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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
If you want to go all carbon
A great carbon stem and a natural match to Zipp's *fantastic* carbon "Contour SL" handlebar.
Zipp uses Torx fasteners because they are "simply a better bolt." As Zipp explains they: "Won’t easily strip. Provide more accurate torque readers. Are [more] durable."
American company/design. Great stuff.
Install note: This stem is expensive. Please use a quality torque wrench (or one of Park's cool new torque keys @ $45) to tighten the bolts down to spec. Don't over tighten.
And if you are using carbon bars, I highly recommend a swipe of Finish Line grip paste (better than Park's and only $7/tube) to set the stem.