I'm a massive Profile Racing fan, all my bikes have Profile Cranks and have had for many years. The lifetime warranty speaks volumes about the Profile products and the company. To me Profile means strength, durability and reliability. It's impressive for a brand like Profile Racing to have such longevity in a sport where just seem to vanish as quickly as they appear on the scene. While most of the older brands have been reanimated after a long hiatis or sold, over and over, so many times that they have lost their identity, Profile remains one of the few brands that just keeps going and it's simply because they make great products that work. Founded in 1968 Profile Racing has been making cranks since 1979 which is...well...forever in the scheme of things. Importantly they are still relevant after all these years with very little change, and are still the most copied crank on the market.
When I first saw the Profile 40 Stem I thought it looked nice, but didn't really think twice about it. I have been running front loader stems for a while, but wanted to get something a little longer than the 53mm stem that I was using and 65mm was just a little too long. When I looked at the options I thought I'd give the 40 a go, I'd never used a Profile stem on a race bike before, and they did such a great job of the quilled stem for old school bikes that it was an option very hard to resist.
With the 40 degree angled cap it's not quite a top loader and not quite a front loader. It has the offset of a front loader and the asthetics of a top loader, but the advantage of the wedge is great allen key access to the cap bolts without the pain of your handlebars getting in the way. The design also aids to reducing the overall weight of the stem, and in comparison to most other high end stems the 40 is one of the lightest.
In some cases light isn't always good, it can lead to flex and reduced strength. The 40 stem has been trimmed right back to keep the weight down, but it's still super stiff and it's strong enough to handle the abuse dished out by this BMXer and many many others. If I was going to feel flex I would normally feel it doing gates or sprints but paired with cromo forks the set up is as stiff as it comes. (I do run my stem lower than most, but because I run taller bars I can get away with it.)
The Profile 40 stem comes in a huge range of vibrant colours, some of which might have to be ordered, but will be worth the wait. The sleek/minimalist design gives it classic look with a modern twist which works for me.
The 40 stem is named for it's 40 degree angled cap.
How do I rate the stem? It's got to be one of the better stems I have used, right up there with S&M, Supercross and Snap but with a wider range of colours and in most cases a wider range of sizes too. It's a great option for anyone looking to keep their bars low and keep the weight down.
|Value for money:||5/5|
Profile Racing products are distributed in Australia by Elite Cycle Imports (ECI) www.eciimports.com
Reviewed by Shane Jenkins/bmxultra.com April 12, 2012