2017 FSA Vision Metron 55SL disc brake carbon road bike wheels

The new Vision Metron SL Wheels are their the top level wheels. The last version was released four years ago, and the new SL uses the same asymmetric rim profile with offset spokes to maximize wheel stiffness. They look similar, but the details are drastically different. The rim gets a revised layup to save a few grams and an improved braking surface with a woven exterior layer that’s laser treated to remove surface resin and roughen it for better friction. They say with the included SwissStop pads the stopping power is on par with alloy rims. We rode a set and they are indeed solid stoppers.

The hubs get a new shell and upgrade from standard cartridge bearings to angular contact bearings to reduce side loaded drag. It goes to a one-piece preload adjustment collar that runs all the way up the side. The driveside flange diameter is taller, too, to shorten the spokes and improve triangulation. The pawls contact a new engagement ring with more teeth for quicker engagement, too.

2017 FSA Vision Metron 40SL disc brake carbon road bike wheels

The new wheels will come in 40, 55 and 81 millimeter depths in tubular and clincher. There’ll also be a disc brake version with the 40mm depth that’ll have 12mm thru axle and QR compatibility. Rim widths are 17mm internal/25mm-25.5mm external for the two shallower depths, and the 81mm is 16mm/24.8mm. Tubulars are 24.8mm and 24.3mm, respectively, at the outside of the brake track.

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The hubs are entirely new, with the visual differences at the rear thanks to its taller driveside flanges. But there’s even more hiding under the surface. The design is called PRA (Preload Reduction Assembly) and uses a clamping collar that limits the side load you can put on the bearings, so you can’t over tighten it and create drag. This new collar is a larger, one-piece cone shaped thread-on unit, compared to the previous ring-shaped one.

The hubs switch to angular contact bearings, with larger-than-before bearings on the non-drive side.

Flange diameter grows from 47.9mm to 60mm at the spoke mounts, and they switch to 3x lacing to make the wheels even stiffer.

Lastly, the spoke mounting locations get pushed even wider, as do the bearings inside the freehub body, which also aid complete system stiffness. The freehub body upgrades to independent springs for each of the three pawls (versus one large spring ring for all pawls), which helps reduce drag. The front hub’s shell was reshaped, too, which they say shaved half a watt of drag in the wind tunnel, and it’s 18g lighter. Incremental gains. Rear hub weight is about the same despite growing in diameter where it counts. Pricing and weights are:

  • Metron SL 40 Rim Brake Clincher: 2056.99 – 1490g
  • Metron SL 40 Rim Brake Tubular $2056.99 – 1330g
  • Metron SL 40 Disc Brake Clincher: 1999.99 – 1580g
  • Metron SL 40 Disc Brake Tubular: $1999.99 – 1420g
  • Metron SL 55 Clincher: $2068.99 – 1540g
  • Metron SL 55 Tubular: $2068.99 – 1430g
  • Metron SL 55 Disc Brake Clincher: $TBD – 1630g
  • Metron SL 55 Disc Brake Tubular: $TBD – 1520g
  • Metron SL 81Clincher: $2108.99 – 1820g
  • Metron SL 81 Tubular: $2108.99 – 1460g

Rim brake models ship with the black pads for dry weather, but they recommend the yellow pads for wet weather.

The new Metron Carbon Stem is a full monocoque carbon part…which is almost identical to the FSA stem of the same level, so here’s the deal. Vision is aimed at the elite road racer with parts that are more aerodynamically concerned. Case in point, the new Vision stem gets a Metron level that uses a different faceplate to differentiate it from the more open FSA K-Force model. As for hierarchy, here’s how the two lines break down: Vision has Metron (top), then Trimax, then Team (bottom). FSA has K-Force, SL-K, etc. Think of those like Dura-Ace Di2, then DA/Ult Di2, then Ultegra, and on down. In general, the Vision brand is moving more toward being their primary branding/naming for high end road, triathlon and time trial, and more focused on the accessories and cockpit parts. The FSA brand will be primarily used for drivetrain parts across all types of bikes, and the mountain bike cockpit stuff.

This stem comes with ti hardware, a 1-1/4″ steerer clamp opening and an adapter to size down to the more common 1-1/8″. Claimed weight is 150g for 100mm, also available in 110/120/130 lengths, all with a -6º rise.

