The Genetic Driser-16 bar is a good choice for long rides off-road, where the flared drops give more control and the wide tops more comfort for your hands. The 20mm rise may help you get your position just right if you've maxed out your steerer tube spacers.
- Pros: Good combination of features, well priced
- Cons: The riser bit may be out of bounds for mounting lights or other stuff
Back in 2016 Dave reviewed the Ritchey WCS EvoMax bar, a touring/gravel bar with a 12-degree flare, for £85. The trend for flared bars in general riding is growing, as people look to get more comfortable in the drops while still being able to keep their elbows closer to or actually locked straight to bear weight better.
George liked the £29.99 Genetic Flare Road Bar too, an 11-degree flare and no rise marking this as more one for traditional setups looking for a few more hand position options.
The Genetic Driser-16 goes further than both, with a 16-degree flare of the drops, plus a 20mm rise on the tops. This rise will come in handy for those looking for a more upright position for long rides on or off-road without getting a new stem, or, if you've maxed out your steerer tube, a new fork. As swapping bars is a pain what with levers and tape, if you wanted to run one bike, having a riser bar means you could simply flip a 6-degree stem to go between a more aero or upright position in a few minutes.
Of course a factor in this is mounting real estate for lights and computers. The riser bit is on an angle, meaning it may be out of bounds for your mounts depending on how they align. Fortunately, combination out-front stem mounts for lights, cameras and computers are now easily and cheaply available.
Rounding out the feature set, the tops are 'semi-aero palm friendly' as Genetic puts it, meaning even with my extra-large hands there was lots to grip with just a single layer of bar tape. There are cable-run indentations on the underside of the tops, helping to guide and minimise the feel through the bar tape, and handy markings on the front to aid with centring and angle – taking a quick photo beforehand will make reinstallation dead easy. There are also good markings on the bends for shifter alignment.
The 16-degree flare makes for confident handling at speed through the rough stuff, the flare providing a total of 530mm spread at the ends. The end of the drops is straight for a palm's width, meaning you get full contact with the palm for maximum grip. Immediately above that is the drop proper, making a pistol grip for all-out efforts where you need access to the shifters and brakes.
Genetic says the drop is 125mm; I make it an actual 140mm from the tops to the central point of your palm when hanging on to the bar ends. The reach is accurate at 75mm from the centre of the tops to the rear of the drop bend in the pistol grip area.
The clamp is a standard 31.8mm, and the Driser-16 comes in three sizes of 40, 42 and 44cm. I make the internal width just a shade over 400mm on the 440mm size, or an effective 390mm with shifters fitted. With the flare factored in, this should accommodate most bikepacking bar luggage setups.
Out on my first run, on a Boardman Team CX with SRAM Rival shifters, I genuinely forgot to pay that much attention to the bar itself. It just did its thing, letting me focus on how close to the limits of tyre-gravel-mud-road traction I was getting, on the tops, drops or flares. The proof's in the pudding of a close-as-dammit personal best on a five-mile rocky, gravelled, rolling descent, frequently maxed out in 44x10, going either full tuck in the drops or a wide grip through the really rough bits, holding a line as lumps of three-billion-year-old Scottish granite tried their best to deviate the front wheel from its optimistically chosen path.
Through a one-mile twisty wooded CX blast the handling felt spot on, the grip positions and access to shifters and brakes never beyond reach. Knocking 16 seconds off my previous is testament that this bar definitely won't hold you back.
Value is pretty darn good when you compare it with what else is available – especially given that if you need to raise your bar you don't need to fork out for a new stem. If you don't need the rise you can spend less, for less flare: Genetic's own Flare Road Bar mentioned earlier is £29.99. The 12-degree-flare and no-rise PRO Discover is £44.99 (as is the 30-degree-flare, no-rise Discover 30), but you could also spend nearly twice as much on the £85 Ritchey WCS Evomax already mentioned, or the 24-degree-flare WCS VentureMax at £88.
All in all, for £45 the Genetic Driser-16 is a cracking handlebar for more adventurous riding, and with the 20mm rise and wide tops it may well suit you for less-rigorous pursuits as well.
A good combination of features add up to a bar that should expand your ride capabilities in more comfort
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Genetic Driser-16 Bar
Size tested: 440mm
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?
It's for adventurous riders looking for more control and a more upright position, but still be able to get into the drops.
Stylish 20mm rise provides a higher riding position without the need for stem spacers.
Profiled top tube with its Semi-Aero 'palm friendly' design is ergonomically comfortable.
An additional 16 degree flare in the drop area adds 93mm of extra ergonomic enhanced control to the overall width.
A great design for CX and Gravel racing, as well as a neat option for touring or commuting.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
40 - 42 - 44cm
Driser 16 Road Bar, 20mm Rise, 16Deg Flare, 125mm drop, 75mm reach, 6061 T6 Alloy, 31.8mm
Can't fault it – the build and logos are well done.
This isn't a sprinter's bar, so there's some flex – but as it's all about comfort and control this is A Good Thing.
All good so far.
Middling – but do you want to go super-light for this sort of application anyway?
This is where it wins – lots of options for hands, all of them good.
For £45 the features come together in a really nice package.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The best thing I can say is I forgot about it and got on with fanging across and down really rough bits of terrain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The hand position in the drops – really comfortable and in control.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Pretty darn good, especially given that if you need to raise your bar you don't need to fork out for a new stem. You can get less flare (and no rise) for less: Genetic's own Flare Road Bar is £29.99 – spend the same: the PRO Discover is £44.99 – or nearly twice as much: the Ritchey WCS Evomax (£85). But those don't have any rise, and less flare...
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Although 337g is a bit porky, for the intended use weight isn't really an issue – it's all about comfort and control. The 20mm rise won't be for everyone, but if you need options it's a lot cheaper than a new fork. Overall, for £45 it's a very good package that should make your rides more enjoyable.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is: Velocite Selene
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling.