Topload vs frontload

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4/5/2015 10:03 AM

Any reason everyone's switching to top load stems I now they raise your bars a bit but does it really make a noticible difference?


4/5/2015 10:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/5/2015 1:43 PM

Nope I had a colony official and now have a system topload and a fit bt topload , aside from maybe rise you won't notice any difference


4/5/2015 10:26 AM

Tall ass persons will most likely prefer taller stems. Same as with someone shorter on a shorter stem.
Taller bars, stem, spacers will change the feel of your bike just as much as front load, short bar, no spacers. Everything depends on the rider's style and how they want their bike to feel.

The biggest reason many are switching to tops is because it's trending. Simple as that.


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4/5/2015 10:36 AM

The extra rise is all you'll really notice unless it's a drastic change in other measurements like going from a 48mm reach to a 53mm reach you might notice if you're picky about that stuff.

I personally didn't like the added rise when I tried one, so I quickly went back to the front load. Try a Sunday Freeze, they're cheap and if you don't like it you didn't lose much money and can always resell it


4/5/2015 12:39 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/5/2015 4:22 PM

There is the frontload stems, the toploads and now the "double floor" toploads than every brand had start to do a few times ago.
The differences will be more height, and reach (like on any stem).

I had personnaly made the switch for a "double floor" topload (instead of a classic topload), i like it because i'm tall (6ft) and i ride a 8.75" bar, i just don't recommend to use them with a huge 10" bar.

And yes, the difference is really noticiable, i can notice a difference even with a 2mm spacer more or less under my stem, on my postion and especially to find the perfect balance point on manuals. (Higher bar pull up easier, too high bar loop out easier).


4/5/2015 7:51 PM

I switched from frontload to topload and instantly knew how to speak german


4/5/2015 9:01 PM

I switched from my s&m xlt redneck front load to an s&m credence top load stem for the height but the height difference wasn't very noticeable. However the reach was definitely noticeable made my bike seem a bit longer.


4/5/2015 9:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/5/2015 9:11 PM

Ahh skeet skeet wrote:

I switched from my s&m xlt redneck front load to an s&m credence top load stem for the height but the height ...more

The Credence is 1mm shorter than the Redneck XLT. The extra rise from the stem would also move your bars closer towards you.


4/6/2015 3:02 PM

Actually depending on the persons dimensions in relation to the bike and their riding style, it can make a huge difference. Of course it is somewhat personal preference but in my experience it can make riding your bike heaps more comfortable depending on how you are trying to leverage you bike. In my experience front load and 8.5-8.75 bars equals a strained back. Toploader and perfect 10's equals bliss and many more hours on the bike.


4/6/2015 3:42 PM

topload is better than frontload, in almost all scenarios
this is because as bars get larger, the amount of torque being applied to the clamping area increases, making it more difficult to prevent the big bars from slipping

also bigger bars tend to have more flex

lets say you want a height of 9.5" from the bottom of the stem to the top of your bars. A frontload gives somewhere around 5-10 rise, or .2 to .4 inches. to obtain 9.5" of total rise you would need 9.1-9.3" bars
a topload will give around 30-35 mm of rise, or about 1.1-1.4" of rise
to get 9.5" rise you only need 8.1-8.4" bars!

in short, unless you are running very very very short bars, just get a topload


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6/26/2020 8:50 PM

Old thread, but worthy of a fresh perspective. Bar position and weight distribution all play an important role in what type of stem you like to use. Riders like Kevin Peraza and Felix Prangenberg are exceptional riders in their two different styles of riding, and both use a front load stem. The new frames with taller head tubes, top load stems, and taller bars can lead to a more body weight at the back of the bike and therefore may make it easier to LOOP out. Keep in mind the steeper the head tube the further the reach too. Balance is the key to BMX, so finding your ideal balance point with the bike you are riding can make a world of difference. Set trends aside and use what helps you ride and balance better is the trend you should be following. Keeping the rubber side down is the key; not looping out because it's cool to have a top load stem and super high bars. If you are just starting out there will be trial and error on what fits your style of riding. Don't get discouraged. Eventually you'll find what works well for you. You don't have to take my word for it but I have been riding since 83' so a little bit of experience can go a long way . Wish I could ride at the level this new generation of riders has excelled to. Progression in BMX has been awesome.