Getting their racing debut at the Tour de France right now, FSA Vision has just released the full details on new range of wide, lightweight carbon Metron 45 SL & 60 SL disc brake aero road wheels – in both tubulars & tubeless clinchers. Expanding up to 20% wider than the previous Vision Metron SL generation for optimized aerodynamics with wider tires, these new disc brake wheels are both deeper and 11-13% lighter weight than before, and even get new faster-engaging hubs.
Vision Metron 45 & 60 SL Disc wide aero road wheels
Last season Vision snuck in a wider 19mm internal update to their long-running Metron SL wheels when they launched the deepest Metron 81 SLs. But now those 55 SL & 40 SL wheels have been superseded by another, slightly deeper & wider update in these new Vision Metron 45 SL Disc & Metron 60 SL Disc wheels.
Both new wheelsets (there are actually four new rim profiles factoring in tubular & tubeless options) feature a new wider rim shape based on a 21mm internal, full-carbon hooked tubeless bead that has been optimized for improved aerodynamics with modern 28mm racing tires. The overall rims are a similar shape, but now bulge out even wider relative to the bead and get a more blunt nose shape. Vision says the new shape results in less drag straight into the wind, but also reduces drag at yaw angles where a shallow rim would typically be better, still increasing crosswind stability by 15-21%.
Tubular rims share the same outer dimension & shaping, again optimized for larger volume tubular tires.
The 45mm deep, 21mm internal rim expands out to a max 31.1mm outside (5.1mm more than the 19mm internal 40mm deep predecessor). And the 60mm deep, 21mm internal wheels take it even further, expanding out to a full 33mm at their widest point (6mm more than the 19mm internal 55mm deep predecessor).
So how did they get so much lighter?
The key trick to the wider Metron SL Disc wheels’ weight loss appears to be more advanced handmade carbon construction. Vision says that besides more accurate hand layup of the individual plies of fiber and new reinforcement at the spoke holes, they’ve also added a new foam layer between carbon layers that help improve stiffness characteristics at a lower total weight.
Quantifying just how lighter they claim to be is a bit tricky since the wider 45mm & 60mm depths are both new, but even compared to the 5mm shallower wheels, they all are lighter than either of the narrower prior generations.
- Metron 45 SL Disc tubulars 1270g (down 150-190g over the 40 SLs)
- Metron 45 SL Disc tubeless clinchers 1510g (down 140-190g over the 40 SLs)
- Metron 60 SL Disc tubulars 1350g (down 170-190g over the 55 SLs)
- Metron 60 SL Disc tubeless clinchers 1460g (down 170-230g over the 55 SLs)
Besides lighter carbon rims, the new wheels get new 12mm thru-axle centerlock hubs as well (tool-free QR & 15mm front end caps, also available), with faster PRS (Power Ratchet System) tech 5° helical clutch ratchet 72-point engagement and the option for Shimano HG or SRAM XD-R alloy freehub bodies. The wheels are all handbuilt with Italian stainless butted aero spokes & self-locking nipples, laced 2:1 with 21 spokes front & 24 spokes rear.
New Vision Metron 45 & 60 SL Disc – Pricing, options & availability
Four sets of new disc brake-only wheels are available for pre-order now, Vision Metron 45 SL Disc tubeless clinchers and Vision Metron 45 SL Disc tubulars for 2006€ each wheelset, or Vision Metron 60 SL Disc tubeless clinchers and Vision Metron 60 SL Disc tubulars for 2058€ each wheelset.
Whichever depth or tire interface you choose, these new Metron SL Disc wheels also come with a new lifetime warranty for the original buyer from Vision.
EF Education First-Nippo & Bahrain-Victorious teams are currently racing the 2021 Tour de France on the new Vision Metron 45 SL & 60 SL wheels, picking the ideal depth based on the amount of climbing on a stage, and both opting for the lighter tubular versions it seems.