Despite the site's name, we don't set out on every ride with a purely competitive mindset. But when we do, we definitely pay attention to every last detail of our frame, kit, etc. That's because we want to be sure that the only thing holding us back is ourselves--otherwise, we'll never know what our true limits are, only the limits of our equipment. Black Inc has a similar approach to building that equipment, and the brand's Carbon Stem proves the point. The carbon parts of the stem are made entirely in-house, with no outsourcing of design, construction, or finishing. That means that every detail is sufficiently sweated to ensure that, when you clamp it onto your race bike, you've got one less suspect item to worry about on the road. Black Inc is so draconian about maintaining the pristine state of its carbon that it doesn't even use threaded inserts to anchor the titanium steerer clamp bolts; instead, the brand uses external nuts, keeping structural integrity as high as possible to help ensure that your legs will fail long before the stem does.