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Bontrager Line Stem

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Great option for 35mm handlebars

if you don't mind a subtle stem

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

-Available in many lengths
-Forged + machined = strong and consistent finish
-Subtle appearance

The Bad:

-Design isn't the most appealing

Overall Review:

Finding the perfect 35mm diameter stem ended up being quite the search for me. I was mainly looking for a cheap but durable stem, and the most important things for me were : forged material, subtle aesthetics, no sharp edges, good contact-surfaces bore machining, and price. Weight wasn't a concern, and I didn't want to spend too much. In my opinion, it's hard to review a stem's "performance" if it keeps your handlebar tight, doesn't move, is well made, looks nice and fits in your budget. Most people look for a bling-y stem, but I don't mind if it's a bit plain and simple.

The Line 35 is made out of 6061-T6 forged aluminium, is available in 40, 50, 60,70 and 80mm lengths in two colourways : all black or black with white logos. I have chosen the 50mm all-black version since I am in the "choose-your-fork-offset's" stem length club. It is compatible with Trek's knock block steering system, but it wan be used with any steerer and handlebar on the market. 

For 45$CAD, this stem's finish surpassed Race Face's affordable options (Aeffect R @ 70$CAD and Chester 35 @ 60$CAD) in both length-options and quality of finish. The torque values (of 5.2nM max) are laser-etched on the stem's body and faceplate so you don't need to look out for them. Bontrager also etched alignment marks on the side of the stem to help align your handlebar and note your preferred setup. On the technical side, it only uses 4mm allen bolts which is pretty nice so you just need one key to install it. 

The most important thing for me was the quality of the finish. Since the stem is forged, it's going to be strong and durable. They machined the steerer-tube and handlebar-clamp bores so the surfaces are consistent and grip well to hold everything tight. I also like the fact that the steerer clamp doesn't have cutouts and that the handlebar clamp has a lot of square surface to grip. This means that there is a good contact surface between all parts and they have less chances of slipping or rotating. So safety-wise, this is a big plus in my book.

Visually, I am not a fan of super visible branding and logos, so the subtle black-on-black matt finish was perfect for my preferences. Since Bontrager is Trek's house brand parts, this is especially nice if you're using this stem on another bike brand. 

All-in-all, this cheap and simple stem checked all the boxes for me, and doesn't leave me wanting for more. It doesn't have fancy branding, but seems to be durable, functional, and since it's cheap, you can buy and try multiple stem lengths to see what suits you better.


Product Bontrager Line Stem
Riding Type Cross Country, Enduro / All-Mountain, Trail
Material Forged 6061-T6 3D aluminum
Clamp Diameter 35mm
  • 40mm
  • 50mm
  • 60mm
  • 70mm
  • 80mm
Steer Diameter 1 1/8"
Colors Black
  • 0 lb 5.3 oz (151 g)
  • 0 lb 6.5 oz (184 g)
Miscellaneous Laser etched calibration marks for dialing in handlebar angle
Compatible with both Knock Block and standard headsets and spacers
Safe for carbon bars
Price $39.99
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