2018 looks set to be a big year for FSA. After finally unleashing its long-anticipated K-Force W.E. groupset this year, with its unique combination of hard-wired front and rear mechs combined with wireless shifters using a private Ant+ connection, it has now added both a hydraulic disc version and a time trial group too.
We’ve already got the W.E. group on test, and after more than 750km of riding it's so far performing well. With the imminent launch of the dedicated app we’re looking forward to getting to grips with the custom settings and tuning that the app promises to offer.
W.E. road disc
The most noticeable thing on the new K-Force W.E. RDB hydraulic disc group is the size of the lever units.
FSA has done a great job of packaging the hydraulic reservoir within the hoods to the point where they look almost indistinguishable from the standard unit — something that took both SRAM and Shimano quite a while to get their heads around.
The lever houses a bleed port on the top of the lever underneath the rubber hood, and the carbon levers themselves come with reach adjustment. Like the standard group, these are available in two shapes to suit large and small hands.
FSA uses a three-layer high pressure hose between the lever and brake, and inside the shifters is a Derlin piston guide and stainless steel pivots.
The calipers themselves are minimally sized and flat mount compatible with the body constructed in two-piece forged alloy. The pads have an integrated heat sink and the fluid pushes dual-opposed phenolic pistons.
The rotors feature double-disc ground stainless brake surfaces, with UCI appeasing chamfered edges, hung from a forged aluminium carrier. The rotors will be available in 140 and 160mm diameters.
FSA claims 705g for both front and rear calipers, and a total weight of 2,057g (front and rear shifters, brakes, hoses), which when you add in the extra kilo and change for the remaining parts (mechs, chain, cassette, cranks, battery, cables) should put it in line with Dura-Ace Di2 disc on the weight front.
FSA hasn’t yet confirmed the pricing on the disc group, but does say availability should be by spring 2018.
W.E. time trial group
Details are pretty scarce on the TT group, but the integrated rocker shifters in the wing bar brake levers look neat, as do the wireless triggers for the extensions.
In any case, the cabling woes associated with time trial bikes should be somewhat averted by using FSA’s system. FSA has no confirmed dates for the TT group, but if the decision is made by any of FSA’s many pro tour teams to use the W.E. group for the 2018 season we could see the group getting a race outing in the very near future.
When FSA announced its new power meter cranks, made in conjunction with Germany’s Power2Max, it also announced a mountain bike variant. Until now this hasn’t been seen anywhere but on a few show stands and announcements.
FSA is now ready with two versions available: 1x and 2x. Both are based around a dedicated carbon crank and built onto FSA’s BB392Evo standard alloy spindle, which FSA claims will fit pretty much any bottom bracket standard when paired with the appropriate FSA bottom bracket.
The 2x comes with a 36/24 combo, while the 1x with a megatooth chainring is available in 32,34,36,38t versions.
The Powerbox unit promises simple setup and has a built in cadence sensor and temperature drift compensation. It also allows for chainring swaps with no need for recalibration.
With around 400 hours of use between battery swaps (a CR2025 coin cell) the Powerbox looks like it’ll offer plenty of trouble-free power measurement for its €1,199 price tag (international prices TBC).
FSA claims a 485g weight for both units not including chainrings; for comparison, SRAM’s XX1 Eagle power meter weighs 511g. So it’s in the ballpark weight wise too.
Flowtron dropper post
FSA’s all new dropper the Flowtron was quietly unveiled at Eurobike an is available in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters and lifts between 125 and 150mm.
FSA claims the new redesigned trigger geometry requires minimal effort to actuate, and the complete unit has a claimed weight of 595g.