Handles the extra twist of wide bars and is available right down to 31mm.
The Apex is externally webbed to maximise stiffness in longer lengths, it’s machined from the same 2014 grade aluminium billet as Hope’s stem.
The Apex bar clamps are machined from 7075 aluminium and feature a 240-degree wraparound design, which allows for a stubbier (and lighter) stem body.
These longer-than-standard clamps slide onto the bar’s centre from the taper, and while installation takes a little bit more time, and care needs to be taken on carbon handlebars, once centred, clamp fit is extremely positive.
The clamp uses an easier zero-gap design on one side, but with the stem orientated normally (six-degree rise up) the gap is at the top, which isn’t quite as neat when looking down riding the bike.
It’s a solid junction, though, and there was no creaking at any point.
Function is sorted on the featherweight Apex, but there’s a vague sense it wasn’t the most rigid or precise-steering unit in back-to-back testing.
Renthal’s stem is upper end, price-wise, but at 110g it’s the lightest 35mm option here and that helps justify the cost.