Interbike 2011: FSA Brakes, Cranks & BBs

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The brand new FSA K-Force brakes offer adjustability from wide to low profile to balance power and clearance needs for conditions. ©Cyclocross Magazine

The brand new FSA K-Force brakes offer adjustability from wide to low profile to balance power and clearance needs for conditions. © Cyclocross Magazine

FSA has suddenly gone from one model of brakes to three, to fit various adjustment needs and price points. The previously released SL-K brakes now serve as the midpoint between the top K-Force and least expensive Energy models.

The main feature of the K-Force brakes is their adjustability. Like the Avid Shorty Ultimates which debuted last season, the K-Force can quickly transform from wide to low profile to suit course conditions and brake power needs. According to FSA, they have the best mud clearance, stiffness and braking power in the company’s lineup. At 250g for the set, they’re also the heaviest offering. The K-Forces should be available in just a few weeks, and MSRP will be right around $300.

The entry-level Energy brakes are a bare bones value. They don’t offer the adjustability of the SL-Ks, but for $99 they come in at an impressive 136g (the SL-K sets are 226 grams and $129).

FSA's new BB386EVO adapter retrofits a traditional 68mm bottom bracket shell to run BB386EVO cranks. ©Cyclocross Magazine

FSA's new BB386EVO adapter retrofits a traditional 68mm bottom bracket shell to run BB386EVO cranks. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Also on display from FSA were the company’s new BB386EVO SL-K Light and K-Force carbon cranks in both standard 130mm bolt patterns and as compact cranks. I won’t go into the whole convoluted history of BB standards (we do that in “Getting Your Bearings, Cyclocross Magazine Issue 13!), but here’s a brief intro from FSA: “The BB386EVO design simply modifies the BB30 design to a wider width, and incorporates a press fit bearing cup, rather than the direct fit bearing of the BB30 system. This slight modification allows the adaptability of the design to other BB shells, and gives the frame builder more landscape to craft their frames.”

The K-Force cranks offer ceramic bearings and retail for $799, while the SL-K features steel bearings and retails for $520. According to FSA, the SL-K may actually be the better choice for ’cross, with the crank’s extra stiffness.

Think you’re missing the boat by having old-fangled BB technology? FSA offers adapters galore to make just about any frame work with a BB386EVO crankset – from 68mm shells to BB30, you’re covered.

Want to see more of Interbike’s cyclocross offerings? We have a full list of some of the best new products we saw at Interbike, with more being added every day.

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