Really does have a vice-like grip
The USE Ultimate Vyce stem is a little different to most others on the market currently. It uses a simple expander wedge design to generate clamping forces.t
The by product of this unique clamping method is an extremely clean and unfussy cockpit. The stem is general is unsurprisingly a perfect match for the USE Ultimate Boom Carbon handlebar and with a very distinctive outline to boot.
Two centrally placed 4mm bolts are all that are needed to tighten the handlebar in the stem and the stem to the steerer so there are no externally located bolts or sharp edges to interface with your knees.
Initial setup is a little bit different to how you normally sort your cockpit out. Drop out the wedge gubbins, pop the handlebar into the external stem ‘skeleton’, replace the wedge and then push the stem onto the steerer.
True to its name, once tightened it really does have a vice-like grip. There’s no way the bar is able to come loose. It’s really reliable but there is an issue with its real world practicality. As you are reliant on the single clamp, adjusting bar angle requires you to loosen the unit. Since the wedge clamps properly tight this isn’t just about slackening the bolts a touch. You have to wind them out until not only the handlebar is loose but also the headset. At least once you have dialled in your position it’s good to know it need never come loose again.
Thanks to its high and wide design, the Vyce is pretty damn stiff in use with very little noticeable flex. The internal wedge design goes some way to aiding this without adding too much bulk. And at 123 grams it’s lighter than most 40mm stems.
The design does mean the stack height is taller than many competitors, so you will need to play about with spacers to get it in the right position. Plus, the thin aluminium requires the top section to be away from the end of the steerer so you will most probably have to run a spacer on top. The Vyce has its quirks but it’s rolled up in a package that stands out from the crowd of identi-kit stems.