Syntace Megaforce 2 All-Mountain Stem – Reviewed

Oct 28, 2014 at 18:45
by Richard Cunningham  

Pinkbike Product Picks

Syntace Megaforce 2 stem 2014


Card carrying members of the BMTS Club who traditionally demand the shortest possible stems, usually have to choose between heavier freestyle designs, which are basically rectangular blocks of aluminum with two holes bored through them, or risk one of the anorexic-looking CNC-machined offerings that are carved so thin that they seem to defy the laws of physics. Choices become much harder to come by if you also want it to be both lightweight and proven for its strength and durability.




The 30-millimeter Megaforce 2 stem is
so short that the handlebar and steerer
tubes almost contact each other.
Megaforce 2 stem

Syntace’s Megaforce 2 stem offers the complete package. Megaforce 2 stems are 3-D forged into their final shape for toughness and material consistency, engineered to reduce stress on the handlebar and steerer tube and, beginning at 30-millimeters and only 107 grams, they are among the lightest available in the all-mountain/gravity categories. Megaforce 2 stems are rigorously tested in Syntace’s laboratory and also have a long and successful history among the brand’s hard-core fans who rank among the sport’s best bike handlers. They have no weight or use restrictions, are checked out for aluminum or carbon handlebars up to 800 millimeters wide, and come with a ten-year warranty for manufacturing and material defects.

Syntace Megaforce 2 stem 2014

Three-D forging squeezes the stem's aluminum parts into their final shapes, which causes the metal to flow around high stress areas. That, and a final shot peening process, makes Megaforce 2 stems strong and resistant to fatigue. The 40-millimeter stem is pictured here.



Syntace was one of the pioneer stem makers who designed the body side of the handlebar clamp to extend beyond the centerline of the bar, so much of the torsion generated by the rider is directed into the stronger stem body, and less into the thin pair of arches that form the Megaforce 2’s handlebar clamps. The hollow stem is profiled in a rectangular shape which is significantly wider than it is tall to add further stiffness, while minimizing stack height. Megaforce 2 stems fit 31.8-millimeter bars. The hardware is titanium and the steerer clamp is available in 1 1/8 inch (28.6mm) diameter only. All stems are 6-degree angled and reversible, while lengths start as short as 30 millimeters and continue in ten-millimeter increments to 80 millimeters. Weights begin at 107 grams and run to 145 grams for the 80mm length. MSRP is $99 USD and your color choice is black.
Syntace Germany
Syntace products in the USA

Syntace Megaforce 2 stem 2014

The body side of the Megaforce 2 stem (left) extends a few millimeters beyond the handlebar's centerline to take some stress away from the clamping bands. Asymmetrical bolts are reportedly more effective at evenly distributing the steerer clamping forces. A look inside the stem reveals just how close the handlebar comes to the forks steerer - about five millimeters for this 40-millimeter stem.



Pinkbike’s Take
bigquotes We were searching for a stem that was half-way between the super-short 30-millimeter stem that we tried previously and the 50-millimeter item that came stock on our test bike. Syntace's 40-millimeter Megaforce 2 was just the ticket. The $97 sticker price of the Megaforce 2 stem may seem high to some, but the kind of punishment that all-mountain bikes in the 160-millimeter-travel range are intended to handle puts a lot of stress on both the bar and stem - and crashing is extra credit. Considering how rigid the Megaforce stem feels when pounding down boulder strewn gravity trails, it seems unnatural how lightweight it is when held in the hand. The 40-millimeter version is only 113 grams without its cap and steel adjustment screw. The low-profile design of the Syntace stem emulates where a handlebar might be on a direct-mount DH fork and stem arrangement, which helps to reduce the stack height of longer-travel forks shod with 27.5 or 29-inch wheels. The fact that Syntace offers the Megaforce in six reaches, ten-millimeters apart, gives fastidious tuners a useful tool to properly weight the front of the bike, or to dial in its reach to fit its rider perfectly. On top of all that, Megaforce stems are nearly as lightweight as XC types. Trustworthy performance from the good folks at Syntace. - RC


See more images in the Syntace Megaforce 2 gallery.
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111 Comments

