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Race Face Atlas 35 Stem

Average User Rating: (Very Good)
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Race Face Atlas 35 Stem (50mm)
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Race Face Atlas 35 Stem

"An impressively light, strong addition to your aggressive trail or DH/FR build." - Race Face

Rating: Featured Member Review
Race Face Atlas 35 Stem
The Good:

Great appearance and profile, stiff and burley without being outrageously heavy, wide bar clamping surface, and oversized 5mm steer tube bolts.

The Bad:

The only color that it's available is black, which limits customization.

Overall Review:

When the going gets rough and you’re in need of a tough, stiff, stem for your single crown destroyer of dirt, you are faced with a handful of options. For a burley, high end stem like this it’s not too difficult to get into the $100 price range. With this being the case, I hope to narrow the list down and help you find the best stem for your needs. I was able to get my hands on the Race Face Atlas 35 stem, which is the burliest and stoutest stem they have in their entire lineup. With several months of riding on it, here are my impressions:

Highlights:

  • 6061-T6 aluminum.
  • Four bolt bar clamp holds bar securely in position.
  • Interlocking U-Shaped Handlebar Clamp Geometry.
  • Faceplate eliminates stress risers which cause your bar to bend or break.
  • Opposing bolts on steer tube clamp provides extreme clamping power while reducing stress on the steer tube.
  • Laser etched logos.

 

Specifications:

  • Color:   BLACK
  • Built For:         Trail/AM/DH
  • Steer Tube Diameter: 1 1/8"
  • Stack:  40mm
  • Bar Diameter: 35mm
  • Rise:    0
  • Weight:           141g (35mm), 160g (50mm), 181g (65mm)
  • Size:    35mm (Reviewed), 50mm, 65mm

 Out of The Box:

Unpackaging the Atlas 35 stem, I was quite satisfied with some of the features it had and was surprised on a few others. The profile of the stem looks sleek and clean but also has an attitude of “I’m here to party.” The black anodized finish is well done and don’t see any potential issues of it fading anytime soon.

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When it comes to the graphics and logo, both are laser etched. The most unique thing about the Atlas 35 stem is that the graphics are the same as the Atlas saddle (which is an actual topographic map of Whistler bike park.) And although I’m not sure of the manufacturing technique, it shows lines along the face plate, suggesting that it was cut with a CNC machine which only adds to the attraction and lust of the stem.

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In terms of weight, I would have through the Atlas 35 stem would have been a fat hog but it came in at only 142 grams. This was a pleasant surprise because I’ve seen the weights of burley components somewhat fantasized on paper only to weigh 30-40% more on the scale.

 

On The Trail:

When Race Face said their Atlas 35 stem is impressively light and strong, they weren’t fibbing. The stiffness of the Atlas 35 stem was exactly what I was looking for. I felt no flex from the stem and my bars felt very responsive, the second I turned my bars, the front wheel followed.

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I can thank the stiffness of the stem not only to the stoutness of the clamping area, but also the width of it as well. Measuring up at 50mm of clamping surface, once clamped the Atlas 35 stem will remind you of that stage 7 clinging girlfriend from back in the day, latching on and keeping you away from da boys. In other words, your bars aren’t going anywhere.

Another huge plus for going with the Atlas 35 stem is the oversized 5mm steer tube bolts. I know you aren’t suppose to over torque bolts but if you’re constantly dumping your bike at the dirt jumps or just a real hammer of a dude that makes your bike scream in the gnar, these oversized bolts are a must. The extra torque you can put on them will keep your bars straight, even in the toughest and most unforgiving of circumstances.

 

Bottom Line:

The Race Face Atlas 35 stem is stout, burley and surprising light weight for the performance it offers. With quality 6061-T6 aluminum and a killer finish, you’ll be proud to add such a good looking piece to your dream bike. Once clamped in the bars, you can pretty much rest assure they won’t be going anywhere. The oversized 5mm steer tube bolts are what truly won me over however. When it comes to solid stems, they don’t get much better than the Race Face Atlas 35.

Robust stem but bolts keep getting loose handlebar spins.

Rating:
The Good:

if you like the map design this is a pro for you.

The Bad:

I had issues with the bolts loosening, and the Loctite 243 disappearing, I’m not sure why, but maybe I am pushing the stem to extremes with the temperature changes, and the Loctite gets worn off, most of the traces were gone. I had to check before, during and after the ride to make sure it was secure, other wise I would risk the bars spinning, which happen several times, and when getting the bike out from room stem home to outdoors in -10C this was not the case with Renthal apex 35 stem as long as I used Loctite 243, the only times I made it loosen was without Loctite or not cured with big temperature change, I have tested this on the Apex stem I Intentionally Did not put Loctite 243 with the Apex them the stem spun on the steerer, at a day with rapid temp change, it got to 25C, but it did not other places where it had Loctite on. I also experienced this in the winter when I just installed it and Loctite did not cure. But with The Atlas Stem it would happen even with Loctite cured, It did not handle this well even with Loctite 243. So loose headset was common issue even with Chris King headset. can’t know if it’s a combination of the materials used in bolts, stem, or and the clamp design, but the difference was huge. The Atlas Stem is made of 6061-T6 aluminum. I haven’t tried changing the bolts yet, So I haven’t tried Titanium bolts, I don’t know how much it will effect the issues I experienced. I know many are satisfied with this stem, But they might not be using it to the extremes I am, with the temp changes. The bolts don't have great tolerances in the head, and the they wear a lot, so eventually they looked quite worn but not worn out, but they did not wear out, so there will be some play between the hex key, but nothing huge, I had the same experience with all other Race Face Bolts, on Turbine Dropper, Atlas Cranks, but the bolts on all of the dropper posts got worn out eventually, as I had to tighten them more often, so they were so bad I would need to replace them, but I replaced dropper posts, and same thing happen, but I had to return them and get refund due to other issues. Not for ”weight wienies”, 9 grams heavier than the Renthal Apex, it’s quite a noticeable difference, when I hold them, but not a a huge difference, but it all adds up.

Overall Review:

If any one has tested this stem with aftermarket bolts, Titanium bolts, or have any knowledge to share about it, feel free to comment on this.

I've of course not tested it in a lab, or special tools so can't have precise findings.

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Not for ''weight wienies'', 9 grams heavier than the Renthal Apex, it's quite a noticeable difference, when I hold them, but not a a huge difference, but it all adds up.

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Product page

Specifications

Product Race Face Atlas 35 Stem
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Material 6061-T6 aluminum
Clamp Diameter 35mm
Length
  • 35mm
  • 50mm
  • 65mm
Rise
Steer Diameter 1 1/ 8"
Colors Black
Weight
  • 0 lb 5 oz (141 g)
  • 0 lb 5.6 oz (160 g)
  • 0 lb 6.4 oz (181 g)
Miscellaneous Four bolt bar clamp holds bar securely in position.
Interlocking U-shaped handlebar clamp geometry.
Faceplate eliminates stress risers which cause your bar to bend or break.
Opposing bolts on steer tube clamp provides extreme clamping power while reducing stress on the steer tube.
Laser etched logos.
Price $100
More Info

www.raceface.com

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