If you are going to go splashing out on Deda's snazzy Superleggera carbon bars you're going to want an equally impressive stem to hold them. As the name suggests, Deda would like you to consider the Superleggero stem, as they are designed as a partnership.
Deda claim this is the lightest production stem on the market. However, Ritchey's WCS C260° stem weighs 9g less than the Superleggero's still impressive 124g. The Superleggero is all about removing as much material as possible through design without compromising strength, Deda says.
Like a lot of stems the Superleggero is 3D forged from 7050 aluminium. Forging makes for a stronger structure than welding various parts together therefore allowing you to shed weight. The internals are pretty much hollow to so it's basically as light as it can be.
More weight is pared by using two individual strips of alloy for the face plate. You've got a little less surface area than a normal plate for clamping duties but it doesn't seem to make much difference. All the hardwear is titanium which knocks off another couple of grams.
In use the Superleggero is surprisingly stiff. I'm not light at 76kg yet no amount of manhandling the bars could get the Superleggero to flex noticeably. Climbing or sprinting was all taken in its stride and paired up with Superleggera carbon bars things were very comfortable.
The size options start at 80mm through to 140mm all with an 82° angle. As you'd expect they are for oversized bars. Deda calls the 1 1/4in handlebar diameter 31.7mm; everyone else calls in 31.8mm. If we were going to be picky we'd all call it 31.75mm. WHatever, it's all the same thing and bars marked 31.8mm will fit fine.
The Siperleggero is manufactured to accept a 1 1/8in steerer though you do get a 1in spacer sleeve included should you still be running around on a bit of old-school steel erotica. [We think Liam means 'exotica' but we're leaving it alone to show you just how some of our reviewers' minds work - Ed.]
The Deda Siperleggero stem is a bit of an extravagance at £116.99. A stem half the price will probably do near as damn it the same job, and the Ritchey mentioned above is just £75. In its defence though the Deda is beautifully crafted and has a really good feel to the finish but more importantly, when it's paired up with the matching carbon bars the two work really well together.
Expensive for what it it is but beautifully finished and definitely light
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Deda Superleggero Black 120 Stem
Size tested: Black, 120mm
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?
The Superleggero is Deda Elementi's flagship stem and is designed to work in partnership with the Superleggera carbon bars. Deda have gone for stiffness and low weight achieving both as there is no noticeable flex. It comes at a price though.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Material: Alloy 7050
Ø Handlebar: 31,7 mm
Fork Steerer: 1" 1/8 (28,6mm)
Clamp Height: 36 mm
Sizes: 80 - 90 - 100 - 110 - 120 - 130 - 140 mm
Weight: 99 g (110 mm)
Finish: black anodized; polish on black (POB)
Recommended mounting with Deda Elementi carbon handlebars only.
It's a beautiful bit of kit. No rough edges or scruffy internals.
Light and stiff, a difficult combination.
Pretty impressive but not the lightest. Sorry, Deda.
Stiff but reasonably forgiving soaking up a fair bit of the road buzz.
It's more expensive then its slightly lighter rivals; £117 is a lot of money to pay for a stem.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It impressed with how stiff it is considering the light weight.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How well it worked with the Superleggera bars; it looks great too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That price is hard to swallow.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Despite the price, yeah especially if I was getting the Superleggera bars too.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
The Superleggero is a really good stem and as far as performance goes it is surprisingly stiff yet comfortable. That price costs it a star.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.