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The Genetic Driser 4 handlebar has a very interesting shape and works well in quite a few disciplines thanks to its slightly flared drops and 20mm rise. Stiffness levels are high and it's a decent price for a quality alloy bar. I would like to see some kind of indentation for guiding cables and hoses, though.
Flared handlebars (where they are wider at the drops than they are at the hoods) have been adopted by many manufacturers for gravel/adventure bikes because the wider stance when you're in the drops makes the bike feel more planted and less twitchy at speed on an unstable surface.
After using a lot of them I switched over to a flared bar on my winter/wet weather bike for exactly the same reason. It's set up in the same long and low position as my summer race bike, so when on the hoods I can keep the narrow bar width but in the drops I can maintain the speed into bends on greasy roads with a feeling of improved confidence.
Most gravel bars are flared to 12 or 16 degrees, but this Driser 4 bar a much shallower 4 degrees each side, which makes it a good compromise for the road. It still gives you an extra 17mm overall in width at the drops.
As you can no doubt tell, the Driser 4 is a riser bar with the tops sitting 20mm above the clamp area, giving you a slightly more upright position without having to resort to a stack of spacers below your stem. The only downside to that over a standard flat bar is that because the bar needs to curve upwards from the centre, it leaves very little space for lights and the like. You can get away with an out-front mount for a computer if you position it as close to the stem as possible, but that is about it.
One thing I do like is the profile of the bar and the way it changes throughout its width. The tops aren't round, they are almost square with rounded-off edges. If you look closely as you rotate the bar in the light you can see the many facets that have been used to create the shape, and surprisingly, it is really very comfortable.
The only thing I would like to see is some grooving for the outer cables to run in so they aren't quite so pronounced under your bar tape. There is no hole drilled at the drops for a Di2 cable when using the bar-end control unit found on the electronic Shimano Ultegra and Dura-Ace gearing.
For the hood position, the bar returns to a round profile, as it does at the end of the drops. In between, at the shallow curve between top and bottom, the shape changes into an almost tapered profile: round where the palm of your hand fits against it, but narrower with a pronounced curved 'point' at the front where you wrap your fingers round.
With a skinnier profile here, it allows you to get a really tight grip around the bar for when you are riding hard or descending at speed. Stiffness is impressive, too.
On the whole the quality of the Driser 4 is very good. The black finish is hardwearing and the graphics stand out and are equally robust. There are plenty of markings, too, for adjustment.
It's available in widths ranging from 38cm to 44cm, measured centre to centre. Other measurements are 70mm for the reach and 125mm for the drop.
At £44.99, the Driser 4 is priced around the same as other good quality alloy handlebars.
Up until fitting the Driser 4 to my bike I was using the Ritchey Butano, the top end WCS model at £84.32. It's a very nice handlebar and the Genetic has a lot in common with it. The cheaper Comp version of the Butano is made from the same material as the Genetic, 6061-T6 alloy, and competes on weight for pretty much the same price.
The Pro Discover Medium, another decent quality alloy gravel bar, also comes in at the same price of £44.99, but is about 80g lighter than the Genetic, if weight is a deciding factor.
Overall, I really like the Driser 4, especially the neat way the profile changes throughout its width. It's got a couple of little niggles, the main one being the cable routing, but take a bit of time and chose a decent bar tape and it can be dealt with.
Stiff, durable multi-use alloy bar with an interesting and comfortable tube profile
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Genetic Driser 4 Handlebar
Size tested: 42cm
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?
Genetic says, "Genetic Driser 4 handlebars have been designed to give riders another great handlebar option.
These bars are made from 6061 series Aluminium alloy for superior strength and toughness, whilst also being lightweight, with good fatigue resistance.
The 20mm rise enables riders to achieve a higher front end position, whilst also providing additional compliance and therefore comfort, compared to standard flat topped bars.
The 4 degrees of flare, gives an extra 17mm bar width when riding on the drops, the Driser 4 provides added control and wrist comfort.
Available in four different widths from 380 to 440mm to suit most sizes of rider.
Driser handlebars are a perfect choice for Road, Cyclo Cross, Gravel, Touring and Commuter riding."
It's a good compromise between a straight road bar and the wide flare found on most gravel handlebars.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Road, CX, Gravel, Touring or Commuting
20mm rise for increased height
Round section upper for easy fitment of accessories
Ergo profile in the drops
4 degree Flare adds 17mm to overall with at bar end
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It is a well-designed handlebar that works well on multiple terrains.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The tube profiles add to the comfort levels.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cable grooves would be a nice addition.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
£45 is a common price point for a quality alloy flared handlebar, and the Driser 4 sits alongside others from Pro and Ritchey.
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
I've highlighted a couple of small niggles that stop it getting a top score, but overall it is a very well thought out and designed bar for sensible money.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!