised at the weight. For a stem with not much going on material-wise, it's surprisingly heavy.
  • 3 0
 I don't think the weight is at all on the heavy side when you take into account that this is a stem suitable for DH riding piloted by the best riders in the world over the gnarliest is the world. It's a seriously tough piece of kit.
  • 1 0
 i will be buying one of these, however it will be on a trip to the U,S of A, UK prices are a joke!
  • 1 0
 Why don't they make a direct stem mount like on a dirtbike? Srry if it's a stupid question
  • 2 0
 6 bolts,so light!
  • 1 0
 how much would you notice a 5 deg change in length ?
  • 1 0
 damn, Hulk like it, Hulk want it.
  • 1 0
 so light!!!
  • 1 0
 love it, want it!
  • 1 2
 you know your doing good when your making over $100 on a piece of metal that a machine makes for you
  • 2 5
 They hardly thought outside the box if the design is used in motorcross a lot and Renthal are originally from motorcross......
  • 7 0
 well... thats ok
  • 6 0
 That design is not used in MX. These are motocross mounts www.renthal.com/File/product16a.asp
  • 9 0
 regardless... they brought something new to mtb. if it bothers you that it's not "outside the box", don't worry, it's not going to fit on your fixie anyways.
  • 1 3
 who's fixie?
  • 2 5
 @raleighvoid, its like a road bike with really narrow riser bars on it, fixie is a term they use to name it!!
  • 8 2
 @d4zd34n, congratulations on missing the point.
  • 3 0
 lollllll thanks anyway d4zd34n
  • 1 9
flag d4zd34n (Aug 30, 2011 at 14:04) (Below Threshold)
 cord1 congratulations on being a dick!!
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