The Silca Mensola computer mount is a showcase of what can be done with the latest 3D printing technology. For its intended purpose – as a cycling computer mount – it’s total overkill for the vast majority. If you happen to be flush, and want a neat way to finish off that super-high-end bike you’ve just bought, then you’ll be rewarded with a pretty special computer mount that’s tailored to your bike.
Not satisfied with your current computer mount, and want something a little different? The Mensola is billed as ‘The world’s smartest computer mount’. It’s 3D printed in 6Al/4V titanium, which makes it strong, and it’s also pretty light, if not weight-weenie territory.
It’s also pretty insane looking. Ignoring the comments already covered on this site about its likeness to certain objects at particular angles (personally, I think it looks most like it’s been inspired by HR Giger’s alien), the aesthetics are quite appealing. The lattice framework is particularly eye-catching, and the bead-blasted finish of the titanium gives it a raw, purposeful look and feel.
Silca even says the design has some aero benefits, though it doesn’t back up its claims in any way. It does look pretty smooth, though.
The Mensola attaches to a stem faceplate’s lower front bolts, which integrates it neatly into the cockpit. The big appeal of Silca’s mount is the ability to get it tailored to your bike’s stem faceplate geometry. Because the Mensola is 3D printed, it means Silca can produce the mount in a variety of sizes to accommodate the wide variety of stems out there. There’s no tooling needed, since each specific stem size is a digital file which is then printed out by the machine.
When purchasing the mount, you can specify the size you want using a drop-down menu in the options. Bolt distances vary from 22mm up to 40mm, in 1mm increments (plus there’s a half size between 32 and 33mm). Alternatively, Silca can make the mount to fit several specific integrated bar stems, such as the Black Inc Integrated Barstem.
Helpfully, Silca also provides a fitment chart, so you can quickly see which stems are compatible with which bolt distances. Alternatively, if you can’t seem to find your stem from the list (or, as in my case, your S-Works stem doesn’t match the chart for some reason) you can measure your bolt distance.
I used callipers to do this, but to be safe you can use Silca’s handy measurement guide. This can be printed out and placed against your bolt holes to see exactly where it falls on the size chart. Mine came in at 23mm, which is right at the smaller end of the scale. Interestingly, though I have a relatively recent S-Works stem, it didn’t match Silca’s template which states that S-Works stems have a wider 28mm bolt spacing. Presumably, Specialized has changed the spacing on its newest models.
Once your 3D-printed mount arrives, you simply remove the existing lower bolts attached to the stem faceplate, secure the Mensola in place and install the longer (titanium, naturally) bolts which come in the box.
The mount is compatible with both Garmin and Wahoo computers, with a simple hex bolt which can be loosened; as standard this is set to Garmin, but you just rotate it 90 degrees for the Wahoo configuration.
On installing my Hammerhead Karoo 2, I noticed that it doesn’t click into place as assuredly as it does with the standard plastic bar mount supplied by Hammerhead. That said, I’ve been using it for hundreds of miles now on some really rough roads, and it’s remained securely in place.
Weight and strength
I weighed the Mensola on some digital scales, and it came in at 33.1g. Silca says the mount starts at 27g. Now, either my scales are pessimistic, or that figure is for the integrated bar/stem version. The included titanium bolts are 6g for the pair – just 1.5g heavier than the titanium bolts they replaced.
The Mensola isn’t superlight, then. Even Wiggle’s Prime Direct Stem Computer Mount is only 27g, though you can easily go lighter – the Alpitude Stelvio V2 Carbon out-front mount weighs just 14g (without bolts).
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Weight isn’t everything, though. Silca is keen to highlight the increased strength of its titanium mount over conventional aluminium mounts, which Silca says is six to twelve times stronger. In a video that demonstrates stress loading on the Mensola versus a conventional aluminium mount, it’s clear just how much stronger Silca’s internally trussed titanium design is.
Silca says the Mensola uses ‘structural design elements from architectural and aerospace engineering’. By comparison, the aluminium mount used in the demo appears to be much weaker, particularly in the middle of the construction, which obviously isn’t ideal.
Would this really matter in real-world use? Probably not – it depends on how many people have managed to snap an aluminium mount, but I’d hazard a guess it’s not that many.
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Does the Mensola mount make me feel that bit more confident about attaching my £360 computer to it? Definitely. Although I’m not certain if that would convince me to spend nearly half its value again on a mount…
This brings me neatly to how it compares pound for pound with other stem-attached mounts out there (note the direct comparison – I’m not including mounts that attach to the bar, or in some other way).
