11/5/2013 - NEWS!

A panoramic on Interbike’s news

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I had a great time hanging out with the FSA folks (Joel Ricardson and Herb Tai) going over the new K-FORCE brake. The new K-Force won’t be available until next year, unfortunately, but got its big launch at Eurobike and Interbike!


The K-Force is an inline brake. An asymmetrical windsock-like reservoir makes for a compact design, taking up little bar space. Inside the lever body, the piston is actuated by the lever via a rocker cam, which keeps the mechanical advantage linear for a consistent lever feel. Other cool features with the lever include the integrated tool-free reach adjustments and contact point controls. The good thing about these controls is that they are placed safely away from harm’s reach in the event of a crash.

The brake is available in two flavors for now. The XC lever body is constructed out of magnesium. A carbon lever blade with a hollow oversized bushing is used to keep weight down and provide a longer service life. The all-mountain version comes with an alloy body and lever instead.

Both brakes will use a forged one piece caliper that will reduce flex and improve feel. With a proven top-loading design and phenolic pistons, this promises to be an easy-to-maintain unit. The brakes will come in at about 305 grams for the XC version and 345 grams for the AM version (depending on rotor choice).

What most impressed me was the brake-specific hosing. Yeah, you read that correctly: there are front- and rear-specific hoses. That way, both the front and rear brake will reportedly feel the same when put under pressure. Rotor size ranges from 140 to 180mm, with a two-piece option as well. Pads are a proprietary semi-metallic blend. When they do make it to market, and you do purchase these, FSA made their pads in the same shape as another well known brand for ease of pad replacement.

The K-Force group was on display at the FSA booth as well. This group is something you may just want to consider if you’re going for that match look with the brakes. The K-Force crank comes in a double or triple, or you could choose the K-Force 386, which further reduces weigh (586 grams or less*). You could go single with an aftermarket or FSA ring if desired for a 1x setup.

The K-Force low rise bar is only 700mm wide (I wish it was a bit wider) and comes in at 180grams. It features a UD finish and 8 degree back sweep and 3 degree up sweep.

Above is the all-new SL-K crank designed for 1×11′s Although it has been optimized for 11spd, it will work fine with a 10-speed drivetrain. If you look carefully at the ring, the extra depth in the teeth will keep you on track… well, at least your chain on track! Coming in at 660ish grams, this will be a nice addition to many a bike build.

These stems also caught my eye. For one thing, they are not too costly, but provide options if you’re looking to go a bit shorter up front.

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