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The Importance of BMX Stems
The purpose of the BMX stem on a freestyle BMX bike is to attach the bar to the fork. It is in the stem that the compression is made to hold them securely together. The BMX bike stem plays a great factor in how the front end of your bike is going to feel. Stems are available in different lengths and heights, which can change how stable or responsive the bike will feel.
What Size BMX Stem Do I Need?
When you are considering what size of BMX stem you need, the reach/length and the rise are the two measurements to look at.
The reach of a BMX stem is the length from the centre of the fork tube hole to the centre of the handlebar clamp. A reach of 50 mm is pretty common, with a longer stem reach adding stability and a shorter stem reach being more responsive.
The rise of a BMX stem is the height at which the stem holds the handlebars above the centre of the stem body. This can change how high or low the handlebars will be positioned and can range anywhere between 8 - 36 mm. To get a stem with more or less height is very preferential, and it is all to do with how comfortable you are positioned on your bike.
Top Load BMX Stem VS Front Load BMX Stem
There are two ways the bar can be mounted on the stem, top load mounting and front load mounting. On a front load stem, the bar is mounted on the front of the stem. A front load stem is often preferred by the taller riders, since it places the bar further away from the rider.
On a top load stem, the bar is mounted on the top of the stem. The top load stem is taller than the front load stem. A top load stem is recommended if you prefer to ride with a taller bar.
Remember! When choosing a stem, make sure that the diameter is the same size as the handlebar diameter that you have. This information can be found in the product specification. The two sizes of BMX Handlebars are 22.2 mm (regular) or 25.4 mm (oversized).