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19

Sep

Ennello Alpe d’ Huez Primo stem

  • By m@ttd351gn

What’s there to get excited about a stem? Most look the same – a cylinder of aluminium with clamps at either end – but Ennello have endeavoured to break the mould by offering interchangeable faceplates for their Primo stem, adding flair to any bike.

That squiggle on the front of this particular faceplate would be Alpe d’Huez, the famous Tour de France climb, with the ’21′ denoting the number of hairpins all named after previous winners on these slopes. The yellow background certainly makes the design stand-out and speaks of the climb’s Tour heritage as the theatre where champions are made.

The toned down look of the rest of the stem, with only a small Ennello logo to break up the glossy back finish, is a marked contrast to the usual smorgasbord of logos and acronyms. The look is more classic steel racer, than aero carbon superbike.

However, the Ennello is more than just an arty faceplate – it’s also a pretty decent stem. At 131g (actual weight) for the 110mm length tested, it’s at the lighter end of the spectrum, helpful for getting up climbs, the Alpe for instance, a little faster.

Stiffness is pretty good for such a light stem, and I for one wasn’t able to determine any flex when sprinting aggressively. Just judging by the dimensions of the thing, you might want something a bit bulkier if you’re Mark Cavendish for instance, but for the rest of us mere mortals, it will work just fine.

Having used the Ennello on my mountain bike for a number of months, I can also vouch for the stem’s strength and ability to shrug off knocks. Amazingly, the finish has held up well and is looking just as good as it first did.

At £101.51 (Euro conversion) the Ennello is at the upper end of the aluminium stem price scale but it compares well, in weight and stiffness terms, with its closest competitors. And if you’re going to spend over a hundred pounds on a stem, it may as well be something special, which the Ennello certainly is.

Ultimately, I wasn’t really a fan of this particular design, mostly due to the yellow clashing with just about everything. But within Ennello’s range of stems there are plenty of more subtle and, in my opinion, classier faceplates.