Vision’s new Metron 45 and 60 SL Disc wheels tick many boxes
First spotted in the early stages of the Tour de France, what we assumed were new Vision disc brake road wheels are officially just that. Vision – the FSA-owned aero-focussed racing component brand – has now unveiled its new top-of-the-line Metron 45 SL Disc and Metron 60 SL Disc wheels.
Offering a number of interesting updates, the new wheelsets are disc-brake only and are available in a choice of either clincher/tubeless or tubular. According to Vision, the key focus when designing these wheels was improved aerodynamics, while a new hub design and wider rim width aim to offer improved speed and general usability, too.
Less drag, less weight, and less getting blown around
Reduced aerodynamic drag, greater stability, and lower weight. That’s what almost every new aero road wheel claims to do, and according to Vision, its latest disc brake wheels are a big step up from the old in all of these ways.
Vision’s previous Metron wheels featured a more typical airfoil shape with a pointed rim bed; by contrast, the new Metron wheels move to a broader U-shaped profile that we’ve seen from the likes of Enve, Hunt and Roval’s new Rapide.
At 45 mm deep, the new 45 SL Disc offers a 31 mm external rim width that’s aerodynamically optimised for use with 28 mm tyres. Compared to the older Metron 40 SL Disc, the new Metron 45 SL Disc is said to offer less drag (especially with a wider tyre), 21% greater crosswind stability, and its 1,390-gram figure (for the clincher version) saves 140 g over its shallower and narrower predecessor. The tubular version is quoted at 1,270 g.
Similarly, the deeper Metron 60 SL Disc (60 mm deep) with its 33 mm wide external profile is also said to be faster (again, best with a 28 mm), 15% more stable, and 180 g lighter than the outgoing Metron 55 SL Disc. In the clincher/tubeless version this 60 mm deep wheel offers a highly competitive claimed weight of 1,460 g, while the tubular version is quoted at 1,350 g. (Update 16/07/2021: Vision has updated the claimed weights of all four new wheel models. These are listed at the bottom of the article)*.
In the clincher variant both the 45 SL Disc and 60 SL Disc feature a 21 mm internal rim width with a hooked design that’s intended to keep tubed and tubeless tyre compatibility wide open. Meanwhile, the tubular version wheels share the same external dimensions as the respective clincher wheels.
Judging by Visions claim of immaculate surface finishing, it’s assumed the rims are made using polished metal moulds that provide tight compaction and a clean finish. As a result, the rims are not painted and the carbon construction remains visible.
The company also claims the rims are made stiffer without weight gain through the use of a “space-derived foam between the carbon layers.” Vision wasn’t able to clarify exactly what this means, and so at the time of publishing it’s assumed that there may be foam filling the void at the rim hook between the 21 mm internal rim width and the 31/33 mm exterior. However, Hunt has a patent pending for such a concept as first seen in its Limitless 48 wheels.
The wheels are laced up with bladed stainless steel spokes in a 2:1 lacing pattern, 21 on the front and 24 on the rear. Vision is keeping mum on the specifics or even the manufacturer of these spokes, but I believe them to be one of the Flat spoke models from Italian spoke manufacturer Alpina.
The hubs feature Vision’s new Power Ratchet System (PRS), a helical clutch ratchet that provides a 5º (72T) engagement angle. On paper, this freehub mechanism appears to be a close copy to the formerly patented (expired in 2017) RingDrive that Chris King designed for its hubs. Vision claims its new system greatly improves durability and reduces friction, but time will tell if the company is able to hold the extremely tight tolerances required for such a design to work reliably.
Vision offers freehubs for Shimano or SRAM XDR. Sorry Campy users, you’ll just have to stay loyal to those Bora wheels.
The hubs also now feature press-fit end caps that forego bearing preload collars – another move that relies on tight manufacturing tolerances. These straight-pull hubs feature centerlock rotor mounts.
A competitive warranty
Also new for Vision is a lifetime warranty that applies to all of its new performance wheels. Following in the footsteps of a number of large wheel brands, Vision is now offering a lifetime warranty to the original owner of its more premium wheels, including these new Metron SL models. The Lifetime warranty is only valid to customers who register their new wheels with Vision.
On paper, it seems Vision has done its homework and produced a wheel that ticks a lot of important boxes. A rim shape that looks like it’ll be fast and stable? Check. A competitive weight? Indeed. Wide open tyre compatibility? Yup. A hub design that’s easy to service and has potential for great reliability? Yeah, that too.
We’ve requested a review sample from Vision to see how they ride and last. It sounds like those, as with wheels for sale, won’t be available for a number of months.
Wheelset prices range between €2,006 to €2,058. Other international prices are still to be confirmed. Further details can be found at VisionTechUSA.
*Update 16/07/2021: Since the product announcement, Vision has now updated the claimed weights of these new wheel models. The Metron 45 SL Disc tubular and tubeless clinchers are now 1,299 g and 1,373 g respectively. While the Metron 60 SL Disc tubular and tubeless clinchers are 1,450 g and 1,570 g respectively. Do be aware that these heavier weights do impact some of the opinions provided in the above article in regards to weight competiveness.