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Tested: Yoshimura ENDH Stem Kit

Yoshimura might be a household name in motorcycle racing built on decades of innovations and success, but the brand’s venture into mountain biking began less than two years ago with their inaugural product, the Chilao flat pedal. The Chilao pedal made it clear that Yoshimura was serious about manufacturing top-of-the-line mountain bike components from their factory in Chino, California. Continuing this same narrative, Yoshimura released their second product at the end of 2021, the ENDH Stem Kit. Featuring a unique two-piece design that allows the stem to be mounted to single or dual crown forks, the ENDH stem offers more rise and a lower stack height than traditional stems with an innovative and head-turning design.  

Highlights 

  • Two-piece design allows for use as a single crown or direct mount stem
  • Constructed in the USA from 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Stainless Steel A4-70 tapered hardware
  • Stack height: 23.5mm
  • Single crown reach: 37mm (tested), 42mm, 47mm
  • Direct mount reach: 45mm, 50mm, 55mm
  • Single crown rise: 35mm
  • Direct mount rise: 18mm
  • Handlebar clamp width: 63mm
  • Accommodates 35mm bore handlebars only
  • Colors: Black/Pewter (tested), Black/YoshiKote
  • 1-year warranty
  • Weight: 162-grams
  • MSRP: $199.00 USD

Product Overview 

You might be asking yourself, why would Yoshimura develop the ENDH stem when traditional, 6-bolt, steerer mounted stems work pretty darn well these days? There are a few reasons, but the biggest is to offer riders a stem with more rise. The ENDH stem provides 35mm of rise in the single crown orientation and 18mm of rise in the direct mount orientation. Nowadays, many riders are running taller front ends. The two most popular ways to achieve a higher cockpit are higher rise handlebars or increasing the number of stem spacers below your stem. The downside of the second option is that by increasing stem spacers below your stem, the mounting point of your handlebars moves rearward, shortening your reach slightly. And subjectively speaking, rocking a block of stem spacers looks awful and resembles a beach cruiser gooseneck. 

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We touched on the benefits of a higher cockpit height a lot in our Giant Trance X 27.5 review. The Trance X had a relatively low stack height and low rise handlebar that made us feel like we were riding too far forward and on top of the bike. For those who need a refresher, stack height is the vertical distance between the center of your bottom bracket and the top of your head tube. To fix the issue, we added headset spacers below the stem to raise the front end height, which shifted our weight rearward into a neutral position over the bike. Had we installed the ENDH stem, we could have left the headset spacers unchanged with the stock low-rise handlebar and still achieved a taller cockpit setup. There is always more than one way to skin a cat, and while higher-rise handlebars or additional headset spacers below your stem will indeed raise the front end of your bicycle, the ENDH stem offers another solution. 

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The two pieces that make up the ENDH stem are a clamp mount that slides around the steerer tube of a single crown fork and a direct mount stem that attaches to the clamp mount. The direct mount stem can be removed and used on a dual crown fork, while other direct mount stems can also be attached to the clamp mount. In our eyes, the coolest part about the two-piece design is the ability to remove the stem or handlebars without loosening the headset, removing headset spacers, or needing to realign the handlebars upon reinstallation. We don’t want to guess how much time we’ve wasted trying to perfectly align our handlebars, so the idea of only having to do it once is music to our ears. We also like the idea of being able to quickly and easily swap between stem lengths if needed.

Mounting clamp | 54-grams
Stem with bolts | 109-grams
ENDH stem kit | 162-grams

Getting into the nitty-gritty of the ENDH stem, the stack height of the clamp mount is only 23.5mm and uses two 4mm hex bolts to tighten around the steerer tube. The direct mount stem is a three-piece, 6-bolt design (similar to Renthal stems) and uses a mixture of 5mm and 4mm hex bolts. The ENDH stem provides a sturdy 63mm wide clamping surface and is only compatible with 35mm bore handlebars at this time. A small detail we appreciate is that Yoshimura chose to label the torque spec for each bolt on the stem. Properly torquing your handlebar and stem is vital to avoid handlebar damage or creaking and is not something you see on all stems. The ENDH stem is currently available in a 37mm, 42mm, and 47mm reach. We choose to test the 37mm reach as we typically run a 35mm long stem on our Specialized Enduro test bike.

Initial Impressions and Installation

The design of Yoshimura’s ENDH stem can be polarizing as it deviates from the norm and features more bolts and angles. Regardless of whether you find the stem aesthetically pleasing, the machining and craftsmanship are stunning right out of the box. Yoshimura clearly knows their way around a block of aluminum and we were impressed with the top-notch, American-made quality. Some finer details that stood out were the slight angle at which the steerer clamp bolts are positioned to ease access around the stem bolts, the precise tolerance of the clamp mount around the steerer tube and how the bottom of the clamp mount tapers to the same diameter as most headset spacers for a clean fitment.

