UNO ASA-105 Stem (31.8)

uno steel
UNO ASA-105 100mm

This 100mm stem weighs only 107g, saving up to 53g over an OEM stem. They are made by Kalloy, a major OEM supplier of components like stems, seatposts and bars. Fit and finish are good, they meet CEN standards. UNO is their own house brand, but you can also find these rebranded for much more money. Comes in a wide variety of lengths 80-130mm, in both 7° and 17° versions. While not the best value if replacing purely for weight reduction, if you need to change stems for fitting purposes, you will most likely end up paying more for a heavier stem buying anything else. They come with different logos depending on year. There is another version of the stem that looks almost identical, but is slightly heavier and made from 6061, the ASA-025. At $21, and saving 2.5g per dollar, it represents a good value, moderate cost upgrade. They can be found on eBay. If you can’t wait for overseas shipping you can pay a premium for a similar OS stem made by Kalloy from Nashbar or Performance Bike.

stem
Stock Stem

 

Overview:

Price: $21 [Moderate Cost]

Value: 2.5g/$ ($0.40/g) [Good Value]

✔ Recommended

 

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Veloplugs

This rim-strip alternative weighs 7g for 44 pieces, saving up to 31 grams over rim tape. Velocity, the makers of Veloplugs, touts many advantages to Veloplugs including extreme blowout strength, easier tire mounting and easy spoke access. Obviously these aren’t for tubeless. They come in two sizes, red and yellow, which fit different size holes, and may or may not fit your rims. If the fit is particularly loose, it’s not unheard of to drop a veloplug while changing a tube. However, when they work they are great, the issue with Veloplugs are mostly compatibility issues. You get 72 in a set. At $12 saving 2.6g per dollar, it represents an good value, moderate cost upgrade. They can be purchased online or through your LBS.

rim tape
One rim-strip

Overview:

Price: $12 [Moderate Cost]

Value: 2.6g/$ ($0.39/g) [Good Value]

✔ Recommended with caveats

Compatible with most, but not all rims. Be sure to buy the appropriate color or the hole size.

J&L 36g Skewers

JL skewers
J&L 36g Skewers

These titanium skewers weigh only 36g, saving up to 82g over generic steel skewers. Build quality is unimpressive. On one set, the recess for the springs was not large enough for the springs, and the threads were different pitches. The other set had plastic washers. On both, the machining accuracy of the levers was poor and not well aligned. These have additional weight reduction over the generic titanium skewers because they are turned down to be narrower in the middle, and have a light weight titanium lever. The alloy faces have very little bite, but skewers are not through-axles, and mostly intended to apply compression force on the dropouts. If working as intended, it is the friction between the serrated steel nut on the hub and the dropouts that holds the wheel in place, not the friction of the skewer. However, these may not be strong enough for horizontal dropouts. I dislike the round profile springs that come with these and usually use the flat spring that come with the original skewers. At $36, they cost $26 more than the generic titanium skewers for an addition weight savings of only 14g making this a relatively poor value, high cost upgrade. It can be found on eBay.

generic skewers

Generic Steel Skewers

 

Overview:

Price: $36 [High Cost]

Value: 2.7g/$ ($0.44/g) [Good Value]

✘ Not Recommended

While they do work, the generic titanium skewers are simply a better value and better quality. Only consider these if you need to lose every last gram. If you carry a multi-tool, and don’t have a team mechanic to hand you a new wheel, consider using titanium hex skewers which are of similar weight.

J&L Carbon Steer Expander

jl plug
J&L Expander Plug

The J&L expander plug for carbon forks weighs only 7g, saving up to 34 grams over a generic alloy expander plug. The minimal design resembles the Extralite expander, at a fraction of the cost. However, this design does not offer as much support as the generic plug. If you have a fork with an aluminum steerer, a star nut weights about $10, making this a poor value. If you are concerned about breaking your carbon steerer, this plug is not recommended. Consult the manufacturer if their fork requires an expander plug to reinforce the clamping area. At $13, and saving 2.6g per dollar, it represents a good value, moderate cost upgrade. It can be purchased on eBay.

generic plug
J&L Expander Plug

 

Overview:

Price: $13 [Moderate Cost]

Value: 2.6g/$ (0.38$/g) [Good Value]

✔ Recommended with caveats

This expander does not offer as much structural support as a stock expander. Some manufacturers may require the carbon steerer be supported from the inside with a full length expander plug.

J&L Top Cap

JL topcap
J&L Top Cap

The J&L alloy headset cap weighs only 8g including bolt and features an extra light weight CNC machined top cap, with an aluminum M6 bolt, saving up to 10 grams over a generic alloy top cap with steel bolt. The cap itself is not much heavier than a carbon fiber top cap, much of the weight savings comes from replacing the steel bolt with an aluminum one which is 1/3 the weight. This bolt is non-structural, and only serves to lightly pre-load the headset before tightening the stem, and to keep the top cap on. The domed design looks generic, but it is available in multiple colors. At only $5, and saving 2g per dollar, it represents a good value, very low cost upgrade. It can be purchased on eBay.

generic top cap
Generic Top Cap

 

Overview:

Price: $5 [Very Low Cost]

Value: 2g/$ ($0.50/g) [Good Value]

✔ Recommended