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New FSA Groupset
 

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PLee
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 3608
Location: Brooklyn, NY

1/3/18 9:11 AM

New FSA Groupset

Now this looks interesting . . .

http://we-fsa.com/en/

I came across this while looking for some info on FSA compact cranksets. Does anybody here have any experience with their KForce cranks?

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16738
Location: Portland, OR

1/3/18 10:08 AM

"Further adding to the customisation, the shifters, uniquely, will be offered with two brake lever lengths: standard and compact. The compact lever is 6mm shorter than the standard version. The shifters also feature adjustable reach, carbon fibre brake levers."

Appears it has one wire joining the DRs.


The cranks appear quite light, not seen reviews on stiffness etc.

Some detail: http://road.cc/content/tech-news/216153-video-fsas-new-k-force-we-electronic-semi-wireless-11-speed-groupset

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4170
Location: Nashua, NH

1/3/18 11:56 AM

K-Force cranks

The first thing I would do before buying a crank from them is to check the current warranty. When I've had issues, their response has been that "carbon fiber parts have a finite life span that is shorter than full aluminum alternatives", which is why they only had a 2-year warranty. This is complete BS, as properly engineered and constructed CF parts don't wear out and only fail if they're over-stressed.

I have two of the original K-Force Light cranks, both of which have had problems. One of them started to creak badly after a couple of thousand miles. I tried lubing everything in sight and it didn't help, so I can only surmise that the issue is movement between aluminum and carbon fiber somewhere, probably due to a failed bond. I replaced that crank with a Campy carbon crank that is still going strong after at least 6000 miles and I'm about to replace the large chainring on it so I can keep using it.

The other K-Force Light crank was fine for ~3000 miles on my backup bike, then I noticed a clunk in the pedal stroke. It turns out that the pedal bushing is now loose in the crankarm. I cannot be repaired or replaced, so the crank is now useless. The quote above is from my conversation with Joe Ott at FSA about this crank. I put the creaking crank back on this bike in the hope of getting more mileage out of it, but I suspect that it won't last long.

That said, I recently bought two or their "Adventure" cranks for our 'cross bikes, because they were the lightest sub-compact (46/30) cranks I could find and they cost me considerably less than Sugino cranks would have. I may live to regret that decision, but the construction of these cranks seems solid and time will tell.

They do have a design flaw that creates problems if you use them with a BB30 or PF 30 bottom bracket and the 12mm spacers they require (it does not occur with threaded BBs and probably most other BB standards). If the chain drops off the inside, the heads of the inner chainring bolts will snag it and wrap it around the spindle (sort of a mega-chainsuck), potentially trashing the rear derailleur and/or damaging the frame. I made a simple filler ring to fix the problem and alerted FSA to the issue (including detailed photos of the problem), but haven't heard boo from them.

For now, both Adventure cranks are performing great and we're happy with them. Hopefully it stays that way.

UPDATE: It appears that FSA still has only a 2-year warranty.

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walter
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 4360
Location: metro-motown-area

1/3/18 1:45 PM

mildly interesting

always good to have alternatives, as it'll improve the wireless shifting breed.

i'm more intrigued by ROTOR's hydro system.

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Pino
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Apeldoorn - The Netherlands

1/3/18 3:56 PM

Using the words "warranty" and FSA in one sentence?
I am not that brave.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4170
Location: Nashua, NH

1/3/18 5:09 PM

Good point

"FSA warranty" is basically an oxymoron. It's sort of like "Shimano replacement parts". ;-)

I agree with Walter that Rotor's system is very interesting.

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dddd
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3228
Location: NorCal

1/6/18 1:00 AM

Assuming that a bike parts company stays in business, a two-year warranty is pretty good considering that some percentage of their customers are going to be pretty huge, and others will be putting in very high mileage.
So even moderately heavy/strong riders should be able to realize quite-long service intervals from parts assuming that the company isn't replacing virtually every part that the bigger/heavier riders purchase.
An exception to the above would be when a more time-dependent failure of a part arises, as from galvanic corrosion or other chemical breakdown of a bonding interface, or from embrittlement of a material.
The value of a warranty breaks down though when liabilities such as too many warranty claims makes the bike-parts division unprofitable, and the company folds under the pressure.

