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review

FSA Energy SCR Stem

7
£68.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Very light and beautifully made from the finest metals, but expensive and slightly limited for sizes
Lightweight
Stiff
Titanium hardware
Subtle graphics
Expensive for aluminium
Only available in +/-6 degrees
No 70mm option
Weight: 
133g
Contact: 
www.windwave.co.uk/brands/FSA

The FSA Energy SCR Stem is for road and gravel use, keeps weight impressively low and results in a stiff and direct cockpit. The SCR (Semi-integrated Cable Routing) will be of particular benefit to Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS users looking to tidy away cables, but for an aluminium stem it's pricey and there's no 70mm version for gravel riders.

> Buy this online here

> Find your nearest dealer here

The Energy SCR stem comes in just a +/- 6-degree rise option and 80, 90, 100, 110, 120 and 130mm lengths. While that's reasonable, other ranges, such as Easton's EA70, offer a 70mm for those looking for snappier steering.

2020 FSA Energy SCR Stem 3.jpg

The SCR fits a 1 1/8in steerer and a 31.8mm handlebar clamp, so should fit the majority of modern drop handlebar bikes.

I've been running my 110mm test stem with negative 6-degrees as I favour a low and racy position. FSA seems to as well – if you opt for a rise, the graphics will be upside down, though as they're fairly subtle it's not a huge deal. It's a stem that blends in pretty quietly.

2020 FSA Energy SCR Stem 2.jpg

The Energy SCR uses AL2014 aluminium, which is a copper-based, aerospace grade alloy that's much stronger than the common (cheaper) 6061. It's also very hard, so should resist damage relatively well, though uncoated scratches will be prone to corrosion.

Clamp it to the bike and it feels stiff and direct whilst sprinting and climbing, without ever becoming unduly harsh. Like all aluminium alloys, though, it's not quite as good as carbon at damping out buzzy vibration.

Beautifully built

FSA forge and then machine the stem – this stuff is difficult to weld. The quality is high, and there are none of the sharp edges or imperfections cheaper stems can have when the CNC stage is skipped. I've used the Energy SCR on both aluminium and carbon bars, and had no issues.

For aluminium, this stem is expensive, though it's a very high grade alloy and the hardware is titanium (an aftermarket upgrade over typical steel bolts would cost in the region of £15, so it's not insignificant). Titanium bolts bring a marginal weight advantage, but more importantly, don't rust. All six bolts are finished in black and take a 4mm hex key.

Totally wired

FSA's 'Semi-integrated Cable Routing (SCR) allows electric shifter cables to be tucked neatly out the way, a feature also found on the PRO Discover stem. PRO hasn't named its 'system,' though we suggest QSM (Quite Small Hole) and we're open to negotiations.

> 10 of the best cycling drop handlebars — how to buy the perfect bars

The SCR system's quite small hole near the faceplate allows a junction box to hide inside, while the shifter cables run under the bar tape. It's simple and effective, though of course your brake hoses/cables remain in the conventional position and, if you run the stem with a rise, the hole is in the wrong place and SCR doesn't work.

2020-FSA-Energy-SCR-explanation.jpg

In 100mm the Energy SCR stem has a claimed weight of 113g, which seems about right – our 110mm version is 133g. Both numbers are impressive, and it's lighter than most stems we've recently tested. For example, the Zipp Service Course stem is 165g at 110mm, while the 100mm Easton EA70 is 140g. The 100mm PRO Discover, meanwhile, is 161g.

> How to choose the best stem length

On the other hand, at £50 for the Zipp and £49.99 for the Easton, you're paying a fair premium for the weight difference. That said, the similarly be-holed PRO Discover is both heavier and more expensive at £69.99.

Overall

In some ways, the Energy SCR stem is about as good as aluminium stems get – the materials and build are outstanding, it's very light, stiff and strong, and SCR is potentially useful.

However, if you want to run it as a rise the graphics are upside down and the SCR hole is in the wrong place, while if you want any other angle, or a length shorter than 80mm, you're out of luck.

Verdict

Very light and beautifully made from the finest metals, but expensive and slightly limited for size

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road.cc test report

Make and model: FSA Energy SCR Stem

Size tested: 110mm

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?

FSA says of this road and gravel stem: "At just 113g for a 100mm extension, the Energy stem represents cutting edge aluminum construction."

It's high quality but only available in limited angles.

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

Size tested: 110mm

Semi Integrated Cable routing (SCR)

3D Forged and CNC machined from AL2014

4 bolt sculpted SL faceplate

Finish: Bead blasted black with polished black anodized

Available sizes: +/- 6-degrees

Available lengths: 80,90,100,110,120,130mm

Titanium bolts

Claimed weight: 113g for 100mm length

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Solid and well made – the forging and CNC machining is high quality, with thought given to smaller parts like the bolts.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Works well with no noticeable flex.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Good construction and high quality materials. Titanium bolts increase durability.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10

Lighter than nearly all other stems we've tested – there are some superlight stems out there, but they cost more.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

Certainly not harsh, although expensive carbon stems reduce road buzz even further.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

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

Well – assuming the six degree rise works for you. It's stiff, light and effective.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The low weight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

On comes in a six degree rise.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's expensive. Both the Easton EA70 and Zipp Service Course aluminium stems are £18 cheaper, though they are also heavier.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's lovely – light, beautifully made and with titanium bolts as well. With more choice of rises, a 70mm length and a slightly more accessible price it could be an eight, but as it is it's one of the most expensive aluminium stems we've tested yet won't suit everyone. It's good, and a seven.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 6ft  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

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