At 89 grams for 120 mm. the Extralite stem is light - really light. I showed it to a friend and when he got it in his hand his face was completely surprised “wow it is light” he just said.
The build of the Extralite stem is so artisan that you want to look at all details up close. Beautiful CNC machined everywhere it is possible to remove aluminum without damage the structure. There goes time into making one of these stems why the price is higher than ordinary aluminum stems. It has a standard 31.8mm diameter clamp, which was easy to fit around the bar.
Good stiffness but not too stiff. For all but sprinters and big heavy guys, this stem has a balanced stiffness. In comparison to its weight, it is very stiff. This stem rules in the mountains!
No more sharp edges on the Extralite stem
There is a lot of talk in internet forums about that the Extralite stem is sharp and cut the steerer tube. But Extralite has long time ago rounded the edges so there are no sharp edges around the steerer tube. Further, they have also rounded the edges of the inside of the front clamps so that it does not cut into the handlebar.
Strong grip on the handlebar
There has also been some talk that the Extralite can not hold the bar in place on rough bumpy roads. I have not experienced that my bar has rotated in the stem at any time, even though I have tested it on fairly uneven and paved roads in Sicily. If you use it on a carbon handlebar then it is adviseable to use Carbon paste. It makes the ‘grip’ around the bar stronger.
The actual mounting on the handlebars consists of two individual pieces of aluminum with 2 screws each. It is simple and straight forward to mount the bar to the stem. All screws are made of Titanium. Extralite has chosen to use screws with Torx heads, which is wise choice as they last far longer than English screw
heads. They have chosen to use a torx 20, where torx 25 is normally used on stems in general. The use of torx 20 is probably because they hereby can save some weight. The downside of this is that it can be difficult to adjust the stem on the road because most minitools has a torx 25 and not torx 20.
Personally, I think that it is brilliant that Extralite chose to offer a stem in a 12 degrees angle (as the only company I know of in this light category) because aesthetically it looks much more pleasing for most frames. Only for frames with a lot of slopeangle, I would, from an aesthetical standpoint, chose 6 degrees. Which one you chose should, of course, be based first and foremost on your bikefit.
Buy the stem here: www.extralite.com