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Salsa Stems


Salsa makes several stems for Mountain and Road bikes, the least complex of which is the Moto stem. The Moto is a mountain bike stem made of TIG welded 4130 Cro-moly steel. The steel for the quill .083 inches thick, while the steel tubing for the extension is .049 inches thick. The Salsa stem is desired by so many people because of how the extension is miter cut to fit the quill. The extension is cut in the half-round shape to butt to the quill, but is cut so the tails extend around the sides of the quill rather merely joining the two pieces to the front of the quill. This adds more strength and support to the joint.

The binder tube is made of 1.8mm thick tubing that is 1 3/8" wide. The binder fitting is machined from steel rod, bored and tapped for the bolt prior to installation on the front of the binder tube. The backside of the binder fitting is milled to the roundness of the binder tube. Notice that the front of the fittings have a straight face, most of the other stems have a rounded area on the front where the fittings separate. The roundness on the front indicates on other stems where the final cut on the binder is to be made, and makes less obvious any imperfections in how the cut pieces square to each other.

The binder fittings are TIG, tack welded for placement purposes to the binder tube, then the fitting is brazed to completely join it to the tube, making it's placement rigid. While other steel stems fully TIG weld the binder fitting, Salsa notes that the TIG welding material doesn't make full total contact to both the sides, and underneath the joined surfaces, the way that brazing does. Certainly, brazing the fitting is far more painstaking work, (it would be easy enough while tacking the fitting to just weld the piece on). The three tubes are TIG welded together using clean, pulsed welds. After the binder fitting is on, the binder tube is sawn through to create the cinch system. At this point the lower 65mm, (this is the recommended minimum insertion into the headset/steerer tube), of the quill are masked and the stem is electrostatically painted (powder coated) in a high gloss Black on premises, at their plant.

The cap piece at the top of the quill is made from machined aluminum rod, that's turned on a lathe to shape, dimension and cut it. The cap piece closes off the quill and provides the cradle for the expansion bolt. The expansion bolt is made of chrome steel with 8mm by 1.25mm thread pitch. The bolt has a 6mm allen head, is 140mm long and weighs 50 grams. The binder bolts are made of steel with 6mm by 1mm thread pitch. The binder bolt has a 5mm allen head, is 20mm long and weighs 6 grams. The wedge is cast aluminum, which is drilled and tapped. Of all the stems we've reviewed Salsa is the only maker that thoughtfully pre-greases the bolts at all the points of contact, which saves installation time.

The Moto doesn't have a fastened brake cable hanger/stop, you will need separately a Ritchey Cliff Hanger or DiaCompe brake cable hanger with the cable stop, these are listed separately in our Brake section. The Moto will fit 25.4mm diameter handlebars or 22.2mm bars with a handlebar shim.

The Moto is available in an "A" series with an 11 degree rise in 100mm, 130mm , or 150mm lengths. They are also made in a "F" series with a 20 degree rise in 120mm length, (reach). The Moto is also made in a "K" series with 26 degree rise in either 100mm or 140mm length. Finally the Moto is made in a swan like "P" series in a 53 degree rise in either 70mm, or 100mm lengths. Most importantly, these are made in a 1" or 1 1/8" dimension. A 130mm "A" series Moto stem weighs 296 grams. Be sure to specify series type, (hence rise), and length.

Length-10-13-15-12-14-70 / Series-A-F-K-P $ Price in Catalog


The next migration in the Salsa stem line is the Moto Comp. The Moto Comp is the same in design and manufacture technique as the Moto, however the tubing wall thickness for the quill and the extension is thinner. The quill is made using .065 inch cro-moly steel and the extension is made using .042 inch cro-moly steel.

The Moto Comp also has a 3/4" hole drilled through the binder tube, where the extension joins it, so it's not seen with the bar installed. Salsa felt this was excess steel whose removal would not compromise the integrity of the stem while reducing it's overall weight. The Moto Comp uses the same stem bolts, cap piece, wedge, and binder fittings, of the Moto, all of which is described above. The Moto Comp is made in only in the 1" and 1 1/8" diameter, and because of the reduced tubing wall Salsa explains that the Moto Comp is recommended for expert level riders weighing under 185 pounds. Please keep this in mind when ordering.

Lastly the Moto Comp is made in only three models. They are, "A13" - 11 degree rise in 130mm length, "A15" - 11 degree rise in a 150mm length, or "F12" which is a 20 degree rise in a 120mm length. The F12 model of the Moto Comp weighs 290 grams. The A15 model weighs 317 grams.

Length & Series -13A - 15A - 12F $ Price in Catalog


In 1987 Salsa began making Cro-moly steel stems in configurations and lengths for road racing cyclists. Since then, a light steel stem has become recognized as desirable by serious enthusiasts and many professionals who are not beholden to a traditional stem maker through sponsorship. The Salsa road stem is very stiff and rigid compared with traditional cast aluminum stems. This rigidity permits more of the riders motion to be put through the frame and find it's way into forward momentum rather than wasted as energy absorbed in the rocking flex of a more traditional stem.

The Road stem is made of the same material as the Moto Comp. The Cro-moly steel quill is made of .065 inch thick tubing, while the extension is made .042 Cro-moly tubing. The binder tube is made to fit 26.0mm diameter road handle bars, and Salsa trims the front end of the tube with a roundness at each end so you can identify at sight a 26.0mm binder tube. The three main tubes are TIG welded together and the binder fitting is still TIG tacked, then brazed to the binder tube. The Road stem has the same machined aluminum cap piece that closes off the quill and provides a cradle for the expander bolt head as the previous three stems. It also uses the same binder bolt. The expander bolt, with 8mm by 1.25mm thread pitch, has a 6mm allen head, is 125mm long and weighs 46 grams. The wedge is cast aluminum alloy. These stems are powder painted, on site, at their factory in a high gloss Black.

The Salsa Road stem comes in either a +5 degree rise or a -17 degree rise. It is made in eleven lengths, (reach), 50mm, 60mm, 70mm, 80mm, 90mm, 100mm, 110mm, 120mm, 130mm, 140mm, or 150mm. A 120mm version of the Salsa +5 degree rise stem weighs 295 grams. A 120mm version of the -17 degree rise weighs 297 grams.

5 degrees (Length-50-60-70-80-90-00-10-12-13-14-15) $ Price in Catalog
-17 degrees (Length-50-60-70-80-90-00-10-12-13-14-15) $ Price in Catalog

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