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Light and stiff got married.
Zipp doesn't hesitate to extend their craftiness beyond their signature aerodynamic wheels. This SL Speed Carbon Stem is a prime example of Zipp's quest to reshape bike componentry from bottom to top. The most notable aspect of this stem is its ethereal lightness (a mere 123 grams in 100mm length). Being this light, Zipp uses exacting construction standards and some forward thinking to maintain the same top-notch level of performance and durability you'd find on their other go-fast products.
The SL Speed Carbon Stem has rearward facing stem bolts, similar to what we've seen on Oval stems in the past. On Zipp's design, the bolts thread directly into a two-piece carbon/titanium faceplate. On the backside, the single-bolt steerer clamp appears standard in every way, but Zipp found, through product testing, that normal fasteners don't always seat properly in their bores when the clamp is torqued to spec onto the fork steerer tube. To alleviate this, they added self-aligning washers to ensure positive contact between the stem and the shoulders of the fasteners. This minute detail is one that allowed Zipp to create the main structure of the SL Speed Stem from 100% carbon fiber, without any co-molded alloy parts.
The Zipp SL Speed Carbon Stem uses uni-directional carbon fiber, laminated in such a way as to have incredible torsional stiffness to resist twisting when you're really cranking on the bars in a sprint or uphill. It has a 31.8mm clamp diameter and is available in six lengths from 70 to 120mm in 10mm increments. The stack height at the steerer clamp is 41mm and the stem is angled at +/- 6 degrees.
- Stiff, secure, and ultralight stem for road or gravel
- Unidirectional carbon is seriously stiff and tough
- Light enough for roadies, tough enough for cyclocross
- Torx T25 heads for precise torque readings
- T25 wrench included for easy adjustability
- Item #ZIP005H
- Q & A
Super pro, but is it a good value?
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This stem is sweet! It looks great, relatively chunky on the front of your bike but not gaudy. I like it because it gives you almost the same stiffness as the Zipp Sprint Stem, but saves you 40+ grams.
Don't forget the stem uses a T25 key and not a hex. It is hard to forget though, Zipp throws one in with the purchase of the stem. The stem also comes in a nice waterproof bag. I use the bag almost every ride to store my phone and money in my jersey pocket.
Important note! When installing the stem make sure the washers are inserted properly. I almost cracked it before the first ride.
I love this stem and if you can afford it, you should buy it! If you are on a budget and rather spend the extra money on carbon bars buy the Zipp Course SL stem. The Course SL stem is 2 grams heavier and will save you $150+.