By: kiritozhang Translator: alanyu
The first time that I read about Vision was in 2003, when they started to sponsor Team Cannondale, and yeah, you know Peter Sagan was riding Cannondale at that time.
Strictly speaking, Vision, is a sub brand under TIEN HSIN INDUSTRIES CO., LTD, AKA FSA, whose development part is in USA, but the production is still in Taiwan.
So what’s the difference between Vision and FSA?
FSA has the production line of road bike wheels in the early years, but they only keeps the MTB wheels production line now while all road bike wheels line and aerodynamics accessory lines are under Vision.
I was almost about to pull the trigger on FSA K-Force wheelset on wiggle, when it was under a good discount. This wheelset is one of their 2008 products.
Of course, they have a much longer history on wheels, e.g., the triple flanged wheel.
The Vision wheelset released in 2017 is the third generation, and they may release their next generation in a short time under my estimation. The early TC series > Metron series > Metron SL series.
I didn’t like Vision wheelset actually, as the remark was not good and I have ridden TC series wheelset, which also didn’t impress me. Thus, I didn’t have a high expectation on it when I got this wheelset.
Metron SL series can be considered as an overall upgrade from Metron series, and there is another SC series as the entry-level products. The front wheel weighs 675 g and the rear wheel weighs 854 g without tape. It is 1529 g in total, 31 g less than the claimed weight for Metron SL 40 disc (1560 g).
There are four different profiles: 30, 40, 55 and 81, designed for climbing, all-rounder, flat and TT, respectively. The wheels are compatible with tubeless, but they are equipped with the normal tape. If you want to use tubeless tires, you need to change the tubeless tape included in the accessories.
The included tubeless (TL) tape is 25 mm wide. A roll is enough for three wheels. If you have no experience in tubeless system, I suggest that you’d better go to a bike shop. How well the TL tape is mounted does influence on the mounting of TL tire and the air tightness.
The weight of TL tape for one wheel is 6 g while the normal tape is 20 g, so you can use TL tape to shave some grams. The details of the wheelset stress on its “USA lineage” as there are quite a lot of “Vision tech USA” logo.
Each wheelset has its production code and the sticker shows the maximum pressure. 25mm tire is restricted with 103 psi and a wider tire is required a lower maximum pressure.
The finish is matt black with silver powder, and the logo is a sticker. You can tear it off or change other stickers easily.
The rim is of course updated: the inner width is 19.5 mm and the outer width is 27.8 mm, and a new manufacturing process is used to reduce the weight. However, 27.8 mm is not so wide in today’s view.
Both wheels use 24 spokes with 2:1 pattern. I thought 0X on the disc brake side was not a good design, such as CP bora, before disc brake became popular, but it seems OK by the market so far, and DT swiss even started to recess the center lock mount to reduce the weight. The brake power of the rear wheel should be large enough to lock the wheel before it tears the hub or the spoke in that logic.
Steel bearings are used instead of hybrid ceramic ones. The front wheel uses two 17287-2RS bearings with a preload system.
It is a bit special in their rear hub. Two bearings in the free hub are still deep groove ball bearings while the one on the drive side in the hub body is an angular contact ball bearing. I couldn’t understand why there is only one ACB bearing in Metron SL disc, while two ACB bearings are used in Metron SL rim.
There are six pawls and the water proof is fine. I have quite a bit wet riding during several months, and the grease in the free hub still seems fresh. Pay attention to the small parts position when you open it, including the inner ring of the ACB bearing and the O-ring.
You can still see the FSA logo on the water proof cap. The WR has increased due to the wider spacing, and it results in a better laterally stiffness of the wheel. There will be some tiny bites after miles, but not critical.
The hub must have the preload ring due to the ACB bearing. It’s not a big problem on a rim brake hub. You cannot use the internal lockring here as the structure blocks the way. You need to dismount the cap and the preload ring before mounting the disc, and don’t forget to put them back after mounting.
A Parktool BBT-9 is required here to lock the external lockring.
Also, don’t forget to pre load it correctly. It can induce creaking if too loose or too much friction if too tight. You need a hex key to adjust the preload, while the cap can be removed or installed by hand.
The spoke holes are drilled much better than the old Vision wheels, which greatly reduce the possibility of spoke failure.
Vision seems to know about MAN: black slick.
Each wheel has its own black cover to avoid the scratching during the transport.
Of course, they will give you a wheelset bag with Metron SL.
Unlike two separate bags for each wheel used by campy and roval, two wheels are put into one bag with a sponge mat.
|Height||Outer width||Inner width||Claimed weight|
|Vision Metron 40 SL||40||27.8||19.5||1560|
|Giant SLR1 42 2021||42||23||19.4||1452|
|Zipp 303 firecrest 2018||45||28.5||17||1625|
|Bontrager Aeolus pro 37||37||27||21||1505|
|Farsports Ventoux C3 MK1||35/40||28/26||21/19||1495|
All the mid-profile wheelsets I have used/tested in recent years are listed above, and I don’t own Aeolus pro 37 and SLR1 42 (2021) anymore, so I can only compare the feeling of them by my memory.
It is no sense to compare mid-profile wheels on the pure flat, which are designed for climbing and fake flat.
I tested them (Vision Metron 40 SL, Zipp 303 firecrest 2018 and Farsports Ventoux C3 MK1) on a 2.36km 6.8% route with relatively steady 3 W/kg. I was 73 kg, so it means around 220 watts, and most riders can reach this power easily. (Translators’ note: really?)
After multi times of test, all results is the time window of 12 min 15 sec ± 3 sec. (Different rides with the same wheelset also got slightly different results.)
We can get the conclusion that the time difference between the wheelsets with a similar rim height and a similar weight is very small, if you keep riding with a steady power output. However, in a real word ride/race, there are more things than weight and aerodynamics, such as: torsional stiffness, lateral stiffness and the moment of inertia.
Thus, talking about my feeling, Vision Metron 40 SL, Bontrager Aeolus pro 37 and Giant SLR1 42 are on a good level when I tried to accelerate from low speed to high speed. Giant SLR1 42 is good at the acceleration at low speed due to its low weight of the rim, but it’s also affected by the crosswind seriously due to its 23 mm outer width among these wheels. Zipp 303 firecrest is the heaviest wheelset and I can certainly feel it.
Vision Metron 40 SL is above average when talking about acceleration and crosswind stability, and you won’t feel heavy during a slow weekend ride, which can be remarked as an all-rounder. However, if you need to keep a speed above 45 km/h or even higher, this wheelset can be a shortcoming and you need to look for some high profile wheels. Several insider stuffs also highly remark this wheelset.
Some people think Vision wheelset is too expensive now, whose MSRP in China is over CNY 10k (~USD 1500), and doesn’t worth it, but I want to say, although Vision is a sub brand from a Taiwan company, they have sponsored pro races for many years. FSA or Vision is a big international brand instead of a domestic new brand, and the price can naturally increase after they are used by many pros.
Vision Metron 40 SL disc is a good all-rounder, which can make the rider put a smile on his/her face. Just install them and enjoy the ride. Don’t worry about it. If you compare this wheelset with other domestic products, it certainly has a lower value to price. If you consider it as a big international brand, although it is not as glorious as some other brands such as Zipp, it still worth.
Pros: good stiffness, good acceleration performance, no real weakness (considering the rim height), good accessories.
Cons: a bit of trouble to change the disc and reset the preload.
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