FSA K-Force Compact handlebar and K-Force Light stem £539.94

Hardcore setup with a fantastic shape

BikeRadar score 4/5

FSA's K-Force Compact bar has a 70mm reach, making it about as short-reach as bars go with hoods mounted. With a drop of 125mm, it's easy to change hand positions – something that's helped by the drops’ four-degree outward ‘bend’.

The bar is made from a carbon fibre/Kevlar composite; the Kevlar layer has been built in to allow the bar to fail in a safe-ish manner should the worst happen. The 110mm wide stem clamp section is 31.8mm in diameter and, like the brake area, is rated to a maximum torque of 9nm. It’s clip-on compatible too.

The 110mm K-Force Light stem, meanwhile, has a full-carbon body, capped off with a four-bolt, carbon covered aluminium front plate. It’s both huge in appearance and hugely rigid. All the hardware is titanium so it won’t rust, which reveals a great deal of thought at the design stage.

With the huge stem, this 339g setup was never going to be a winner in terms of comfort on the hoods, but on the drops it’s wonderful. The easy transitioning between positions afforded by the four-degree kick out is welcome too.

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

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