Intend's Updated Grace Stems are a High-End Alternative - Pond Beaver 2020

Apr 8, 2020
by Mike Levy  
Grace FR blue 35mm

There are components on your bike that, as long as they're strong enough and in the ballpark when it comes to weight, have essentially no effect on how your bike performs. Tires and wheels, suspension, and your drivetrain are all big factors, but your stem? Not so much. Besides getting the right length and clamp diameter, most of us only have to decide if we want a black stem or a black stem. I usually choose the black one. But if your tastes are more cultured than mine (hard to believe, I know), you might go for something a little more high-class. Enter Intend's range of freshly redesigned Grace stems.

Intend is a small, one-man operation out of Germany better known for its lineup of inverted suspension forks, as well as the wild-looking Hover shock that we showed you last year. That man is Cornelius Kapfinger, an engineer who's dead-set on doing his own thing his way.

Grace FR black 31 8mm iso
The Grace stem saves weight by not using a removable faceplate, giving it a super clean appearance.
Intend Extensions handlebarsleeve 35 31 8mm
Intend also manufacture their own 31.8 to 35mm shims.

The Grace stem is a one-piece design that forgoes a removable faceplate and the four bolts that would require. Instead, two bolts hold the handlebar that must be slid through the clamp, thereby losing the weight of those two extra bolts and the material that a faceplate requires. This isn't a new idea, of course, but Kapfinger says that it wasn't ideal in the past because many of us were using high-rise handlebars with bends that wouldn't fit through the stem's clamp. "In times of thick handlebar diameters and lower handlebars due to the large 29" wheels, this design is becoming increasingly interesting again,'' he explains.

Handlebars with up to 20 to 25mm of rise will slide through the clamp, although he does concede that thicker bars, like those from Renthal and Hope, will only work with up to 10mm of rise.

Grace DH black 35mm
The DH stem's 60mm reach is intended to keep your bike's reach consistent, despite the 25mm height.

A non-removable faceplate saves some grams, as does only needing two bolts instead of four, and it also makes for a super clean appearance. Other details include a chamfer on the edge of the handlebar clamp so that it plays nice with carbon fiber, and fancy grade-5 titanium bolts all around. There are six different versions, including a direct-mount DH stem with an odd-sounding 60mm length that's designed to compensate for the added rise. Oh, and it weighs just 113-grams.

Kapfinger has designed models for downhill, freeride, enduro, cross-country, trail, and there's even cyclo-cross version.

Grace complete lineup
Intend offers six versions of the Grace stem, from downhill (far left) to cross-country (right).

Weights start as low as just 79-grams for the 77mm long XC stem with a 31.8mm clamp, while the 35mm FR and 50mm EN versions come in at a hardly believable 80-grams and 88-grams. The stems are manufactured in Germany, as is their titanium hardware, and prices go from €149 to €189. Color options include blue, raw, and black.

Pinkbike Pond Beaver 2020

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 81 11
 No one over the age of 40 will buy one of these. If you lived through non-face plate stems once you are never going back.
  • 26 9
 But with 35mm stem it's not the same anymore. You can even keep your grips on the bar, it will fit thru the stem.
  • 5 0
 Had a Syncros long ago...
  • 8 2
 I'm 45 and it's a No for me. I'll stick with my Chromag and the few extra grams.
  • 12 2
 @fartymarty: I'm 40 and I would do one, even though I remember when the Club Roost "Downhill bars" came out and we had to remove the stem bolts and use a big screwdriver to lever the bar clamp open enough to get them through. My mate had some deep matt blue Azonic World Force Riser bars and he scratched the shit out of them on the first day!

Now I use a 15mm rise bar, I would be all over this stem.
  • 8 3
 I’m almost 50 and I want one. And I’ve been riding 25 years.
  • 5 1
 @fartymarty: Oh dear, I just noticed the price. I'll keep looking out for a Syncros Hixon takeoff.
  • 2 6
flag wasea04 (Apr 8, 2020 at 12:41) (Below Threshold)
 I'm only 35, yet I too know the flimsy-ness of anything without 4, yes 4, face bolts. Good call!
  • 4 0
 @faul: Yes but you'll still be taking of a set of brakes, shifter, and dropper. Depending on which type of controls you have you may have to take off grips as well. Just sayin'.
  • 4 0
 @faul: Excellent, for my single-speed coaster-brake bike.
  • 1 0
 @SJP: There ya go! I stand corrected.
  • 6 1
 I'm over 40, been riding since 1990, and I love my 77Designz one-piece stem. Set it and forget it. Besides, with lock-on grips, taking off a lever and grip is hardly worth not getting a cool stem over. Nothing like it was with foam grips, aquanet, and lever clamp bands with an internal screw.
  • 10 0
 After the bike is built, how often do you end up taking the bars off the stem?
  • 2 0
 Not that bad now that we also have lock-on grips and integrated bar/shifter mounts. Only a couple of extra bolts to loosen.
  • 1 0
 @zonoskar: noob! Ahahaha.
  • 1 5
flag RedRedRe (Apr 8, 2020 at 19:25) (Below Threshold)
 People who buy this stuff are both new to cycling and loaded. So I disagree, they may be over 40.
  • 2 0
 @faul: levers and shifters too?
  • 2 0
 @ryan83: I have travelled a fair bit with my bike (good ol' days when we were allowed outside) and to get my bike in my EVOC bag I take the bars off the stem rather than the stem off the steerer. So this design is a no-go for me.
  • 3 0
 @JMIT: I do the opposite. I find getting the bars aligned with the steerer is easier than getting spot-on rotation in the stem, which often requires riding real trail to get dialed (for me at least).
  • 1 0
 @jaame: beauty don't come cheap.
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: yeah I hate taking the bars off the stem. Four bolts to balance against the weird cable twist. I always end up touching grease by accident and saying f*ck.
  • 1 0
 @zonoskar: Same. There are a lot of ugly stems out there. This isn't one of them.
  • 1 0
 Plus we oldsters like our tall bars. The bars are too damn low!
  • 1 0
 @JockoJones: damn right especially with a 515 reach
  • 29 2
 "There are components on your bike that, as long as they're strong enough and in the ballpark when it comes to weight, have essentially no effect on how your bike performs. "