  • + 13
 Should've added this on my first comment but now I can't... what does BMTS stand for? Big Mountain Trail Shredders?
  • + 4
 a new term after enduro.
  • + 64
 Bowel Movement That Stings?
  • + 6
 Bigger Meatier Tastier Shit?
  • + 30
 Bacon Mettuce Tomato Sandwich
  • + 8
 Big Mother Trucking Stem
  • + 4
 So what the hell does it stand for???
  • + 2
 Bars Made To Shred
  • + 1
 Bicycle Miles Traveled Sexy.....club
  • + 1
 Big Massive Testicles Syndrome??
  • + 2
 Cunning Ham was begging for a play on acronyms!
  • + 1
 Now THAT one I believe
  • + 5
 Bike Morons That Shuttle ???
  • + 8
 Can't we find something better to review then a stem? My requirements for a stem are a. holds bar b. doesn't kill me c. right length. What more could you possibly say about a stem?
  • + 0
 Someone has to give Pinkbike money for advertising. Trek can't be the only paid for review/advertiser.
  • + 2
 I've never seen a Syntace add on Pinkbike. Yea it's just a stem but it doesn't mean you have to accuse the editors of cash for comment. Come up with some proof and start #PinkBikeGate or go home.
  • + 1
 @tbubier: right rise is missing
  • + 11
 You can have any colour as long as it's black.
  • + 9
 See, I'm OK with that. It's a light stem that PB says is stiff, is backed up by a 10 year warranty (so it is probably strong as hell...) and is under $100. Ticks all my boxes
  • + 1
 I know a chick that likes to have her box ticked
  • + 2
 Tick, that sounds either quick or small !
  • + 8
 This is all mountain not enduro. Its not going on my bike because its not enduro.
  • + 9
 Best stems on the market. The same goes for the bars.
  • + 2
 Agree. Often overlooked. But their bars are largely overpriced compared to other companies' offerings.
  • + 3
 Cant wait for my 50mm version to arrive this week. Smile Wanted to get my hands on one for a while. Now using a 75mm F149 with a Vector 7075 High 20 in its intended width. And the bars are excellent indeed, especially in 12 degree sweep. In aluminium they're fairly priced, carbon is a tad pricy perhaps.
  • + 4
 Ah, I don't mess around with alloy bars most of the time. I had run the Vector carbon bars before and they are worth the money in my opinion. But they might seem overpriced to some people.

I have the Megaforce 2 40mm stem on my Trek Ticket Slope, with black ti bolts replacing the standard raw ones: www.pinkbike.com/photo/11115487
  • + 1
 I agree, not overpriced in my opinion, but I'll stick to alloy for a while. Although durability wise that shouldn't matter, they aced a recent test in the German Bike magazine.

Mine arrived right around noon, couldnt resist and had a quick testride:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/11587528
www.pinkbike.com/photo/11587525
Might swap the bolts for the regular steel ones from one of my F149's, like black better indeed.
  • + 6
 it's an awesome item indeed. Been rocking the 30mm version for nearly 3 years for all types of riding and no problems whatsoever!
  • + 27
 Yep. Sounds a lot like a stem.
  • + 6
 Does it come in OD2...FML
  • + 3
 Just bought one of these in 40mm for my Kona Process. Impressive weight and stiffness. Replaced a 50mm Thomson. Never thought I'd never run a Thomson on one of my bikes but I'm a Syntace convert now.
  • + 5
 Never say never....never...unless you're going to say you never thought you'd never run a... Smile
  • + 1
 am I missing an intended double negative that would make this comment make sense?
  • + 2
 Um, I was drinking when I posted that guys. So sorry. Never not never did nothing. Smile Anyway, the stem is thebomb.com
  • + 2
 Don't drink and post, it will give the rest of us a headache Smile
  • + 1
 I always equated CNC with the highest echelon of strength and weight, is forging better?
  • + 3
 The Syntace FlatForce is a great option, too, particularly if you're trying to get the bar height down on a 29er or 27.5 front end.
  • + 5
 And only 3 grams away from being too light.
  • + 4
 This stem is 3D forged, what is 2D forging?
  • + 12
 Forging with one eye closed
  • + 4
 Just hitting things with a hammer on an anvil :-)
  • + 1
 Whats 3D forging? Why is it different than conventional forging?
  • + 1
 I guess PB is sponsored by Thompson. All posts in regards to them not being the wonderful stem as some people believe have been defeated.
  • + 3
 -> MSRP in USA $97
-> MSRP in Germany €122 = $150

fair pricing...
  • + 5
 Hmm that's weird, cannot believe that price in EU is higher than in USA since the company is from Germany...
  • + 3
 ~20% VAT in Europe.
  • + 0
 Purchasing power....prices will never match since the average citizen in EU has a different purchasing power than the average american citizen
  • + 0
 you mean the average citizen in DE. italy/greece/spain, not so much.

