The idea behind a ‘gravel’ bar is that the drop is flared outwards from the top to give a wider hold, giving you more clearance when down in the drops and adding more in the way of control. Think of it as crossing a mountain bike bar with a traditional road bar and you won’t be far off.
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Genetic Bikes’ Drove is made from butted 6061 T6 alloy, which is nicely finished with a roughened shot-peened finish and satin-black anodised sections.
The tidy laser-etched logos also help it look like a bar far grander than its £30 price tag would suggest. The underside is grooved to hide cables and disc brake hoses.
On the bike, my 44cm-wide bar flares out to more than 49cm at the drops (49.6cm), not quite as extreme as the likes of Ritchey’s Venturemax or Salsa’s Woodchipper, but still a welcome widening that keeps the hoods in a near-upright position — on some super-flared bars the hood angle can get a bit too much.
The added width certainly feels good when descending and the bar does a good job of reducing buzz over coarse surfaces. At 329g for a 44cm item the Drove is a decent weight, certainly lighter than most bars found at the budget end.
The STV stem is real quality — the hollow forged 7075 alloy body is beautifully finished and all the hardware is stainless steel. My 100mm stem weighs 118g, which is one of the lightest alloy stems around, at any price.
The minimal faceplate is forged in one piece and the edges are neatly rounded and smoothed so nothing sharp cuts into your steerer or bar.
Putting both together is an excellent upgrade for an all-road or sportive bike. The bar is great for the money and the stem is a cut above anything else under £50.