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Verdict: 
Good quality stem available in a decent range of sizes and angles
Weight: 
159g
3T Arx II Pro Stem
8 10

3T's Arx II Pro stem is – you'll not be surprised to know – an evolution of its Arx Pro stem. It's nicely made, stiff, and available in a good range of sizes. The odd choice of steerer clamp bolt is the only real issue.

The Arx II Pro uses a standard alloy shaft and a similar faceplate to the previous design, with the cutout 3T logo, but the shape has been refined a bit and the look is a little more sculpted.

Find your nearest dealer here

Buy this online here

Torx T25 bolts take the place of 4mm Allen bolts in the faceplate, and at the steerer you get a single bolt instead of two. It's an M7 thread with a Torx T30 head: precisely no one will be carrying one out on your ride, so make sure it's done up before you go. In a pinch you can do it up with a 4mm Allen key but it's an odd choice of bolt and it means you'll need to take a specific tool if you travel with your bike, which is a bit of a pain.

We had a 130mm, +/- 6 degree stem. The Arx II Pro is available in 10mm increments from 70mm to 130mm, and there's a +/- 17 degree rise version too. You can run it either way, just flip the faceplate so the logo isn't upside down.

Once fitted the stem did all the things stems do, like holding the bar and turning the steerer, without any kind of fuss or complaint. It's nice and stiff and there's no discernible twisting when you haul on the bar: an alloy tube is hard to beat for resisting torsional flex, after all. All the bolts are good quality and a few wet outings haven't resulted in any rust spots.

At 159g for the 130mm (claimed 135g for 110mm, which seems about right) it's not the lightest out there, but given that you can pick this stem up for about £30 online and you're only adding about 40g over even the very lightest stems that cost many times as much, it seems like a sensible place to spend your money. Even at full retail it would be a decent buy.

Verdict

Good quality stem available in a decent range of sizes and angles

road.cc test report

Make and model: 3T Arx II Pro Stem

Size tested: +/-6°, 130mm

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

3T says: "Arx II is an evolution of the well-liked Arx alloy stem, which has found a place on every sort of bicycle since its launch in 2007. It's a subtle refresh of this classic design. The faceplate is drawn in tighter at top and bottom, for a more ovalized frontal appearance, while retaining the cutout 3T logo. The sides of the extension are slightly flattened for a more sculpted look by comparison with the tubular section of the first-generation Arx. A single M7 bolt clamps the stem to the fork steerer, in place of the twin M5 bolts used previously. Bolts are now the more-secure Torx-type fitment in place of the Allen bolts used previously."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Weight: 135g (110mm)

Length: 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130mm

Steerer: 1-1/8in

Material: AL 2010

Angle: +/-6°, +/-17°

Bolts: Torx T25

Finish: Shot Peened/Black Anodized

Stack: 40mm

Certification: CEN

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very nicely made and finished.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Discharges its duties well. Big bolt is a faff.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Not much to go wrong here.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

You can go lighter but it's not heavy.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Good value.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Nice and stiff, well made.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Faffy big Torx bolt to tighten onto the steerer.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes. Except that bolt.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

A good quality, reasonably light stem for not too much cash. The odd choice of stem bolt marks it down a point.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

8 comments

Avatar
Yemble [51 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

What were they thinking?! How many common torque wrenches even have torx bits?

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TeamExtreme [104 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I agree, T25 and T30 bolts seem increasingly common on bikes these days, it's pretty stupid to put them on parts unnecessarily like this.

I like to have the tools to adjust my bike on the road, for example in the case of this stem, a crash could easily put the bars/stem out of whack and I'd rather not just yank them back into place if I had a carbon bars/steerer.

I'm not going to carry around extra tools just for this eventuality, especially when I could easily go and buy a different stem. Seems like a dumb move from 3T to me.

Avatar
Toro Toro [173 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Alternatively, if you like the stem otherwise, you could, y'know, replace the bolt.

In any case, as the review says, a hex key will do for a roadside bodge.

Avatar
VeloPeo [353 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Yemble wrote:

What were they thinking?! How many common torque wrenches even have torx bits?

Mine's pretty basic and it came with a T25 head

Avatar
Jamminatrix [162 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I wish every manufacturer would just go to torx bolts. They are so much better - far less likely to round-off/stripout.

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Le Grindeur [2 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I got one of these for a new bike build having had the old Arx on two other bikes.

And then I had to go out and buy some torx keys.

A decent stem (like the old one) and the hex key bodge works fine at the roadside

Avatar
surly_by_name [525 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Would never touch one of these - had bolts break on two Arx stems. (I use a torque wrench and tighten in a "z" pattern religiously.)

Don't understand objection to torx bolts. Not sure I see them as a massive improvement but most multi tools (and torque wrenches) come with a T25 and T30 bit. And you'll need them when you switch to disc brakes....

Avatar
dave atkinson [6304 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
surly_by_name wrote:

Don't understand objection to torx bolts. Not sure I see them as a massive improvement but most multi tools (and torque wrenches) come with a T25 and T30 bit. And you'll need them when you switch to disc brakes....

i don't have any particular objection to torx bolts, but most multi tools certainly don't come with a T30. T25 is fairly common because it's the disc rotor standard.

I've never had a multi tool with a T30 on, ever.