Clinch­ers that Mat­ter

Trans­form your road bike with a new set of wheels

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Trans­form your road bike with a new set of wheels

Is your bike lack­ing a bit of snap? Well, a new set of wheels can take care of that. Few up­grades have the same im­pact on your ride as a new pair of hoops. You can go for deeper rims if beat­ing the wind is a pri­or­ity. Or, shed some grams so you can climb a lit­tle eas­ier. High qual­ity hubs will mean you’ll roll bet­ter with each pedal stroke. While tubu­lar wheels are great for the pros, the per­for­mance and easy main­tain­abil­ity of clinch­ers are per­fect for those of us who ride with­out a sup­port ve­hi­cle. Set any of the seven sets be­low into your bike’s dropouts and en­joy the ride.

Vi­sion Metron 55 SL clinch­ers are very well be­haved, strik­ingly so. I know some other wheels with sim­i­lar mid-range depths, 48 to 60 mm deep, that can act up in the wind, es­pe­cially at cer­tain yaw an­gles (those vec­tors that take into ac­count the air you’re push­ing as you go for­ward and the wind that’s blow­ing against you). Yes, some of those mis­be­hav­ing wheels push back when they don’t like the forces act­ing on them. Some wheels, even when they’re about to cut through the wind prop­erly, give a mo­men­tary tug as the air catches around them. But those Metron 55 SL wheels don’t do any of that. “The rim pro­file has more of an oval shape now than the tra­di­tional V shape,” says Michael Law­less, North Amer­i­can mar­ket­ing man­ager for Vi­sion and fsa. “This shape al­lows each wheel to de­flect cross­winds to­ward the cen­tre of the wheel (the most sta­ble point), mak­ing things less twitchy on windy days. Vi­sion wheels are de­signed to per­form the best in cross­winds (higher an­gles of yaw) be­cause very rarely does a rider have a 100 per cent head­wind.” The hubs on the wheels are quite el­e­gant and well-de­signed. They use the com­pany’s Pre­loaded Re­duc­tion Assem­bly (pra) sys­tem, which makes ad­just­ing the preload quite user friendly. You sim­ply loosen the pinch bolt on the hub col­lar, tighten the col­lar by hand and then back it off by about a one-eighth turn. Each hub uses an­gu­lar­con­tact bear­ings, sealed-car­tridge bear­ings that can ad­dress the ra­dial and ax­ial forces that act on them. A reg­u­lar car­tridge bear­ing is only de­signed to han­dle forces along one plane. With hubs, which tilt this way and that in the cor­ners, it’s best to have bear­ing races that ac­count for the var­i­ous forces. The Vi­sion Metron 55 SL is an ex­cel­lent al­ter­na­tive to the more ex­pen­sive Zipp 404. The Zipps are slightly lighter, 1,690 g, while the Mer­ton 55s are 1,730 g. The Zipps also have a slightly bet­ter brake track. But the per­for­mance you get out of the Vi­sions at $1,700 for the pair, in­stead of roughly $3,000 for the Zipps, is ex­cel­lent. ($ 1,700, vi­sion­techusa.com) — mp

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