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Out of the box, the ENDH stem comes configured to mount to a single crown fork and took the same amount of time to install as a traditional stem. The zero-gap handlebar clamp design made setting handlebar roll a breeze, and the printed torque specifications took the guessing out of tightening everything down. Tightening the faceplate around the handlebar does require both a 4mm and 5mm hex wrench. Yoshimura isn’t the only brand to use two different size hex bolts, but if we had it our way, we would prefer only needing one size hex wrench to install our stem. 

The four 5mm hex bolts hold the stem to the clamp mount, while the two 4mm hex bolts clamp the stem around the handlebar.

We spent most of our time tinkering with headset spacers due to the low stack height of the clamp mount. Before testing, we were riding a DEITY Copperhead stem that features a 33mm stack and no stem rise. We had 20mm of spacers installed underneath the stem, equating to a 42-inch handlebar height. To achieve the same bar height, we only had to install one 5mm spacer underneath the ENDH stem but had to add 30mm of spacers on top of the stem. If we were installing the stem permanently, we would cut our steerer tube nice and short to avoid riding with a sternum stabber.

Spacer configuration with DEITY Copperhead stem.
Spacer configuration with Yoshimura ENDH stem.

On The Trail

Cockpit Cleanliness

The first thing we noticed riding with the ENDH stem was how unique our cockpit looked between our hands. While some riders might not overanalyze brake angle, handlebar roll, or cable length, we pride ourselves on being compulsive about cockpit cleanliness. The ENDH stem immediately grabbed our attention with its wide and sleek handlebar clamps and robust profile around the steerer tube that made our cockpit feel burly and solid. It’s crazy how much an aggressive-looking stem will put you in the headspace to smash some trails! For any rider who has wondered what a downhill bike stem would look like on your trail or enduro bike, the ENDH stem makes that dream a reality. We only wish we had a downhill bike at our disposal to toss the direct mount portion of the stem on to see how it looks. 

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Stiffness and Flex

After weeks of riding the roughest descent we could find in Boise, Idaho, and yanking on our handlebars during steep climbs, we haven’t noticed any difference in stiffness or flex with the ENDH stem compared to standard steerer mounted stems. Before hitting the trails, we wondered if the connection between the stem and the mount adaptor would create increased flex over other stems. Similarly, the distance between the sleek yet narrow handlebar clamps made us question if we would feel our handlebars flexing within the stem or experience any handlebar slipping. 

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We did our best to intentionally run into rocks and pull up off of drops but found that the ENDH stem remained solid and stiff through it all. We never experienced any noodle-like moments that had us questioning the strength of the stem and did not have any issues with our handlebars slipping in the clamp. We also never heard any creaks despite riding in dust, mud, and rain. Before removing the ENDH stem at the end of testing, we double-checked all the bolts with a torque wrench, and none had loosened. 

Higher Stem Rise = Fewer Headset Spacers

The main advantage of the ENDH stem was the ability to mount the stem closer to the top of our steerer tube, thanks to its 35mm of rise. With the stem mounted lower on our steerer tube, our steering and front wheel control felt more direct and precise. 

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It could just be a placebo effect, but when running 20mm or more of spacers below a stem, we notice that our steering feels less instant due to the increased leverage from having the stem mounted higher up on the steerer tube, causing flex. The ENDH stem made our steering and front end stability feel crisp and immediate, boosting our confidence when pushing through rough corners or staying in a straight line on fast, chattery straightaways. 

Long Term Durability

From our two-month test, we haven’t witnessed any areas of concern that make us doubt the ability of the ENDH stem to perform well for years to come. The craftsmanship of Yoshimura products is industry-leading, and the ENDH stem is no exception. Thinking long term, one of the coolest parts about the design of the ENDH stem is the ability to easily play with varying stem lengths without having to loosen your headset or realign your handlebars afterward. This might not be something everyone finds appealing, but for riders or racers who want to adjust their bike to best match different terrain or courses, the ENDH stem makes swapping between stems incredibly simple.   

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What's The Bottom Line?

The ENDH stem is yet another premium crafted component in Yoshimura’s long lineage of manufactured products, providing a solid and direct connection between the ride and bike that builds confidence and improves handling. While the two-piece design might not be for everyone, it is perfect for riders wanting a stem with more rise that maintains a shorter reach appropriate for trail or enduro riding. For riders looking to raise their front end without installing high-rise handlebars or a bunch of headset spacers below their stem, the ENDH stem offers another solution. And thanks to the compatibility of the clamp mount with other direct mount stems, the ENDH stem makes experimenting with varying stem lengths a breeze, taking the headache out of preloading your headset or aligning your handlebars. 

For more information on Yoshimura's ENDH stem kit, please visit www.yoshimuracycling.com


About The Tester

Jason Schroeder - Age: 27 // Years Riding MTB: 16 // Height: 6' (182cm) // Weight: 170-pounds (77.1kg)

A once-upon-a-time World Cup downhill racer turned desk jockey, Jason has spent years within the bicycle industry from both sides of the tape. A fan of all day adventures in the saddle or flowing around a bowl at the skatepark, he doesn't discriminate from any form of two wheeled riding. Originally a SoCal native now residing in Boise, Idaho, you can find Jason camped out in his van most weekends at any given trailhead in the greater Pacific NorthWest.

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