typically a $100 item is 100E with exchange rate and VAT.

syntace is proportionately cheaper in the US because the brand is less well known and they cannot command sell through at the higher price that they can in their home market.
  • + 0
 I agree....although i am pretty sure the average mtbers in europe have a fairly similar incomes regardless of where they live. It is an expensive sport at the end of the day... a certain amount of income is required or.....full sponsorship
  • + 1
 Ordered the 30mm version last week. I will be running it with an XL frame at 5'11". Allows me to run a longer wheelbase while keeping my reach in check.
  • + 1
 That's a great idea!
  • + 3
 Gets everything I want but colour options.
  • + 1
 Can'o'rattle maybe?
  • + 1
 Hang on. If half of 31.6 is 15.8 and half of 28.6 is 14.3 then 15.8 and 14.3 make 30.1 how the hell is this a 30mm stem? False advertising! Avoid!
  • + 17
 Look, I know you just woke up over there in Aus. It's okay. Hush.
  • + 3
 I wouldn't say avoid. But it is a false statement.
  • + 5
 Ever seen a manufacturer state stem length down to a fraction of a millimetre?
  • + 18
 @ panaphonic - I do not see 6° angle in your equation. Poor mathematical skills! Avoid! Smile
  • + 0
 No matter the angle it still can't be 30mm.
  • + 2
 Any decimal rounded-down under .49 is applied mathmatics. Or - numbers. Go measure every other stem you see then and report back which ones have to be avoided.
  • + 1
 You people have no sense of humour.....
  • + 4
 Love the color choice!
  • - 2
 Can anyone please explain why, other than supply/demand/market trends, it costs more to make a smaller stem? It seems like any decent stem under 60mm costs about $100. Does it require a different manufacturing process to make a short stem? I would think that it would be easier for a short stem to be stiff than a longer stem (that's what she said).
  • + 1
 companies charge $100+ for stems so they can make money. That simple really
  • + 1
 Short stems are a pretty niche market. So yea it sucks but be prepared to pay. (Though, ride a 90mm stem and tell me it wasn't worth it!)
  • + 0
 Great stem. All mountain style makes a good one too, but 35 size limits options so far. so for 35mm, I'm thinking easton havon for my new whip.
  • + 1
 Plus they want Euro 199 for their 35mm stem and they have no insurance for sales in North America. If you shop around you can get three Syntace MF2 stems for that money and pick and choose what stem length feels best. Plus they are stealth and bomber, ran one on my Blur TRc for three years. Great stems.
  • + 1
 Which 35 dia stem is 199euro? Syntace?
  • + 2
 Are these 26" compatible or only 650b?
  • + 1
 Putting a 30mm stem on my bike was the best thing I ever did. I would never go back to a longer stem now.
  • + 1
 lots of comments for such a simple item
bad weather in CDN / USA?
  • + 0
 A decent range or colours wouldn't go amiss... Still very nice though!
  • + 12
 I'd rather have the R&D in the lightest/strongest design than a choice of delightful anodised colours.
  • + 1
 That'd drive the cost up, there are aluminum alloys far stronger (and costlier) than the ones used in bicycle components now.
  • + 1
 I agree that the strength and weight of the design are of paramount importance and that R&D is the only way to achieve the best results, but I still think a range of colours would help boost sales. It would make good market sense and at the end of the day result in more sales and therefore more profit that can be used to fund more advanced R&D and manufacturing processes leading to a stronger, lighter product in the long run. Deeeight is correct though, there are more advanced materials and manufacturing processes than those used in the bike industry and if you want a product with the highest possible strength to weight ratio it gonna be extremely expensive and impractical to produce.
  • + 1
 Mega sweet!!!
  • - 3
 Megaforce? Is it a transformer or something?
  • + 5
 Sigh...kids on this site...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpH1yMGxh5E

The full movie is on youtube also... its very 80s cheesy for a wide-release mainstream movie.
  • + 2
 That rocket propelled manual, dirty nasty
  • + 1
 MEGAFORCE! I had totally forgotten that movie. Is there a better one. It would have to be pretty RAD

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OL-0uAQVsw&list=PLB8E8BB38DCFCB5EB
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