‘Cross and gravel-friendly bits from aero brand…
For 2014, aero-focused brand Vision has a handful of offerings that should appeal to the ‘cross and gravel riders among us. Founded in 1992, the company was purchased a decade later by cockpit giant FSA. While there has been a bit of overlap between the two brands, Vision is currently working to set itself apart, focusing on aspects of their wheels that they feel weren’t up to snuff. To that end, the company has invested heavily in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and wind tunnel testing for aero rims and reworking their hubs and lacing patterns as part of what is being called the Complete Wheel System concept.
In an attempt to reduce the effects of skewer compression on hub bearings, Vision has developed a threaded axle fixing clamp. The Preload Reduction Assembly design alone is said to reduce bearing resistance by 10% over previous models- and is considerably cheaper than going ceramic. Non-disc rear wheels are built using 2:1 lacing, allowing for a better balanced wheel and lower spoke counts. At the same time, lateral and torsional stiffness is also improved. In a gift to mechanics everywhere, Vision uses standard spokes and external nipples. That’s right: the wheels on which Peter Sagan wins stages in the Tours of France, Switzerland, California, Oman, and elsewhere have exposed nipples for easy truing.
Of particular interest to cyclocross and road riders, the Metron 40 carbon fibre wheelset uses a 40mm deep profile to balance aerodynamics, weight, and stability. Weights vary from 1,320g (tubular / rim brake) to 1,775g (clincher / disc brake) and in price from $2,300 – $2,700/£TBC.
Coming back down to earth a bit is the Team 30 Disk. An alloy-rimmed wheelset built using bladed J-bend spokes, the 30mm profile provides a bit of mud and wind relief at an everyday-friendly $700/£TBC. Weight is a reassuring 1,930g.
Not a ‘cross-specific product, the Metron 4D carbon/Kevlar handlebar combines a number of elements that should make for an extremely comfortable ‘bar. Building on sister company FSA’s hugely popular compact drop shape, the Metron 4D adds a 10° forward sweep along the bar top for an elbows-out climbing position and easier breathing. In the drops, a 5mm outward jog allows for a more natural position when paired with bulky hydraulic brake/shift levers. The flattened top section is in keeping with Vision’s aero focus and the flat sections at the corners makes for a more comfortable and stable transition from bar to hoods. Weight is 240g and the bar is available in 400mm, 420mm, and 440mm centre-centre measurements. A matching monocoque carbon stem and seatpost are also available.