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review

Vision Metron SB20 Seatpost

7
£214.95

VERDICT:

7
10
Super-expensive, high-quality pro-level seatpost that delivers strength and rigidity rather than comfort and low weight
Very nicely made
Functional design
Reasonably easy to set up
Secure clamp
Very expensive
No more comfortable than cheaper posts
Not the lightest
Weight: 
209g

The Vision Metron SB20 seatpost is the pro-level model that has a single-piece carbon fibre shaft and titanium hardware. It comes with a Di2 battery mount. As you'd expect given the price, it's very nicely made and has a premium look, but it doesn't offer much – if any – weight saving over less expensive posts and doesn't add any detectable comfort either. On its website, Vision says "a good seatpost is essential for consistent power delivery against the clock" and that the Metron "delivers", but there don't appear to be any aerodynamic shapes in the Metron's design and there's no data to back this up.

The Metron range is Vision's top-level componentry used by its sponsored pro teams, which include EF Education First and Jumbo-Visma. It's the money-no-object stuff that ought to do everything better, but at over £200 I would expect it to weigh at least under 200g, like the Prime Primavera which is almost £100 cheaper and also 350mm long.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Carbon seatposts ought to add comfort and vibration damping compared to aluminium posts, but I found it hard to detect much extra comfort compared to the aluminium Zipp Service Course, although it did damp higher frequency vibration better than the aluminium.

I wondered if the overbuilt, angular head adds a little too much rigidity to the Vision's construction. A round post tends to flex more evenly along its length, but even with a reasonable amount of seatpost exposed I found that the best way to improve rear-end comfort with the Vision was to lower my tyre pressure.

2020 Vision Metron SB20 Seatpost 2.jpg

To be fair, Vision doesn't explicitly claim that the Metron seatpost adds comfort, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a premium carbon post to be quite a bit more comfortable than an aluminium one that's four times cheaper, and, as I mentioned, apart from the recessed bolts being shrouded (as they generally must be with the two-bolt design) I couldn't see any evidence of aerodynamic design for delivering consistent power "against the clock".

Setup and ride

Even though you ideally need at least three hands to set up two-bolt clamps like this, it's worth it for the ease of fore-aft and tilt adjustment. It's easier to fit the saddle to the seatpost before you fit the seatpost to the bike, so that you can turn post and saddle upside down and get the recessed bolt started without it trying to fall out. Then you can make adjustments once it's on the bike.

2020 Vision Metron SB20 Seatpost 3.jpg

With the two-bolt type, once the rails are in and clamped, they're held very securely and the saddle's not going anywhere – as was the case with the Vision Metron. Incidentally, the Metron seatpost is compatible with both round and oval rails.

2020 Vision Metron SB20 Seatpost 5.jpg

To help the clamp stay fixed in place, the top of the seatpost head has a grippy finish, but really the design is so good that it's probably not needed, because the even tension between the two bolts is easily enough.

The 27.2mm version I tested (it's also available in 31.6mm diameter) fitted beautifully into the frame with a thin coating of the complimentary carbon paste that comes in the box, and stayed perfectly in place with zero slippage throughout the test period.

2020 Vision Metron SB20 Seatpost 4.jpg

A Di2 battery mount is also supplied, which I didn't use as I'm running mechanical on my test bike.

2020 Vision Metron SB20 Seatpost 6.jpg

Since everything about the Vision Metron right down to the packaging itself – a very chic black box – has a very premium look and feel, I had high expectations for the ride quality, so was slightly surprised when I took it on its first outing – a 2.5-hour ride around Surrey lanes that are just starting to get potholey. It didn't feel that different from an aluminium seatpost four times cheaper – the Zipp Service Course. And, as mentioned, it didn't make my bike much lighter either.

Value and conclusion

Yes, £215 sounds like a lot of money, but there are more expensive seatposts out there. The Enve Carbon Seatpost costs aother £55 and is heavier than the Vision. The Canyon VCLS 2.0 is just over a tenner more than the Vision, but the high price is more easily justified here because the Canyon has an innovative leaf-spring suspension system, specifically to improve comfort.

The Ritchey WCS Carbon Flexlogic is cheaper at £187 and quite a bit lighter at 163g.

> 9 ways to make your bike more comfortable

So, the Vision Metron is high quality, well engineered, strong and has WorldTour looks, but it might not decrease weight or increase comfort as much as the high price implies it should.

Verdict

Super-expensive, high-quality pro-level seatpost that delivers strength and rigidity rather than comfort and low weight

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Vision Metron SB20 Seatpost

Size tested: 27.2mm, 350mm

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 says: "A good seatpost is essential for consistent power delivery against the clock. The Metron SB20 post delivers, with carbon fiber monocoque construction that combines the shaft and head into a single, strong yet lightweight piece. 20mm of setback is ideal for riders who need their saddle a little further back, putting it into the middle of the adjustment range. The post is topped off with a forged alloy Minimal Top Clamp for secure saddle location. Simple two-bolt adjustment allows fine control of your saddle angle, so it's easy to get your ideal riding position."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Vision's website:

Optimized aero design

Full carbon body

Ultralight Ti hardware

Fit Ø7mm standard rails and 7X9mm oval rails

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Beautifully made.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
6/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Vision doesn't go into much detail about the Metron seatpost's designated purpose other than that "a good seapost is essential for consistent power delivery against the clock." It achieves this because it is very rigid and there's none of the 'bouncing' that a very flexible seatpost can induce. However, I couldn't see anything that made it an 'against the clock' time trialling seatpost. Certainly most modern TT bikes have integrated seatposts but I couldn't see any evidence of aerodynamics being applied to the Metron seatpost's design and there's no aero data to back it up. Additionally, one of a seatpost's primary purposes is to supply a little bit of suspension, and another is to cut a bit of weight, especially if it costs as much as this one, and I thought the Vision Metron could have done better in these two areas.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Very nicely made to tight tolerances with a clamp that works perfectly. Nice touch to include a sachet of carbon paste with it, and the packaging is very chic.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I would have liked a little more comfort and a little less weight considering the price.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Enve Carbon Seatpost is more expensive at £270 and is heavier than the Vision. The Canyon VCLS 2.0 costs £12 more than the Vision, but has an built-in leaf-spring suspension system, specifically to improve comfort.

The Ritchey WCS Carbon Flexlogic is cheaper at £187 and quite a bit lighter at 163g, while the Prime Primavera, which is also 350mm long, is almost £100 cheaper and is also sub 200g.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, as long as they weren't looking for extra comfort or very low weight.

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Vision Metron SB20 is a beautifully made seatpost that looks very pro, especially if used with other Vision Metron finishing kit, and is clearly super strong and the clamp system is totally solid. I'm giving it a 7, meaning 'good', because it worked really well, but for the price I would like it to have been a little more comfortable, a little lighter, and I'd like to understand what makes it a seatpost for riding "against the clock".

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 178cm  Weight: 68kg

I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu  My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem

Simon finished his MA in online journalism back in 2003 when the internet wasn't very exciting or popular yet. So he got a job as a sub editor on Britain's biggest weekly cycling magazine, where as well as taking out commas and putting them back in again he got to review a lot of bikes and kit.

As a keen time triallist he has spent many hours riding up and down dual carriageways early in the morning and has a national medal, a 19-minute 10 and a few open wins in his palmarès.

He and his eight-year-old son do the school run on a tandem, beating the traffic in car-choked Reigate and getting a great workout at the same time (for one of them).

 

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