The Renthal Apex35 stem stands as an excellent option to mount your bars to the steerer. It’s lightweight, very high quality, and quite the looker. Price tag aside, it's one of the best mountain bike stems you can buy.
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Renthal Apex35 Stem – Technical details
The Renthal Apex35 is designed to combine strength and stiffness in a lightweight package. It’s fully CNC machined from a solid billet which means Renthal has been able to shave off even the tiniest bits of excess material all to save weight.
This stem comes with a rather unique way of clamping the bar. It uses 240-degree handlebar clamps which has allowed the designers to reduce the size of the stem’s main body, thus shedding further excess metal while retaining strength.
On test, we have the Apex35 in its 40mm length, although it comes in length from 33mm up to 60mm and, as its name hints, this one has a 35mm clamp diameter. It offers a 46mm clamp width and a 28.6mm steerer clamp. Renthal says it weighs 122g but it tipped my scale at 125g - that's pretty accurate save for a few grams.
Renthal Apex35 Stem – Performance
It looks fantastic and it feels great in the hand. Though, due to the 240-degree clamps, installation is a little different. Rather than directly slapping the clamps where they should go, they slide from the narrower part of the bar into place. This confused me to start with, not knowing how the fit and all but, once figured out, it’s pretty simple and they sit in place on the bar.
The tolerances of the stem’s bores are mega close which is impressive to see but it does mean that the stem is a very tight fit onto my Fox 36’s steerer. This is no issue, however, as the stem still sits nicely in place, granted after a bit of force has been applied. Making installation even simpler are the no-gap clamps where you simply nip up the lower bolts all the way and torque the top ones as required.
This is where a little issue arises as there are no markings on the stem indicating the recommended torque measurements. The bolts are pretty chunky though, so I would be impressed if they ever rounded out.
The stem can be fitted either way up to provide six degrees of rise or drop. Once on the bike, the stem has proven to be plenty stiff enough and it complements the Renthal Fatbar Lite35 very well, both in looks and ride feel. It holds the bar securely without becoming cumbersome thanks to its very low-profile design.
Renthal Apex35 stem – Verdict
Such high quality does come at a price and, at £117, it’s quite the ask but the Apex35 is a beautifully made mountain bike stem. At a similar price is e*thirteen’s newest Plus 35 stem. Jim liked it for its tough but sleek design.
The FUNN Equalizer stem offers similar build quality and it gets those torque recommendations that are missing on the Apex35. That one costs £87.
The Renthal Apex35 is a beautifully made stem that ticks a lot of boxes thanks to its large, durable bolts, stiffness and lightweight properties. It does a great job but you’ll have to part with a significant chunk of cash should you wish to own one.