The PRO PLT Stem, from Shimano's division of parts that aren't brakes, gears and wheels, is a decently-priced high-performance stem at a low weight.
Making a good stem isn't rocket science: mostly it just needs to be well built, stiff to counter the twisting forces from the bar, and it's helpful if it's light and you can choose from a decent range of sizes. Given all that, it's hard to see why you'd want to pay more than this.
The Pro PLT is one up from the bottom of Pro's range. it comes in lengths from 50mm right up to 130mm, and it's a reversible 10-degree rise with graphics that look right either way up. It's forged from 2014 aluminium alloy and the main shaft of the stem is a curved octagon in section which is presumably more for looks than any performance benefit. It has a 1 1/8" steerer clamp and 31.8mm bar clamp, so should fit most modern bikes.
Our lengthy 130mm sample weighed in at 139g, which is very decent for a stem that long; we'd expect a 110mm (the one they normally weigh) to weigh maybe 125g based on that; the lightest 110mm stems are just either side of 100g and there's plenty a lot pricier than this that are heavier.
It's well finished, the hardware is good quality with a nice close fit on your Allen key, and once fitted it discharges its duties impeccably. It's plenty stiff for anything up to a full-on sprint and for day-to-day riding it's just the job. If you're tweaking your position on your bike then it's more or less an ideal choice, it's classy enough to look the part on most bikes but cheap compared to many of the options. It's a shame they only offer one rise, but that's nitpicking really.
Classy looking, well priced and pretty light too, an ideal choice if you're adjusting your fit on the bike
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Make and model: PRO PLT 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?
High performance lightweight and stiff 2014 forged alloy oversized stem
2014 forged aluminium is a high strength aluminium alloy commonly used in the aircraft industry and a wide variety of high strength engineering applications making it the ideal choice to produce this lightweight, strong and reliable stem
Oversized 31.8 mm clamp diameter reduces unwanted flex under high load by increasing strength and stiffness
Reversible design with / -10 degree rise
For 1-1/8 inch diameter steerer tubes
Average weight 125 grams for 110 mm length
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Does all you need a stem to do for not a great deal of money
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Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 102kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.