Moots Open Trail Stem Review

Pro Reviews

Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com Pastajet
http://www.gramslightbikes.com/

I have been testing the new Moots Open Trail titanium mountain bike stem since late winter, and it is the best stem I have ever used, period. That is a very bold statement, but I have been through my share of stems, and they all have a certain feel and a set of characteristics, and the Open Trail stands at the forefront of stemdomhood (ok, I made the word up).

That titanium stem is unobtainium, man!

The Open Trail was Moots first foray into creating a full fledged stem for mountain biking with a 31.8 clamp for oversized handlebars, and it is the burly mountain relative of the Moots Open Road stem. The mountain bike precursor to the Open Trail was their Ti Beam stem, which has only a 25.4 clamp and a 2 bolt faceplate.

The Open Trail is made with bi-ovalized titanium tubing, a newly designed 4 bolt aluminum faceplate, a titanium dual binder and comes stock in 90,100,110,120×6, 130×10 sizes. Moots use 3/2.5 Pi-Tech CWSR (Cold Worked and Stress Relieved ) seamless titanium tubing, which is comprised of 3% aluminum and 2.5% vanadium.

Titanium 101

Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver white color. Titanium can be alloyed with many metals to produce strong lightweight alloys for use in multiple industries, in situations where lightweight strength, corrosion resistance and ability to withstand temperature extremes are required. It was discovered by the English amateur geologist William Gregor in 1791, then independently rediscovered and named by the German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth in 1795, whom named it for Titans (Latin – Titanos), the first sons of the earth in Mythology. It is the only element that burns in nitrogen.

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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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  • Flystagg says:

    Its a $400 stem, there are other ti stems that can be had for 1/4 the price. Sure quality has a price, but I sure can’t afford it. And I thought my $200 rotor stem was spendy.

  • womble says:

    It’s a stem. Besides being light and being strong, a stem is pretty much just a stem. If you’re interested in shock absorbion via flex, surely the fact that you’re running carbon bars is going to be far more noticeable then a stem.

    Sure, Ti has some great properties. I’m running Ti for my frame, handlebars and seatpost and I notice the feel. But a stem is so short that the amount of flex afforded should be truely miniscule.

  • Anonymous says:

    It is noticeable, I used different stems (ti, carbon, al), different bars (ti, carbon), etc and this stem has very distinct properties. You can easily feel the difference when you do an A/B comparison. When going to a full ti set up it will be more subtle though, but it is still there. I had a great test bed of equipment and 2 bikes for cross comparisons, and of course 8 months of time to evaluate.

  • Anonymous says:

    forget Ti. Magnesium stems offer the best in vibration damping, it feels like riding on air..especially paired with a Carbon bar.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Please recommend one for mtb’ing

  • PJ says:

    I purchased a Moot’s Open trail stem this spring for my ten year old Moots YBB. The stem was the only non Ti part on the bike because I thought it couldn’t possible make a difference. Boy was I wrong! The stem feels rock solid, yet smooth. After twenty miles of rough single track, you no longer think it’s expensive, after thirty you thinks it’s a deal, after forty you know it’s the real deal!

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Yep, world of difference!

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