Affordable aero? Those two don’t usually go together, but with the latest Vision SC55 Disc wheelset, they absolutely can. At 55mm deep, these fit into the fringes of triathlon and cover a wide variety of traditional all-rounder uses. They roll fast on undulating terrain and spin up well — all for less than $1100.
Vision SC55 Disc Brake Wheelset Features:
- Full Carbon 55mm depth tubeless-ready rims
- Centerlock rotor mount
- 6 sealed cartridge bearings (2F + 4R)
- DP Spokes – 21F / 24R
- Hand built by Vision technicians
- Includes standard rim tape (tubeless kit is a rolling change)
- Equipped with 100×12 and 142×12 end caps
- Alloy Shimano 10-11sp (SRAM XDR freehub available)
- Dimensions: 19mm (internal), 27.2mm (external), 55.2mm (depth) – actual
- Weight: 1685 grams — 790 grams (front) and 895 grams (rear) – actual
- MSRP: $1099
Affordable, fast-rolling hoops
Out of the box, the affordable SC55’s come in at a respectable 1685 grams. That definitely puts them on the upper end of the weight spectrum. But, like any bike or component, just going by weight alone doesn’t paint the entire picture. Besides, anyone wanting a 55mm deep set of wheels is looking for speed gains over long, rolling distances or over flat, blustery courses. And, the optimized shape of these wheels performs perfectly for that purpose.
All my test miles were performed aboard the Factor O2 Disc with Shimano Ultegra R8070 Di2, which made for easy rotor and cassette install. The Vision hubs were easily-converted to 12mm thru axle standards and I was up and running in a jiffy. Any future maintenance is straightforward with straight-pull spokes and exposed nipples. Additionally, a separate XDR driver can be purchased separately.
Throughout the test, I outfitted the SC55’s with Zipp Tangente Course R25, Zipp Tangente Course R30 and Bontrager R3 28c clincher tires. The wheels did arrive with tubeless valves, but no tape. I did have some tape on hand and will cover tubeless performance as an update in the coming months.
As wheels are getting wider and wider, the SC55’s once-wide 19mm internal width is now becoming “narrow.” That said, 19mm internal is excellent for today’s disc road bikes with up to 32c clearance. Ideally, you’ll want to run these wheels with 25-30c tires to maximize aero efficiency. For my testing, I found 28c tires to be the perfect intersection of speed, aerodynamics and comfort.
More speed, cap’n
If you’re diving into deeper wheelsets, you better know what you’re getting yourself into because once you open that door, it can’t be shut. After tasting that newfound speed, your smile will be wider and PR’s will fall. Historically, access to that level of performance has been out of reach for many cyclists due to the high costs. But, the SC55 Disc wheelset defies that by getting a competition-worthy wheelset onto your bike for just over $1k USD.
The winning shape of the SC55’s is derived from the more expensive Metron line. The carbon layup is identical and the performance characteristics of their more expensive wheels are retained — for a fraction of the price. What’s the difference? Well, hubs and spokes. And, in my opinion, hopping up to the Metron line may not be worth the extra cost — even if the hubs are touted as superior. The SC55 hubs are simple and easy to maintain. Swapping end caps and drivers is a breeze, which isn’t the case for the Vision PRA hubs.
As the miles have stacked up on the SC55’s, I’ve become more and more impressed with how well they roll and maintain momentum over long stretches of road. In my standard roll-to-stop tests that I do with all wheelsets, these are rolling as well as some of the most expensive wheels on the market. Does that perk your ears up? It should because indeed, these budget wheels are pretty darn good.
Out on the road, the most impressive feeling I get with the SC55’s is sheer speed. On long, rolling stretches, these hoops just want to keep turning. That added momentum is amazing and truly feels faster than shallower wheels. And, these don’t just “feel” fast, they are fast. Am I smashing every PR? No, but I’m landing in the top 5’s on segments that I haven’t in years. Here are some good examples on Strava that do give some indication that there’s something to these wheels on rolling terrain or lower-gradient climbs.
Again, keep in mind that wheels alone aren’t going to transform you into a WorldTour cyclist, but they are most definitely going to add to your abilities. I’ve seen similar results to these on many other flat, low-incline, rolling and downhill segments around the local haunts.
I did mention that the almost 1700 gram weight isn’t going to win over weight weenies by any stretch of the imagination, but how do they climb? On long ascents, the Vision SC55 wheels do get up to speed and maintain momentum, but there’s no getting around the added weight here. They climb respectably and won’t necessarily hold you back, but they aren’t doing you any favors either. You can stand and sprint to keep them rolling and they respond, but you’ve got more rolling weight, no question. Below is an example of a local climb where I hit my 10th fastest time. They are good climbers, but that’s not why you are buying these wheels.
At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself, “the SC55’s look awesome,” and you’re right. I have been thoroughly impressed with this wheelset and, for the money, it’s hard to find anything with equal performance on the market. Everyone gravitates to the internal width and these are 19mm (which is narrower than some of the latest disc wheels). However, a 19mm internal width rim will support a 25-32c tire perfectly, which is about all the clearance you’ll find on a modern aero road bike. And, you can go tubeless as well, to improve comfort and add flat protection.
With a 55mm depth wheel, you’re going to notice some stability issues with stout crosswinds. I was careful to stay on top of things on descents where sudden gusts are common. If you’re a capable handler, you’ll be just fine, but keep in mind that these will get tossed around more than shallow clinchers. Lateral stiffness remains awesome and even though they are deep, they aren’t harsh. They remain comfortable and smooth.
Tubeless update (Jun 11 2020): I have now had time to run the SC55’s tubeless and they are working awesome. I was able to get them taped up, the valve installed and mounted up with Pirelli Cinturato Velo 28 tires without a fuss using the Blackburn Chamber Tubeless Floor Pump. Just a little soapy water for good measure and they seated up and held air without sealant. I then topped them off with sealant the next day and have been loving the trouble-free miles that tubeless provides.
- Truly affordable aero upgrade
- Kills it on undulating and flat terrain
- Easy endcap swaps
- Good width for 28-30c tires
- Can convert to tubeless (valves were included, but not tape)
- A straightforward workhorse
- Roll as well as wheels costing three times as much
- “Tubeless ready” is a loose term — no tape was included
- Not the fastest climbers, but you knew that already
- Crosswinds do remind you that these are pretty deep
The Bottom Line: Vision SC55 Disc Brake Wheelset
If you’re on the hunt for deep-dish wheels for crushing your local flat or rolling routes, the Vision SC55 Disc is an easy choice. I’ll add that these would be killer for triathlon as well due to their ability to maintain speed over long courses. Around my local roads, I’ve really appreciated the added speed and versatility of these wheels for the money. It’s easy to recommend these hoops if you’re aiming to crush your speed goals.
Buy Now: Available from MyBikeShop.com
If you have yet to ride deep-dish wheels, but want to, the SC55's just might be the perfect gateway drug. They roll fast, maintain speed well and will give you that extra dose of speed you're seeking. Best of all, they are affordable, reasonably-wide and look great aboard any bike.