Vision Metron 4D Handlebar & Stem
In a market of sameness Vision has created something unique.
It’s hard to review bars and stems. Whenever I talk about a product, I look for the story. I look for how it’s interesting and unique. With bars and stems it can be hard to find that thread of a story. Fortunately, the Vision Metron 4D handlebar and stem are unique and interesting. In fact, I’m going to make the somewhat bold statement that they are the perfect combination for a climbing bike.
Could the Vision Metron 4D handlebar and stem combination be the perfect climbers setup?
When I built up my climbing bike a few years ago, I spent a lot of time searching for the lightest components. At the time, the lightest I could find, within reason, was 349 grams. The profile was more or less your standard compact drop bars. The drops were not too deep, but otherwise, there was nothing particularly special about them, and they worked well.
Having spent a good amount of time on beefy aerodynamically optimized bars, I felt like the right choice for a climbers bike was something with a standard bar profile. Fast forward a couple of years. After spending some time on the Metron 4D bar and stem, I was wrong about what makes for a great climber’s cockpit. The Vision Metron 4d in a 42mm width is 170g, and the Vision Metron stem in a 100mm length is 164g. I’ll do the math for you and say that the combined combo is 334 grams. That’s a 15 gram savings over my previous combination in the same size. 15 grams isn’t a lot but it’s what you gain in combination with the weight savings that is the real story.
It’s lightweight but the story the Vision Metron 4D handlebar tells isn’t really about weight.
The Metron 4D bar isn’t just the perfect climbers’ bar because it’s light. There are other light bars, but what this handlebar brings to the table is an absolutely genius center flat section. The truth is I don’t spend a ton of time on the flats of my handlebars. It’s always in the back of my mind though that one “should” move to the flats on long climbs. It’s advised to climb on the flats because it gives a more upright position which allows for less restricted airflow.
The Metron 4D bars have what Vision refers to as the “Aero-Ergo central section.” It provides a slight rise compared to the stem clamp area and also a 10 degree angle. Both of these features combine to get you even more upright and to keep your arms as comfortable as possible. But I feel a bit like a TV salesperson- “But that’s not all!!” Just behind the hoods there is a flat section.
If you like to spend a lot of time on your hoods this provides the perfect spot for your palms. Just make sure when you set up your bars that you position the controls just right. Be careful of getting a small bump where the end of the plastic on the levers is. That little bump will not disappear with bar tape. I might even add a bit of extra bar tape right behind the plastic to further ease the transition. I’m happy for now, though. Finally, if you fancy yourself a bit of a Pantani successor and like to climb in the drops, you’ll find a small flat area on the outside of the curve to help reduce any difficulty reaching the levers.
Like I said in the beginning, it’s difficult to review bars and stems. I’m not a big guy, and I don’t put down huge watts. I never experience any flex in a quality cockpit setup. No surprises here either, the Vision Metron 4D bars and the Vision Metron stem are both rocksolid under my riding.
For me, the way that I put bars and stems to the test is by either spending tons of time climbing every hill and mountain I can find or by riding huge distances. During this test, I did a bit of both and found the best climbing cockpit I’ve ever ridden. When climbing, the tops are a comfortable place to spend your time, but if you want to ride for 9-12 hours (or more) at a time, you’ll find plenty of comfort on the flats, or drops, as well. I always ride without gloves, and I’ve done many 150 mile days as well as lots of climbing.
The Vision Metron 4D handlebar will cost you $329.99. The Vision Metron stem runs $228.99. Together, they have a combined weight of 334 grams, and they are comfortable no matter your preferred riding position. You’ll even find internal cable routing and some aerodynamic considerations.