I tested Vision's Metron 40 Tubular wheels last year, and came away impressed. The Metron 40 Clincher carbon wheels use the same wide and rounded carbon fibre rim, cost the same (£1,499) but at 1,590g, they're are 258g heavier. The clincher rim makes them far more usable for amateur cyclists and racers.
Like the tubular versions, these are fast and responsive wheels, and perform well in all situations, from long distance sportives to flat-out road races. The entire Vision wheel range uses a fashionably wide rim profile, first pioneered by Zipp and Hed, and which is now sweeping through the industry.
The rim measures a whopping 26.45mm at the brake track. The internal width is 17mm. That external rim width does mean you'll have to adjust the brake calipers on your bike to fit the wheels, and does mean wheel changes - say to a training wheel for daily use - require some brake adjustment. It's no biggie though.
The idea behind the wider rim is to offer improved aerodynamics and to create a rounded profile with rim and tyre as a whole, there's an almost seamless transition from the tyre to the rim. The wider rims also more accommodating of wider tyres. 25 and 27mm tyres go on there just fine, without the lightbulb effect you get when fitting wide tyres to narrow rims. Vision recommend a minimum of a 23mm tyre. I used a pair of 23mm Schwalbe One tyres for the test.
Testing aerodynamic products in the real-world, without access to a wind-tunnel, is far from easy and Vision don't provide any aerodynamic data. However, it's clear the wheels are very fast, even compared to some other carbon clinchers. It's noticeably easier to maintain higher average speeds compared to a box section aluminium clincher wheelset.
They also feel very responsive and quick to accelerate from a range of speeds, despite the slightly higher weight compared to the tubular versions. At 1,590g, they're within acceptable limits and compare well to many similar wheels, but they're outshone by the Spin K2 Carbone XLR38 carbon clincher wheels I tested some time ago. They weighed 1,465gand cost over £500 less too.
The Metron wheels have a nice level of stiffness, enough to resist brake rub when sprinting aggressively, even with the brake blocks set up close to the rims. There's a small measure of deflection if you really push them hard, but on most occasions it's undetectable and not enough to negatively affect handling. They're solid, making them ideal for bashing along potholed and cobbled roads, and they even feel quite compliant over rougher surfaces.
Everywhere though, the wheels feel sharp, direct and fast through corners, from tight criterium-style bends to fast open sweepers. One of the really noticeable benefits of the rounded rim shape is stability in a range of wind conditions, you certainly don't need a wind-tunnel to test that out where I live, it always seems to be windy. In a strong crosswind the bike remained stable, with little buffeting, at low and high speeds.
The supplied Vision branded SwissStop brake blocks provide decent braking performance in the dry, an equal to other carbon rims. In the wet, well they're just as bad as most other carbon fibre wheels, and caution needs to be taken when attempting to stop quickly. This is a complaint I can level at most carbon wheels I've ever tested.
Hubs are as important as the rims of course, and there's been no shortcuts here. They feature a carbon-wrapped front hub, with both hubs centered around a large 17mm axle and spinning on ceramic bearings. The freehub accepts a 10 or 11-speed Shimano cassette - a Campagnolo version is available. You get a nice set of quick release skewers supplied in the box, along with some natty wheel bags.
The hubs have proven very reliable. They've been ridden through all weathers, had a hosepipe pointed their direction after most rides, and they're still rolling as smoothly as when they were first lifted out of the box. The hubs feature an adjustable collar to alter the bearing preload if necessary. The hubs do contribute to the great sensation of speed and silky smoothness these wheels offer.
The hubs are laced to the rims with 18 aero bladed spokes in the front wheel, 21 spokes in the rear wheel - seven radial on the non-driveside and 14 two-cross on the driveside. There are external brass nipples all round, so servicing is a doddle. The spokes have remained well tensioned through the test period too.
All things considered, the performance is impressive, and they tick all the boxes I look for in a high-end carbon fibre wheelset. They're fast and very responsive, and the hubs are a highlight with their ceramic bearings.
They're a worthy contender to the much more expensive Zipp 303 (£2,300) but there are some credible competitors closer to the £1,000 mark these days, such as the aforementioned Spin wheels which push the Metron wheels very close.
The Vision wheels have been raced at the highest level in the WorldTour, most notably by Peter Sagan, for the past couple of years. It's a top-level race-proven wheelset at a mid-level price.
Very fast, durable and stable carbon clincher wheels that look the part
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vision Metron 40 Clincher
Size tested: 622x17c
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 Metron 40 is the tactical wheel essential to your quiver. The Metron 40 is built for climbing and CX. Victorious on the Cyclocross track, the cobbles of the spring classics, and the torturous mountain stages in the pro peloton, this wheelset can take whatever you throw at it. Vision's complete wheel system has a 24mm rim width, direct pull bladed spokes, ceramic bearings in P.R.A. hubs, ABS brass nipples, 2 to 1 lacing, CFD / wind tunnel proven aerodynamics, and 100+ pro-podiums over the last few seasons. These wheels are living proof that Vision wheels are among the best in the business. Look no further, your new Clincher or Tubular wheelset is waiting.
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 and wheel bags
''Rims: UD carbon finish
''Front hub: UD carbon finish
''Rear hub: black anodized
''Color graphics option: 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
They're not as expensive as rivals from the likes of Zipp yet they offer a very similar level of performance, and they've been proven at the highest level of professional road cycling.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Bombproof reliability and durability makes them easy to live with as daily wheels, and the rim copes well in windy conditions. Get them wound up to speed and they zip along with impressive pace.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They look great, they're easy to use and live with, braking performance is good (in the dry).
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There are lighter and cheaper wheels available.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
They're a worthy contender to the much more expensive Zipp 303s (£2,300) but there are some credible competitors closer to the £1,000 mark these days, such as the Spin wheels which push the Metron wheels very close.
About the tester
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 has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. 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.