FSA/Vision’s time trial groupset has been on our radar for a while now – we first came across prototypes at Eurobike 2010. Finally the group is ready and set to be ridden by Gustav Larsson and his Vacansoleil-DMC teammates, plus Team Androni Giocattoli too, at the Giro d'Italia. Designed purely to meet the needs of TT riders, it has components that radically differ from any else on the market right now.
Up front the Metron TT shifter looks at first glance like a brake lever. Designed to fit into the forward extensions of a TT bar, the lever blade is actually the up-shifter. A pull on the lever allows for shifting of up to three cogs at a time, with a return to the start position after shifting. Downshifts are done via the button integrated into the lever housing, a simple push providing the shift. The unit weighs in at 192g and is compatible with Shimano drivetrains (as well as Metron, obviously).
The front derailleur uses a carbon link construction and a wider than usual spacing. The cage is a full-aluminium affair and uses stainless steel hardware for precise, flex-free shifts under load. The shape of the cage allows for a maximium tooth difference of 16t which means it’ll work with anything from a compact 50/34t setup up to a TT-specific 56t outer ring. Despite the burly construction, the front mech only tips the scales to the tune of 63g (braze-on).
The rear mech looks radically different to the early designs and prototypes. It has an aerodynamic design, with the outer and inner cage plates fully enclosed to reduce turbulence. The pulleys mix a standard 11t top wheel with a massive 15t lower. Vision claim the larger lower pulley saves energy, though that remains to be seen. The short cage design will accept up to a 28t sprocket and is compatible with Metron, SRAM and Shimano drivetrains.
The Metron cassette features heavily ramped teeth and pins to aid faster shifting. The internals are heavily machined but Vision have avoided removing too much material from the freehub interface to help reduce damage to alloy freehub bodies. The sprocket are riveted together rather than machined from one piece a la SRAM but weight is kept down to a healthy 165g (11-21t). The 10-speed cassette will be available with ratios of 11-21t, 11-23t and 12-25t.
The Metron crankset uses hollow unidirectional carbon fibre arms bonded to an aluminium axle that spins on full ceramic bearings. The heavily scalloped shape of the arms is wind tunnel designed and keeps the Q-factor (distance between pedal centres) down to a respectable 145mm.
The dome shaped spider and solid outer ring keep it aerodynamic, and looking great. Arms will be available in lengths from 170 to 180mm, increasing in 2.5mm increments. There's a choice of three chainring combinations: 53/39, 54/42 or 55/42t. Complete claimed weight is 730g.
Just when you thought we had enough bottom bracket standards in cycling, along comes another. But before you dismiss the BB386 design used here, we think it’s actually the most interesting and the one with the widest potential applications.
While Cannondale’s excellent BB30 system is considered the benchmark of light weight and stiffness, it does require a bike designed to use it. That’s because it relies on a direct fit (to the frame) bearing. FSA/Vision, who offer plenty of BB30 options, have taken the principle of a bigger 30mm axle but increased the width from 80mm to 86mm. This means that, with the use of one of FSA’s various bottom bracket adaptors you can use a BB386 chainset on any bike.
The increase in axle width widens the Q-factor over BB30 bikes, but Vision have designed the chainset to minimise this. Bikes designed from the outset to use the BB386 standard can be built with a wider bottom bracket shell, which helps improve rigidity in this crucial area.
Aero brake levers
The Metron aero brake levers are quite a minimal design. They’re compatible with any 24mm OD bars and fit via an internal expanding wedge. The lever blade is made from unidirectional carbon fibre while the wedge and pivot are alloy. Designed to be used with Vision's DragOn brake cables, they tip the scales at a lightweight 45.5g.