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review

Genetic STV Stem

8
£49.99

VERDICT:

8
10
A good looking stem that is well made and pretty impressive on the scales
Weight: 
120g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Genetic STV Stem does the job of holding your handlebar securely while looking good, and if you are a weight weenie then it could help drop those grams compared to a lot of the competition.

  • Pros: Light, stiff
  • Cons: Paint can mark easily

The STV is hollow forged from 7075 series aluminium alloy and with its single piece clamp it weighs just 120g in this 110mm length, which is pretty impressive, especially for the money when compared to others we've tested. The stem it replaced on my bike, the Ritchey WCS C220 84D, is about 16g heavier for the same size and that'll set you back another 35 quid. Obviously you can't feel that out on the road but to some people it matters. PRO's LT stem is £34.99 but is 33g heavier.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Being light doesn't mean that Genetic has sacrificed stiffness as there is no give whatsoever, and while it is difficult to judge in isolation, swapping this one out with the Ritchey and back again showed no signs of a harsh ride either.

Just like the Ritchey, the painted finish is smooth to the touch and gives a more expensive look than stems where you can still see the surface imperfections of the material through the paint. It is quite easy to scratch and mark, though, so you need to be careful with it.

As you'd expect, the clamp end for the steerer is 1 1/8in and it's held in place with a standard two-bolt design.

Up front the clamp will take a 31.8mm diameter handlebar and the inside face of the clamping plate is dimpled to pair up with the sandpaper style finished on most bar centres for grip.

In use, the handlebar stayed firm with the bolts tightened up to their 5Nm recommendation, even when rattling along on rough roads.

> 9 ways to make your bike more comfortable

Size-wise the STV starts at 60mm, with that, the 70mm and 80mm lengths having a +/-13° rise. For most road applications you are likely to be looking at the 90mm to 130mm range, and those have a less extreme +/-6° angle.

Overall, the STV is a very good stem and I think it looks more expensive than its £49.99 price tag.

Verdict

A good looking stem that is well made and pretty impressive on the scales

road.cc test report

Make and model: Genetic STV Stem

Size tested: 31.8 dia, 110mm

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 literally describes the STV as a lightweight road stem, and I don't think there is much else to say really.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Genetic:

Hollow forged 7075 body

1 1/8" steerer clamp

31.8mm diameter handlebar clamp

60mm to 130mm length (10mm increments)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

For its weight, the STV is good value, and it looks good too.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Stiffness aplenty, and it grips the handlebar well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Looks much more expensive than it actually is.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The matt finish marks quite easily.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Ritchey WCS C220 84D is £85, PRO's LT is £34.99.

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

All the features you need and looks great – just make sure you aren't too rough with the painted finish.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

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

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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7 comments

Avatar
ktache | 5 years ago
2 likes

HP, I want a quality steel one, and they cost as much as Ti.

http://shop.parksider.com/?pid=117289941

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
0 likes

I'd like to get a carbon fibre stem to match my other carbon fibre bits, but they seem to be massively expensive. Is there a reason why carbon fibre stems are so much more than e.g. carbon seatposts?

Avatar
sammutd88 replied to hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
3 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

I'd like to get a carbon fibre stem to match my other carbon fibre bits, but they seem to be massively expensive. Is there a reason why carbon fibre stems are so much more than e.g. carbon seatposts?

I stand to be corrected, but I believe it’s because carbon isn’t really the best material to make a stem from. Some cheaper carbon stems are actually an alloy stem covered in a layer of carbon and the more expensive carbon stems are full carbon but have a lot of engineering go into them (and a lot of carbon!) to make it able to withstand the loads a stem needs to. 

 

Basically, I wouldn’t bother. The weights aren’t substantially different between an alloy stem and a carbon stem. In fact you can probably get some high end alloy stems that are lighter than carbon stems. 

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to sammutd88 | 5 years ago
1 like

sammutd88 wrote:

hawkinspeter wrote:

I'd like to get a carbon fibre stem to match my other carbon fibre bits, but they seem to be massively expensive. Is there a reason why carbon fibre stems are so much more than e.g. carbon seatposts?

I stand to be corrected, but I believe it’s because carbon isn’t really the best material to make a stem from. Some cheaper carbon stems are actually an alloy stem covered in a layer of carbon and the more expensive carbon stems are full carbon but have a lot of engineering go into them (and a lot of carbon!) to make it able to withstand the loads a stem needs to. 

 

Basically, I wouldn’t bother. The weights aren’t substantially different between an alloy stem and a carbon stem. In fact you can probably get some high end alloy stems that are lighter than carbon stems. 

Yeah, that makes sense and seems to agree with the stems I've seen on Wiggle etc.

Guess I'll stick with my current stem.

Avatar
bechdan | 5 years ago
0 likes

why pay £50 for a stem when you can get one for £15?

Avatar
Rick_Rude replied to bechdan | 5 years ago
3 likes

bechdan wrote:

why pay £50 for a stem when you can get one for £15?

Same reason as why can't you burn off 2kg instead of spending £4000.

Rock up the coffee shop 10-15kg overweight and you've still got a £4000 bike. Rock up like a racing snake with Sora equipment level and you're scum of the earth. 

Avatar
sammutd88 | 5 years ago
0 likes

You’ve done well to review quite possibly the most boring part of a bike. I mean really.....apart from weight if you’re a weight weenie, any decent alloy stem is fine as long as the length and angle is right for your fit. 

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