Vision Tech has announced a new line of budget-minded carbon clincher road wheels, called the SC 40 and SC 55. Priced below $1,100 per pair, they’re available in (you guessed it) 40 and 55mm depths, in both rim and disc brake configurations. Featuring 2:1 lacing, tubeless compatibility, and a very unique braking surface, they’re aiming at the top competitors in mid-tier performance clincher wheels.
First Look: Vision Tech SC 55 carbon clincher road wheels
Vision Tech is the performance road and aerodynamic line of FSA, and has been in the wheel game for a while now. While their Metron SL line still occupies the top spot in the Vision lineup, they’re expanding downward into lower price points with the new SC series. Available in 40 and 55mm depths with rim and disc brake options, they’re right around 50% cheaper – making them an attractive buy. We just received a set of rim brake SC 55 wheels to test, and this is our first look at the new hoops.
Out of the box, the wheels are wrapped in rim covers that are presumably intended to prevent scratches or other cosmetic damage while storing or moving the wheels around.
After removing the rim covers, the first thing that jumps out is a very strange looking braking surface of the SC 55. It has large angular sections that are different shades and reflect light differently – and is nothing like the braking surface on the more expensive Metron line. As of now, Vision representatives have been very tight-lipped on this, and haven’t responded to questions about whether there is a performance benefit to the braking surface, or if it’s simply a cosmetic treatment. We’ll update with more info as we get it. [Ed: Vision confirmed that the appearance of the braking surface does not have a performance benefit.]
Note that disc brake versions have the same rim shape, but a different layup without the unique rim brake surface.
A warning sticker on the freehub that suggests it’s made of a soft and light alloy – so you cannot use cassettes with individual large cogs that aren’t on a carrier. An XDR freehub is also available for SRAM 1×11 and 1×12 drivetrains.
Our test wheels are the rim brake version, so the hubs follow the standard of 100mm front, 130mm rear, with quick release skewers.
The front hub uses 16 spokes, while the rear has 21 in a 2:1 lacing pattern. This greatly evens out rear spoke tension, aiming for better longevity. We inquired about rider weight limits, and Vision Tech representatives shared this official response:
“With a rider’s weight above 90 Kg (198 lbs) we recommend to check frequently the wheels, their components and inspect the bicycle more frequently [than normal]. With a rider’s weight over 109 Kg (240 lbs) the integrity of the wheels and their lifespan could reduce dramatically.”
The rims are reported to be fully tubeless-compatible, though they ship with rim tape intended for standard clinchers and tubes. A tubeless kit with valves and special tape will also be available for $75.
The Vision SC line will be available for purchase in September. The SC 40 has a price of $999 USD per pair, while the SC 55 comes in at $1,099 USD.