What does a stem do on a BMX?
A BMX stem is a component of a BMX bike that connects the handlebars to the fork's steerer tube, allowing you to steer the bike. BMX stems come in various designs and styles to accommodate different riding preferences and disciplines. At Backyard BMX we have a huge range of BMX stems for sale and excluding the odd specialist stems there are 2 main types of BMX stem.
What type of BMX stem do i need?
BMX Stem Top Load : This is the most common type of BMX stem. It features a design where the handlebars attach to the stem from the top, creating a vertical connection. Top load BMX stems are known for offering a slightly higher handlebar position, which can provide more comfort for riders who prefer an upright riding stance.
BMX Stem Front Load : In contrast to the top load stem, front load bmx stems have the handlebars attaching to the stem from the front. This design creates a more compact and lower profile, which can result in a slightly lower handlebar position. Front load BMX stems are often favoured by riders who want a lower and more aggressive riding position.
What are the different clamp styles on BMX stems?
Clamp Style: When looking at all the BMX stems for sale on our site you may notice that they can come with different clamp styles for attaching the handlebars. The two main types are:
Standard Clamp: These stems have a 22.2mm (7/8-inch) diameter clamp, which is the standard size for BMX handlebars.
Oversized Clamp: These stems have a 25.4mm (1 inch) diameter to accommodate larger handlebars but still taper down so all standard 22.2mm grips will fit them. This design can increase stiffness and strength and reduce slipping of the bars.
What are the measurements on a BMX stem?
Stem Rise: Stem rise refers to the vertical distance at which the stem extends upward from the fork's steerer tube. It is measured on top load stems from the bottom of the stem to the centre of the diameter of the clamping area.
Stem Drop: Stem drop is the opposite of stem rise. It refers to the vertical distance from the centre of the clamp diameter to the bottom of the stem on a front load stems.
Stem Reach: Stem reach refers to the horizontal distance from the centre of the steerer tube to the centre of the handlebar clamp. It determines how far forward or backward your handlebars will be positioned relative to your bike's front wheel. Stem reach is typically measured in millimetres.
Long Stem Reach: A stem with a longer reach will position the handlebars farther away from the rider, resulting in a more stretched-out riding position. This can be suitable for riders who want better stability such as for trails riding and bowl riding.
Short Stem Reach: A stem with a shorter reach will position the handlebars closer to the rider, resulting in a more upright and maneuverable riding position. This is often preferred for disciplines that want a more responsive front end such as street and park BMX riding.
Materials: BMX stems are typically made from aluminum alloy for a balance of strength and weight. However, some higher-end stems for racing may use more advanced materials like carbon fiber to further reduce weight.
When choosing a BMX stem, consider factors such as your riding style, preferred handlebar height, and the type of tricks you intend to perform. Your personal preferences and the specific demands of your riding discipline will dictate the best type of stem for you. Always ensure that the stem is compatible with your fork's steerer tube and your handlebars.