BMX Parts

12 Best BMX Top Load Stems (In 2024)

bmx top load stems

Are you looking for the best BMX top load stems because you want to raise your front end?

You find the most promising options without the need to visit multiple sites.


I am riding a top load stem for a very long time and absolutely love it. I’ll never go with a front load BMX stem again.

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(Note #1: If you pay close attention, many (or the majority?) of pros have front-ends pretty high. Did you notice?)

Personally, I would never go back. But I am not saying you should go with this stem style and ditch the front load.

This post covers:

Example: You can also go higher with a front load, adding spacers and a 10 inch BMX bar.

It’s entirely up to you! I am just saying what I like.

I selected the best 15 top load stems currently available on the market that you cannot go wrong with.

Some are higher, some are longer, some are forged, and some are CNC’d – but ALL are DOPE!

The Best BMX Top Load Stems

1. Shadow Treymone Stem

shadow treymone topload stem
The Treymone stem is a collaborative signature stem from Shadow for Trey Jones and Simone Barraco.

Both riders liked the geometry of Shadow’s already existing Ravager stem. However, they wanted to make some changes seen in the Treymone.

This one is a top load stem from Shadow that features a 27mm rise and a reach of 51mm. The stem is cold forged and CNC machined of 6061-T6 aluminum and weighs 11.5oz.

Treymone stem specs:

  • Rise: 27mm
  • Reach: 51mm
  • Stack Height: 28.5mm
  • Weight: 11.5oz
  • Price: $41.99 (may vary)

2. Odyssey BOYD Stem

odyssey boyd stem
The Odyssey BOYD stem is the very own Boyd Hilder‘s signature top load.

Because Boyd is a taller rider, he wanted his stem to meet his riding style, so he created a slightly larger one. It features a 30mm rise and a 52mm reach.

It is made of CNC machined 6061-T6 Aluminum block with a unique surface on the inside to guarantee great handlebar grip.

BOYD stem specs:

  • Rise: 30mm
  • Reach: 52mm
  • Weight: TBA
  • Price: $69.99 (may vary)

3. Cinema Martinez Stem

cinema martinez stem
Here I have Corey Martinez’s signature Martinez Stem from Cinema. This one features a lower than normal rise for a top load stem at 22mm which can be flipped to sit at 88mm of rise.

This one has solid oversized bolts and you know if Corey Martinez trusts this stem for his riding, it’s probably going to work out great for you!

Cinema Martinez stem specs:

  • Rise: 22mm
  • Reach: 48mm
  • Stack Height: 30mm
  • Weight: 10.9oz
  • Price: $64.99 (may vary)

4. BSD Stacked Stem

bsd stacked stem
Here is BSD’s tallest reach stem offering in the Stacked Stem. This one features a 33mm rise meant to stack your bars up; pun intended.

The Stacked Stem is available with the conventional ⅞” clamping area for the handlebars and the oversized 1″ clamping area. It is also available in black, raw, or polished.

Stacked Stem specs:

  • Rise: 33mm
  • Reach: 50mm
  • Weight: 11oz
  • Price: $67.99 (may vary)

5. Cult Max Vu

cult max vu stem
If you like the very clean look of your bike then Cult’s Max stem is the perfect top load stem solution for you. The bolts that screw into the cap screw from the bottom side, which gives the Max stem a very minimalist look.

This stem also has a shorter reach at 43mm, which means a more responsive front-end. (Great for spins and nose manual stuff.)

Max Vu stem specs:

  • Rise: 30.6mm
  • Reach: 43mm
  • Stack Height: 30mm
  • Weight: TBC
  • Price: $69.99 (may vary)

6. Odyssey Broc V2 Stem

odyssey broc v2 stem
The Broc V2 Stem from Odyssey is the second version of the original Broc Stem with an updated rise of 33mm and some changes in shape.

The bolts in this one have also been upgraded to have larger bolt heads. The reach on the Broc V2 comes in at 50mm, with the stem being made of CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminum.

You know if Broc Raiford can trust it, you can too!

Broc V2 stem specs:

  • Rise: 33mm
  • Reach: 50mm
  • Weight: 12.15oz
  • Price: $69.99 (may vary)

7. Sunday Freeze Stem

sunday bikes freeze topload stem
The Freeze Stem from Sunday has been a staple affordable top load stem in BMX for many years. The stem features a die cast aluminum body with a forged aluminum top plate.

The Freeze has a reach of 48mm and a rise of 34mm with a weight of 10.5oz. This basic stem has been around for quite some time as a very affordable stem option.

