Review: Vision KOM tubeless-ready road wheels

Add some crowns to your trophy case with this 1,275g climbing wheelset

Pro Review Wheels


The Vision KOM is Vision’s King of the Mountain (KOM) climbing-focused wheelset. The KOM boasts a super-wide 26mm internal width, with an easy tubeless setup. The KOM has a robust footprint, straight-pull bladed spokes, and Vision P.R.A. hubs making these more than an uphill only bike addition. 


Vision KOM Wheelset Highlights

  • 30mm deep and 26mm wide tubeless-ready clincher rim is easy to set up tubeless
  • Lightweight 1,275 grams/pair (w/o QR)
  • Wheel bags and protectives included
  • An exceptionally comfortable ride with high volume tires
  • Easy to adjust angular contact bearings on the rear hub
  • Aero bladed spokes are fast and lightweight
  • Includes brake pads, tubeless tape, alloy valves, and transport bag
  • Price: $1,500.00
  • Available now


Vision Tech is the performance road and aerodynamic line of (Full Speed Ahead) F.S.A. and has been in the wheel game for a while now. You’ve seen its wheels on such World Tour Teams as E.F., While their Metron SL line is the top spot in the Vision lineup, they’ve always had some out layers – that never fit into a specific category. The KOM is that wheelset. 


Out of the box 

The new F.S.A. and Vision wheel come wrapped in rim covers – something that is great for storage when the wheels are not insured and looks mega professional – I’m a big fan. The KOMs are super light and have a different style brake surface than other rim brake Vision wheels we’ve had in for review. It has large angular sections that are different shades and reflect light differently. This is different than the braking surface on the top tier Metron line. After talking with Vision, the surface doesn’t add any power but is a layup change that yields fantastic optic results. 


The KOMs arrive with everything needed to set up and roll tubeless confidently and quickly. Rim tape, super light alloy valve cores, and carbon-specific pads are all included in the mix – including a padded wheel bag for transport. Vision bills the KOM as a tubeless wheelset but can be run with tubes and conventional tires just as smoothly. Visions KOMs are light – on our Park Tool scale, they came in at 1281 grams taped but without the  Q.R.s that are included. 


Hubs and Engagement

The KOM utilizes aero-spokes and locking nipples to attain high spoke tension and create a stiff solid wheel. This style of spoking and wheel build is standard on most of the Vision and F.S.A. wheels. The KOMs do use the same hubs that come on the Vision Metron wheels that team E.F. and others use and depend on, always refreshing to know. The hubs use angular contact bearings that help achieve a cloud-like feel while cornering. Vision (along with some other wheel and hub manufacturers) feel that angular contact bearings handle side load better and last longer. Unlike conventional cartridge bearings, all balls are engaged and spread the force over a larger surface area to decrease friction and minimize wear. Wheel play can be adjusted out of the hub providing a more stable wheel. The front hub uses 16 spokes, while the rear has 21 in a 2:1 lacing pattern. Vision feels this evens out rear spoke tension, for better longevity of the wheelset. Though the KOMs are welterweight, Vision posts no weight limitations on the wheelset. The engagement is higher than what you would expect from a road wheel and has little drag. I personally like the higher engagement, and the freehub is easy to work on and maintain. Vision offers a Shimano 11sp freehub and just released a Vision XDR for 12 speed SRAM cassettes. 


The Ride 

The ride quality of tubeless wheels and tires always takes me by surprise. In my experience of training on tubes and racing on tubular, a reliable setup of tubeless wheels and tires rival the best tubular. On the road the ride is comfortable and stable, the low profile of the rim keeps it steady in crosswinds but holds rolling speed. The rim measures out to 30mm deep and 26mm internally, giving the wheels just enough rim to round out the profile. I paired the KOMs with 26c Ere Research Tires for a super lightweight combo that I familiar with the feel of. Rolling on long stretches of tarmac, the KOMs spin up quickly and hold speed well for a climbing wheel. When I really noticed the KOMs over my previous 50mm wheel is the climbing and instant acceleration. Around Pittsburgh, we have many hills that are steep but not very long – the KOMs ate these for breakfast (I ride in the mornings so…). The approach to climbing my go-to interval hill on the KOM was similar, maybe even slower than that of my deeper wheels, but when the pavement pointed up, the KOMs responded. There is no sensation of weight on the climb, the light rims turn over quickly and rapidly. I noticed myself climbing more and more in the saddle because I could turn the wheels over easier, and the bike was much lighter. 


Apart from the climbing prowess of the KOMs, the ride on the road is comfortable. With deep-section uber stiff wheels, we seem to miss the compliance that carbon can offer. Even with the most voluminous tires, the super deep wheel can ride harsh and rigid. The KOMs provided a smooth ride and paired with a quality tire, they are downright comfortable. The braking performance is smooth and powerful – on par with most high-end carbon wheels, the included Swiss Stop brake pads make the modulation and wear trustworthy. 


Verdict 

The Vision KOMs are a fantastic wheel for any rider looking to upgrade their existing ride and take the tubeless leap. Dropping the weight from your current machine is a high-performance booster, as is the accelerated climbing that comes with the KOMs. At $1500, the KOMs are nearly half the price of similar carbon options and offer comparable performance. Definitely worth a long look if you wanna snag that local KOM, and you need the extra firepower. 


Purchase them at Competitive Cyclist here or stop by Vision Tech USA for more information.

About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.


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