MTB-MAG.COM - Mountain Bike Magazine | [Tested] DMR Defy 35mm (Clamp Standard) Stem

[Tested] DMR Defy 35mm (Clamp Standard) Stem

[Tested] DMR Defy 35mm (Clamp Standard) Stem

26/01/2015
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26/01/2015

Back in 2012 Easton launched their new 35 mm clamp standard for bars. Many thought it was necessary and many thought it wasn’t, however the market so far hasn’t really responded in huge waves, but a few bike companies like DMR have responded with some interesting products in the 35mm standard at a price that seems to make sense for those that want to venture into 35mm territory. We tried their bar stem combo but in this piece we focus on the stem only.

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The Defy stem is aimed at the 35mm bar riders that want extra stiffness at the front end of the bike.

Specifications/Features

DMR have aimed at making a well finished stem. The key features of the stem are the low stack height and the internal steerer clamps. Notice also there are no sharp edges so no bar damage is likely with this system, and clamping down or taking a knock to the bar is not going to risk the bar being scored or put under stress at the clamp bar junction. The clamping area is wide and the bar also from DMR which we used is also fairly light weight, as is the Defy stem.

– 31.8 and 35mm (tested) options.
– 6061 Alloy
– 31mm Stack height
– 50mm reach
– 5mm rise
– 235g
– € 65 RRP

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The front clamps are carefully machined and lazer etched.

On The Trail

As always we threw this stem combination down the trails of Punta Ala specifically Rock Oh. This is a rough harsh trail that is great to test products on where limits can be found. The rough trails and time on the Defy definitely left us feeling confident. The Defy has a sense of security built in as it is a solid piece of metal that with the 35mm bar really feels like the rider has control. The large clamp diameter does feel more solid. Looking though at weighs, its not a an unnecessary cost, yes it feels substantial in presence in the hand before mounting, but boy does it feel good to have dependable piece of kit out front as part of the impact zone on the bike.

Video Of One Of Our Test Runs.

Observations

A few of our runs did produce the inevitable crash which we discovered firstly the stem when torqued down correctly doesn’t really move much and secondly if it does move the clamp is such a beautiful piece of design that re-adjusting with it is really great. We really think that less bolts will be rounded off with this design and it just looks really smooth and sleek.

Having a stem with a low stack height like this is actually pretty good as it means that it will go onto any already cut steerer tube with no fuss, plus it is easy to make adjustments with spacers and tune more mildly. The rise although 5 mm is actually pretty conservative and we found it to be ideal along with the 50mm reach, which in our experience is the Enduro style riding length balancing reach and body position with responsiveness of steering.

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The retention/pinch screws are really well done, easy to clamp at the correct torque.

There is no doubt the “stem works with the bar” as the way to view this system. It is a more solid feeling than with 31.8m bars, whether it is better it is hard to judge, but it does give the feeling of a more direct feel with 35mm. Some say it is a bit too stiff with the 35mm standard. We can honestly say we really liked this stem and bar combination we would be unsure though if every one liked the feeling, we think riding style plays a big part in the type of set-up. Bigger stronger riders will definitely appreciate this stem as it gives them such a large solid connection point. Finish was exceptional with just enough attention to detail put into the stem, the edges, corners and bolts with etching we great to see at this price point especially.

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The finish oozes quality and precision machining beautiful rounded internal edges.

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It is possible to see inside the clamp bolts and how well they fit the steerer tube.

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A nice DMR top cap.

Conclusion

Stems are often a forgotten item when it comes to bike builds made on complete bikes sold in shops. A place to save money and also a place where one can make a difference to the overall look of the bike. If your bike comes with a low standard/budget stem, one of these beauties will up aesthetic value of your bike, and at the same time provide a really good strong steering interface. We liked the 35mm standard (a 31.8mm is also available), not all do.  It is strong, fits many bike styles and looks really great. The clamps are well finished and a key feature of the stem with subtle lazer details, we liked the look a lot, understated but very Audi BMW esq in feeling and appearance. This stem felt solid and lets be honest for the price verses quality and the clamping system, this stem might be one of the very stem best Enduro style stems out there.

Price: 65 Euro

DMR Bikes

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