New road and MTB gear from FSA for 2015
FSA let loose at this year's Taipei Cycle Show yet another fresh batch of new gear for the coming season. Included is a new four-arm SL-K carbon road crank, FSA's novel solution for 1x MTB drivetrains, new 27.5in mountain bike wheels, and updated carbon seatposts.
FSA introduced its own proprietary four-arm road cranks
at last year's Taipei Cycle Show and the design has now trickled down to the SL-K level for 2015. Topping the range is the SL-K Light Compact BB386 EVO with hollow carbon fiber arms, a 30mm-diameter aluminum spindle, and CNC-machined chainrings in 53/39T, 52/36T, 50/34T, or 46/36T ratios.
Total crankset weight will vary depending on the bottom bracket configuration but claimed weight for the arms and chainrings is 619g (unspecified chainring sizes).
FSA will also have a conventional BB30-only version with lower-profile arms for more heel clearance but otherwise identical specs.
Many other companies have quickly jumped on the narrow-wide chainring bandwagon but FSA has opted to devise its own novel solution to boost chain retention on 1x MTB drivetrains. The updated SL-K Compact's Megatooth chainring instead uses slightly hooked and radically tall teeth that simply force the chain to move further in order to derail.
While we haven't had an opportunity to see if the concept works as well as narrow-wide profiles, the design does allow FSA to produce chainrings with odd numbers of teeth. FSA is taking full advantage of that aspect, too, with an extremely broad range of chainring options from 26-38 teeth - in one-tooth increments.
Claimed weight for the top-end 386 EVO version is 669g without bottom bracket.
Also coming on the mountain bike side are new K-Force Light MTB and SL-K MTB carbon clincher wheels, both of which will be offered in 27.5in and 29in diameters. All four wheels will use similar cartridge bearing hubs with interchangeable end caps and swappable Shimano/SRAM XD driver bodies, plus the same rim profiles: 25mm deep, 26mm external width, and 22mm internal width.
Claimed weight for the SL-K 29ers is 1,500g and 1,450g for the 27.5in version. Thinner 2.0/1.5/2.0mm butted stainless steel spokes on the top-end K-Force Light version, however, will shave about 36g per pair.
Budget-minded riders will get a new 27.5in Aftermarket wheelset, too, built with more economical aluminum rims.
Finally, there's a new seatpost head design for the SL-K that can be reversed as needed for either 20mm or -10mm of setback. FSA will build the new post with a bonded aluminum head and a 350mm-long unidirectional carbon fiber shaft in either 27.2mm or 31.6mm diameters. Claimed weight is 220g (27.2mm).
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