The front end of any bicycle is made up of a handful of important components, but to me, the importance of a proper stem can sometimes be overlooked. Each part plays an important role in riding; pick a weak fork or one with the wrong offset for your riding style and you'll be throwing at least $100 down the drain. Bars can determine the limits of your pop, or how much your back will hurt after an afternoon session downtown. Headsets keep your steering smooth, and as one of 2 main touch points, the right grips will help keep you in control of your ride, no matter how heated a session might get. But what connects all of these parts? That's right, the stem. To some, it's just a block of aluminum & bolts, but in reality, it's the centerpiece of steering column and keeps everything above & below your head tube tight. Front load, top load, long reach & short rise; these days, there are dozens of options to keep your bars clutching your steer tube, but is the Snafu V2 Top Load stem for you? Keep reading to find out.

Snafu is a brand with a storied history, and their roster of retired stems is, well, interesting to say the least. While stems can sometime be overlooked when building a new bike, they can also be over engineered by the production team. Snafu's ownership changed hands a few years back, and that can be seen by the simplification of their current product line. The days of excessive cutouts and oversized bar clamps are long gone, and the new V2 Top Load is a welcome change to the Snafu catalog. CNC machined from a block of 6061 aluminum, the V2 TL features a length of 48mm and a rise of 25mm, which is a big jump from their original top loader. The new V2 also features beveled edges and a more rounded steer tube clamp, which hopefully does less damage if your knee ever happens to bash your stem. Internal cutouts and machined-yet-solid body helps subtly reduce weight, and recessing the top of the body helps hide your compression cap and keeps your front end clean and clutter-free.

The Snafu V2 Top Load stem is available now, in 3 different colors: black, red, and the ever eye-catching Jet Fuel. Snafu takes a lot of pride in their detanglers & accessories, so it's no surprise that a machined gyro plate is also available. Pick up your V2 Top Load today for just $64.99 (add $5 for Jet Fuel) at your favorite shop or mailorder, and check out for more parts & team news.