Vision has steadily improved and expanded their wheel range, and today we bring you what is perhaps the most versatile and useful to the Slowtwitch audience. We’ve already played around with the budget-friendly SC55, which serves as the price entry for Vision carbon wheels. The Metron line is one step above that, opting for full features, the lightest possible carbon lay-up, and extras included at no charge (such as tubeless tape and valves). While Vision has an 81mm version for full aero prowess, the 55 from today’s review is more of a do-it-all wheel set. Triathlon? Sure. Road? You got it. You can even take it one step further into gravel and adventure cycling with no issue, according to Vision representatives. I like versatility, so we’re already off to a great start.
First, the nuts-and-bolts:
-55mm depth rim, 27mm external width, 19mm internal width
-P.R.A. hub with DP spokes
-Available as ISO 6-bolt rotor mount or Centerlock rotor mount
-6 sealed cartridge bearings - 2 front, 4 rear
-2:1 aero bladed spokes- 21 front, 24 rear
-ABS self-locking nipples
-Artisan hand built
-Includes QR, TA-12 front adapters and QR, TA-12, X-12 rear adapters
-Aluminum Shimano 10-11 speed freehub included
-1690g per pair
-Includes Vision TL tape and valves
If you’ve read reviews of older versions of these wheels, you’ll notice that the rim width has grown over time. Original versions featured a 17mm internal width, but they currently stand at 19mm internal. If you’re keeping track, it seems that 19mm has more-or-less become the new road and tri standard, with some products going slightly wider or narrower for specific cases. Also note that the original version of the Metron 55 was not tubeless-ready, while the current version is – once the tape has been applied.
For you serious off-roaders, there is only a 700c option at this time (sorry, no 650b).
I found the hubs to be quite interesting. The front uses relatively standard lacing, with crossed spokes on the disc side, and radial lacing on the non-disc side. Note the 2:1 lacing to help even out spoke tension.
The rear hub is laced in manner that’s arguably controversial: radial lacing on the disc brake side, crossed on the drive side. Traditionally, crossed lacing is required on at least one side of a rear wheel – typically (but not always) the drive side. However, crossed lacing is also encouraged for the disc brake side of a wheel – meaning that rear disc brake wheels usually feature crossed lacing on both sides.
Does this matter? After all, the rear hubshell is effectively a torque tube, and shouldn’t experience much twisting from the inputs of pedaling or braking. We can also safely assume that Vision has performed adequate testing (both in the lab and real world) to ensure that this design is robust and appropriate. For now, we only felt it important to point out this detail, and we’ll let the test miles prove its effectiveness.
Note that Vision does not allow the use of single large cogs, which can result in damage to the freehub. However, this should not be a problem for the vast majority of users, because almost every modern cassette features a wide alloy carrier for the largest and most problematic cog sizes.
Our test wheels came stock with end caps for quick release skewers. Fear not - a full complement of small parts come with every wheelset to accommodate 12mm thru axles.
Vision offers both 6-bolt and Centerlock hubs for the Metron 55. Our test wheels came in 6-bolt configuration, and they even sent some of their very own rotors. Vision is currently in the process of developing their own Centerlock-compatible rotors.
The internal rim profile of the Metron 55 looks very familiar – and similar to the SC55. A deep center channel leads to a flat bead shelf on either side, allowing for the use of tubeless tires. Our SC55s were essentially trouble-free during the tire installation and inflation process, and we anticipate a similar outcome with the Metron 55.
External nipples make for easy wheel truing; a sight for sore eyes for this mechanical weenie.
Vision shared this data with us from the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel. This suggests that the minimum recommended tire size is 25mm. Tests were performed with both the 25mm and 28mm Continental GP5000.
The 2020 Vision Metron 55 SL Disc Clincher/TL is available now, along with its deeper 81mm cousin. Check out more at the Vision website.