Top load v.s. front load

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9/14/2015 8:06 PM

Any experiences, need to knows, or general talk about top load and front load stems. I run top load and I am think about making the switch.


9/14/2015 8:12 PM

Both are exactly the same except that front load will decrease your effective front end height by about an inch


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9/14/2015 8:52 PM

Going from a top load to a front load is going to drop your bars down however much the difference between the rises is.

And possibly change the reach of the stem if it's a different reach, but that's not something exclusive to a top or front load stem.

I personally strongly prefer front load because of the look, and I like my bars lower and front load stems generally have less rise than a top load. I tried a top load stem for awhile, didn't like the added height. I would just say try the front load for a little, if you like it, keep it. If not, sell it.


9/15/2015 6:55 AM

You just gotta try each for a while and see....there is a difference in how each places the bars, but no difference in clamping pressure, or holding power, or anything structural like that.

I'm guessing some will say there is, which technically they are maybe correct if you are exerting literally tons of force on the stem during lab testing, but that is never going to happen in real life. If you are going to break one, you are going to break the other....and a stem is rare to fail compared to other parts that take more abuse.


9/15/2015 8:35 AM

I don't really care as long as it doesn't slip. I ran top load forever, and now have a front load.


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