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Gamut Cillos Stem

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
Gamut Cillos Stem
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Tested: Gamut Cillos Stem

Rating: Vital Review

by Kevin Shiramizu

Gamut has a knack for keeping things simple, which is a lot harder than it first seems. If Jiro Dreams of Sushi, then perhaps Juan Dreams of Bike Parts. I’ve been riding some form of a Gamut guide on one bike or another for a long time so when it was announced that they would be branching out into other parts, I was excited to see that same design mentality brought to the rest of a bike. With thick-thin rings around to stay, and guides becoming a smaller slice of the market, was Gamut diving into the components mix for a quick buck or were they doing it right?


Gamut Cillos Stem Highlights

  • Clamp size: 31.8mm
  • Length: 50mm (40mm and 60mm coming soon)
  • Zero rise
  • Steerer diameter:1-1/8"
  • Colors: Slate Grey, Stealth Black
  • Custom 5mm hex bolts
  • Weight: 0 lb 5.3 oz (150 g)
  • MSRP: $109.99 USD

Initial Impressions

Taking this stem out of the box was a treat. The finish quality is top notch, the bolts looked great, and the design itself is impressive. It took two seconds to answer my question of whether Gamut is jumping the shark at the end of the chainguide’s hay-day, and that answer is simply put no, they are doing things right. This stem is well thought out and clearly not just some catalog rebranded item. The fact that they took their time to get it right from announcement to sales should speak to the fact that Gamut is in this to do things the way they always have. My gold standard for a stem has been the Thompson 50mm X4 for years. The Gamut stem looks a bit like it in the same sturdy, confidence inspiring way but stripped down to a skeleton form.


Mounting the stem was smooth as could be. Torque specs are printed next to the bolts for easy reference. The hardware, by the way, is spot on. Black bolts in black stems tend to get sticky after a few weeks no matter how much grease you lather them up with, so I was happy to have the dash of silver in the bolts. 5mm bolts also add to the feeling that you are putting a lot less torque on these than you are used to. No slipping to report though, so that tells me the clamping interfaces of the stem are doing their job without having to resort to crushing tactics.

On The Trail

The stem is cut out in every way possible to get weight down and yet when mounted up, the feeling is stiff and solid. In my recent review of another bar and stem combo, I mentioned that it’s hard to tell what’s mushy in a stem when you have bars, suspension, tires, and trail in the mix. I stand by that, but will also say that the Gamut stem inspires nothing but confidence. Even if it’s a big fat placebo effect, it’s a welcome one that this thing seems so stiff. Input on the bars goes to the front wheel like a charm. The back of the stem does a good job of incorporating the bolts and smoothing the edges so that should your knees go astray, you aren’t going to suddenly perform major amateur surgery on yourself. On the trail the stem was quiet and creak-free, and as previously mentioned, I did not experience any slipping.


Things That Could Be Improved

With so little going on in the product, there is only room for things to go right and not much to improve on. Only thing I could really ask for is for a 35mm clamp version to be put in the line up for the people who want to run that fat jam. I suppose the only other way to really improve would be to see how the Gamut bars match up…

Long Term Durability

My only concern with this stem for the long term is going to be how the black ano finish holds up in the sun for the many years I easily expect to be running this on my bikes. Most of the time, goth stuff fades as it grows older so I hope this stem keeps the finish as dark as day one. So far, so good.

What's The Bottom Line?

Machined 50mm stems have been around since the dinosaurs, but when I think back to the times of World Force stems, it brings into perspective how much mountain biking has progressed since then. A stem is a simple component in that it clamps a couple of perpendicular tubes together. But doing a simple part in such a simple way as the Gamut stem is tough. I’ll be glad to run this stem on any bike for years to come. This is my new gold standard.

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About The Reviewer

Kevin Shiramizu has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years. During that time he accumulated multiple state championships in Colorado for XC and trials riding, a junior national champ title in trials, and went to Worlds to get his ass kicked by euros in 2003. His riding favors flat corners and sneaky lines. After a doozy of a head injury, he hung up the downhill bike for good in early 2010 and now foolishly rides a very capable trail bike with less protection and crashes just as hard as ever. He likes rough, technical trails at high elevation, but usually settles for dry, dusty, and blown out. He spent five good years of his youth working in bike shops and pitched in efforts over the years with Decline, LitterMag, Dirt, and Vital MTB. He also helped develop frames and tires during his time as a guy who occasionally gets paid to ride his bike in a fancy way in front of big crowds of people.


Product Gamut Cillos Stem
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle
Material Aluminum
Clamp Diameter 31.8mm
Length 50mm (40mm and 60mm Coming Soon)
Rise Zero Rise
Steer Diameter 1-1/8"
Colors Slate Grey, Stealth Black
Weight 0 lb 5.3 oz (150 g)
Miscellaneous Custom 5mm Hex Bolts
Price $99.99
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