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.

VisionTechUSA.com

11 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe I’ve missed something – but what about the weight? Aside of rim depth and width, that’s most important for me at least…

    • Actual weight is coming in our review. The folks at Vision were really hurried in wanting to get this out ASAP, so it was just a first look and not an in-depth review.

  2. Actually the Metron SL’s have been shipping with this brake surface from the start of the year (i have a pair of Metron 55SL TLR) even though their website doesn’t reflect this! Not entirely clear what the difference is unless they are simply heavier, otherwise specs appear the same.

    • Thanks for the heads-up. I had checked the site, and noticed that the Metrons didn’t have the same braking surface as the SC’s (and Vision did not inform us of the change – all signs were showing that the new surface was only for these lower cost SC wheels). Based on everything they said, it is just a cosmetic weave and has no positive or negative effect on braking performance or safety.

  3. Curious. The Metron SL line has shipped with this braking surface and finish already since the start of the year…i have a pair of Metron 55 SL TLR. Looks like the only difference may be in the hubs (no PRA mechanism which is a faff anyway), and perhaps a little heavier? Those also look like round spokes…surely not on an aero wheel!

  4. I have brought the Vision SC 55DB(disc, Tubless ready) with Merida reacto force edition road bike recently.

    but I can’t find out the tubeless kit with valves and special tape. Can I buy this kit from where? or not yet in the market?

  5. No problem Greg. I had asked Vision directly through various channels about the technical differences on the Metron SL’s i have, seems they have never bothered to update their website and still don’t show the model i’m running. For what it’s worth i have owned and ridden the original generation Metron 40’s, the 40SL’s with the laser-etched track, and the new ‘kaleidoscope’ brake track and would say it’s pretty good, much better modulation and better in the wet. I can supply more photos if you want 🙂

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