Zipp's entire Service Course line proves that aluminum still has a place in cycling componentry — it will never be as light as carbon, sure, but it will never be as expensive either, and that's enough of a reason for us to stand behind it. Zipp strikes an admirable balance between cost, weight, and performance with the Service Course SL Alloy Stem, which features a 3D-forged 7075 aluminum construction to give it a mix of superb strength and stiffness inspired by kit built for the peloton.
Both stems in the Service Course line are built in the same tooling, with smooth lines and a newly redesigned faceplate with enough negative space to for easy handlebar orientation. Compared to the pedestrian version, the Service Course SL stem drops some grams with CNC-machining and by replacing the stainless steel Torx bolts with titanium.
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As we all know, Zipp makes some of the absolute best carbon road wheelsets in the world. They also make fantastic cockpit components (stem, bar, seatpost).
The "Service Course" SL is simply one of the BEST road stems made in the cycling world -especially for the price.
Super high quality (3-D forged, aircraft grade, 7050 aluminum alloy), strong, light weight (only ~125 g, as light as some carbon stems!) ...and... affordable. That is a combination that is hard to beat.
In addition, Zipp's Service Course SL stem in their "beyond black" finish is absolutely stunning, one of the best looking road stems on the market today. This is bike jewelry.
Install note: This stem is a high-tech work of art. I strongly rec the use a quality torque wrench or one of Park's excellent new torque keys ($45) to tighten the bolts down to spec (6 Nm max torque).
If you have a carbon handlebar, then add a swipe of Finish Line grip paste (better than Park's and only $7/tube) to the stem/bar interface. Don't over tighten! And you don't need to if you use a torque key and grip paste.