New Vision Metron seatpost gets 0mm, 20mm, 25mm and 32mm setback options that uses a totally new design with an aero shaped user section. The head design is called CAB, for Carbon Arc Body, and allows the clamp section to rotate along the curved arc of the head. The Di2 battery insert is now plastic rather than alloy to shave grams. They come in 400mm lengths and 27.2/31.6 diameters. Weights around 220g-228g depending on size.

Want more? Check out their new super compact Adventure Cranks for road and our first impressions of the WE electronic shifting group.

FullSpeedAhead.com

19 COMMENTS

    • Not true. As someone in the industry, I receive a good amount of my information on products and trends from BR. Some sales reps are ghosts and we wouldn’t know what’s coming down the pipe otherwise.

      • So you’re in the industry and you car about FSA? If you are bringing high end parts into the Shop I’m sure FSA is at the bottom the list of what people want

        • But FSA is OEM on many bikes, and thus matters to the average mechanic. Seeing what’s coming down the pipe gives a wrench a better chance to be able to fix it, and I think everybody here knows that’s important for FSA.

        • You’d be surprised what people want. Most people don’t study components, we show them what’s available and make recommendations. Sometimes style and price are key factors in their decision (as well as availability). And with Metron being more reasonable than Zipp and Enve, it’s another option worth knowing about.

            • So, OldTimerCat1, it seems you’re intimating that there’s something wrong with FSA/Vision wheels, stems, and seat posts? Granted there’s been an issue of QC or design problems with FSA cranks, but that doesn’t mean that those problems exist in the components referenced in this article.

              • Would have to agree – most reading this are riding some version of a short and shallow drop bar, which wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for FSA.

                Their stems and seat posts have had no more or less problems than most other brands out there. I’d bet that if one took the real number of problem cranks as a percentage vs. other components it would look no different than Mavic or Easton or Sram or most bike companies that inevitably have some misses. It’s just too easy to repeat some prejudice one has heard, and if it gets repeated enough it must be the truth!

                I think we sometimes mistake rearranging our prejudices for thinking …

    • Funny.. Most people that click to see a review are interested in the brand they just clicked on.. So your statement is rather bleak. You see, I bet if you don’t like a restaurant, you just don’t go anymore.. Right?!.. I bet you’ve never walked in to that restaurant with a bunch of diners in there and belted that nobody likes this restaurant. That just doesn’t happen.. So why then, do you feel obliged to do that here?.. Same thing.. Just doesn’t make sense and makes you look like a jerk.. I love FSA for everything they have done for me and I ride most everything FSA/Vision. Maybe your mommy forgot the lesson if you have nothing nice to say…

    • Yes they do. Nice wheels. They came on a bike I own and I was pleasantly surprised compared to my experiences with their cranks. Those new cranks do look promising though.

  1. You would think that with products that have traditionally failed so much, the warranty dept would be the best. Too bad it’s the worst. They should fire the entire warranty dept and start over with people who have better attitude and treat people with respect. They have the terrible phone presents and sound like they hate their jobs anyway.

  2. With a 3 cross lacing pattern on the drive side, higher flanges make zero difference to stiffness as the spokes are near fully tangential. The wider flanges will though, but I bet the driving force of the flange change was to fit bigger bearings.
    As to quality mentioned above, we all know that FSA chainrings only last a cluster or two and then you have to run around like a mad cow trying to fnd replacements for top dollar. Usually ends up cheaper to just replace with a Shimano crank.

    • Word, Darryl! You frequently see that claim of better tension balance from a larger drive side flange, with people completely ignoring the obvious geometry that instructs otherwise.

      And propriety chainrings suck, especially from smaller brands that aren’t widely distributed!

  3. @ Darryl . That’s exactly what I did on my FSA double MTB crankset. Got so tired of the chain suck. Called and got the “lastest” update outside ring (they have lots of updates) and it did the exact same thing. Switched to a Shimano complete crankset with zero chain suck.

    As for you idea about larger bearings for the larger flange height you are correct. All hubs have to be compatible for thru axles and sure they didn’t want to have a different look between disc and non disc hubs I would guess. Disc hubs would certainly need larger bearings.

    Their Vision wheels are actually pretty bad ass and pretty much bomb proof. They won’t need re-tensioning for a long time.

  4. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve ran FSA components on a couple of bikes with no problems, but on this site, I only hear negative comments on FSA. Is it a real world problem or just people jumping on the hate wagon?

    Btw, the above wheels and seatpost look good.

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