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 UKOn 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'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:
|It'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|
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.
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:
|Renthal 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.