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First Ride: Burgtec Enduro MK3 Stem

Astem is a simple enough part when you think about it, but it still occupies the front of the scene and it certainly has an important job to do. Most stems do that job without much fuss, and it’s rare to stumble on a lemon at least if you stick with reputable brands. Burgtec has been around for a long time and the company has a good track record of producing parts that work, so we weren’t too worried about what we would find when we took delivery of their very latest single-crown fork stem. Meet the Enduro MK3.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Good performance on the bike
  • Good looks
  • Competitive weight
  • Toxic Barbie Pink! (and many other colors)
  • We would have loved to see 5mm hardware instead of 4mm

Burgtec Enduro MK3 Stem Highlights

  • Forged and fully CNC machined from AL6061 – T6 aluminum
  • Stainless steel hardware 
  • Available lengths: 35mm, 42.5mm and 50mm
  • Available in both 31.8mm and 35mm clamp size
  • Weight: 171 grams (50mm version, verified)
  • Colors: Burgtec Black, Race Red, Deep Blue, Purple Rain, Kash Bronze, Iron Bro Orange, Rhodium Silver, Burgtec Bullion Gold, Toxic Barbie Pink (Available in stores only)
  • MSRP £89.99 / $110 USD / $150 CAD / €99.00

Initial Impressions

Pulling the new stem out of the box, the attention to detail and the elaborate design jumped out at us immediately. The shape is a lot more heavily sculpted than the MK2, but even though the MK3 looks more streamlined it has actually gained a few grams of weight compared to its predecessor. The rear of the stem is smooth and round, while the front stands out with two separate clamps as opposed to the more habitual one-piece faceplate. The steerer tube clamp is actually bigger than on the MK2, even though the MK3 looks slimmer overall thanks to the shape. We also noted that the MK3 is now forged and CNCed, as opposed to the MK2 which was just CNCed. Forging yields a stronger product with better resistance to material fatigue.

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Looking over some more numbers, the MK3 stem exists in three different lengths, all with zero degrees of rise and a stack height of 40mm as measured on the steerer tube. There are two bolts for the steerer tube clamp, and two bolts each for the handlebar clamps. All the hardware is of the 4mm allen head variety. There are eight colors to choose from, plus the shop-only Toxic Barbie Pink that has quickly become one of our favorites.

On The Trail

Installing the MK3 stem is not complicated, but with the split clamp design you do need to pay attention to keeping the gaps even and the torque to spec. The stem clamps down with a lot of authority, and there is very little "give" when you torque down the bolts - just a direct and very solid feeling under your wrenches, most likely due to the bigger clamping area and the forging process. The 4mm hardware feels smooth and gets the job done, but we do think going to 5mm would have felt even better and more confidence-inspiring. Burgtec threw in a set of stem spacers and a top-cap in the oh-so-awesome Toxic Barbie Pink, matching up nicely with the new Penthouse MK5 pedals and providing a touch of bling to our test steed.

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Once installed, you hope that beyond looking at it, you won’t have to pay any attention to your stem again for a long time. We’ve had our sample out on the trails for about one month by now, and so far, that’s been the story. No creaks, no unwanted movements – the MK3 is the strong, silent type and that is definitely the kind of partner you should be looking for this job. Paired up with Burgtec’s Ride Wide enduro carbon bar it makes for a solid and responsive set-up.

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What’s The Bottom Line?

The less there is to say about how a stem works, the better. Burgtec’s new Enduro MK3 falls into this category with solid, fit-and-forget performance. When it comes to looks, a stem is an obvious place to add a little pizazz to your ride, and Burgtec has got you covered here too. With nine color options ranging from Burgtec Black to Bullion Gold and the instant classic Toxic Barbie Pink, your rig will be ready for action and look the part too.

More information at: www.burgtec.co.uk.


View key specs, compare products, and rate the Enduro MK3 Stem in the Vital MTB Product Guide.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 47 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Nils Hjord and Johan Hjord

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