Bullshit. The pure sexiness of this stem will make the bike ride.....
  • 14 0
 For most people, it should read “there are bikes out there that have essentially no effect on how the rider performs”.
  • 22 2
 Damn, this blows the A35 out of the water in terms of sexiness! Love it.
  • 3 0
 I bet you can't run many riser bar configurations....
  • 1 0
 @downcountry: Indeed - at least it’s fully disclosed!
  • 1 0
 @iduckett: Agreed - at least someone provides reasonable information about their products. Smile
  • 21 1
 Cornelius Kapfinger is a rad name
  • 5 0
 You know the saying...'you can Kap your finger but never finger your Kap'....
  • 1 0
 Best buds with Dick Pound.
  • 2 0
 @mitcht: I thought I knew a bit of English and probably urbandictionary could save me but nope. So help me out: What is it that makes these type of comments pop up every time Cornelius Kapfinger is mentioned here of pb. What could "kap" or "kapfinger" stand for?
  • 1 0
 @MatthewCarpenter:it means that (possibly) some PB commenters have been inside too long.
  • 11 0
 From $160 to $200(Euro conversion to USD) for a stem. What a time to be alive!!!
  • 3 0
  • 1 0
Welcome to mountainbiking in 2020!
  • 2 0
 I mean that’s not horrible... converts to about 228 Canadian.. and I’m pretty sure a chromag BZA stem is right around 200 Canadian. So on par.
  • 1 0
 That thing is machined af though
  • 3 1
 The Intend is the same weight as the Enve, but cheaper. It is 100g lighter than the heinous looking Chromag BZA 35 stem but only slightly more expensive. The Intend is the only good looking 35mm MTB stem I know of at this time.
  • 2 1
 @WheelNut: ? Enve is 28 grams lighter. That is an incredible weight difference. What self respecting Fidelity Investments middle manager would dare show up at the trailhead with an unnecessary 28 grams anchoring down their bike? It gives me anxiety just thinking about it. Its important to make sure your fellow riders in your club group know that you care more about your bike than your 2nd wife.
  • 6 0
 Ok everyone lets all relax. This style of stem is totally strong and reliable. We Are One makes a stem this style in collab with 77 Designs with a sleeved carbon bar. The benefits of this style are that the sleeve distributes the clamping load across a larger area decreasing 'pinch points' like a regular face plate stem which require higher torque from the stem bolts, Also some carbon bars can feel harsher due the 35mm diameter. With a sleeve, the bar can be narrower with more compliance and still be stronger while being able to fit into the stem without a spatula. Check out We Are Ones Instagram page to see real world tests. Intend, 77 Designs and WR1 have it figured out IMO.
  • 3 0
 Best stem bar combo ever!!! Love my Da Stem and Da Bar haha
  • 5 1
 Around 2014 there was a run of Race Face Turbine stems that were recalled because the face plate was cracking/splitting. I owned one of those stems, wasn't aware of the recall, and it cracked on me during a small rocky technical descent. I was lucky I noticed the loud "ping" sound as it cracked and split and I stopped right away. I will never buy a stem with a face plate that thin again. I'll take the small weight penalty for peace of mind.
  • 7 3
 No worries, people who buy this stuff, dont ride that hard.
  • 2 0
 Same stem, also no aware of the recal!! scary time indeed! hearing the aluminium cracking out of nowhere sh#t!!
  • 4 0
 Raceface. Enough said.
  • 2 1
 @RedRedRe: seems like you dont know Intend´s Testrider.
  • 2 3
 @Dan278: Oh wow, they do have one test rider.... pretty cool!
  • 7 0
 Pass through 2 bolt stem?


