Brings something truly unique to the whole steering geometry debate
It’s rare to see a totally new design in mountain biking, but the innovative PDent system is exactly that.
At the rear of the handlebar in the clamp area is a hidden dent that allows you to run a super-short stem without having to run a really high bar — something you can’t do with other sub-30mm stems, like Mondraker’s OnOff Stoic FG10 (10mm) unit.
The PDent design works by allowing the bar to overlap into the space taken up by the fork steerer and, with regular stems bottoming out at around 30-31mm, this allows Pacenti to run an ultra-stubby 25mm length.
Pacenti did try shorter versions, but says 25mm offers the best control and responsiveness, while still keeping the rider’s hands in front of the steering axis to avoid unwanted tiller, or boat-like steering.
At this point, you might be thinking, can you feel this while riding? Pacenti says shrinking a 30mm stem by 5mm is a 17 per cent reduction, which, when coupled with an 800mm bar, increases leverage on the steering axis by five per cent. I’d argue this is a change that can immediately be felt.
The extra responsiveness results in highly reactive steering, which will be familiar to anyone who’s tried the original Mondraker version. Even riding berms, with extreme forces, making micro steering adjustments and corrections are much easier and quicker.
The PDent stem is stiffer, too, and you can also slam the beautifully shaped and damped bar right down on the head tube — especially useful on 29ers. You can also make headset adjustments without having to remove the handlebar first — not the case with the Mondraker design.
In terms of pure function, the PDent bar/stem combo is stiff and comfortable with an overall quality that’s reflected in the top-end price. It doesn’t suit shorter bikes with steeper head angles, but on modern trail bikes with slacker geometry, it ultimately requires less effort to control the bike, particularly in the tight stuff.
PDent’s elegant design brings something truly unique to the whole steering geometry debate, and I rate it very highly.