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  1. #1
    Ragin' Cajun Southernwayfare's Avatar
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    Threadless Stem: Thompson Elite vs Nitto UI-5EX

    Any opinions on this choice. Obviously the Thompson is a good choice (I'd be going with a silver one). I haven't been able to find much info on the Nitto and haven't seen it on many bikes. I feel like the Nitto looks a little more classic or elegant. (BTW,this is for a commuter bike)
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    "But I believe in this and it's been tested by research; he who f@#%$ nuns will later join the church"

    Santana Moda and BFSSFG IRO

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southernwayfare View Post
    Any opinions on this choice. Obviously the Thompson is a good choice (I'd be going with a silver one). I haven't been able to find much info on the Nitto and haven't seen it on many bikes. I feel like the Nitto looks a little more classic or elegant. (BTW,this is for a commuter bike)
    Get this stem instead:

    It is lighter, looks smoother, just as strong, and way better looking IMHO. If you are getting the elite stem because it comes in 1", get Thomson's 1 1/8" -> 1" adapter for $6 @ performance. IMHO, both of the previous stems you listed at not as good looking as the X2.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirohsima View Post
    Get this stem instead:
    It is lighter, looks smoother, just as strong, and way better looking IMHO. If you are getting the elite stem because it comes in 1", get Thomson's 1 1/8" -> 1" adapter for $6 @ performance. IMHO, both of the previous stems you listed at not as good looking as the X2.
    it's also 31.8

  4. #4
    Invented the Skid Salute lamalex's Avatar
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    I've seen the nitto, and it looks damn good. It's on the bareknuckle I'm building. It's got a 26.0 clamp so you need shim for most track bars.

  5. #5
    tarck bike.com exile 666pack's Avatar
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    i have the nitto ui-5gx. it's a great stem.

    get the nitto and you'll be so much happier.

  6. #6
    dutret has a posse ryand's Avatar
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    I have Thompson Elite on my cross bike and have absolutely no complaints about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by kemmer View Post
    get drunk, ride a scooter, don't steal your girlfriends bike back, get laid anyway, post about it on the internets.

  7. #7
    ^oZ
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    Indeed, get the X2, it's awesome

  8. #8
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    They both rock. The Thompson looks great on sturdy, beefy-looking bikes. The Nitto looks more elegant. Match aesthetics to the bike...

  9. #9
    Ragin' Cajun Southernwayfare's Avatar
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    Is it possible to use 26.0mm handlebars with a 31.8mm stem? Are their adapters?
    "But I believe in this and it's been tested by research; he who f@#%$ nuns will later join the church"

    Santana Moda and BFSSFG IRO

  10. #10
    yo yo yo yo yo
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    thomson... the nitto is ugly..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southernwayfare View Post
    Is it possible to use 26.0mm handlebars with a 31.8mm stem? Are their adapters?
    yes but unless you plan on using 31.8mm bars in the future it doesn't really make sense

  12. #12
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southernwayfare View Post
    Is it possible to use 26.0mm handlebars with a 31.8mm stem? Are their adapters?
    yes, they exist
    {o,o**
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    O RLY?

  13. #13
    Ragin' Cajun Southernwayfare's Avatar
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    No sense in getting involved in the adapter/shim thing. The X2 looks pretty damn sharp but I'll got with one of the others b/c I'm using Nitto Bullhorns. This is for an BFSSFG IRO build I'm doing.
    "But I believe in this and it's been tested by research; he who f@#%$ nuns will later join the church"

    Santana Moda and BFSSFG IRO

  14. #14
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    I have the Thompson stem and it's strong as hell. The only odd thing about it is the stem clamp portion of it, it's this wedge type of thing, you have to tighten a hex bolt on each side, and you have to really tighten them good. Twice now I've had a bit of slippage, but I ride some really rough spots each day.

    I got it because it had 4 bolts on the handlebar clamp, single bolt clamps just don't last with my riding. The nitto is the same so I might have to try one out if my Thompson ever fails me.

    I think I'd have to go on looks with this choice...

  15. #15
    Invented the Skid Salute lamalex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strick View Post
    I think I'd have to go on looks with this choice...
    Exactly, pick the Nitto
    Free as in Freedom, but I'll take your free beer.

  16. #16
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirohsima View Post
    Get this stem instead:

    It is lighter, looks smoother, just as strong, and way better looking IMHO. If you are getting the elite stem because it comes in 1", get Thomson's 1 1/8" -> 1" adapter for $6 @ performance. IMHO, both of the previous stems you listed at not as good looking as the X2.
    Too bad you have to deal with annoying words on the stem. Hope that's easily removeable.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  17. #17
    Double Agent Astronomical's Avatar
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    Tom LaMarche rides a thompson stem and post if it tells you anything of the abuse that they can take.

  18. #18
    Senior Member sers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Too bad you have to deal with annoying words on the stem. Hope that's easily removeable.



    ... Thomson stems and posts are rediculously high quality, and made in the USA. They're sort of bling for a bike that's going to be locked up in the city, as they're easily removed from the bike. I go with generics for my daily scrapper.

    Although, I do like the Deda Zero...


  19. #19
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    I pretty much ride Thomson stems across the board, and I tend to stick with 4-bolt faces. Three of us at our track have broken bolts on two-bolt stems this year and not from weird stuff -- standard aluminum bars and proper use of a torque wrench, etc. Sprinting and kilo starts are a couple good ways to really torque a stem, and the Thomson X4 and Elite are about as stiff and as reliable as they get. A few points:

    The Thomson hardware doesn't rust up, unlike many of the other bolts (including stainless stuff).