I know the world is kind of a mess right now, but come on, its not 1992!!
  • 2 0
 My thoughts exactly. I can only see this really being for the XC /gram counting crowd. Looks great, but most likely super flexy on more aggressive applications and the two bots only...just no.
  • 1 1
 @bman33: XC gram counting crowd will go with proven stuff like extralite.... This looks like for the bike hanger crowd... $200 WTF!
  • 4 0
 Call me crazy but less bolts is better if you can do the same job, and I think wrapping around the bar instead of squeezing it between two plates is a better way to secure it, assuming you can get it through in the first place. Which it seems is not a problem for many bars.
  • 4 0
 PB, please review his new Edge single crown fork. Dying to know if the knurled clamped 20mm axle cures the flex issues that are inherent to USD fork designs.
  • 4 1
 Had one of these for a while now, looks absolutely beautiful. Not something I would usually buy at that price tag, but hey, what mountainbiker spends his money on reasonable things?
  • 2 4
 So you had it for a while and all you can say it looks beautiful (to you)?

Is it stiff (it does not look like)?
Can you put 35 raisers?
Did it break yet?
  • 3 1
 @RedRedRe: no one asked me for a detailed review. Honestly, I probably couldn’t tell a minimal difference in stiffness, but I’ve had zero creaking problems or any noticeable flex compared the massive blocky stem my bike came with.

Max rise is 20-25mm as stated on the website.

It did not break yet, but I’ve only ridden it on my home trails since none of the bike parks are open. Considering it was tested at the EFBE labs here in Germany I doubt it will break. There’s some background on the engineering here:
  • 5 0
 That is one damned good looking stem.
  • 2 0
 Ludicrious expensive. Even shipping is expensive. A headache to swap handlebars. Got rid of mine and bought one for a third of the price and a few grams extra. If you are into it, look for the 77Designs for half the cost.
  • 4 0
 Hm. Its a shame its not available in 9 rowdy colors.
  • 32 0
 9 Rowdy Colurs:

1) Black
2) Ano Black
3) Brushed Ano Black
4) Racer Boi Black
5) Weekend Warrior Black
6) Ain't for Joey Black
7) Dark Black
Cool Midnight Madness
9) Pitch Black
  • 6 1
 Indeed. Purple aka 3D violet looks so good. For ten minutes then you wonder wtf was I thinking.
  • 1 0
 That’s way too skeletal for my liking. I’ve had issues with stems keeping my headset in adjustment because there wasn’t enough material and the bolts were too dinky to torque up enough to hold in place.
  • 4 0
 Looks like a 77Designz...
  • 3 0
 I have a Grace Trail and it has functioned fine. Looks super clean! Expensive for sure but I could care less.
  • 1 0
 Still rocking my bronze 35mm Straitline stem from 2010. Had it on 8 bikes , changed face plate once after a crash which they charged me about 8 dollars for. It's still as nice as any stem I've seen since.
  • 3 0
 I'm suprised the Intend Stem comes with bolts, since apparently USD fork don't need guards.....
  • 1 0
 oh i read to quickly and totally skipped the price.....guess i wont be buying current stem is 100 grams heavier but i think i will deal with that.
  • 2 0
 Why does that DH stem look like something Joe Exotic would ride?
  • 4 0
 It's that bitch Carole's fault.... Big Grin
  • 1 0
 so with those looking for severe weight savings, I think the Scoot/syncros integrated design is going to be more successful.
  • 2 0
 Big drawback of the synchros option is the inability to change bar roll. And you need a new combo if you want to change stem length, bar rise or width.
I’m not even sure the Hixon is any lighter than the Intend/Beast stem/bar combination.
  • 2 0
 @Ttimer: The hixon is 290 grams. A decent carbon bar is a little over 200 grams, 230 grams for more downhill oriented bars.

Anyways, since when does "how well a bike handles" matter in the weight weeny game???
  • 2 0
 $ least it comes with plastic shims?
  • 1 0
 Haha, yup, WTF?! No thanks, I'll stick with my trusty renthal setup
  • 2 0
 But will they twist on the steer tube?
  • 1 0
 They don't. At least mine hasn't moved at all.
  • 1 0
 wow thats super light. i might get the xc one of these in 31.8mm for my xc hardtail and the trail one for my trail bike.
  • 1 0 this the future?
  • 7 0
 No, because the choice of handlebars that fit through there is limited.
  • 1 1
 @FuzzyL: It looks like the past.... but the past is the future
  • 3 1
 Headsets are awesome too
  • 3 6
 So all the hype about this stuff is because some german magazine and forums were excited about pushing a compatriot product?


All the stems I have seen with dual clamp design are not on the market anymore... because they cracked, right at the top.
From the pictures, these do not even look machined to high precision.
  • 3 1
 this stem has been around for 2 years or so since the preorder. Its only been updated in lenghts and diameter as far as I know.
The fastest and most hard charging rider in my region who seriously brakes a lot of stuff hasn´t had any issues with this stem for 2 years
  • 1 0
You are lucky to live in a place where people have a lot of money to burn...!

So these hard chargers spent $200 for stem? lol
  • 1 0
 I intended to use one of these stems, but my bars have too much rise.
  • 1 0
 .. and forget it if you usually have to pack the bike.
  • 1 1
 German engineering starts it’s best
  • 1 0
 At its
  • 1 1

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