Vision Trimax 35 wheelset review£560.00

Stealthy alloy all-rounders

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Whether it’s bike frames or wheels, there is no doubt that alloy is fighting back hard against carbon fibre, especially in these cash-strapped days where cost effectiveness matters more than ever. But have these latest wheels from FSA’s Vision aero division got the mettle to measure up to the benchmark metal rollers?

The gloss anodized sidewalls and subtle stealth finish of the shot-peened 35mm deep rims mean these could very easily be mistaken for carbon at a distance, when they’re new. At 1,630g (720g front and 910g rear) they’re not far off the weight of a lot of 40-50mm deep carbon wheels that cost double the price or more (including Vision’s own 1,550g, £1,499.95 Metron 40 Carbon).

Twelve-degree freehub engagement and very tight hand-laced, straight-pull aero spoke build with double the spokes on the driveside to offside mean they transfer torque well. External spoke nipples in the raised rim blocks make them easy to re-tension, but we’ve had no need so far. The cartridge bearings in the sleek PRA hubs are adjustable for wear over time, too.

While we have no independent wind tunnel statistics on the wheels aerodynamically, they ride and roll down more like old-school 40-50mm deep wheels than 35s, particularly in crosswind situations. That’s likely due to the blunt face/trailing edge of the subtly rounded rim that generates a turbulence-reducing wind shadow, which bends in relation to airflow. This gives them a better behaved character than an arrow-shaped rim in blustery conditions or when trying to turn in at really high speeds. 

Add the tight-tracking build, 17mm axles and 17mm internal rim width to support larger volume tyres and you get naturally combative wheels that like to be ridden hard on twisting roads.

We would like them even more if they were tubeless, ready to make full use of their width and offset some of their occasionally harsh stiffness. The anodising on the sidewalls will scour away over time, and while they’ll become fully polished raw alloy in time, ours are looking slightly scruffy as the black starts to get patchy with the onset of winter.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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