Profile Racing Helm Stem - Review

Jul 16, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Pinkbike Product Picks

Profile Helm stem review

Profile Racing Helm Stem

Probably best known for their three piece DH cranksets, Profile Racing also manufactures hubs, stems and chainrings at their machine shop in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Helm stem is the latest addition to the company's lineup, intended for everything from downhill to enduro race applications. CNC machined from 7075 aluminum and then laser etched, the stem is available with 0° of rise in 40, 50, and 60mm lengths for 31.8mm bars. The clamping mechanism is designed to work with the top two bolts tightened until the faceplace and the body of the stem make contact, and then the lower two bolts are tightened down to secure the handlebar. There are nine different anodized color options (black, silver, matte black, red, blue, gold, green, aqua, and purple), and the 40mm stem tested here weighed in at 150 grams. MSRP: $115 USD. www.profileracing.com

Profile Helm stem review

Short and strong, the Helm stem is a worthy step up from the long house-brand stems that many new bikes still come with.



Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesA few years ago it was difficult to find a stem shorter than 50mm, but recent changes in bike geometry and riding styles have brought about the introduction of more and more options in the 35-45mm range. The Helm is an eye-catching entry, and garnered multiple trailside comments from riders who were impressed by the stem's well-finished look. The big silver hex head bolts (5mm for the body and 4mm for the face plate) snugged down securely, and never emitted any creaks or groans during our time on the trail. As far as the shape goes, there aren't any overly sharp edges or corners, a welcome sight for anyone familiar with the pain that comes from smacking a stem due to a slipped pedal or skipping chain. There wasn't any noticeable flex either, even when pushing hard into corners on a set of 785mm wide bars. You can't really ask for anything more from a stem, can you? Good looks, a reasonable weight, no creaking, and the fact that it's made in the USA makes the Helm stem a solid contender in the world of short stems. - Mike Kazimer





66 Comments

  • + 43
 Profile racing certainly looks like they are steering in the right direction.
  • + 21
 I think it stems from the idea of keeping things simple
  • + 13
 From their profile things are looking good!
  • + 20
 I just can't seem to clamp down on what you guys are saying...
  • + 6
 Seems like they've turned a corner with this new stem. Get one if you're in a pinch.
  • + 6
 Hope they got the bolt on for current trend.
  • + 14
 thwyre certainly in the helm of this ship. Pushing the bar forwards.
  • - 12
flag Pichy (Jul 17, 2014 at 3:12) (Below Threshold)
 Keep going ahead with more MTB stuff Profile.
  • + 8
 This is surely a product that could handle a ride to the bars.
  • + 5
 Don't down vote Pichy its not his fault he couldn't clamp down on what we're saying. It's hard to know where this conversation stems from anyways
  • + 0
 Pichy can't seem to clasp this topic
  • - 1
 I guess he should take it with a pinch of salt
  • + 1
 I think his problem stems from not getting puns
  • + 1
 Someone should steer him in the right direction.
  • - 1
 Shhhhhh
  • + 26
 I must be getting old. I would say they were known first and best for their 3 piece BMX cranks. I still remember the day I heard they were going to make a BB and cranks for Mountain bikes. I got my self on a waiting list for a new set. It was some were around 97
  • + 20
 I know them best for having the loudest hub money can buy
  • + 7
 Yeah, they started making those BMX cranks in 1979, easily their most well known product. Their DH cranks were just slightly altered versions of those.
  • - 4
flag ryanme (Jul 17, 2014 at 7:45) (Below Threshold)
 their hubs are not loud, hopes are loud. Profile hubs are well known for the distinctive sound and fast engagment. Agree with Tahoe, the BMX 3pc cranks are most definitely the much more known than the DH ones - I have never even heard of them!!
  • + 1
 Dude, I don't know what you have in your ears, but THEIR HUBS ARE LOUD. Trust me, I have 2 sets. Mechanical nightmare though.
  • - 4
flag ryanme (Jul 17, 2014 at 8:27) (Below Threshold)
 have you heard a hope hub? my normal pro 2 is easily much louder than the profiles all the skatepark kids have. I also have a trials pro 2 which completely drowns out anything made by profile.
  • + 1
 I have heard a hope hub, and they are loud, but keep in mind the hubs the skatepark kids have are more than likely profile minis. Profile MTBs are much louder and more badass
  • + 1
 the profile minis are pretty quiet I agree, the mtb hub is louder, still not as loud as my hope hubs though!
  • + 2
 ok man, you win. Just be careful with the rangers. The one downside of having loud hubs is that the 5-0 can hear you through the woods.
  • + 1
 but profiles do have 5x more engagement
  • + 1
 Hope SS/trials now has 80 and all others are at 40, Profile elite has 204.

I've got 2 sets of hopes and love them.

