New Tech From FSA, Marin, Kask, & Koo - Eurobike 2018

Jul 10, 2018
by Alex Evans  

FSA's new range of wheels spans from XC and trail to enduro. The K-Force wheel is the lightest and most XC-specific wheel, with a pair of 29-inch hoops weighing in at 1,566 grams. 275 is also available and the rims are asymmetrical. Retail price is €1,669.99.

The K-Force Light is a XC trail specific wheel.
The K-Force Light is a XC/trail specific wheel.

Next up is the SL-K wheels with WideR technology - the external widths of the rims range from 25mm to 27mm and 29mm. These wheels are slightly tougher than the K-Force but FSA recommend you don't do anything harder than trail riding with them. These wheels retail for €1,559.99 and come in 275 and 29-inch variants and are also asymmetrical.

The SL-K is a 30mm wide trail all mountain wheel.
The SL-K is a 30mm wide trail/all mountain wheel.
FSA s new wheels are laced onto their own hubs.
FSA's new wheels are laced onto their own hubs.

The burliest wheel in the lineup is the Gradient that has a 35mm wide external measurement and is also available in 275 or 29-inch versions. There are currently no prices for the Gradient.

The Gradient is FSA s carbon enduro wheel and is 35mm wide.
The Gradient is FSA's carbon enduro wheel and is 35mm wide.

The Gradient's rim profile is asymmetrical and it's built on FSA's own hubs that use a bearing preload cover so that the bearings can be 'tensioned' correctly. The hubs feature 5 bearings in total, three in the freehub with two bearings located closest to the hub and one on the outboard section of the freewheel. The other two bearings are in the main hub body.

The new modular 1X specific crankset features a carbon fibre construction that equates to a 458g weight. The crank's parts are all interchangeable - the spindle and the chainring spider or direct mount system can all be swapped out depending on your preferences or bike specifications.

The new cranks looks sleek
The new cranks look sleek!

The crank is best suited to XC racing, but FSA's EWS teams do use them to save some weight on the less demanding trails. They retail for €289.

FSA s modular K Force cranks are 1X specific but have a spacer that allows you to adjust the chain line without affecting the Q factor.
FSA's modular K Force cranks are 1X specific but have a spacer that allows you to adjust the chain line without affecting the Q factor.
This chainring is direct mount but you could use a traditional chainring spider if you want.
This chainring is direct mount but you could use a traditional chainring spider if you want.
Made from carbon the look sleek.
The metal insert for pedals.

Marin Alcatraz

The full Alcatraz build retails for 1649.99
The full Alcatraz build retails for US $1299

Marin's return to form is welcomed and the iconic brand has released and produced plenty of great bikes recently. Their new Alcatraz has been designed and developed with input from Matt Jones, the UK dirt jump and slopestyle star.

The bike is small - perfect for dirt jumping.
The bike is small - perfect for dirt jumping.
X-Fusion s Slant fork will take care of any dodgy landings.
X-Fusion's Slant fork will take care of any dodgy landings.

The 6061 aluminium frame has horizontal 135X10mm dropouts, a tapered headtube and is built around 26-inch wheels. The head tube angle is 69-degrees, but this bike isn't designed to be ragged downhill, so don't stress too much about the figure. It also features a super-short chainstay at 395mm which combines with the front centre to make a 1053.68mm wheelbase.

Single speed the only way for dirt jumping or slopestyle.
Single speed, the only way for dirt jumping or slopestyle.
Marin s Alcatraz has super short chainstays as requested by Matt Jones.
Marin's Alcatraz has super short chainstays, as requested by Matt Jones.
The tan wall tyres give it classic looks.
The tan wall tyres give it classic looks.

It's built up using burly parts including an X-Fusion fork, Tektro brakes and Marin's own-brand rims and cranks. The bike's on sale now and retails for US $1299.

The paint job is pretty cool.
The paint job is pretty cool.
Marin s one of the most iconic mountain bike brands out there.
Marin's one of the most iconic mountain bike brands out there.

Kask & Koo

Kask's Rex helmet has 20 vents to help with cooling, weighs 310g and retails for €170.99. Its bold colours will certainly appeal to some!

Kask s Rex MTB lid has a goggle strap to stop them moving or falling off.
Kask's Rex MTB lid has a goggle strap to stop them moving or falling off.

Kask's eyewear brand, Koo, have several models of riding glasses with an extensive range of colourways and different fit options.

Loads of models and plenty of different designs.
Loads of models and plenty of different designs.
Koo are Kask s range of sunglasses.
Koo are Kask's range of sunglasses.