One of the regular posters on The Paceline Forum got a hold of a Rotor gruppo and was reporting on putting it in service, but strangely those reports went silent, presumably before any mileage was accrued.

The current "8000" versions of Ultegra make it very hard to imagine any real improvements, other than perhaps some additional Di2 shifting modes or chainline/Q adjustability of the crankset. I did also witness the other day that the main parallelogram of the Di2 rear derailer seems a bit fragile compared to the standard one in response to abuse of the sort that rips the derailer hanger in two.

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Steve B.
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Posts: 699
Location: Long Island, NY

1/6/18 2:04 PM

Off topic, but you stated
I did also witness the other day that the main parallelogram of the Di2 rear derailer seems a bit fragile compared to the standard one in response to abuse of the sort that rips the derailer hanger in two.

Curious as to what happened, thinking about doing an 8050 upgrade.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4170
Location: Nashua, NH

1/7/18 9:58 AM

Warranties

Considering that a warranty typically covers only "defects in materials and workmanship", quality products that are not designed to wear out or fail should carry more than a two-year warranty. Most warranties also exclude competition use and they all exclude abuse, damage, improper installation and "normal wear and tear".

Well designed and constructed carbon fiber components should not fail in normal use. The brake tracks on carbon rims may wear out, but that's to be expected, just as it is with aluminum rims.

The FSA cranks I described above are the only carbon fiber parts I've ever had fail, except for one really sketchy pair of Chinese carbon tubular rims, which looked bad from the start. There is no valid reason for the cranks to have failed, especially considering that the ones with the pedal insert failure were on my backup road bike that saw relatively little use and was always stored indoors, away from sun exposure. I'm only 170# and I don't abuse my road bikes. These were clearly defective products and should have been covered by the manufacturer, whether the warranty had expired or not. Reputable companies do that all the time, or they offer lifetime warranties and eliminate any questions.

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dddd
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3228
Location: NorCal

1/8/18 2:48 AM

Off topic, but you stated
I did also witness the other day that the main parallelogram of the Di2 rear derailer seems a bit fragile compared to the standard one in response to abuse of the sort that rips the derailer hanger in two.

Curious as to what happened, thinking about doing an 8050 upgrade.


The body got severely twisted, and I noticed that the inner parallelogram plate was made of thin pressed steel instead of a forging.
I assume that because this plate has to reach around the motor that a more complicated forging would have been needed than they wanted to use on this 6870 mid-cage derailer.

I am curious if the Dura-Ace version, 9070 or whatever, uses a forged aluminum inner plate, or if perhaps the new 8070(?) Ultegra version has been strengthened in this area.

The bent 6870 derailer was traumatized by a fellow rider having her windbreaker vest fall from her pocket and get wrapped up in the lower pulley of her derailer while pedaling uphill, which broke the hanger bracket in two and pulled out the Di2 wire plug.
And she had previously bent the hanger twice due to using too big of a largest cassette cog, which apparently did not bend the 6870 rear derailer.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4170
Location: Nashua, NH

1/8/18 6:47 AM

I just looked at mine...

...and the major axis of the inner plate is horizontal rather than vertical like the outer plate. That makes it perpendicular to the shifting plane, which means it's very stiff in that direction. Since it's open in the back, I can see how it could possibly be vulnerable to twisting. However, on a ride last summer, I got a stick in my rear derailleur that snapped the hanger, but it did no damage to the derailleur itself. The inner plate appears to be ~2mm thick, which is plenty for steel. I don't think this is a fragile design, just different than what one might expect.

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Steve B.
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Posts: 699
Location: Long Island, NY

1/8/18 9:34 AM

The 8050 R derailer has been re-designed as compared to the 6870. Supposed to be more "low profile" as with the mt. bike Di2 derailers. I've no clue if it's any more robust.

It IS an expensive unit at $230 vs. $80 for a mechanical. Wouldn't want to break one.

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