Short and stubby, but oddly elegant, like a fingerling potato. If you want to get your reach in check but don’t need to go as short as the w(Right) stems, this is your ticket to ride. 50mm or 70mm reach. 4 bolt removable faceplate. Easy to find stainless fasteners, if you lose one. Nitto Quill bolt and wedge. 225mm long. Bury 65mm, at least. If you are a large rider, bury another centimeter in the steerer. If you want a fun colored top cap check out these!
Steel stems are super strong. The Fingerling Stem is made to stand up to offroad use. No sweat. If you are a big rider, and you want to get super nasty off road, you might wanna go threadless, but this stem will handle it. Stiffer than any aluminum quill stem on the market, with further steering precision aided and abetted by the 31.8 handlebar clamp.
Steering precision is what ya want, really out of any bike, not flex. Flex is just another word for deflection. You want your bike to hold a line, not deflect off of it. All deflection duties should be handled by the two things on a bike that are designed to deflect: tires and your body. This concept goes for handlebars, frames, forks, rims, whatever. You want that stuff to stay put when the going gets rough.
For years, I rode whippy Nitto Technomic stems and 26mm clamp bars. Light spindly TA cranks. Thin 1” tube’d steel frames. Traditional box section rims. I’m here to tell you, when you ride that stuff, and then switch to something much stiffer, you give up NOTHING in comfort, but you gain a sense of safety when tracking over rough terrain that a flexy bike can never achieve. The ability for your bike to track right is super important when the terrain gets bad. If your whole bike is an undamped spring, trying to flex away from whichever direction it most recently received input from, it will be all over the place on a rocky trail. This issue is exacerbated as your speed gets higher. Add in a touring load, and it’s super critical.
The Fingerling Stem is made in the US out of US steel and aluminum. It was designed in collaboration with Alex Meade Bikeworks, and Alex himself brazes the stems in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. He’s super good at what he does, and these stems are as nice a steel stem as you can get.
A note on clear ceramic finishes: eventually there will be spider web rust that forms under the clear coat. It might happen soon, or it might happen later. It’s really thin rust, and I’ve never seen it become a structural issue, even on thin walled bike frames. That said, don’t buy it if you hate the look of rust. We like the rust vibe on this end!