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Road and MTB stems. What is the difference?

topdudetopdude Posts: 1,557
edited February 2008 in Workshop
Hi, i am looking at buying a new handlebar stem for my road bike and the ones i have been looking at seem to come in road or MTB options. According to the pictures and spec i cannot see any difference. Anyone know if there is a difference or is it just marketing nonsense.
He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!


  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If the dimensions are 1.125" steerer and 31.8mm bar clamp, then they are interchangeable. Traditionally, MTBs use 25.4mm diameter handlebar clamp whereas road bars are 26.0mm so where not interchangeable. An MTB stem is probably heavier to take the increased stress of off road use.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    what MD said

    you can mix the 25.4mm and 26.0 in practice though. It's not ideal admittedly but doable.

    eg. a road stem and mtb bars, with a v. thin shim works fine

    mtb stem and road bars isn't so good though

    All sorted now with OS stems and bars
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Both the dogs are Spot on...

    Also most MTB stems have the graphics on the side so they can be read when the stem is giving positive rise angle and road ones the graphics are readable when the stem is giving negative rise.

    Ok some have graphcs that are readable both ways up. (But tend to be cheeper ones).
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • topdudetopdude Posts: 1,557
    Hi and thanks for he replies, i have opted for the Ritchey Comp Road stem, not very exotic but good enough for me and only £14 at Wiggle.
    Thanks again.
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
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