If you are putting together a new trail bike or dirt jump hardtail built for some aggressive riding, finding the right stem is the perfect way to finish off your build. There are plenty of high quality stems out there from brands like Deity, Renthal, RaceFace, and Thompson to name a few. We think Deity is a pretty rad company and so we had our guy Max Morgan write up a review on the Deity Cavity Stem that he is currently riding on his dirt jumper. To learn more about the team behind Deity Components, listen to Vital MTB's Inside The Line Podcast with Eric Davies!
Deity Components introduced a completely new lineup of premium products in 2017 with all new handlebars, grips, stems, saddles, and seat posts. The Deity Cavity Stem is one of the few products that remained in the product lineup when Deity launched this all new look. The Cavity stem uses high level machining, a strong two piece design, and tough styling. Deity designed the Cavity stem to balance strength, function, and attention to detail.
I've got the Deity Cavity Stem mounted up on my Specialized P3 hardtail dirt jumper. I've been riding this same P3 frame since 2012 and it's seen a few different builds in its lifetime. This bike is a blast to ride in the skatepark, the pumptrack, and at the dirt jumps. The Cavity stem is paired with Deity Blacklabel handlebars that are cut down to 780mm wide and feature a 25mm rise. I've been riding this setup with the Cavity stem for 2 years.
The bike is outfitted with a Fox 831 fork, which is essentially a 36 chassis lowered down to 100mm of travel. My 831 fork is running the HSC/LSC damper and a 20mm fork axle. The P3 is finished off with Industry Nine Enduro wheels, and Maxxis tires.
Installing the Deity Cavity stem was as straight forward as it get. Tolerances with the stem were spot on. The stem slid on to the steerer tube without much effort, and when bolting up the faceplate for the handlebars, everything felt good and solid. I decided to mount the stem in the 0mm rise configuration to get the bar height as high as possible.
The 5mm hardware from Deity is the same across all of their parts and feels like nice quality. The head of the stem bolts are deep enough that when installing the stem, you aren't really worried about stripping out bolts. Once the handlebars were mounted on the stem, the center point on the stem faceplate matched up nicely with the decals on the Blacklabel handlebars, making it easy to get the bars centered and rolled to a comfortable position.
The fit and finish of the stem just looks and feels like it's a premium product. The level of detail in the machining is what you would expect out of a high quality stem. Overall, I have been impressed with how the stem fits on the bike. Maybe that should go without saying but there were no surprises when mounting up Deity's Cavity stem.
Over the last couple of year I've ridden the Cavity stem on both my trail bikes and my hardtail. Right now I've got it mounted up on my hardtail and it has certainly been taking a beating. The wide faceplate gives the handlebars a strong and stable feel, allowing the bars to flex like they are supposed to. There are plenty of components on your bike are designed to be compliant, helping to absorb impacts and vibrations. For example, the tires, wheels, and handlebars all give some compliance, but the stem should not.
I never had any issues with any of the stem bolts working their way loose, either on the pinch bolts or faceplate. When torqued properly, the handlebar never rolled or wanted to move around in the stem. This stem just works! It feels nice and secure and I think the stout looks go nicely with the hardtail.
Since the introduction of the newer Deity Copperhead stem, it's nice to see that Deity now has two different stem offerings. For the most part, the two stems share a lot of the same performance features. The Cavity stem still holds on to a little more versatility with the ability to be flipped over to adjust rise, but the Copperhead stem comes in with an updated look and streamlined aesthetics.
How much can you really say about a stem? There haven't been any surprises installing or riding the Deity Cavity stem. Seamless installation, a high level of machining and attention detail, and extreme durability make the Cavity stem a premium product. The Cavity has been a staple in the Deity product lineup for years now and for good reason. It's designed to be thrashed, ridden hard, and is up for any challenge. What else could you really ask for? Well, maybe a 35mm clamp diameter! We've heard there is more coming down the pipeline soon.
Max Morgan is 26 years old, and lives in Brevard, North Carolina. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the age of 15. He has now been racing professionally for the last 8 years, competing in the UCI World Cup series and U.S. Pro GRT series. To learn more about Max, check out Max's rider spotlight here!