Not a cheap stem but one of the best-looking on the market
Race Face Turbine R 35 stem has featured here more than once, but I’m taking another look because it’s now available in nine(!) different anodised colours.
Black, blue, green, orange, purple, red, silver, turquoise and something called Kashmoney gold, which is actually a bit more copper than gold.
It’s also available in a new 32mm length rather than the 35mm, which has been discontinued. There are four other lengths available, but if you check the company website you’ll see the 60 and 70mm only come in black. The stem is compatible with a standard 1 1/8in steerer tube and comes with a 35mm bar clamp; the 31.8mm size has also been discontinued.
Apart from the jazzy new colour, what I really like about the Race Face Turbine R35 is that it’s pretty stiff for a lightweight machined stem. It’s crafted from a lump of 7075 aluminium billet and is oversized in the midriff as well as having an oversized Overbite faceplate. This gets the company’s Top-Lock clamping system, where the top two fasteners are clamped fully, with the bottom two then snugged up to close the gap. This system eliminates uneven clamping and creates a stiffer union between bar and stem. Even with a matching 800mm Next R bar fitted, the steering feels precise and immediate, with just the right amount of resilience.
The surface anodising is first class, too. I’ve got a black version on my bike and it still looks 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.
At £90, the Turbine R 35 isn’t a cheap stem, but I reckon it’s one of the best-looking on the market. It’s also really stiff and solid for something 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.