Vision’s aerobars are a fixture in the transition area, and they are extending their component offerings to the rest of the bike in 2011. The Metron component group will include a brand new front derailleur, rear derailleur, chain, cassette and the most unique aero shifter on the market. These parts will be added to their current line of TriMax Carbon TT cranksets.
Instead of using a single lever that pivots at the end of the aerobar to shift both up and down, the Vision Metron uses two distinct motions to shift up and down. To shift into and easier gear in the rear, squeeze the protruding pieces that resembles a brake lever. To shift into a harder gear in the rear, grab the entire unit and pull it back along the aerobar extension. The front shifter uses the same shift mechanism but reversed (squeeze the lever for a harder gear). The Metron can jump up
three smaller (easier) gears in the rear with a single lever pull but can only burn off one cog at a time when shifting to a harder gear. The shifts feel crisp and, at first impression, the motion is natural and easy to execute. The Metron shifters will be released in January 2011 and the first versions will be compatible only with Shimano derailleurs. A SRAM version will follow. No information on a price, just yet.
Nearly the entire Metron rear derailleur is made of carbon. Not only are the pulley cages and faceplate made of the black gold, but all four actuating parts of the derailleur are carbon. Only Campagnolo’s Super Record rear derailleur can make the same claim. Vision’s derailleur uses FSA’s ceramic pulleys and weighs in at a feather-light 135 grams, 18 grams lighter than a Red RD. It will be compatible with all mechanical Shimano shifters.
The Metron Front Derailleur has an aluminum cage and is compatible with both compact and standard cranksets. It will be available as a braise-on derailleur only (nearly all tri bikes are braise-on).
Cassette and chain
The Vision Metron 10-speed Cassette has steel cogs, which are heavier and more durable than titanium. The first 8 gears are held together by steel pins. The 8 easiest gears on a SRAM Red cassette are also attached to each other, but the Vision cassette doesn’t create a hollow chamber that can be slightly noisy so this version shouldn’t have that issue. No weight is available. Vision will offer cassettes with 11-21, 11-23 and 12-25 tooth combinations. The Metron chain features drilled faceplates and attaches with a snap-together link, no need for a chain tool. The derailleurs, chain and cassette will be available in June 2011 and pricing for these components has also not been finalized, but the dollar figures will be similar to components from Shimano Dura-Ace and SRAM Red.
FSA is currently working on road shifters and hopes to have functional prototypes on the bikes of a few professionals in time for the 2011 Tour de France.