Freeze stem specs:

  • Rise: 34mm
  • Reach: 48mm
  • Stack Height: 33mm
  • Weight: 10.5oz
  • Price: $29.99 (may vary)

8. Cult Salvation Stem

cult forged salvation stem
The Salvation stem from Cult is an affordable stem in their lineup made from forged aluminum to keep costs down.

This one has a recessed compression cap area, solid bolts, a 32mm rise, a 51mm reach and comes in at $39.99.

There’s not much more to say about this stem as it is meant to be a basic and affordable stem, so if that’s what you need, be sure to check it out!

Salvation stem specs:

  • Rise: 32mm
  • Reach: 51mm
  • Weight: 10.4oz
  • Price: $44.99 (may vary)

9. S&M’s Enduro V.2 Stem

s and m enduro v2 stem
S&M’s Enduro V.2 Stem offers 4 different reach options from 40mm all the way up to 55mm and comes in at an updated rise of 34mm.

The V.2 also features less external machining than the previous and internal machining.

There is something for anyone regarding the Enduro stem with so many different reach options available.

Note: A stem I rode the longest.

Enduro V.2 stem specs:

  • Rise: 34mm
  • Reach: 40mm, 49mm, 52mm, 55mm
  • Weight: (40mm / 11.7oz) (49mm / 12.9oz) (52mm / 13.4oz) (55mm / 13.8oz)
  • Price: $64.95 (may vary)

10. Fiction Spartan XS TL Stem

fiction spartan xs tl stem
The Spartan top load stem from Fiction features a 30mm rise and is made from full CNC machined 6061 Aluminum.

The Spartan has a reach of 40mm and features a rounded pinch bolt area, making it knee-friendly.

The stem also comes with solid bolts, with the weight coming in at 9.2oz.

Spartan stem specs:

  • Rise: 30mm
  • Reach: 40mm
  • Weight: 9.2oz
  • Price: $24.99 (may vary)

11. Shadow ODIN

shadow odin stem
The Shadow Conspiracy’s Odin stem is perfect if you’re looking for an affordable but solid stem. It features everything a higher-priced stem features.

You can get it in two different colors (the polished one is dope!) and features reach size at 48mm. It’s a pretty standard (6-bolt system) and quite a high stem, which is something I really like.

Plus, round edges are very knee-friendly.

ODIN stem specs:

  • Rise: 36mm
  • Reach: 48mm
  • Stack Height: 32mm
  • Weight: 11.7oz
  • Price: $40.99 (may vary)

12. Profile Push

profile racing push stem
Profile Push stem is the first top load BMX stem that I had (MANY years ago). It’s the very Mark Mulville’s signature stem!

What’s really cool about the Push stem is that it’s made in USA. But there’s more.

Not only is it available in multiple awesome colors, but you can also pick from various reaches, so there’s something for everyone.

If you’re ready to put some fine machinery on your bike, the Push stem is the one!

Push stem specs:

  • Rise: 31.7mm
  • Reach: 48mm, 53mm, 58mm, 63mm
  • Weight: 9.9oz (48mm)
  • Price: $73.99 (may vary)

How To Pick The Right BMX Top Load Stem?

Are you in the process of getting a new top load stem but don’t know which to pick?

Or you’re maybe switching from a front load to a top load and, again, don’t know which would be the best option?

Here are my tips that’ll help you choose the right one.

1. Length

Many riders neglect the length of a stem when it comes to top loads. The majority are all about the rise.

I also didn’t care about the length, and that was just a few years ago.

A longer stem means more stability, and a shorter stem means more responsiveness.

I recommend going with a longer top load stem if you’re more into trails, bowls, and riding transitions in general. But this also applies if you’re a very tall rider.

Another option of going with a longer stem is if you bought a frame with a too short top tube length (and vice versa). You can compensate with a longer stem.

Why would you need a shorter stem?

If you are more into street riding and do a lot of spins and front wheel stuff (read technical stuff). A shorter stem will help you with that.

In short, the length of a stem can be used both for the bike’s feel and handling.

2. Rise

The rise of a top load BMX stem will define how high or low your handlebar holds.

But here’s the thing, while you cannot do anything about the length, you can still play with the rise.


Add or remove spacers if you bought the wrong size.

I like my front-end high, and I see many pro BMX riders like it the same way. It just makes riding a lot easier and more comfortable.

My current setup: BSD’s 10-inch BMX bar (Raider), S&M Enduro V.2 stem (34mm rise), Animal Skyline headset (15mm dust cap) + 5mm spacer.

Note: You cannot go too wrong with the rise of the stem (play with spacers) like you can fvck it up with the length.

3. Clamping Diameter

This is only getting more and more popular with the modern oversized (OS) clamping system.

Traditional clamping: 7/8″ (still most bars & stems)
OS clamping: 1″

Do you need OS clamping? No.

