What's there to get excited about a stem? Most look the same – a cylinder of aluminium with clamps at either end – but Ennello have endeavoured to break the mould by offering interchangeable faceplates for their Primo stem, adding flair to any bike.
That squiggle on the front of this particular faceplate would be Alpe d'Huez, the famous Tour de France climb, with the '21' denoting the number of hairpins all named after previous winners on these slopes. The yellow background certainly makes the design stand-out and speaks of the climb's Tour heritage as the theatre where champions are made.
The toned down look of the rest of the stem, with only a small Ennello logo to break up the glossy back finish, is a marked contrast to the usual smorgasbord of logos and acronyms. The look is more classic steel racer, than aero carbon superbike.
However, the Ennello is more than just an arty faceplate – it's also a pretty decent stem. At 131g (actual weight) for the 110mm length tested, it's at the lighter end of the spectrum, helpful for getting up climbs, the Alpe for instance, a little faster.
Stiffness is pretty good for such a light stem, and I for one wasn't able to determine any flex when sprinting aggressively. Just judging by the dimensions of the thing, you might want something a bit bulkier if you're Mark Cavendish for instance, but for the rest of us mere mortals, it will work just fine.
Having used the Ennello on my mountain bike for a number of months, I can also vouch for the stem's strength and ability to shrug off knocks. Amazingly, the finish has held up well and is looking just as good as it first did.
At £101.51 (Euro conversion) the Ennello is at the upper end of the aluminium stem price scale but it compares well, in weight and stiffness terms, with its closest competitors. And if you're going to spend over a hundred pounds on a stem, it may as well be something special, which the Ennello certainly is.
Ultimately, I wasn't really a fan of this particular design, mostly due to the yellow clashing with just about everything. But within Ennello's range of stems there are plenty of more subtle and, in my opinion, classier faceplates.
Despite the wide range of faceplate designs, the Primo stem itself is only available with a 7 degree angle and in 90, 100, 110 or 120mm lengths. It should also be noted that Ennello faceplates are not interchangeable with other brands of stem.
Light aluminium stem with added Alpe d'Huez…they do other faceplace designs too
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Make and model: Ennello Alpe d' Huez Primo stem
Size tested: n/a
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 Alpe d'Huez Primo stem comes from Ennello's "Mountain" range. "A perfect stem for anyone who love the mountains" according to them.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Length 90, 100, 110 and 120 mm
Angle +/- 7 degrees
Material 6061 Aluminium
Weight 120 g (90 mm length)
Bar clamp 31,8 mm
Steerer clamp 28,6 mm (1 1/8")
The finish on both the stem and the faceplate is flawless.
The stem is light and plenty stiff enough for most riders. Only the strongest will need something stiffer.
The stem has held up well to months of mountain bike use. The finish is still as nice as ever.
For an aluminium stem, the Ennello is very light.
Not really the number one consideration for a stem.
There's no getting around it, the Ennello is very expensive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No, too expensive for me.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe.
Age: 20 Height: 190cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 2 My best bike is: Canyon Ultimate CF7
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, sportives, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.