Moots Open Trail Stem Review

Pro Reviews

Welding Titanium
Titanium is a hard material to work with, and is expensive to purchase. It must be welded under an environment free of atmospheric gases, which means the area behind the welds are purged of containment’s (oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen), then filled with an inert gas (usually Argon) to keep the welds from becoming brittle. Moots start out with precisely mitered pieces, and those joints are then welded together at low temperatures using no weld wire, and then 6/4 ELI (extra low interstitial) titanium weld wire is used for the second pass. This double pass welding method, has proven to be the strongest weld process for titanium, but is obviously more time consuming and intricate. The welding itself needs to be done with care and expertise, so there is a long apprenticeship before becoming a master titanium welder.

Moots have a meticulous quality control, and use the finest grade American made titanium, and those exacting standards show in the end product. I have toured the factory and was amazed on how much time and effort it takes to create any of their products.

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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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