Interbike 2010: FSA Unveils Metron Drivetrain – Shifters, Cranks, Cassette and Carbon Derailleurs!

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FSA is stepping into Shimano’s and SRAM’s space with the introduction of their new Metron group, a complete drivetrain for time trial and triathlon bikes.

To be sold under their Vision brand, the Metron group starts with the aero bar end shifters shown above (no, those aren’t mini brake levers), then continues the group with carbon fiber front and rear derailleurs, carbon cranks, a heavily machined out cassette and some corresponding new Vision deep carbon wheels.

The group is aimed squarely at the TT/Tri crowd since there are no standard shifter options, but from the look of the rest of the components, some serious work went into the development and we’d be surprised if there are some standard road shifter/levers coming in the future. In the meantime, check out the full group, complete with video, after the break…

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Unlike standard aero bar end shifters, the Metrons don’t require any pivoting of your wrist to move a lever up or down. You simply pull the lever to downshift (easier) and click the entire body down with your thumb to upshift (harder). Simple and seemingly intuitive, and it lets you remain in your super aero position since you don’t have to adjust your hand or arm position to shift.

Here’s the shifting action in, uh, action:

The volume’s a bit low, this was recorded on my phone. Sorry.

The Metron group’s first iteration is Shimano 7800 (Dura-Ace) compatible, and 7900 compatibility is coming soon. You’d need to talk with your shop to ensure you’re getting the right ones. Or just use FSA’s new Vision rear derailleur:

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Visually, the derailleurs are the highlight of the new group. The rear uses a full carbon fiber body with ceramic bearings and standard allen key adjusters. This means it looks tight, should roll the chain through smoothly and be quickly and easily adjustable with any standard multi tool…because, you know, triathletes are so good at working on their bikes themselves.

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Did we mention it’s backwards compatible with Shimano shifters? Because it is.

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The front derailleur has an alloy cage and the production versions will have a carbon knuckle (this prototype is done in aluminum). The weight savings will only be 4g, but it’ll look at least 100g more awesome.

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The cassette has a hollow dome design, but it’s not a one piece unit like SRAM’s Red cassette. The cogs are pinned together, which makes it lighter. 11-21 and 11-23 sizes in 10-speed only will be offered, which are small by today’s standards, but it’s intended for time trial use only.

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Because the cogs are pinned together, cogs 1 through 8 are stuck together, only the two smallest cogs are loose. The lighter silver part in the middle of the cassette is a freehub body they’re using to keep it all together.

WEIGHTS:

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Rear derailleur: 139g

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Front derailleur: 75g

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Shifters: 194g

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Cassette: 173g

Cranks and Availability:

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Should be available January 1. Pricing is not set, but it’ll be sold as a group (including the Trimax Carbon Crankset and ceramic BB, above, which will be rebranded as Metron) and as individual components.

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[...] If you recall, the big news from FSA was the release of their all-new complete drivetrain group: Metron. [...]

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