Although the Turbine R 35 has seen a £10 price hike since we last tested it, this minimalist trail stem is still a class act and a test winner.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 10

Race Face Turbine R 35 stem


  • Top-Lock face plate clamp, huge range of colours. Up-to-date length options. Premium anodised finish


  • Expensive. No 31.8mm clamp option


Race Face Turbine R 35 stem review


Price as reviewed:


The Race Face Turbine R 35 stem is a firm favourite here at MBR and has ranked top in our previous reviews. It returned for our group test in the September 2023 issue of the mag, acting as a benchmark design, even though its price had increased. Is it still the best mountain bike stem?

The Turbine R stem is intricately machined from a high-quality, 7075-series aluminium and features the company’s Top-Lock clamping system. This no-gap design allows you to bottom-out the top two fasteners and then snug up the opposite two bolts, which reduces the risk of clamping the bar unevenly and also looks much neater. To save weight, Race Face uses smaller 4mm bolts, and they’re the only ones on test that came with a dab of threadlock to hold them securely.

The Turbine R 35 is only available in a 35mm bar clamp, but Race Face offers it in five different lengths and nine anodised colours – black, blue, green, orange, purple, red, silver, turquoise and something called Kashmoney gold, which is actually a bit more copper than gold. There won’t be much demand for the 60 or 70mm options, but we like the fact that Race Face offers them for tall riders looking for extra reach, or if you just want to get your weight forward. The two longer sizes are only available in black.

Race Face Turbine R 35 stem

Not long after its launch the Turbine R 35 stem won an MBR Editor’s Choice award

The surface anodising is first class, too. I’ve got a black version on my personal bike and it still looks as good as new. The bolts have lost some of their paint but then I do change the handlebar quite often, it’s one of the curses of being a product tester.

For such a lightweight stem, the Turbine does feel pretty solid. It has a wide front end and cross-section, and even with the super wide 810mm Race Face SixC handlebar between its jaws, there’s just the right amount of steering precision and stiffness. The Turbine R 35 is zero-rise, so is pretty low profile, but it does have a slightly taller stack height than most. Since companies say you should have the steerer sticking all the way through the stem and use a small washer on top to gain maximum stiffness and strength, this will only become an issue if you’ve cut your steerer too short.

At just shy of £100 the Turbine R 35 isn’t cheap – although it undercuts the Renthal Apex stem – but I reckon it’s one of the best-looking on the market. Race Face also has a crash replacement warranty on its hardware, which is reassuring. It’s really stiff and solid for a stem that’s so light and is definitely the icing on the cake if you’re putting together a custom build or just upgrading a tired old cockpit.


The reason the Turbine R 35 is the best on test is that it’s only a few grams shy of the Renthal Apex and has just as many usable lengths, but a ton more colours. It’s also strong and stiff but is easier to set up and better value.


Length:32, 40, 50, 60, 70mm
Stack height:43mm