But if you’re buying a new 10″ bar and a new stem, I’d recommend opting for OS (especially if you do a lot of gaps and burly stuff).

I’ll definitely try the OS system when I decide to replace them.

Attention: Your bar and stem must be compatible with the OS clamping system. Otherwise, they won’t fit.

4. Stem Material

Okay, here’s the thing that I didn’t know until recently.

All BMX stems are from Aluminum. BUT! Some are forged, and some are CNC machined.

Usually, forged stems and cheaper than CNC machined.

I only bought a forged top load stem because it offered a higher rise. However, it somehow didn’t feel right from the beginning.

The gripping wasn’t as strong as it is with a CNC machined one.

Don’t get me wrong, it still worked really well, but I cannot imagine someone who’s really heavy (gaps, drops, etc.) into streets using it. But if you’re into technical street riding, then you’re good to go.

My recommendation is: Pay a little more and go with a CNC machined stem. (It also looks better.)

How To Make A BMX Top Load Stem Last Longer

To ensure that your BMX top load stem lasts as long as possible, perform regular maintenance and use proper installation techniques.

Here are some tips for maintaining the longevity of your stem:

1. Proper Installation

Ensure to tighten all stem bolts to the appropriate level. Over-tightening can lead to damage, whereas under-tightening might result in handlebar slippage and irregular wear.

When securing the handlebar with the four bolts, use a cross-pattern approach. Incrementally tighten each bolt to ensure the space between the top and bottom remains uniform.

Apply this method to the two bolts clamping onto the steerer tube as well. Alternate between them, slightly tightening the top, then the bottom, then back to the top, and continue in this manner.

The same principle applies when loosening the bolts: never completely loosen the top bolt first to avoid putting excessive pressure on the second bolt and its threads.

2. Regular Inspections

Periodically check the stem bolts for tightness, as vibrations from riding can cause them to loosen over time.

Also, inspect the stem for any signs of cracks or damage, especially after crashes or hard riding sessions.

3. Correct Handlebar Size

Use handlebars that match the diameter for which the stem is designed.

With OS (oversized) clamping, some riders buy the wrong stem that doesn’t fit the bar. Both the stem and the handlebar must have the same clamping area diameter to be compatible.

4. Smooth Riding Technique

Avoid putting unnecessary stress on the stem using proper technique, especially when landing jumps and performing tricks.

In short, learn landing tricks smoothly.

Even though BMX stems are designed to withstand a lot of abuse, extreme impacts can shorten their lifespan.

Important: Do NOT throw your bike as it can damage your bar and stem!

5. Use Anti-Seize Compound

When installing, use an anti-seize compound on the bolts to prevent them from seizing up. This is particularly important in climates with high humidity or salt air.

Luckily, most modern top load stems come with pre-greased bolts.

6. Avoid Unnecessary Adjustments

Frequent disassembly and reassembly of the stem can lead to wear on the bolts and clamp areas. Only adjust your stem when necessary.

Also, don’t modify your stem because you can drastically shorten its lifespan. (For instance, drilling holes into the stem to make it lighter. Just. Don’t.)

7. Store Properly

When you’re not riding, store your BMX in a dry, temperate area to prevent rust and corrosion.

By following these tips, you can significantly extend the life of your BMX top load stem and maintain a safe and enjoyable riding experience.

FAQs About BMX Top Load Stems

Are Top Load Stems Good?

Yes, top load BMX stems are really good, especially if you want to raise your front end. I like my front end high, so running a top load and 2 spacers.

How Are BMX Stems Measured?

The most important measurements are reach and rise. Reach tells you how long the stem is and rise how high.

You will also find mentioning stack height, which is the height of the stem area that clamps around your fork. (Not as important as reach and rise when buying a stem.)

What are the advantages of using a top load stem in BMX?

Top load stems offer a higher rise than front load stems, which elevates the handlebar height. This higher position can provide more control and comfort, especially for taller riders or those preferring an upright riding stance.

How do I choose the correct length for a top load BMX stem?

The correct length of a top load stem depends on your riding style and personal preference. A shorter stem (around 48-50mm) offers quicker steering response, making it suitable for technical tricks and tight turns. A longer stem (over 50mm) provides more stability, which can be beneficial for transitions or high-speed riding.

Are there weight differences between top load & front load BMX stems?

Generally, the weight difference between top load and front load stems is minimal and might not significantly impact the overall weight of the bike. Top load stems might be slightly heavier due to the additional material for the higher rise, but advancements in design and materials keep the weight difference negligible.

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The BMX Dude (TBD) is led by Rok Krivec, with over 20 years of experience in riding bicycle motocross. TBD has been creating high-quality BMX content since 2019 with one goal: To have The Best videos, products, tips & tricks in one location.