Sea Otter 2011: New additions to FSA Vision range

Plus revamped mountain bike kit and new 'cross brakes

FSA's Vision time trial/triathlon line-up continues to grow, with several new or updated products for 2012. Highlighting the range is the new Metron LFA carbon aerobar, with a sleekly integrated stem that the company claim produces three percent less drag than any previous Vision aerobar setup. Granted, it's unclear just how much drag is produced in that area in the first place, but it's a slick-looking unit nonetheless.

The included "R-bend" carbon extensions are adjustable for length, armrests can be set in one of three different positions (and adjusted for height plus fore-aft), and while the integrated stem can't be independently set from the bar, Vision have at least included an angled shim in the steerer clamp that allows for +/-1° of tilt. 

Riders who prefer to run separate base bars and clip-ons can look to Vision's new Metron brake levers, made of molded carbon fiber and featuring internal cable routing. Claimed weight is just 45.5g (yes, Vision got that specific) and the specific left/right shape is designed to work with standard 24mm-diameter bars.

Vision's Metron shifter design is definitely unique – pull the lever with your fingers to shift in one direction, pull back on the whole body with your thumb to shift in the other

Vision's wheel range grows as well, and now includes the wide, shallow and feathery light 1,250g TriMax Carbon T24 carbon tubular we revealed at the spring classics, a revamped 50mm-deep carbon tubular now called the TriMax Carbon T50, and the more value-oriented TriMax T42 clincher with an aluminum rim and carbon fiber skin.

Other new wheels under the FSA umbrella include an SL-K version of the K-Force flagship, which features a similar 50mm-deep profile but a higher glass fiber content, and a new Team Issue 24mm-deep aluminum clincher with an additional carbon skin. FSA are machining their own hubs in-house these days, using oversized 17mm-diameter axles and straight-pull spokes.

FSA add an SL-K model to their carbon tubular wheel range, using a higher glass fiber content to bring the price down relative to the K-Force flagship. Hubs are machined in-house

More mountain bike component 'families', wider bars, more seatpost sizes

Following in the footsteps of K-Force and SL-K, FSA have now lumped their Gravity Light and Afterburner components into more visually cohesive collections, with similar graphics and product features. Some of the products get physical updates, too. 

The Gravity Light crankset is now offered in a 24/36T combination with a polycarbonate bashguard and hollow-forged 7050 aluminum arms, there's a new Gravity Light CSI flat bar with an aluminum core and carbon fiber skin, and also a revamped direct-mount stem with a lower 0° effective rise and fixed 45mm length. The Gravity Light seatpost gets a new Flat Top clamp that's said to be stronger than the old DATA design while also being lighter and lower-profile. 

FSA continue to lump their products into more cohesive "groups" for 2012; this is Gravity Light

Meanwhile, the Afterburner group gets a new forged aluminum stem, alloy riser bars and an aluminum seatpost to go along with the existing hollow-forged aluminum crankset – all with stealthy black-on-black graphics for 2012. FSA have also added wider bar options across the board, new 30.9mm sizes for their SL-K carbon seatposts, an angle-adjustable headset with +/-1° of total range, and translucent polycarbonate upper headset covers for riders who want to add a bit of color to their bike.

Originally aimed at BMX, FSA's optional polycarbonate caps can be subbed into many of their road and mountain bike headsets to add a splash of color

New cyclo-cross brake options for 2012

Cyclo-crossers will be interested to see FSA expand their range of cantilever brakes for 2012.  Last season's wide-profile SL-K is joined by a lower-priced Energy model, which uses the same aluminum forging but cheaper hardware and a fixed straddle cable to bring down the cost. However, it's the new upper-end K-Force model that looks especially promising. 

The new FSA Energy cantilever uses the same forging as the higher-end SL-K model but cheaper hardware and a fixed-length straddle wire

Plate-style carbon fiber construction helps keep the claimed weight down to just 138g per wheel (sorry, we weren't able to get an actual weight – the springs were missing from the samples on display) but their impressively broad spacing and stout pivot sleeve assembly looks to keep things very rigid. FSA have built in a clever tool-free mechanism for converting the arms between narrow and wide profiles, too.

The new FSA K-Force cantilevers weigh just 138g per wheel (claimed) thanks to carbon fiber arms that are convertible between narrow and wide profiles

Each of the carbon arms and the aluminum pad-carrying section in between has a lobed hole at its base. Unscrew and slide out the stainless steel sleeve at the center, rearrange the parts as needed, line up the lobes and then put everything back together. We played with this aspect quite a bit at the Sea Otter Classic and – this is no exaggeration – it almost takes longer to read this than it does to switch the setup. Additional features include easy-to-use set screw adjustments for spring tension and an integrated barrel adjuster.

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