Should You Use A Top Load Or Front Load BMX Stem

Top Load Or Front Load BMX Stem

If you’re a new BMX rider who is looking to build their own bike setup, you may be questioning whether you should use a top load or front load BMX stem?

When trying to decide between a front load or top load BMX stem, you should consider their beneficial attributes and drawbacks.

If you want to learn about the notable differences between top load and front load BMX stems, then we have simplified them in the article down below.

Difference Between Front Load And Top Load BMX Stems

The one key difference when you’re comparing both BMX stems is that they have different stack heights. A BMX stem stack height refers to the handlebars clamp position on the stem component. You’ll find that top load BMX stems have a higher stack than a front load stem. This then leads to you being able to simply increase the height of your bars.

Difference Between Front Load And Top Load BMX Stems

Alternatively, a front load BMX stem have their handlebars clamp position on the front of the stem competent, which as a result gives you a lower riding position when compared to a to load BMX stem.

Are Top Load BMX Stems Stronger Than Front Load Stems?

Many riders make the argument that to load stems are much stronger than front load stems. This is because of its structure where you’ll have to remove the front plate, through unscrewing the horizontal bolts in order to release the handlebars.

This then means that horizontal bolts used to hold clamp down, are the pressure points from any high impact landings that you may have. In comparison a top load stem’s impact is absorbed by the metal block.

Are Top Load BMX Stems Stronger Than Front Load Stems?

The reason why to load BMX stems obtain impacts better is believed to be because of their top plate mounted design with vertical bolts to securely fit a BMX handlebar. Although due to this design, the handlebars are above the stem, which means that your handlebars are higher than a front loaded stem.

BMX Stem Guide

Whatever your decision may come to, its important to bear certain aspects of BMX stem in mind so that you can find the best BMX stem for your setup.

BMX Stem Reach

It’s important to understand the consequences of your reach when choosing a BMX stem. This is because using a larger stem, will produce more leverage at the front of your BMX as the measurement between your forks and handlebars is greater.

In simpler terms, this could lead to our BMX being more sluggish when trying to preform simple BMX tricks, although can be beneficial for big dirt jump or freestyle BMX riders.

Position Of Handlebars

This can be a deal breaker between you choosing a BMX stem for some riders. This is because if you prefer riding a BMX with higher handlebars, then choosing to use a top load BMX stem is a no brainier.

Top Load BMX Bike Stems

Where as if you prefer to have a lower body and handlebar position on your bike, then the better preferential choice would be to purchase a front load BMX stem. More details between the two can be found in this article here.

Top Load Or Front Load BMX Stem Design

A final factor that may alter your choice in what BMX stem that you may choose to purchase might be a design aesthetic appeal. Moreover you may choose to purchase one that has been constructed using Aluminum, opposed to cheaper steel.


Many BMX riders may purely base their purchase decision of a stem on their aesthetic preferences only, without factoring in how it can effect your riding comfort and performance. Ultimately both BMX stems share very similar properties and abilities, one will not out-preform the other. However it is a good idea to upgrade your BMX stem to a stronger and lighter version, as most factory/stock ones aren’t to a great standard.

ridersvibe author

Written By Jon

About the Author

Jon is a BMX and skateboarding enthusiast hat has been riding and skating for over 10 years. He has been around the block from trail, flatland and race BMXing. He has also street skated for many years. He is determined to find the best solutions for quick jobs on the go when riding or skating by using the latest products.

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