Urban Velo

Crank Brothers Cobalt 3 Stem

Crank Brothers Cobalt 3 StemThe Crank Brothers Cobalt 3 stem is without a doubt one of the best looking stems on the market. It features a two-tone color scheme, matte and gloss surfaces and has no faceplate. It’s intended for cross-country mountain biking, but with a 31.8 mm clamp, it will work well with any road or mountain handlebar. And at less than 140 g, it’s light enough to satisfy all but the most die-hard weight weenies.

Cobalt 3 StemAlthough one was included, I was glad to put my oft neglected T25 torx wrench to use during the installation. One of my few nits to pick with the Cobalt 3 stem is the lack of a faceplate means you need to wiggle a riser bar through the clamp. Try as I may to avoid it, I ended up scratching the handlebar in during the installation.

Cobalt 3 StemIt’s a very curious thing that the colored sections of the stem are separate pieces that are made from nylon with an anodized aluminum veneer. They don’t seem to have any real structural purpose, and simply fit into place when the stem is fitted to the steerer tube and handlebar. The rest of the stem is all business, however, and made from 6061 aluminum alloy.

Cobalt 3 StemThe Cobalt 3 stem is available in four color combinations and in standard lengths from 80 to 120 mm. All lenghths come with 6° of rise which can be inverted. It retails for $100 and carries a 5 year warranty. Check out www.crankbrothers.com

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  1. drinkslingerSeptember 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Definitely a well designed piece of gear that fits the Crank Bros. aesthetic perfectly.
    Cool design and I particularly like the wider clamp area than other MTB/road stems.
    The only nits I have to pick are the torx hardware and the lack of a removable faceplate. I had some bad experiences with Zipp’s torx hardware in their Service Course SL stems and swapped for traditional hex bolts as soon as I could.
    As for the faceplate dilemma, these are designed for flat/riser bars. Damn. Just gonna have to wait for a removable faceplate version….

    I’m building my new CX bike for the upcoming season and REALLY wanted to have a Crank Bros. cockpit. Oh well, there’s always next season….

  2. eric wertheimJune 22, 2014 at 7:26 am

    June 2014: I predict this stem will either be redesigned with a FacePlate or will disappear altogether by 2015. Scratch my $150 Carbon-Bars? No thankyou. Those days are long-gone.
    The Stem is already selling for less-than $35 on eBay.

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