There’s change afoot in the world of aerodynamic carbon wheels. We’ve become used to every new carbon-rimmed wheelset boasting advances in performance usually backed up by (often selective) wind tunnel data and prices of good carbon wheels from the biggest names that haven’t been that affordable. However, Vision’s new SC55 wheelset might be a welcome downwards trend.
For £1,150 / €1,169 / $1,099 you can select the SC55 in either rim-brake or disc-brake versions, and my rim-brake pair came with specific brake pads, quick-release skewers, wheel bags and standard rim tapes.
With the rim tapes installed, the wheels weigh a competitive 1,566g, (front 699g, rear 867g) and the skewers another 116g.
The new SC55s and their SC40 alternative’s rims have been redesigned making them tubeless-ready and with new dimensions. My test rims are 55mm tall but have been widened to 19mm internally, and from 25mm at the brake track to 27mm at their widest, around halfway up the rim.
Vision’s aluminium hubs have two sealed cartridge bearings up front and four at the rear, with straight-pull, aero-bladed spokes in a 2:1 pattern. There are 21 front and 24 rear. Supplied with a standard HG 11-speed freehub body they’re compatible with SRAM’s 12-speed XDR driver body too.
I fitted 25mm Vittoria tyres, which inflated to 28mm wide. Both clincher and tubeless tyres seated without much fuss and the latter sealed quickly.
My choice of a fairly uncompromising test bike (a Specialized S-Works Tarmac) was intended to focus all attention on to the Visions and it did, the first impression being a noticeable improvement in ride quality from the additional tyre volume.
With tyre pressure lowered (70-75psi) to match the increased width, with slightly less up front, the bike no longer felt like it skipped across every minor surface undulation, giving more composed control and seated comfort.
For fairly deep rims, the SC55s are very willing to assist when you open the taps, displaying great stiffness under hard acceleration and rapidly building speed.
There’s no noticeable rotational weight handicap, whether sprinting or on a lengthy climb, just efficient progress – and speed is simple to sustain on the flat.
I didn’t suffer any brake rub-inducing wheel deflection and the updated SC55s offer a huge improvement in braking. From ineffective, and at times grabby, the Visions now have confident, progressive rim braking.
Vision says the wheels were developed with computational fluid dynamics and tested in a wind tunnel. The results in the real-world feel as fast as anything I tried and reassuringly stable when hit by farm-gate gusts at speed.
Vision SC55 details
The SC55 is available in both rim-brake and disc-brake versions. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Wider rim: New, wider 19mm rim bed works better with tyres of 25mm and 28mm width in particular, really increasing the tyre’s volume for greater grip and comfort.
Greater depth: The rims come in 40mm or 55mm depths and have profiles redesigned to be more aerodynamic and more stable in changeable conditions.
Aero-bladed spokes: Vision’s hubs have six sealed cartridge bearings, and straight-pull aero-bladed spokes, which eliminate the weak point of a J-bend spoke – its bend.