FSA K-Force dual pivot brakes review£300.00

New wide–mouth, low profile stoppers

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We’ve always been fans of FSA’s brakes; the previous generation’s rock-solid build quality meant a positive experience at the lever.

The new design follows Shimano’s cues for a new style of lower profile dual-pivot design, but with one significant difference. Shimano’s brakes as standard accept up to a 24mm-wide rim, and with the slightly lower profile optional brake shoe up to a 28mm.

The K-Force though can handle 28mm straight out of the box. It’s a small difference but one that might be telling should you try to fit a wide alloy brake surface/carbon hybrid like HED’s popular Jet 6.

The low profile shape of the K-Force sits it within the fork crown of our Cannondale Synapse test mule, which means with less width sitting outside the frame’s parameters you could make a case for improved aerodynamics too. FSA has even moved the cable quick-release within the confines of the brake, making them look even more compact than both Shimano and SRAM’s rival options.

Weight-wise our test pair tips the scales at a scant 296g (including pads and carriers, and hardware), so that’s right up there with the best (Shimano Dura-Ace is 300g a pair, SRAM Red 254g).

The wide jaws make short work of setting them up with a wide carbon rim (26.4mm) and a 25mm tyre, with bags of clearance to spare. We would recommend using quality Allen keys (you need a 2.5, 4, and 5mm) as the lightweight hardware – a mix of alloy and titanium –won’t take kindly to ham-fisted attention with rough tools.

Out on the road the K-Force has power in spades. It's easily a match for Dura-Ace, and like Dura-Ace that power is tempered by great levels of feel.

In situations where you need to scrub speed quickly the K-Force simply does the job with resolute stiffness and no play or judder, which isn’t surprising when you see the box-section construction of the individual brake arms, not to mention the massively oversized pivots.

The K-Force is a high-performing, light and great-looking option. If you’re looking to step away from groupset monopoly on your bike you could do a lot worse.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 188cm / 6'2''
  • Weight: 92kg / 203lb
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 112cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

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