Moots Open Trail Stem Review

Pro Reviews

Installation
Sliding the stem onto the fork steerer tube was pretty tough, so I did a light sanding/buffing to make it easier, but it still had some tight tolerances. After I had done multiple installations the stem slid on a tad easier, but was always snug. I do wish that the edges and corners of the stem clamp tube were a tad softer, they are just a bit sharp, but I am just nitpicking! The stem can be installed reversible with either a 6-degree rise or drop, depending on your requirements. Since the stem is created with specific tube sizes, they are constrained into how short they can make the stem’s stack height, so it is a bit taller than a normal stem. The beefy and wide four bolt faceplate was very nice, and it gave a nice wide surface area to hold down the handlebars.

Moots recommended to not use titanium bolts, since galling or seizing can be an issue (titanium on titanium), so Moots specs all of their stems with 12.9 alloy steel bolts. If you do use titanium bolts, always inspect them regularly, and liberally use anti seize lube on the threads, and for the faceplate a brass washer is suggested to prevent creaking. I of course have used titanium bolts without issue, but caveat emptor. I tightened everything down with my handy new Pedros Demi Torque wrench, which allowed me to set the torque properly.

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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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