Profiles are just so doggone expensive or else I'd pick up a set.
  • + 7
 No my hubs are louder.
  • + 1
 You young guys probably have not ever heard a mid 90s Hugi hub....now those were loud!
  • + 1
 the rear elite hub is about 350-380 cost
  • + 9
 watch people run 25.4 bars so they could run 20mm stems
  • + 3
 22.2 bars and 15mm stems!
  • + 4
 That's a cool, classy stem! Will look good on any bike. I know there are many good stems out there that are more angular, but real sharp cornered ones look odd to me on a lot of bikes.
  • + 4
 Profile are best know for their 3 piece DH cranks? What? How old are you, like 12? Have you even heard of BMX?
  • + 2
 I was thinking the same thing.....
  • + 1
 They are talking about what they are known for in the mountain biking world, cuz this is a mountain biking website.
  • + 1
 Ok... I like product reviews and all but I have to admit I don't understand all the stem reviews. It's a stem. If it puts my bars where I want them and isn't made of cast iron I don't care which one it is. Are people really that particular about stems?
  • + 2
 So the stem rise, length, weight and price means nothing to you? Ok.
  • + 1
 the stem is one of the most stressed parts of a bike. it will be subjected to some huge forces, especially with wide bars, yet at the same time it is quite high up on the bike so its important to be low weight. A catastrophic stem failure pretty much guarantees yo a trip to hospital, meaning a stem must be light, stiff and extreemly reliable. and a good price wouldnt hurt. based on all of the above, i say keep the reviews coming
  • + 1
 Yeah I understand all that but all these TR/AM/DH stems are all plenty strong, weights and prices are all published, and these reviews can't/don't really cover reliability cuz it would take ages to fail one. Might as well just list the specs in a table. The only other information here are some notes on aesthetics. Basically there's nothing here you can't see on mfr websites, customer reviews, etc.
  • + 1
 @MDripper that's my point. All that info is published so you don't need a review to tell you that.
  • + 1
 yeh I see what you mean there. I guess all that is left for the reviewer to comment on really is stiffness and ease of fitting. Maybe a few notes about finishing quality. I agree they don't call for as in depth a review as say brakes or transmission. Still, if I was thinking of buying a stem its reassuring to read about whether its as stiff as a wet noodle or creaks like a bastard before I shell out my hard earned on it. Must say it does bug me when you read a long ass review that spends most of its time discussing aesthetics. Show me a pic and I'll decide whether I like it or not, regardless of the reviewers opinion.
  • + 1
 Stem - lots of good thinking goes into making a good one. So yes - sexy product. Localmade, Profile and Thomson will dish it out for me.
  • + 1
 @ glasvagas: I can think of four immediate reasons:
1. Bbecause the customer can see what grade the bolts are.
2. Immediately commercially available with high quality and relatively low cost.
3. They are less likely to strip out when being ham-handed by those that don't read instructions or insist on doing everything with a multi-tool.
4. They will probably never fail (the stem is made in the Land of the Free and Home of the Litigious after all).
  • + 1
 Renthal has a similar system to tighten the bolts ,works great. The problem is that people don't like to read manuals or follow proper instructions . and later complaint when things go wrong giving good products bad reputations.
  • + 3
 Bolts look good quality. Gotta be annoying having two different allen key sizes on one stem tho...
  • + 4
 I say as long as it stems from a good source I'm game
  • + 4
 Don't you guys start...
  • + 4
 $115? Nope.
  • - 1
 No doubt. They want you to pay them to advertise with those huge graphics. No thanks.
  • + 1
 Worth every cent when you can email the guy who machines the parts. Quality costs.
  • + 1
 While I can appreciate the costs associated with keeping the business stateside; it's a stem, so no.

If Thompson can keep their X4 stems under 100 dollars, than anyone can.
  • + 1
 We need to clamp down of these jokes. I just can't handle the direction they steer the comments.
  • + 2
 Thanks for creating jobs.
  • + 1
 They need to make a direct mount DH stem so i can buy one and have my last name on my bicycle like a boss!
  • - 1
 Beef looking stems but gay ass laser etching. Throw some dragons or a chick with big titties and ill be willing to throw down the cash.
  • + 1
 I have black market bada boom bars on my dh bike, look into them if your looking for a a bar with a big titty chick on it lol
  • + 1
 Two different bolt sizes on a stem? Grrrr.
  • + 1
 Nice stem but ugly name in the side
  • + 1
 Late to the game Profile, where's the 35 clamp?
  • + 1
 You can now get it in a 35mm clamp diameter, in all colours and lengths....Smile
  • + 1
 Hurray, fashionably late!
  • + 1
 Not sure how long they've been available in 35mm. Today is the first time I've ever seen this stem and I love it, my new favourite..Smile
  • + 0
 Attack Trail Carbon review coming soon?
  • - 1
 Why oh why would you use those horrible bolts?
  • + 1
 And why not?
  • + 0
 Stunning stem, horrible bolts. It doesnt add up.

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