As I mentioned earlier, the Prime Direct Stem Computer Mount costs just a fraction of the Mensola at £19.99, and is lighter at 27g. The universal mounting system is obviously nowhere as neat and integrated as the Mensola’s, but… that price.
Mat reviewed the slightly pricier F3 Cycling FormMount modular mounting system, which is similarly light, at 25g, and £49. Though definitely more purposeful in its looks than the Mensola, the design does allow for adjustment to different size stems.
An option for the weight weenies? The Alpitude Stelvio V2 Carbon out-front mount weighs just 14g (without bolts) and costs from €105. The single arm carbon construction is very minimalist. I’m sure carbon fibre is plenty strong enough to do the job here, but I’d still happily bet on the Mensola if I was particularly concerned about the mount’s capability.
Whether the Mensola is worth £175 is completely up to you. If you’ve spent a fair chunk of cash on a top of the range computer, then the added peace of mind that your mount isn’t going to snap might be enough for you. Or, if you’re lucky enough to buy that dream high-end bike, it could be the perfect finishing touch – and seem relatively inexpensive.
A genuinely first-class product, if you’re willing to spend a considerable sum of cash
If you’re thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
Make and model: Silca Mensola computer mount
Size tested: 2-bolt custom 22mm size
Tell us what the product is for and who it’s aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Silca says, “What is it?
MENSOLA is the world’s smartest computer mount, designed by the wind and manufactured in 6Al/4V Titanium by lasers. Each MENSOLA is designed for your specific stem face-plate geometry, ensuring minimum weight and maximum strength and improved aerodynamics over the previous computer mount solutions.
Who’s it for?
MENSOLA is for the discerning cyclist looking for the strongest and most beautiful mounting solution for their computer. MENSOLA improves aerodynamics at the front of the bike while also de-cluttering the handlebars.”
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Individual Bolt Spacing (See Fitment Guide)
3D Printed in 6Al/4V Titanium
Designed by the wind and manufactured by lasers
Garmin and Wahoo mount compatible
10 – 15% lighter than aluminum mounts
6 – 12x stronger than aluminum
Includes two – 6Al/4V Titanium M5 bolts (2g ea)
Bead Blasted Titanium finish
Made in USA
SILCA Shield 25 Year Warranty
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Exceptional build quality that will probably last a lifetime.
Rate the product for performance:
Provided you get your measurements right, the fit is perfect – neat and streamlined. The mount works easily and holds your computer securely (either Garmin or Wahoo). Silca even says there are aero gains to be had, but there’s no evidence to back this up.
Rate the product for durability:
According to Silca, the Mensola performs exceptionally under load, so there should be no issues with fatigue over time. Titanium finish looks great and will no doubt still look great in many years.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Good, but not exceptional. Lighter than most, but surpassed by some aluminium mounts and the Alpitude Stelvio V2 Carbon out-front mount is even lighter.
Rate the product for value:
Unsurprisingly, the Mensola doesn’t rate well when it comes to value. Let’s face it, it’s not great. Clearly, it’ll last a long time, but the only issue is if you do swap your bike and the stem fitment is different, you’d need to order a new one.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performance was perfect – it did everything well. There was a slight doubt about how secure the mount is with my Karoo 2 in place, since there’s no positive click, but I’ve had absolutely no issues in many miles of riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The custom fit, the way it’s integrated so neatly into the stem and handlebar junction; the bead-blasted titanium finish; and the space age looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing apart from the price.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Need I say it’s the most expensive computer mount we’ve ever reviewed, or even seen in the wild, on road.cc? For a bargain basement option, you can’t go wrong with the Prime Direct Stem Computer Mount which is just £19.99 and weighs 27g, though obviously the fit is very generic and won’t be anywhere near as neat.
The F3 Cycling FormMount modular mounting system is expensive relative to other simple mounts, but at £49 it’s a steal next to the Mensola. If you’ve got the money to burn (about €105, but not £175), the Alpitude Stelvio V2 Carbon out-front mount weighs just 14g thanks to its carbon fibre construction.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No – although I wish I could afford such niceties
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they can afford it, why not?
Use this box to explain your overall score
How to score a computer mount that costs £175… I can’t give it less than 7, because it’s undoubtedly very good – one of the best you can get. Sure, it’s not the lightest, but if you value strength over anything else then this would be the one to go for. And yes, the price is out of this world, relative to what’s available, but if you like spending money on a hobby you love, you could consider it an investment – the custom fit and the titanium finish certainly appeal.
But take that price into account and I can’t, in all honesty, award it the same score as the lighter and much, much cheaper F3 Cycling unit. If money’s no object, it’s another matter…
I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build My best bike is:
I’ve been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,