MENTIONS: @MarinBikes


  • 67 1
 So. Much. Stuff. I. Won't. Ever. Buy.
  • 13 1
 can we get a spec for that Marin? 1600$ seems like a lot considering yt dirt love cost 999 euro or canyon stiched 1200 euro with really decent specs
  • 17 2
 yup also x-fusion forks, tektro brakes and noname wheels. 1649$ lololol
  • 2 2
 I believe this price is in US dollars and those you are referring to are in Euros (Even though this IS Eurobike). Still sounds overpriced though...
  • 3 0
 @andrewlombardo: Prices in euros usually include VAT (German is I think 20%) so it's roughly the same number in $ without taxes.
  • 6 0
 Came to comments to say the same, that is not a lot of bike for the money - think dirt jump bikes are generally over priced, but this seems very high.
  • 13 25
flag bigmike9699 (Jul 10, 2018 at 7:17) (Below Threshold)
 Just don't complain when you take a YT or a Canyon into a local shop and don't get the same stellar service or support you're expecting as if you had bought the (Alcatraz) bike there...

While I see the appeal of saving money on direct to consumer bikes, developing a rapport with a local shop and taking my business there, that eventually gets rewarded with discounts that almost match what I'd save going direct is pretty awesome.

Oh, and enjoy your warranty experience when something (inevitably) goes wrong...

All I'm saying is that the support a local shop can provide is worth something...
  • 2 0
yeah but euro price has VAT included (which is 19% in germany) usd price is tax free
  • 12 0
 The actual US price is $1299. Sorry for the confusion and the article has been updated.
  • 2 0
 @colincolin: I can say the same thing about the canyon, although it has a pike. (the canyon costs 1200 dollars before delivery and taxes)
  • 26 1

a local shop should deliver the same service for YT or whatever other bikes you bring to them, if they refuse or intentionally deliver worse service because they cant adjust to a reality they can f*ck off and go out of business for all i care

no to mention that literally, no one buys high-end bikes at shops here, everything is online and usually from abroad because local bike shops sell one brand of XC bikes at best. they make a profit pretty much only on service and stuff like clothes or protection and sub 300$ bikes for kids

>Oh, and enjoy your warranty experience when something (inevitably) goes wrong

the warranty works the same for YT/Canyon and other brands
  • 2 0
 YT, try buy one Canyon the same, been out of stock for months
  • 21 0

here's my YT warranty experience. Raise request. Email discussion was had. Mail label sent same day. Bike dispatched next day. 1 week later mechanic from YT workshop calls me to discuss. Suitable outcome reached. Bike back 1 week later.

My most recent shop bought warranty experience involved 20+ emails chasing feedback over 16 weeks. The (shop - distributor- company - distributor - shop) chain of communication was a nightmare. Each point in the chain blamed the other despite them all having a taken cut of the money I paid originally. Its a broken old sales model that deserves to die.

Buying a bike from a shop you not just paying for the shop but also for the countesses middlemen and distributors between you and the builders of the bike.
  • 1 0

not really check stiched 360 pro spec

it is definitely better than this one
  • 8 0
 The first Spaniard to discover the island was Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775, who charted San Francisco Bay and named the island “La Isla de los Alcatraces,” which translates as “The Island of the Pelicans,” from the archaic Spanish alcatraz, “pelican”, a word which was borrowed originally from Arabic: al-qaṭrās, meaning sea eagle.

You can't escape from knowledge.
  • 7 0
 @bigmike9699: just don't complain when the shop where you work goes out of business because of attitudes like yours. You're basically saying customers have to pay to be your friends, in addition to whatever you charge for labor. No thanks; also the services you provide aren't as valuable as you think they are - we can get them elsewhere without your attitude.

I'm not aware of any business anywhere that's been successful using guilt as their primary advertising.
  • 5 3
 @bigmike9699: wow so many neg props for supporting local shops it’s unbelievable. Keep up the support man.
  • 6 2

supporting anti consumer practices you mean?

