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Wheels can make or break a bike, and these Vision Metron 40 Tubular wheels will flatter and enhance any bike they're fitted to with slick performance, a good turn of speed and great looks. Not that looks are important at all, but they are really and that's one big reason for the enduring popularity of deep section wheels.
The wheels here are essentially the same as those used by the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team, which includes of course Peter Sagan. They've been racing them last couple of seasons, at Grand Tours and in the Classics, and had a few victories along the way. So they've proved their worth in professional competition, but are they any good in the real-world? Short answer; yes.
They're 40mm deep, as their name suggests (Vision offer a choice of rim depths, these are the shallowest) and the have a trendy wide 25.4mm profile, very much similar to Zipp's Firecrest. I mounted a pair of 25mm Schwalbe Ultremo 25mm tubular tyres and they proved a good match, the wide rim providing a good foundation for the wide tyres, with a smooth transition from rim to tyre, no light bulb effect and a smooth teardrop overall rim and tyre profile. Vision specify a 23mm minimum tyre width, so no going fitting 21mm tubs okay?
The rim shape was developed using computational fluid dynamic analysis and wind tunnel testing but Vision don't make any of this data available, and with the road.cc wind tunnel out of action at the moment, it's tricky to validate the aero performance of the wheels. That leaves real-world seat of the pants impressions, and boy did they impress me - these are properly fast wheels.
The wheels provided instantaneous acceleration due to the low 1,332g weight, so climbing and building up to speed was a joy. I used them in several road races and here they excelled with the higher speeds involved, because above about 35km/h they noticeably roll along with greater momentum than regular wheels. That's to be expected but not all deep section wheel have that same feeling of actually helping to push you along the road. These do that.
Deep section wheels can a handful in windy conditions though, but the bulbous rim shape and reasonably shallow depth of the Vision wheels gave them plenty of stability in blustery and very windy conditions. It was easy to hold your line even in a strong crosswind. They simply weren't blown off line easily like older V-shape section rims.
While the wheels felt good and stiff during out of the saddle straight line sprints, with no brake rub evident, it was possible to detect a bit of flex when loading up the wheels heavily into fast corners. Still, you have to push the wheels pretty hard and even then, there were no unpredictable handling traits as a result.
Braking performance with the supplied Vision brake blocks was excellent. They were firm and tight but not grabby, with plenty of power on tap for those situations when you need to come to a speedy halt. Using the brakes on longer descents didn't result in any undesired heat buildup either, and the braking performance remained progressive and predictable. It's on a par with Zipp and Enve.
The hubs have a 17mm diameter axle up front. The rims are laced to the hubs with 18 radial, bladed spoke in the front wheel and 21 in the rear comprising 14 two-cross laced on the driveside and seven radial spokes on the non-driveside, with ABS self locking nipples. The rear hub has a freehub compatible with Shimano/SRAM 9 to 11-speed, and a Campagnolo version is also available.
Durability was faultless. I tested the wheels all summer, raced them, trained on them, rode them in the rain, took them down muddy rocky tracks, and they shrugged it all off. The wheels are still true, I've not had to take a spoke key to them, and the hubs are still as smooth as the day I pulled them out of the box.
They've proved their worth in the spring Classics under Peter Sagan, and in the real world they're brilliant wheels. They're even a reasonably comfortable wheel, helped no doubt by the 25mm tyres and running them at about 80-90psi.
It's difficult not to use Zipp wheels as a benchmark for testing deep section wheels, but even against such competition the Vision Metron 40 Tubular wheels are hugely impressive and very capable. They're a similar weight, offer great braking and aero performance, look smart in any bike they're fitted to, and they're significantly cheaper, which makes them a bit of a bargain considering the level of performance they offer. Vision might not be the go-to choice for fast wheels, but these are worthy of consideration if you're in the market for fast wheels.
The price also includes branded wheel bags, valve extenders, brake blocks and carbon fibre quick release levers.
Fast, smooth, wide and very capable wheels at a decent weight and competitive price
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Make and model: Vision Metron 40 Tubular
Size tested: 633x24.5, Hollow Monocoque Carbon, Tubular Rim
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's ultrafast and stable aero wheel developed through extensive CFD analysis and wind tunnel testing. Top-of-the-line hubs with low drag bearings.
The Vision Metron 40 Carbon Tubular Wheelset is a 24.5mm wide, 40mm deep dish carbon clincher aero section wheelset. The wider rims gives it a super aero modern rim shape that cuts through the air effortlessly and with the extra light P.R.A (Preload Reduction Assembly) hubs and straight pull, aero bladed spokes make these wheels 1320g per pair. They 're the perfect wheel to road race on, and are uses for the Cannondale Pro Cycling team week in week out. The hubs use 6 sealed bearings, 4 in the rear, 2 in the front mounted onto a 17mm axle. They finish the rear hub off with an aluminium freehub body in either Shimano 9/10/11 speed or Campagnolo 10/11 speed. Vision have had these wheels built by hand in Italy by people considered to be artist of their trade.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Full carbon 40mm section tubular rim
''New extra light P. R.A. hubs for DP spokes
''17mm hub axle diameter
''Aero bladed spokes
''Special ABS self locking nipples
''Artisan built, entirely by hand
''Includes special carbon QR (QR-89), brake pads, valve extenders and wheel bags
''Rims: UD carbon finish
''Front hub: UD carbon finish
''Rear hub: black anodized
''Color graphics options: red, black
Sizes: Aluminum freehub body for Shimano 9-10-11sp or Campagnolo 10-11sp
'' Spokes (F/R): 18 radial front wheel; 21 rear wheel, 14 cross x2 drive side and 7 radial non drive side (2:1 ratio)
'' Minimum tire requirement of 23mm
'' Weight: 1,320g/pair (w/o QR)
Yes £1500 is a lot of cash, though shopping around does reveal some discounts, but they offer a very similar level of performance to the Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular and they're significantly cheaper than those, so with that in mind they do offer good value for that is clearly a very high performance product
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really fast wheels for people who like to ride fast, not just buying deep sections for the looks alone.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They're rock solid in the wind, very fast at high speeds, very light and superbly durable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's a bit of occasional flex in the corners when really tanking along.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
These are impressive wheels from a company with not much track record in premium high performance wheels, but they've proved their worth at the hands of Peter Sagan and they proved their worth in my hands.
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.