Paul Components Boxcar stem review

American-made goodness — and in comes in anodized purple

Components
Paul Components Boxcar Stem Purple 50mm MTB Stem

The Boxcar is Paul Component’s first crack at a stem.

What is it?

Paul Component’s first crack at handlebar holding is a gorgeous anodized purple stem made in the U.S. of A. It comes in three lengths (50mm, 70mm, and 90mm) in either +/- 0 or 15-degree rise/drop. Currently, it is only offered in a 31.8mm bar clamp diameter and there are currently no plans to develop a 35mm version. But there are plans for a shorter 35mm and longer 110mm options. Both are slated for release this summer. Depending on length, weight varies from 137g-172g.

Pros
  • Gorgeous
  • Comes in purple
  • Made in America
  • Torx hardware
  • Available in a variety of lengths/rises
  • Light weight
Cons
  • No 35mm option
Mtbr’s Take

A stem is a stem. They all do the same thing regardless of price. But there’s something nice about having a beautiful chunk of aluminum sitting at the center of your bars. For many years, my go-to was Thomson, which are relatively light, American made, and backed by great customer service.

Paul Components Boxcar Stem Purple 50mm MTB Stem

As of now, the stems are only available for 31.8mm bars. The 35mm bar clamp models probably won’t materialize until 2018.

Recently, though, I’ve been wanting to shake things up. Try something new. Then I came across Paul Components‘ new Boxcar stem. This gorgeous number is available in a handful of lengths and rises, including my preferred 50mm option (tested here). There’s also a shorter 35mm version in development.

Paul Components Boxcar Stem Purple 50mm MTB Stem

Most multi-tools have a T25 Torx bit, which makes their use here a no brainer.

The entire unit is made and assembled in Northern California. The body is machined from 2024 aluminum and is held together with stainless steel Torx hardware. That’s right, Torx hardware. I can envision the angry comments now…but, there are a couple of solid reasons for picking Torx over hex. The main one? Torx hardware has double the points of contact, making them much harder to strip. You’ll find this style hardware used on brake calipers and with increasing frequency by brands such as SRAM.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 3 TB3 aluminum 29er 110mm

The stem is available in black, silver, polish, and purple. We’re told an ano blue version is also in the works.

The Boxcar stem was mounted to Mtbr’s project alloy Santa Cruz Tallboy 3. With only 110mm of rear travel, you might dismiss it as an XC rig, but it’s surprisingly capable. After racking up trail time under several riders, no one has yet to complain about stem stiffness. In fact, the stem is claimed to be strong enough for enduro or even DH levels of abuse. According to Paul, the unique rounded box shape not only gives this stem its distinct profile but offers increased stiffness.

Bottom line is, there are cheaper options out there, but the Boxcar adds a unique flair to any build. Plus, it’s American made and available in anodized purple. What more could you want?

Rating: 4 out of 5 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $94
More Info: paulcomp.com and check out the promotional video below.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

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