The shiny carbon Gran Compe Zero shifters tick the ‘high-tech’ box, but once you get up close and examine the build quality those ﬁrst amorous glances soon ebb away.
Weighing 407g, they are nearly identical in shape to the older style Shimano Dura-Ace 7800 units with their narrow rounded proﬁle.
They were comfortable to lean on when riding while seated but were too small for more than two ﬁngers to ﬁnd a ﬁrm hold when climbs forced us to stand.
This feeling of a cramped hand-hold was made worse by the placement of the upshift lever, which is behind and near the top of the brake lever.
Upshifting while on the hoods was easy but a downshift left our ﬁngers clashing with the smaller lever and sometimes resulted in missed shifts.
And if you ﬁnd yourself wanting a harder gear while in the drops, the reach to the upshift lever is just too much of a stretch for even the longest ﬁngers.
Braking power is good though, with a snappy, positive feel, and shift action is fairly light, though the sharp, tinny rattle as the ratchet engages hardly inspires the same feeling of solidity as the reassuring ‘clack’ of a Campagnolo gear shift.
This, together with long lever throws when downshifting and fast-wearing and thin rubber hoods, makes the Gran Compe levers feel cheaper than their price tag.