Easton Havoc 35 Stem $99.95
The new standard?
How do you make a single block of aluminum into a revolution? With a CNC machine and a ton of innovation. That was Easton’s approach, anyway, when it set out to build the first over-oversized stem, the Havoc 35.
The friendly folks at Easton noted that handlebars, especially DH bars, were getting wider and wider and nothing was being done to alleviate the added stress caused by the increasing leverage ratios. 26.8mm clamps were fine when handlebars were 550mm wide. As most bars crept up to 650 and 700mm, the standard became a 31.8mm clamp. These days, however, it seems like everyone on the trail has a 750mm bar with the same 31.8mm clamp, and it’s being overwhelmed. So, leave it to the designers at Easton to introduce the 35mm clamp along with their new 800mm bars. At nearly 10 inches wider than some XC bars in the early ‘90s, these super-wide bars give the rider buckets of stability and steering leverage, thus the new clamp size.
The Havoc also boasts Easton’s Distributed Stress Technology. Clamping forces are distributed over a wider area of the handlebar. This makes the bars less likely to fail and creates a stiffer bar/stem interface. It also works really well with carbon and lightweight bars. Another innovation is Easton’s Top-Lock Technology. The stem body and faceplate have corresponding shapes that lock together to add grip and increase stiffness.
More than just a pretty face(plate), the Easton Havoc 35 Stem presents innovative and exciting solutions to some problems that date back to the dawn of mountain biking. While the 35mm clamp has a long way to go before it’s considered the industry standard, we feel that it has a pretty good shot because it’s one of the few ideas that we’ve seen that appears to have all benefits with no real drawbacks. The havoc 35 weighs 190 grams. It’s 50mm and is available in Black or Orange Anodized.
What community has to say
Beautiful machining, needs more options
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I purchased the Havoc 35 bar and stem in black. This stem is a work of art and the machining work is top notch. If you like to build pretty bikes, then this is the stem du jour for you. However I would also recommend this stem if you like to thrash your bikes, since it's also burly, stiff, and light. The stem is much lighter than it looks like it should be, nobody at my office could believe how little it weighed after picking it up. Not quite down to Thomson weight levels, but Thomson doesn't make a 35mm stem yet so there is nothing to compare it against.
Now the bad: the Havoc 35 is the widest carbon bar on the market, I'm a very tall rider so the extra width works great for me. However, the Havoc 35 bar is only compatible with the Havoc 35 stem since Easton is pioneering the 35mm over-over-sized bars and no other manufacturers have gotten on board with the new size yet. Easton only makes the Havoc 35 in a 50mm length, so your only options are orange or black. If you need or prefer a longer stem, wait to buy this until Easton starts making more length options or until Thomson/Race Face/Truvativ/Ritchey/Hope/etc adopt the 35mm size .
UPDATE 8/29/13: MRP just announced a 35mm stem and handlebar at Eurobike 2013. No word on sizes yet, but at least one other component company is following Easton's lead. Scroll to the bottom of the article below for coverage.