Pinkbike Product PicksCard 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.
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 GermanySyntace products in the USA
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.
See more images in the Syntace Megaforce 2 gallery.
| 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|