ENVE Composites M7 Stems

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ENVE M7 Stem
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Tested: ENVE M7 Handlebar and Stem

ENVE's first 35mm cockpit delivers a strong and stiff set-up for demanding riders.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: ENVE M7 Handlebar and Stem

Ifyou’re a “carbon everything” type of person, chances are you’ve already lusted over the odd ENVE Composites part for your pride and joy. The Ogden, Utah-based brand is most well-known for its exclusive carbon wheelsets, but it makes a number of other fantastic plastic products too. To complement the excellent new M730 wheels, ENVE took their cockpits back to the drawing board as well. The new 35mm M7 handlebar and stem combo is billed as the ultimate enduro setup, said to offer a stiff yet compliant ride for people who need the front of their bike to be ready for any challenge. We’ve put it to the test to see what gives.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Low weight
  • High quality finish
  • Very resistant to slipping
  • Solid, direct rider feedback
  • Comfortable angles
  • Multiple rise options
  • The

Ifyou’re a “carbon everything” type of person, chances are you’ve already lusted over the odd ENVE Composites part for your pride and joy. The Ogden, Utah-based brand is most well-known for its exclusive carbon wheelsets, but it makes a number of other fantastic plastic products too. To complement the excellent new M730 wheels, ENVE took their cockpits back to the drawing board as well. The new 35mm M7 handlebar and stem combo is billed as the ultimate enduro setup, said to offer a stiff yet compliant ride for people who need the front of their bike to be ready for any challenge. We’ve put it to the test to see what gives.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Low weight
  • High quality finish
  • Very resistant to slipping
  • Solid, direct rider feedback
  • Comfortable angles
  • Multiple rise options
  • The stem is very expensive
  • The bar may be too stiff for some riders
  • Stickers for color customization feels a little “cheap”

ENVE M7 Handlebar Highlights

ENVE M7 Stem Highlights

  • Carbon
  • Bar width: 800mm (max), 780mm (min)
  • Clamp diameter: 35mm
  • Rise: 10mm, 25mm, and 40mm options
  • Backsweep: 8 Degrees
  • Upsweep: 4 Degrees
  • Colors: white graphics standard, additional decals in box: Orange, Black, Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, Turquoise
  • Weight: 240 grams (25mm rise, verified)
  • MSRP: $170 USD
  • Carbon
  • Lengths: 35mm, 50mm, 65mm
  • Rise: +/- 0 degrees
  • Clamp diameter: 35mm
  • Steerer clamp diameter: 1 1/8”
  • Faceplate material: Aluminum
  • Hardware material: Titanium
  • Stack height: 40mm
  • Color: black carbon, white graphics
  • Weight: 96 grams (50mm length, verified)
  • MSRP: $280 USD

Initial Impressions

Pulling the M7 bar and stem from the box is everything you’d expect from ENVE, with clean looks and an impeccable finish greeting you as you set out to examine what your hard-earned cash just bought you. Perhaps surprisingly, the handlebar is priced in line with many of its competitors, but the same cannot be said for the stem – $280 USD sounds a bit crazy, but ENVE says that making a carbon stem is complicated, and this particular one has been engineered to take a beating.

The M7 series is ENVE’s first and so far only venture into the world of the 35mm handlebar clamp diameter, which they say has allowed them to make a bar with the stiffness required for aggressive enduro builds. Interestingly, the M9 downhill-specific bar still relies on the old 31.8mm standard, which ENVE says their DH riders prefer when matched with a bigger, stiffer dual-crown fork. Something to take into consideration when choosing your cockpit.

Closer inspection of the stem reveals a very light weight product with a definitive air of quality around it. All the edges are smooth, and the matte finish is deep and uniform. The faceplate is made of alloy, and all the hardware is titanium. On the inside, the clamping surfaces feature a raw finish to help them provide better grip on the steerer tube and handlebar.

The handlebar sports the same matte finish as the stem, with subtle white and grey graphics setting it off nicely. There is a packet of stickers included in the box should you wish to play the matchy-matchy game with your ENVE wheels, your frame or other components – most major colors are provided. The bar measures 800mm out of the box, with cut marks to allow you to trim it down (the marks go to 760, but ENVE recommends not cutting beyond 780 to maintain the ride qualities the bar was designed to provide). The M7 features a fairly classic 4-degree upsweep/8-degree backsweep combination, with three different rise options to choose from (we tested the 25mm rise version mated to a 50mm stem). The middle of the clamping area is covered with a non-slip material to provide extra grip for the stem.

