One of the best stems around gets update, and some great looking colour schemes
Spank has been making the Spoon stem for a while in a 31.8mm diameter, but it’s recently upped the size to 35mm and included a whole raft of different colours, including this natty Rasta version. Colour aside, it’s always been one of the best MTB stems on the market.
What you can’t see from the pictures is that the Spoon is forged, which means it’s a lot stronger than, say, the machined Deity Copperhead stem I tested recently. Forging actually produces a tight, aligned grain structure, which increases things like structural integrity, fatigue resistance and impact strength, so what you get is a stronger, long-lasting product.
The thing is the finish is not always as crisp or as polished as a CNC’d stem like the Deity; it can look a bit flat, and that’s the case here. It’s also a bit rough in places, and Spank has also chosen to use slightly cheaper fasteners on the two clamps, and these are already starting to rough up. The Spoon doesn’t use a zero-gap design like many modern designs, so there’s a slightly ugly gap between the faceplate and the body of the stem, but the faceplate is split into two, which can reduce uneven clamping. I also don’t really see the need for the 5mm Allen bolts when 4mm bolts easily provide enough clamping force to hold the stem securely to the steerer and handlebar.
The Spoon comes in a 0º rise and it also has a low stack height, so if you upsize to a frame with a tall head tube, or you just want to get the handlebar low, this gives you that option. Two lengths are offered and there are nine different colourways to choose from to compliment any bike.
I’m rating the Spoon 350 a point higher than the Deity Copperhead for the simple reason that it’s half the price but does the same job. The increase in strength and durability are things you’re unlikely to notice while riding, but this is a solid and resilient stem that comes in some cool colours.