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Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

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Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

Postby kreyszig » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:53 pm

Hi everyone (my first post on this forum!),

Is there someone who knows both stems that could tell me if the Extralite OC is not as stiff as the Ritchey WCS 4-axis? I have read that the Ritchey is not super stiff, due to the faceplate bolts being close to each other. The Extralite is much lighter of course, but the distance between the bolts is significantly larger and it got a larger body as well (unless I am mistaken), so it is not clear to me how it compares to the Ritchey stem in terms of stiffness. I have not found anyone complaining about the durability of Extralite stems, except for the heads of the former hex bolts, so durability should not be an issue?

I am not very heavy (about 155lbs), but this stem will be used quite a bit and almost exclusively for climbing, so I want to maximise the overall performance (combination of low weight and stiffness), rather than getting only a reliable, very light stem.

Thanks!
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Re: Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

Postby pritchet74 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:29 am

4-Axis is noticable stiffer. I am 155# also. Of course, at 90mm it will be less of a difference than for a 120mm stem. Still noticable though.
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Re: Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

Postby TheRedMantra » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:45 am

Maybe look at the Rotor S3X. They said it was strong enough for a 160mm fs trail bike so I imagine it should be fairly stiff for a roadie. Speculation tho...
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Re: Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

Postby kreyszig » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:19 pm

pritchet74 wrote:4-Axis is noticable stiffer. I am 155# also. Of course, at 90mm it will be less of a difference than for a 120mm stem. Still noticable though.


Thanks. I would need 100mm...
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Re: Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

Postby kreyszig » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:21 pm

TheRedMantra wrote:Maybe look at the Rotor S3X. They said it was strong enough for a 160mm fs trail bike so I imagine it should be fairly stiff for a roadie. Speculation tho...


Yes maybe it is the best option... Thanks!
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Re: Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

Postby Ypsylon » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:55 pm

As you said, stiff is not strong and strong doesn't mean stiff.

While I don't have any personal experience with neither the Extralite nor the Rotor stem I don't see how the stem stiffness would affect performance while climbing unless you use 180mm cranks and your bodyweight to climb, standing up for several minutes at a time and are bald, wearing a bandana and beat Jan Ullrich to win le Tour.

Pritchet mentioned stem length, bar width and the other components you use will play a role as well. If your front wheel is a noodle, you'll never know how stiff your stem is.

Descending with a noodle where your stem should be sucks, I can say that for the Ritchey 4-axis that is not the case and I have no reason to believe it's the case with either Extralite or Rotor.

I guess this doesn't help much with your actual decision, but IME it's something to have in mind when making it.
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Re: Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

Postby Anders » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:57 pm

In two weeks or so I'll be able to give you a comparison between my current Thomson X2 120mm -10 degree stem and the Extalite Ultraroad OC 120mm -8 degree which I have on order. I'll post when I have had my first ride.
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Re: Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

Postby pritchet74 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:01 am

Anders wrote:In two weeks or so I'll be able to give you a comparison between my current Thomson X2 120mm -10 degree stem and the Extalite Ultraroad OC 120mm -8 degree which I have on order. I'll post when I have had my first ride.


Thomson X2 is the 2nd noodliest stem I have ever ridden. That was in a 110mm length.
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Re: Stem Stiffness: Extralite OC vs Ritchey WCS 4-Axis?

Postby Cheers! » Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:08 pm

what about syntace F109?
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