26 Mar 2018
LIGHTER WHEELS TO GO FASTER AND STRONGER
There is one thing that unites many a recreational cyclist, aside from chafing, and that’s the subject of grams, or more specifically, cutting them – in pursuit of riding faster, longer and stronger. For this, a cyclist’s first port of call is often a new set of wheels; they carry most of the rotating weight on your bike, and a quality pair can make a sizeable difference to feel and performance.
The improvement is especially true of a weight-slashing set like Vision’s Metron 30 SL, which are Vision’s lightest yet, with the tubular version hitting the scales at just 1,260g for the pair; and even the clincher set registers a svelte 1,400g.
Vision’s Metron 30 SLs also save weight because of the 30mm-deep rim. Though not offering the comparable aerodynamics of Vision’s Metron 81s, they still provide drag-busting benefits. But it’s that shallower rim that makes them a wonderful all-rounder, taming technical courses and conquering climbs with ease.
Why wheel weight matters
There’s a classic cycling phrase, ‘An ounce off the wheels is worth a pound off the frame,’ which stems from the idea that rotating weight has greater influence over speed than static weight. Why? Cast your mind back to your school physics days, and more specifically, to inertia – based on the idea that mass further away from the centre of rotation is harder to move than mass closer to the centre of rotation.
Seen through the cycling lens, this means it takes less effort to rotate mass at the centre (the hub) than at a distance (the rim). It’s why famous figure skaters like Michelle Kwan tuck their arms in tight when seeking maximum rotation speed – in essence, they’re decreasing the mass away from the centre of rotation, which lowers inertia and gets them up to speed quickly.
This pays particular dividends when you’re riding uphill as lower speeds, along with the influence of gravity, conspire to make inertia a bigger issue than on the flat. Wheels that have lighter rims, such as the Vision Metron 30 SLs, also pay off on technical courses that involve numerous accelerations and decelerations. In short, a lighter set of wheels saves you weight and time, especially on parcours that are particularly hilly and winding.
Stay strong and true
While ultralight is sought after, it’s not all about weight. It’s all very well producing a full-carbon set of hoops, but they must also be strong and durable enough to cope with the demands of road racing, triathlon and training. Thankfully, that’s guaranteed, not only because Vision’s wheels are constructed by hand, but also down to the impressive strength-to-weight ratio of Vision’s carbon, 16 spokes upfront and 21 outback, and the ABS self-locking nipples that will keep you riding strong and true.
The 30 SLs make choosing a wheel upgrade easy, so all that’s left is to simply decide on clinchers or tubulars. We mentioned in the aero wheels feature //aero wheels feature LINK// the merits of each but, in brief, tubulars are arguably the fastest because of the higher air pressure they can handle but can be fiddly if you get a puncture. Clinchers are also fast and arguably the most practical as you can easily replace a puncture mid-ride; that said, you might not have to as these wheels are tubeless ready. Fill tubeless with liquid sealant and you can resist punctures up to 6mm in length.
And if all that’s not enough, they’re equally as adept at stopping thanks to the lazer-etched micro-dot brake surface texture, perfect for performing with confidence.