It isn’t often we write about products we truly love, largely because there are so few of them. So rarely do we find products that aren’t simply sufficient, but fill a need we hadn’t known was there. So when we tell you that, bar none, the Vision Metron bar-end shifters are the best mechanical TT shifters out there, please understand we do not mean any exaggeration, here. Vision really did reinvent the mouse trap.
Late in 2010 there were rumblings from VisionTech that they had a set of bar-ends on the way, ahead of what was to be a TT groupset, something they called the Metron. It looked like a pair of TT brake levers, with a trigger out front and a top cap button, and supposedly let the rider set his hand position and not have to move his arms around to shift while in the tuck. The Metron was to be small, by housing the actual shift mechanisms within the extensions, and keep the weight down to a reasonable 192g per pair.
When I (Devon) purchased my 2012 Felt DA4, the Metron bar-ends came as stock equipment (and still do), coupled with Dura Ace derailleurs and after the first ride, I was in love. After raving about them to Mike, and he having done the research on them, he decided to put them on his ’12 Quintana Roo CD0.1 in lieu of the Dura Ace bar-ends that came with his bike. We were smitten – these were what TT shifters were supposed to be like.
Using the Metron shifters is effortless – press the button on top to drop to a smaller cog, pull the trigger in to move to a larger cog, one per click for a maximum of upshifting 3 cogs per lever pull for the rear derailleur. Shifting either direction is crisp, precise, and virtually impossible to mis-shift on: options that are simply not available on the standard friction shifters, no matter the brand or group level. The new R2C shifters (from Zipp and SRAM) may well give the Metrons a run for their money in those departments, but the ability to have a set hand position that we do not have to deviate from to shift is a very attractive, and fast, feature for us here at AeroGeeks.
Certainly, there are positions and bar setups that allow you to do the same no-arm-movement shifting as the Metrons do but there’s a wrist motion involved. Vision’s solution is a mouse click, by comparison, or at most a single-finger trigger pull. That’s useability that is hard to beat.
In our two thousand miles or so with the Metron shifters, we have only had one issue with them, ever. On my (Devon’s) bike, the rear derailleur shifter’s top button managed to vibrate a little loose; just enough to rattle a bit and miss a shift every once in a while. Half a minute with an allen wrench and a drop of blue Loctite later and the problem hasn’t come back in 800 miles. Other than the one issue, there have been no complaints from either of us here about the Metron shifters in any way – only a vociferous endorsement to anyone who asks us why we have brake levers on our extensions. Perhaps they look a little non-standard, but once you ride a set, you’ll wonder how you ever rode without them. Just like we did.