CrankBrothers iodine 3 stem and iodine 11 bars Review

Components Pro Reviews

The aluminum stem is stiff, well-made and has a unique stem clamp, and has an assortment of hidden technologies and features. The carbon handlebars are light, strong, with a nice resiliency and feel, and have an optimal rise, and come in several extended All Mountain widths. Crank Brothers has been realigning their product suite, and they have divided it up into collections (cobalt-Cross Country, iodine-All Mountain, sage-Freeride and opium-Downhill), and then levels within each product line (11-Best, 3-Better, 2-Good, 1-Entry), except for the pedals, which are only categorized by their numerical level.

iodine 3 stem
The All Mountain iodine 3 stem is made with 7075 aluminum, with a carbon faceplate and a unique aluminum plunger for the steerer clamp. The innovative plunger system uses a single Torx bolt at the steerer, which pushes out in a uniform manner, giving a cleaner surface area and a more distributed load, and allows a much higher torque setting. The stem has a 6° rise (+/-), 45mm clamp height, and comes in 65mm, 80mm, 90mm, and 100mm lengths, weighs 158 grams (100mm), and retails for $130.

Impressions
The iodine 3 stems are plenty stiff, and I never felt any flex coming from the 80mm test unit. Installation for the bars was pretty straight forward, and the wide four bolt carbon faceplate with Torx heads offered a smooth and even surface for clamping things down. The steerer clamp plunger system was a joy to use, and it made slipping the stem onto the fork easy, and the tightening simple. You need a T25 Torx key to tighten the single bolt on the plunger, which clamped down effortlessly onto the steerer, and provided a creak free and tight fit. It kept the rear of the stem tidy and neat, without anything to catch a knee on. The carbon faceplate and the steerer plunger, reduce weight and give a clutter-free design, and the wide faceplate and rectangular profile provide excellent stiffness. I really liked only needing one T25 tool to tighten everything on the stem, outside of the cap bolt, which I ended replacing with a Torx head. One tool type simplified things when setting up the stem and adding bars, although on shorter stems, the Torx wrench handles can bump into the bars when adjusting the rear bolt.

Measured Specs (80mm):

  • Weight – 147.9 grams
  • Clamp height – 47mm
  • Length – 81mm
  • Faceplate width – 50mm

Pros:

  • Stiff
  • Wide carbon faceplate
  • Rectangular profile
  • Light
  • Trick and innovative steerer clamp

Cons:

  • Sort of odd graphics
  • Torx wrench handle can bump into bars when tightening rear

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

 

iodine 3 stem specs:

  • Visit the CrankBrothers iodine 3 stem website
  • Weight – 158g (100MM)
  • Material – 7075 aluminum
  • Plunger material – aluminum
  • Faceplate material – carbon
  • Bar clamp – 31.8mm
  • Lengths – 65mm – 100mm
  • Rise – 6°
  • Color – iron/black
  • Warranty – 5 years
  • MSRP – $130 / €130

 

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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