FSA have been pushing the benefits of combined alloy and carbon fibre CSI components for a while and this bar is a pearler.
The basic idea is to wrap carbon fibre over an alloy core to get the best from both materials. In this case, that means an alloy inner sleeve to stop crush damage with a carbon wrap over to create resilient, sting-free strength.
The SL-K's 214g overall weight is light, especially considering its 660mm width – wide for cross-country but a little narrow for trail bike use. In fact, FSA's top-end full-carbon K-Force bar weighs just 30g less, suggesting that the amount of alloy used on the SL-K is minimal.
The SL-K’s minimal 18mm rise won’t trouble hardcore cross-country racers used to rocking flat bars, but the 9˚ backsweep will help on longer rides when the ergonomic benefit of backsweep kicks in. We’re happy to see a 4˚ upsweep here too.
We’ve been tearing up the trails since last November on the SL-K bar and have only good things to report: it’s stiff without being dead, transmitting just the right amount of information back to you from the trail.
The price of the bar is reasonable, although the ever-popular Easton MonkeyLite XC riser is only £20 more, weighs a mere 155g, yet adds a further 20mm to the length. Overall though, we’re in no great hurry to get our old flat bar refitted.