    Thomson gives you deep threads (deeper than on the Nitto by a good bit) so you have much more bolt threaded into the stem.

    The stems all differ in the angles available. The old Thomson Elite (with the cam clamps) comes in 0, 5, and 15 degree angles. The X4 basically does the same. The X2 comes in a +/-6 and a +/-17, which basically are the same as the old Elite but with labels on the stem that don't go upside down when you flip the stem. I believe the X2 and X4 top out at 130 mm, while the old Elite goes out to 150 mm (for those who need that kind of thing).

    Be aware that the old Elite has a fairly high stack height of 42 mm. The X2 and X4 have about 39 mm. A Ritchey WCS has 37 and a Deda has 35. (These are measurements from the stems I happen to have around.) If your steer is already cut for a shorter stack height on a different stem, some of the others here may simply not fit (and if you want to play safe, it's better to have the steer go all the way through the stem and through a spacer on top, rather than have it clamp the very top of the steer -- look at pro bikes at the Tour and you'll see most have a 3 or 6 mm spacer on top of the stem as a safety matter).

    As far as stiffness goes, the Elite and the X4 have been the stiffest for me. (The top Australian sprinters are all riding on Thomson X4's these days and they can all max an SRM powermeter at 2500 watts.) The Deda Zero is quite flexy (when Deda says to use the Newton if you need stiffness, that's saying something).

    The drawback to the X2 and X4 is of course that at this point they only come in 31.8 mm bar diameter.

    As for the Nitto, I've used a couple of them and they're OK but not great. I wouldn't say they are up to the quality of a Nitto Jaguar, for example. The clamp will theoretically hold a steel 25.4 mm track bar, but the ferrule on steel track bars isn't always round and needs a stem that will accommodate that (which the Nitto UI5 doesn't score high on -- I'd only use it with alloy Nitto bars). If you want an elegant Nitto stem, check out the steel CT-80. It's a fillet-brazed chrome moly stem that clamps either 25.4 or 31.8 bars and is as stiff as any steel bars and as pretty -- I'd definitely use it with steel bars.

    Just a few thoughts there.

  20. #20
    Ragin' Cajun Southernwayfare's Avatar
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    Damn! I understand that some of you get frustrated about people asking what seem to be idiotic questions over and over but this **** is frustrating. All these different standards!

    Here's my deal - I just got a IRO BFSSFG frame with a 1 1/8 threadless fork. I'd have preferred a threaded for more of the classic look but I've got to work with what I've got. I have a set of Nitto RB-018 bullhorns (26mm) that I definitely like. I was going to use the Thompson Elite but now I see that the Elite doesn't come in 26mm in silver. The Elite X2 only comes in 31.8! I'd prefer not to have shims (seems like something extra to squeak or fail) but it looks like I may have to.

    All of these are more than I need functionally. I'll probably pay for more than I need b/c I want a nice ride. From an asthetic point of view I like the X2 b/c its a little more svelte, not as muscley as the Elite. What about the Nitto MT-17?

    And another thing does a 25.4 mm stem work with a 26mm bar?
    "But I believe in this and it's been tested by research; he who f@#%$ nuns will later join the church"

    Santana Moda and BFSSFG IRO

  21. #21
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    11.4
    with that amount of knowledge I wonder how you can put up with our ******baggery
    {o,o**
    |)__)
    -"-"-

    O RLY?

  22. #22
    Invented the Skid Salute lamalex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southernwayfare View Post
    What about the Nitto MT-17?
    The MT-17 is nice, but the UI-5EX looks nicer depending on the bike. Don't worry about the shim, it's nothing. The UI-5EX has nicer lines than the MT-17, but their both nice stems

    Quote Originally Posted by Southernwayfare View Post
    And another thing does a 25.4 mm stem work with a 26mm bar?
    Not really. you can probably get the bars into the face plate, but it's not going to be pretty, you might end up damaging the stem/bars as well.
    Free as in Freedom, but I'll take your free beer.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southernwayfare View Post
    Damn! I understand that some of you get frustrated about people asking what seem to be idiotic questions over and over but this **** is frustrating. All these different standards!

    Here's my deal - I just got a IRO BFSSFG frame with a 1 1/8 threadless fork. I'd have preferred a threaded for more of the classic look but I've got to work with what I've got. I have a set of Nitto RB-018 bullhorns (26mm) that I definitely like. I was going to use the Thompson Elite but now I see that the Elite doesn't come in 26mm in silver. The Elite X2 only comes in 31.8! I'd prefer not to have shims (seems like something extra to squeak or fail) but it looks like I may have to.

    All of these are more than I need functionally. I'll probably pay for more than I need b/c I want a nice ride. From an asthetic point of view I like the X2 b/c its a little more svelte, not as muscley as the Elite. What about the Nitto MT-17?

    And another thing does a 25.4 mm stem work with a 26mm bar?
    no you need a 26.0

    Check ebay if you can't find one new. Getting a 31.8mm stem when you don't plan on using matching bars is silly. 26.0 is cheaper and will work better.

  24. #24
    MTWThFMuter Jeprox's Avatar
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    Get the Thomson, in silver, not black. I like the Thomson Elite.

    http://www.beyondbikes.com/bb/ItemMa...=CM-STE-sm3203

  25. #25
    Senior Member breakthenorm's Avatar
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    +1 Thomson Elite

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