Sneak Peek at the new Farr HeadSpace Stem
With an unmistakable resemblance to an 80s slingshot stem, the new Farr HeadSpace Stem offers a unique and modern take on a classic. We’ve put together a sneak peek at this unusual stem after trying it out for a while…
I’ve tested several products from Farr over the last year, and I’m always looking forward to the next one. I appreciate their unique approach to product design, as the majority of their components are interesting, useful, or at the very least stir up a lot of discussion. Farr’s Carbon Aero Bolt-On got the ball rolling, which saw a lot of action in the comments section, followed by the more affordable Alloy Aero Bolt-On and several interesting handlebars they’ve released this year. Farr has developed quite the reputation and it’s been fun to follow along.
The new Farr Headspace Stem requires no introduction—what you see is what you get. The Y-shaped stem has a forged alloy construction with CNC finishing and features a top-down bar clamp that cleverly hides the bolts underneath the faceplates. The design is influenced by early mountain bike stems from SR and NITTO, as well as motos with twin strut and two clamps.
It’s based around a standard 31.8mm clamp size, 70mm length, and the prototype I have weighs in at 183.5 grams. The machining and overall design are pretty clean. It has smooth edges and some of the larger sections are machined out to save weight. Although 180 grams isn’t particularly light for an aluminum stem, it’s not that bad considering its size and shape. I was expecting it to weigh more. Farr has actually confirmed that the final design will weigh in at 166 grams, after the holes on the underside of the stem have machined all the way through. The overall design is quite stiff, so Farr said they could afford to lose some more weight.
What does this sem do that other stems can’t? Besides providing an opportunity to bring back a classic and to add some extra flair to your current setup, not much. It’s a cool stem and provides a bullmoose style finish to any old bar, which I think looks really slick. The only other benefit I can see is the space cleared up in the centre of the bar, which would make a really nice spot to mount a light or GPS device. Unfortunately, there is a lower brace on the underside of the stem that will get in the way of most mountable accessories—it would be cool to see some sort of integrated mounting option on a future version. Of course, the hole in the centre of the stem also makes for some damn clean cantilever brake line routing as well, which is perhaps the most surprising benefit I’ve discovered.
It definitely blurs the line between old school and modern bike components. Farr mentioned that the 70mm length was meant to fit gravel bikes being pushed further into mountain bike territory without being impossibly long to run on an actual mountain bike. This definitely has some merit. I expect most people will be interested in the stem for aesthetic reasons more than fit-related ones, and will instead opt to find a bar that works alongside it.
The biggest downside that I’ve discovered is fitment issues. The bar clamp width is much wider than a traditional stem, at just about 70mm, which made finding a compatible bar kind of tricky. Bars with rise tend to start curving and/or tapering pretty quickly, and lots of bars have a narrow clamping surface designed to mate cleanly with a traditional stem. Even the Why Cycles Titanium Handlebar is cutting it pretty close, and it has a nice wide clamping area. Farr claims that it should be compatible with most drop bars and flat / low-rise mountain bike bars, but it’s definitely worth taking some measurements first.
- Unique design and funky overall look
- Clean machining with no sharp edges
- Modern 31.8mm bar clamp
- Makes any bar a bullmoose bar!
- Limited compatibility due to extra wide clamp area
- Only offered in one length
- No particular benefit to the user
- Material: Aluminum
- Weight (as tested): 183.5 grams
- Weight (final): 166.3 grams
- Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
- Price: $95 USD
- Manufacturer’s Details: RideFarr.com
The Farr HeadSpace Stem doesn’t solve any problems or provide any improvement to your bike’s performance. Although it does a stand-up job at keeping your handlebars on your bike, it has some compatibility issues due to its extra-wide clamping area. So, what’s the point? It looks pretty dang cool and might provide the little dash of cockpit flair you’ve been searching for!
Stay tuned for more details on availability and ordering info, preorders are expected to open soon. We’ll make sure to let everyone know when that happens. For anyone who wants more information ahead of that, you can contact Farr via email at makeevery [AT] ridefarr.com.
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