eXotic Matrix Stem review

Mmm Carbon….What’s so sexy about Carbon Fiber? Is it the weave pattern? how light it is? its dampening properties? I don’t know but Carbon Fiber is one of my favorite bike materials. When RL showed me the eXotic Matrix stem, I knew that this stem BELONGED to my KHS Team Alite.

The installation was quick and easy, I just needed an extra spacer and I was ready to hit the trail. We opted for the 90mm stem, this was the right decision as the steering of my Alite Team became more nimble but still very responsive.

For those gram counters, the eXotic Matrix stem is 142 grams, 28 grams less than my Ritchey Comp stem and 18 grams less than a comparable Thomson Elite stem.

I was a little concerned about the rigidity of the stem, the stem showed no flex whatsoever. I was also concerned about the possibility of breaking it, but after reading the about the Matrix process:

MatriX is the manufacture process for melding aluminum or alloy with carbon fibre. It allows our components to take advantage of the strengths of both materials. Carbon fibre is light and strong and alloy is heavy but flexible, so in matriX we get the best of both material’s properties.

I was reassured that the stem would take the stress of riding off-road. So was I able to feel the dampening properties of Carbon Fiber? Well, not really… My SID Race fork does most of the dampening.

PROS:
Sexy looking stem
Lightweight
Not a bank breaker, the stem sells for $63.40 at www.discobrakes.com

CONS:
Limited degree angles.

Would I recommend the eXotic MatriX stem? If you are Carbon Fiber fixated or a weight weenie and don’t want to spend over one hundred bucks for a Carbon Fiber stem, this stem is for you.

5 Replies to “eXotic Matrix Stem review”

  1. Nukeproof used this same manufacturing technique (wrapping a thin aluminum tube with carbon) years ago for their handlebars…I’ve still got a pair that I’d trust my life to — the technique really does blend the strengths of both materials!!

    Granted, the eXotic finish is WAY nicer than the best thing Nukeproof ever put out…that stem is GLOSSY!

  2. Dampening = the act of making something slightly wet.

    Damping = any effect, either deliberately engendered or inherent to a system, that tends to reduce the amplitude of oscillations of an oscillatory system.

  3. Re: Mr Smith….

    I saw that, too, but I wasn’t going to say anything as most people get the two confused.

    Anywho… I’m really liking this site, so keep up the great reviews, guys!

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