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Stems

Syncros Bearhug Hinged stem

The old Syncros stem was something of a classic, silly slanty top notwithstanding. The hinged clamp variant of the original Syncros stem was one of the last products from the “old” Syncros before the name started getting shuffled around the bike industry in some sort of “Pass The Brand” game. Eventually the music stopped, everything settled down and Syncros’s current incarnation is pumping out all sorts of bits and bobs in the vogueish all-mountain/freeride arena.

This stem revives the hinged clamp idea and repurposes it for middling-to-heavy duty use. As is common with stems these days, it’s a big chunk of forged aluminium, with the clamp at the front. We quite like the hinged arrangement – there’s only half as many bolts to do up, you don’t have to think about getting the front cap on evenly top and bottom and you’re pretty much guaranteed even clamping all the way round. It’s tidily finished on the inside, too, with no nasty sharp edges. Aesthetically it’s perhaps a little bit angular and clumpy, but it certainly looks suitably meaty.

At the back there’s the “Bearhug” steerer clamp. It has a pinch bolt on either side of the stem, thus keeping them tucked away out of knee’s way. Having one each side keeps things pleasingly symmetrical, and you don’t find the stem pulling to one side as you tighten the bolts as some with two bolts on one side tend to do.

Weight is a reasonable 240g and the price isn’t too bad either. It takes oversized 31.8mm bars and comes in 80, 100 or 120mm lengths, all with a 10° rise.

Positives: Holds all the necessary in place, reasonable weight, tidy finish

Negatives: Bit clumpy-looking, 31.8mm bars only

Verdict: We don’t ask much of stems, really. This one’s got a couple of nice features, nothing that alarms us and it’s a fair price. Certainly a worthy successor to the classic Syncros stems of old.

Performance: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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