The Vision Metron Aero handlebar combines an aerodynamic profile with a low weight, a high level of comfort and a balance of stiffness and flex that supplies plenty of ride feel. It's an excellent performer, but it's also incredibly expensive.
Handlebars with teardrop profiles rather than circular ones are faster. As I noted while reviewing Vision's Metron 6D integrated bar there's plenty of data to suggest an aero bar can save over six watts – that's 20-plus seconds over 40km.
However, while an integrated bar might supply those savings so precious for racing, it sacrifices some comfort – as brings a weight penalty – due to its construction: it's a single piece of pretty heavy-duty, very stiff carbon.
By contrast, the Metron Aero can and does offer a little bit more feel. As a non-integrated bar (clamped via a standard 31.8mm stem) it inevitably flexes that little bit more.
Very powerful sprinters will see that as a negative, preferring the Metron 6D, and as a separate part it won't be quite so aerodynamic either. But for a wide range of UK riding and racing, and a broad cross-section of riders, this one's a better bet.
I found it worked very well for steadier, longer group rides as well as short solo thrashes.
I really like the ergonomics. The flat section behind the hoods is great for supporting the heel of the hand, particularly in an aero-hoods position.
The wide tops are comfortable for the palms, and with their 10-degree forward sweep they allow wrists to stay perfectly neutral, while the 125mm compact drop makes the drops themselves more accessible.
The bend of the drops is neither pure classic nor ergo – it's a well-judged hybrid, with a gently curving section under the hoods that creates a comfortable handhold. The drops flare just slightly (two degrees) for extra wrist clearance when sprinting.
Some bars make your hands feel more tired than your legs, but the Aero is definitely not one of them.
The Metron Aero is specced to internally route all types of shifting and braking cables, wires and hoses. It's also drilled for a Di2 bar-end junction box, has larger holes to accommodate hydraulic hoses along with mechanical cable outers, and the routing layout is very easy to get along with.
There are no actual channels for the cables, but large holes opposite each other make it easy to fish for things with tweezers.
Taping this bar neatly is not quite so easy because of the flat, 90-degree bend above the hoods. I recommend something stretchy like Easton's Microfibre bar tape.
Vision has got everything right with the Metron Aero... except the price. Yes, Vision's top Metron range is priced to reflect their pro designation, but £350 for a handlebar that's not even integrated?
The Metron Aero is up against the likes of the Easton EC90 Aero Handlebar (236g) at £279.99, the Zipp SL-70 Aero (236g) at £296.00 and the Ritchey WCS Carbon Streem (248g) at £270. Only the Schmolke Roadbar Oversize Evo TLO is more expensive at (please sit down) £450, but there you're paying for a ridiculous weight of 147g for a 44cm.
To break the £300 mark, a bar has to really offer something the others don't, and although the Vision Metron Aero is an excellent bar that gets the balance of stiffness, comfort and aerodynamics just right, I'm struggling to identify that extra thing it offers over the others. If it was priced more in line with those other bars, it might be looking at a perfect score.
Aerodynamic, light, comfortable bar that works for all types of riding – it's only the price that's uncompetitive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vision Metron Aero Handlebar
Size tested: 44cm
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?
Vision doesn't supply any description of these bars beyond them being for road and triathlon use.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
10° Forward angle
Cable groove compatible with new Di2 systems w/larger internal cable tunnel
Ø31.8mm x W380+10mm, 400+10mm, 420+10mm, 440+10mm (c-c)
125mm drop, 80mm reach
2˚ outward bend
230 grams (420mm)
Very nicely made.
On par with other high-end carbon aerobars.
Great job with comfort.
Well, it's a pity it's so expensive. Yes, it's a great bar but it needs to be under £300 to really face its competitors.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed. It combines aerodynamics, lightness, comfort, an intelligent shape and easy set-up – it's not easy to get all those things right in a single handlebar.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Everything – it's up there with the best bars I've used.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Only the price.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's the most expensive in its class that we've tested at road.cc. The Easton EC90 is considerably cheaper at £279.99, as is the Zipp SL-70 at £296.00 and the Ritchey Carbon Streem at £270. The Schmolke Roadbar Oversize Evo TLO is a lot more expensive (£450!), but there you're paying for an extremely low weight of 147g for the size 44, and it's not an aero handlebar anyway.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, too expensive
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, a rich one
Use this box to explain your overall score
Fresh (or rather not so fresh) from testing Vision's Metron 6D integrated bar/stem, I was pleased to rediscover some ride feel with the Aero. It feels right in terms of its shape, it's easy to cable up, it's competitively light... I would give it 'exceptional,' but the low value of that high price leaves it a 'very good' overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem