FSA K-Force Brake and Megatooth Chain Ring - Crankworx Whistler 2013

Aug 17, 2013 at 12:52
Aug 17, 2013
by Mike Levy  
 
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FSA K-Force brake

FSA K-Force Brake

While it may seem surprising that FSA would enter the brake game given that Avid and Shimano have quite a strong hold on the marketplace, as well as there being options from Magura, Formula, and Hayes to choose from, they say they see it as a natural extension of their already expansive component lineup. The K-Force moniker signifies the $369 USD brake's place at the top of FSA's component lineup (they also plan to offer the carbon-free Afterburner for $289 USD), and FSA is clear that they intend the 300 gram setup to be used for cross-country riding and racing. In the works for a full year, the version shown here is the eighth iteration since the design process began, with FSA planning an official launch of the brake at next week's Eurobike tradeshow.
Details
• XC race brakes
• Carbon lever, magnesium body
• Titanium hardware
• Separate reach and stroke adjust
• Mineral oil
• Stiffer hose used for rear brake
• Weight: 300g (claimed, front w/ 6'' rotor)
• MSRP: $369 USD

FSA K-Force brake

Two anodized red aluminum dials allow the user to adjust the brake's lever reach and stroke adjust, with both being located in protected locations on the lever perch that should keep them from being damaged in a crash, and they feature a flip-flop design that allows them to be used on either side of the bar. FSA also plans to sell the brakes with different hoses front and rear, with a thicker and stiffer hose employed on the rear brake that should combat the slightly softer feel that can come from the longer line compared to the front, and they make use of mineral oil instead of more corrosive DOT fluid. FSA specific pads will be available in both sintered and organic, with them biting down on a two-piece floating rotor and slotting into a one-piece caliper.



FSA Megatooth Chain Ring

While it isn't quite clear who holds the rights to the thick/thin alternating chain ring tooth shaping, other brands have been quick to offer their own rings using the same approach. This may or may not come to an end at some point soon, though, given the rumors of legal action regarding this design, but it turns out that there might be more than one method to reach the same end. FSA took a different approach to the same task, with their Megatooth chain ring's extra tall and slightly hooked teeth that likely skirt any of the legal issues that surrounds the thick/thin concept. FSA claims that the design offers the same sort of chain retention, with no troubles being reported during testing without any sort of chain guide mounted.
Details
• Extra tall tooth profile for chain security
• 9, 10, 11 speed compatible
• Odd tooth sizes (despite 30t even pictured)
• 86 and 104 BCD
• MSRP: TBA
• Availability: TBA

FSA Megatooth chain ring

The design is straightforward enough that we wonder why we never thought of it: the chain ring's teeth are quite a bit taller, therefore providing more engagement between the teeth and the chain. Of course, this wouldn't be possible if there were multiple rings because the teeth are too tall for the chain to be shifted on and off of the ring. FSA told us that they've been using the Megatooth chain ring on their technical local trails in the Pacific Northwest without a guide and have had zero issues so far. They plan to offer the ring in odd tooth count sizes (although a 30 tooth is pictured here), as well as both 86mm and 104mm BCD versions. It will be interesting to see what tooth sizes they offer in their 86mm BCD, as it does allow for a very small ring to be used - they currently do a 27 tooth ring in 86 BCD, but could easily go smaller if they employed an offset design that stood the ring slightly off of the crank spider. Price and availability have yet to be decided.


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98 Comments

  • + 189
 Just going to pull my FSA brakes to scrub some speed into this corner... lol nope full speed ahead!
  • - 6
 ha....
  • - 49
 F ail S traight A way
  • + 136
 Fuc*in' Stupid Acronym
  • - 3
 knew that was going to be said!
  • - 36
 Hey dirtworks911, if the shoe fits...
  • - 34
 Anyone who is neg propping my comments has obviously never had to deal with FSA components on a bike shop/mechanic level. Their stuff is pretty awful in terms of longevity.
  • - 13
 That bike has the shifter closer to the grip
  • + 24
 ^Thanks captain obvious.
  • - 11
 Is that a thing people do? I've never seen it before
  • + 12
 If you've got small hands it works.
  • + 5
 @ Kleinblake: Yes, many of us ride with the Shifters on the outside and the brake levers on the inside. The reach for the brake levers are perfect and the reach to the shifters are prefect this way.
  • + 5
 it would make sense, the shift levers would be closer at hand, and your first finger would be closer to the end of the brake lever, so you would get more leverage
  • + 11
 FSA: full sausage ahead
  • + 2
 not saying that FSA sucks or anything, but for the past year I've seen 3 carbon cranks broken, so Seraph has a point in his last comment...
  • + 0
 I've got fairly big hands (I wear XL gloves), and that's how I've always run my shifter/brake clamp.
  • + 3
 I dunno, I reckon there's 1 or 2 FSA parts that are okay. I had an FSA fat pig or whatever it's called DH headset. Sealed bearings, all good. On the other hand, I've also had some of their cranks and bent an arm on a fairly mellow crash...
  • + 2
 only issue I've had with FSA is the insanely shitty bottom brackets, other then that not too bad, the headsets are good
  • + 3
 Fsa is garbage my chain broke 6 times then I put a kmc and never had a issue!
  • + 5
 just today I saw a guy with a k force crank on his bike, he said he pulled the xtr one that came stock off because it was "complete garbage" made me laugh
  • + 2
 Their Pig DH headset is good...
  • + 1
 I like their headsets.
  • + 1
 as a level 3 cyctech mechanic I don't mind the fsa parts they last well just a bit annoying when the have there own spares (bb's and so on) for there parts where others like shimano have after market spares and are easy to track down the spares for!
  • + 11
 Well as a level 4 warlock I must say that from a magical standpoint FSA products don't hold their charge very well when I cast Magic Missile on them.
  • + 4
 Haha! You legend!
[Reply]
  • + 33
 Nothings going to beat XTR Trail Icetech brakes, sorry! Stops me in a flash with no fade ever.
  • + 13
 Meh don't like them as much as Hopes but that's my opinion lol
  • - 6
 Or Formulas. Pretty sure even The Ones are as light, but as powerful as Saints.
  • + 16
 Hope: as in hope they work, and when they don`t, hope you can somehow find the parts to fix them.
  • + 7
 Hope as in, I Hope you're joking. They have THEA best customer support I've ever delt with.
  • + 8
 @tinfoil are you mad? If they are so bad then why do most of the group I go riding with have a set of Hope brakes on all of the bikes they own. I've never had a problem with fade, the bleeding process is piss easy and they are completely serviceable. As JonwithoutaH said their customer service is the best of all companies involved in the brake game. I had a customer in with a very old set of Hope hubs. We needed a spare that they didn't make anymore but they offered to make us one.....for free.
  • + 5
 I have just had a week out in the alps with 6 full days of riding, using hope tech m4's i never experienced any fade and never had to bleed them either.
  • + 12
 to be fair to tinfoil, hes based in Canada, so his experience may differ from yours???
  • + 1
 Tinfoil, I am right there with you . I am not a hope fan, I have the V2's and I am not impressed at all! The American Hope distributor is crap, you try and deal with them and it is pretty pointless. They told me the reason why my brakes are not working properly is because I didn't get the vented rotor they make for the V2, so I bought the rotors hoping for the best. Nope! Didn't change anything, they just don't stop my bike and I have tried everything I can think of. The only thing that worked was switching brakes.
  • + 1
 @noskidmarks my friend had the ones and he despised them, but when they do work, even though they'r heavy, they work well.
so i guess you could say, the ones... that you cant trust.
  • + 3
 @c-rod, yes the Hope USA team is terrible at giving proper advice and tech support. Have you tried adjusting your bite point and reach, as my friend had the same problem as you did, but on closer inspection I noticed his BP screw was at a point where the brake starts to bite as close to the handlebar as possible. If you have tried this then maybe try and get in touch with the Hope UK team via email or their facebook page?
  • + 2
 the ones are heavy??? considering they were made to compete with the old shimano saint (br-m810) brakes? I don't think so.
  • + 0
 llamaman The Ones are light for the power. Not sure what was wrong with your mates ones. But they're at least as reliable as any other good brake. They have a new upgrade now.
  • + 1
 I could care less about hope USA. I can get any part I need shipped from CRC or wiggle in less than a week. Hope brakes ftw.
  • + 1
 not riding for a week? well f*ck that
  • + 2
 I lived in England and enjoyed Hopes excellent customer service my whole life. I moved to Canada and was shocked at the price and lack of support/parts. It's totally different for Hope this side of the pond, they really don't have the disctibution/dealer set up as well as they could and their reputation suffers.

I still ride Shimano... But Zee/Xt win, as soon as you bring $$$$ into the equation! Value for money
  • + 1
 Its pretty crazy that there services are different in different countries. After they've tried so hard to get a good rep here :L
  • + 1
 Oh and sorry for being a c*nt tinfoil Smile
  • + 1
 @ RyanWensley, I have to constantly adjust both the BP and reach on the brakes, I can set them and it never fails after a run the pull reach is off again pinching your fingers between the lever and the bar. No matter how far out I set my lever reach by the end of the run they are pinching my fingers , I have taken them to get a proper bleed , I have bleed them over and over , my mechanic has performed up to 6 bleeds back to back to try and push any hidden air bubbles. Still the same results. I have tried all different types of pads and still nothing. I have a set of formula R0's that I will be installing next week once i get home from vacation.
I did talked to Hope in the UK and they were very nice, they gave me the address to send them to the Hope USA , I did not feel comfortable doing that since I couldn't ever talk to anyone at Hope USA. I emailed them 4 or 5 times and called as well, no reply . I contacted Hope UK and told them I do not feel comfortable sending my brakes to a company who does not reply back. They did say that they would call Hope USA but I never heard back from anyone so I gave up.
  • + 1
 Hmm. Well that is a bit strange. I've never heard of them doing that before, sounds like they're faulty to me. Have you thought about doing a full strip and rebuild of the lever and caliper and changing the hose? You may have a small hole In the hose.
  • + 1
 How do you know they will never fade you can't have had then that long.
[Reply]
  • + 22
 i sometimes feel like my 32 tooth isnt enough and want a 31...... maybe half teeth increments would be good too please
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Those grips kinda look good. Locking and tapered
  • + 1
 I have a pair and they are great!
  • + 1
 They look pretty cool, but I've been riding the Loaded No-slips, and they have a feature that I never knew I wanted, but love: the inside of the grip is made so it has some give, compared to the hard plastic of ODIs. makes bar feel amazingly better.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Ok, great that we have more options for chain retention - personally have no issues with a simple chain guide like the Gamut but apparently the weight of a guide is too much these days for some people!? but teeth that stick out further than the chain!? rock strikes? I know a big hit on a normal setup would probably damage the chain/chainring anyway, but they look like they might prone to damage!
  • + 1
 It does look vicious, I wouldn't like to stack it and whack any part of my body into them teeth.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 But chain guides are sexy as hell , think the bike looks naked without 1.
  • + 13
 Naked = Sexy
  • + 1
 Stuart what ?? less is more...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Well i have FSA Pig DH Pro headset and it is the best price / value headset on the whole market. It keeps running on large (huge) sealed cartridge bearings and it is BOOMPROOF, after 8 years of use it still keep going and still ask nothing. If FSA can get the best price / value on these brakes while they are absolutly reliable and only needs 1 service / year than i would try it out when my Saint m810-s is destroyed as i already really love them, super interested. I have never tought FSA would enter the brake market, but i like it. I don't think there are XC brakes and there are Downhill brakes - for me the Saints are a big overtake, i would be feel okey with the XT brakes too - i can pull the lever harder if i want to stop faster...
[Reply]
  • + 5
 The brakes look very nice, but you won't pull me away from shimano brakes just yet.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Its soooo not a new idea. Twenty years ago the Onza Buzzsaw chainrings took the same approach with extra tall teeth to reduce the likelyhoox of bouncing the chain off. FSA didnt yet exist at the time.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 With the MEGATOOTH can it be flipped around for middle postion on a triple?

I think the trailing angle design may mean it is not reversible.

On my RaceFace single speed cog it is reserved in the middle position due to the machined recesses for the crank nuts.

Hopefully it has recesses on both sides.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Ferocious Stopping Action?

Fun Stopping Ahead?

Look pretty nice, a lot like my Avid Elixir Carbons.
  • - 2
 and appears to be the same caliper guts/pads as an elixer. just a tubular lever....who hooo.
  • - 1
 Fucking Shit Aswell
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Oh, and add Hope brakes to the list. Anyone that knows brakes, owns a set of Hopes.
  • - 6
 Nah just because someone machines a turd out of aluminium doesnt stop it been a turd. hopes are normally followed by a prayer. Usually a prayer that you can stop.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Going smaller than 27t? So 26-11 as your largest gear? If you need go smaller than 30t then just run 2x9/10/11. 1x isn't for you
[Reply]
  • + 1
 thank god they are using mineral oil with a mag body any dot brake fluid starts to pit and eat away the magnesium... you sram guys know whats up...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Functionally Subpar Accessories?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 THANK GOD ITS MINERAL OIL!!!
  • + 1
 Seriously
  • + 0
 And what's wrong with dot 5.1?
  • + 0
 its corrosive to O-rings, it'll fuck your day up if you get it on your pads, and its terrible for your skin all for a few degrees higher in boiling point....
  • + 3
 its not corrosive to o rings designed for that environment, learn to bleed brakes without getting fluid all over yourself and the bike, and any difference in boiling point will keep them fade free for longer... problem solved. dot wins....
  • + 2
 Coming from a bike shop mechanic, dot IS highly corrosive to inner seals if you do not flush the system multiple times per year (which 99% of bike riders do not do) as stagnant dot fluid will eat away at the brake, as for fading, no shimano brake will or has ever faded and they all use mineral oil.
  • + 1
 if only mineral oil could come in the same viscosity as dot
  • + 1
 Coming from a car mechanic, dot fluid is used in all forms of brakes the world over, you won't find mineral fluid in any car, aircraft, heavy plant machinery or over industry, and car systems can go for years without eating away seals. Working in a bike shop dosent make you a brake expert. Any problems with dot fluid in the bike industy stems from the manufacturer rather than any fault with the fluid itself. Any saying that no shimano brake has ever faded is just plain dumb
  • + 1
 But the whole point is that since the brake manufacturers use sub par seals and contruction to that of auto, aircraft, heavy machinery ect dot fluid should not be used, and also bike brake fluid never reaches a high enough temp to warrant the use of dot, temps never get to high for mineral oil. They do get that high in your list of industries which is why dot fluid is great for those applications, just not necessary for bikes.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great. Exactly what the world needs...another $300 +/- set of brakes.
  • + 1
 MSRP: $369 USD for each side, not the set Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is y i love mountain bikes_____O^O_____
[Reply]
  • + 1
 full speed ahead. cus my shitty brakes have failed
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bro is that carbon?
  • + 0
 I've been told to say that Carbon is better. What do you think?
[Reply]
  • - 1
 that is quite possibly the ugliest brake lever design i have ever seen.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 FSA made by Formula?
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Fsa best componets factory.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Brake caliper look like a Magura knock off
  • + 7
 Looks nothing like Magura
  • - 1
 it looks like every other bloody one-piece single-piston caliper.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Bigger teeth on your chainring... so nothing can stop you from going full speed ahead.
  • - 2
 Except for my elixer rip offs
[Reply]
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