It isn’t often that a review can declare something categorically; we generally are forced to deal in nuance with products. So when something categorically better than the standard comes across our desks, it is an absolute treat to put through the wringer. One of these products has been Vision’s new Metron Crankset.
The Metron crankset is, simply put, gorgeous to look at, from the wind-tunnel shaped crank arms to the nude carbon and Vision “V” paint job. Ours came in 53/39 chainrings and 175mm crank arms, as we tend toward the tall side (both Mike and Devon ride 58cm TT machines), and in BB386, which requires a pair of spacers in order to be run with a BB30 bottom bracket. What is interesting, here, is that this does not change the q-factor for your pedal locations at all – a design goal by Vision. The practical upshot of this is that the crank arms, by being straighter, are noticeably stiffer than their BB30 counterparts, even allowing for other carbon fiber entries. The lack of compliance is noticeable at once, and instantly translates into a smoother, more powerful pedal stroke, as well as keeping your feet and knees in better alignment, though the last point may only be readily apparent with long hours spent with both types of cranks. It may also be worth noting that the BB386 standard, by using a longer spindle, which is aluminum on the Metron crank, also increases through-bracket stiffness, so there is less side to side squirm in the bike under hard out-of-the-saddle efforts. Frankly, the test bike (Devon’s DA) felt quicker to spin largely due to the reduction in parasitic loss with the Metron than with his factory kit, a TriMax Compact.
There has also been a question on the width increase of the bottom bracket while maintaining the same q-factor for clearance for those of the community with splayfoot, or “duck feet” as the saying goes, where a person’s feet point out to the sides of the body, pushing their heels in. Devon suffers from such an affliction, and found that while his clearance to the spindle was reduced, he still had plenty of room to pedal and sprint with no interaction between his heel and the crankset. (We covered this more in-depth in our First Ride article here). In the event this has been a point of hesitation for you, rest easy: BB386 may reduce your clearance, but you’ll be just fine.
In the end, we are confident in saying that this is a phenomenally stiff crank, capable of putting down every fraction of a watt your legs can produce and wasting none of it from play of any kind in the crank or bracket. It moves incredibly smoothly, and swapping between the rings was supple and seamless. If you’re looking to get off aluminum arms and onto carbon, look no further: your crankset is already here.