On The Trail

Installing a new cockpit should be pretty straightforward, and with the M7 it really is. Wrenching on the hardware is a pleasure, and we were particularly impressed with just how solid everything felt when it came together. We stuck rigorously to the torque values specified by ENVE (and conveniently printed on every relevant surface), which resulted in absolutely perfect grip and no slippage for the duration of our testing.

The angles of the M7 are comfortable and feel very natural from the start. Rolling out, it became immediately obvious that this is a stiff cockpit, which offers a very direct feeling of connection to the front end of the bike. Pumping or pulling, there is very little discernable flex (if any), and you always feel exactly what the front wheel is doing.

A cockpit that is too stiff can be detrimental to comfort, especially on longer days spent riding on rough terrain. While the M7 is certainly on the stiffer side, we never felt like it was beating us up needlessly. We’ve ridden carbon bars that feel as stiff but also noticeably harsher, so ENVE appears to have done their homework here. Perhaps we’ve gotten used to stiffer bars since the dawn of the 35mm revolution, but having tested quite a few over the last years, we’re in no hurry to move on from the M7. Like other good carbon bars, it knocks a good few grams off your ride, while also having a kind of “filtering” or “damping” effect on trail vibrations.

Things That Could Be Improved

The price of the M7 stem does stick out like a sore thumb, but we do have to take into account that it offers class-leading weight and flawless performance so far. As for the handlebar, yes, it is definitely a stiff piece of kit, so do consider the 31.8mm options from ENVE if this is typically a concern for you (both trail and DH options exist in the smaller diameter, and are said to provide a more compliant ride). We would also have preferred to see the different color graphics options available directly from the factory, as opposed to a bunch of stickers in the box.

Long Term Durability

We’ve had the M7 cockpit out on the trails for over three months by now, on two different bikes, and we’ve been very impressed with the performance so far. There has been absolutely no slipping of the stem or of the controls on the bar, and both components seem to be very resistant to scuffing in general. The matte finish of the handlebar has worn off a little bit around where we usually hang our full face helmet for fire road climbing on hot days, leaving a shinier surface in its wake, but it’s nothing dramatic and the cockpit still looks very fresh.

What’s The Bottom Line?

ENVE’s first 35mm cockpit was designed to offer a stiff but not harsh ride, and on that count, the company has succeeded. The M7 stem is among the lightest stems available, and it performs flawlessly. The M7 handlebar is perfect for those who look for a lot of control and direct feedback from their long-travel enduro bike cockpits, without unnecessary, fatigue-inducing harshness. Those accustomed to a more compliant ride should consider the M6 option.

More information at: www.enve.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 45 // Years Riding MTB: 13 // 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

Specifications

Product ENVE Composites M7 Stems
Riding Type Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Material Gravity-Rated Carbon Fiber Body, Aluminum Faceplate, Titanium Hardware
Clamp Diameter 35mm
Length
  • 35mm
  • 50mm
  • 65mm
Rise 0 Degrees
Steer Diameter 1-1/8"
Colors Black with White Logo
Weight
  • 0 lb 3.2 oz (92 g)
  • 0 lb 3.5 oz (98 g)
  • 0 lb 3.6 oz (102 g)
Miscellaneous 40mm Stack Height
Price $280
More Info

​​​​​​​​​​​WHAT IT IS

A Gravity-Rated, carbon-bodied mountain stem built for aggressive riding and the muscular look of today’s carbon Enduro and All-Mountain bikes. The M7 stem is designed to complement the look and ride feel of ENVE M7 handlebars.

WHY WE MADE IT

We designed the 35mm clamp diameter M7 stem to offer new levels of performance and strength to the world’s most aggressive riders. The first 35mm carbon enduro stem is so strong, in fact, that we had to recalibrate our test lab equipment to find its limits. Thanks to the properties of carbon fiber, and our engineering expertise, this lightweight stem is ready for anything you can throw at it.

Learn more on ENVE.com »

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