Topload stems are where it’s at for pop and lift. Broc Raiford is a man who knows a lot about these two things. “Broc can bunnyhop over a house." Yeah, pretty much. He approaches street riding with power and precision. He can get his pegs on some very tall stuff, hop onto / over things most people wouldn’t have a hope in hell of coming close to, and somehow does all this without it seeming like too much of an effort. Put simply, he has pop, that’s for sure.
Odyssey have got it dialled. Their product design has to be among the best in BMX, they’ve pioneered several technologies and seem to hold more patents in their inventions than many other brands. It’s been said that Odyssey (and their family of GSPORT and Sunday) are at the forefront of BMX product design, and we wouldn’t really argue with that.
“As soon as the guys at Odyssey told me I could have a signature stem, I got to drawing up what I thought would be the perfect stem for me and what I would want to ride." –Broc Raiford
Using Odyssey’s popular TL48 stem as a kind of benchmark, the RAFT stem is a classic top load design with 50mm of reach and a 30mm rise.
“Topload stems are where it’s at for pop and lift. Broc Raiford is a man who knows a lot about these two things."
Although not as extreme as the original 48mm design, 50mm reach is definitely towards the short side of things. Broc is often seen balancing on the front end, so this makes sense for him and his style of riding.
“It’s the perfect reach for nose manuals and also the perfect height – it’s a well-rounded stem for anything you want to do." –Broc Raiford
Looks wise, we love this stem. The fact that Odyssey kept the clamp plate plain is interesting, with just a subtle ODSY logo and the word RAFT etched nicely behind the clamp. The recess for the preload bolt works nicely here and makes the whole design fit together as a sleek, solid stem.
Love the look but not the specs? Check the other Odyssey stems for similar designs with different geometry.