all you guys are cheering for is being dicked in the ass by huge companies and local shops

i guess you enjoy paying more for inferior services
  • 1 0
 I bought the frameset only in NZ built complete with IMO better spec than listed there for $1500NZD. With own brand Marin rims and cranks it's well overpriced.
  • 3 0
 @loganflores: No, its neg props for the bad attitude.
  • 1 0
 @Karve: this. well said. dealing with companies like shimano is often more trouble than its worth (unless you get a CSR sympathetic enough to send you the needed part direct)
  • 3 0
 @Asmodai: Good shops don’t have inferior services. Do you think canyon and yt aren’t big company’s? If you have the ability to sell bikes across the world in any decent number you are a pretty large company. One of the differences people miss when they Talk about all the extra people involved in the local shop model vs direct sales is all the jobs for people passionate about our sport. I worked in shops from 14-23 and they were filled with people who loved our sport and helping people get better at it. It also gives dreamers a chance to get discounts at the cost of low wages to follow their dreams/passion. Be nice to your local shop person they probably don’t make much.(unless they are a dic* then treat as due)
  • 1 0
if a shop is full of passionate people why are they refusing to give you same service for yt/canyon than for any other brand?

im nice to my lbs because they don't give a shit about where i bought my bike
(also they earn pretty nice cash judging by the cars and house next to the shop)
  • 1 0
 @Asmodai: I didn’t say they were or did I don’t have a direct sales bike and I don’t use any shops for service I’ve done my own mechanics since I was 14. And I was a mechanic in shops for years why would I take my bike to someone else’s. In any event I don’t think a shop that doesn’t service your bike is a good shop. And I don’t think that mechanics are often well paid. Most do it for the discount in my experience.
  • 1 0
 I wish my experience with YT USA was anything like that. Today marks 8 weeks since I submitted my warranty request... about 4 weeks in, they agreed to send me a replacement seatstay (right after I asked to return the bike for a refund because support had been so unresponsive). I still haven't received the seatstay and they haven't responded to any recent emails or a voice mail I left.

I'm so frustrated, that the thought of ever dealing with YT support again, makes me not want to own this bike. I am again going to request to return the bike. I've missed a lot of good riding, including a two-week trip to western North Carolina.
  • 2 0

Cam and Howie and the old Reno team wouldn't have handled it like that - sorry to hear that.
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades: Thanks... I've heard of positive warranty experiences with @yt-USA, so I don't know what's going on here.

(note: for context, my response above was to the comment @Karve made about his support experience - I must have mistakenly removed the username.)
  • 2 0

For sure - that's what i figured. I just added the @YT PB account in case they are checking this but it looks unused since they moved to SoCal. Sounds like a CS pain in the ass.
  • 7 0
 Oh FSA still trying to “do “ cranks. When there is a warranty it’s all your fault. I had An SLK crank which developed a loose pedal insert of which I learned was a common issue and the C.S.R s response was “ being these cranks are used for cross racing and are now theee years old it’s time to retire them”

good job guys. Keep standing behind your product
  • 9 1
 Apologies for your experience in the past, lets see if we can offer you a better solution. We've got a lot of great people here in Seattle (NA Office) that can surely help to right the wrong.
  • 10 0
 DJ bikes need to be stiff but 135x100mm is getting out of control!
  • 7 0
 The hub standard to end all future hub standards. 135x100 front and rear and then shut up for a couple of decades.
  • 4 2
 Kask Rex is the best trail helmet i have used.
Fits secure and no pressure points.
Very comfortable.
Light and very well vented.
Great finish.
Fits all glasses shape.
Made in Italy.
Can find it for $90.

Maybe the tld a2 is on the same level, but not as well finished as the rex or a1. Or bell stroker for everthing except finish and weight.

Everything else i have tried (giro, poc, ixs, etc) either had big pressure points and or flimsy ratchet on the back or does not fit all glasses.
  • 1 1
 Mine got recalled due to a 'safety issue'. KASK dealt with it very well, but the one they replaced it with had a different fit that I hated. Changed to a Fox one now. I also use a KASK Mojito road lid which fits like as glove - on my second as they first one was totally destroyed in a small spill.
  • 1 0
 @Marc2211: How did you find out about the recall? The recall site does not listen any Kask helmets and there is not trace of the recall online. I have an early helmet and it fits exactly the same as the 2018 models.
  • 1 0
 @RedRedRe: I got an email from who had the serial number if the helmet. They told me to contact KASK who confirmed the issue. I've not seen any other info elsewhere :/
  • 2 0
 The FSA Cranks... The squared off end of the crank looks like it would snag rocks. Further the non standard shape probably wont play well with most crank end protectors on the market either. Both would be a concern for me given the amount of abuse my cranks see at the hand of rock strikes.
  • 2 0
 We have our own crank boots for our Carbon Cranks. We are based out of Seattle, WA and are very aware of the need for this type of protection! Good call!
  • 2 0
 Why are external rim widths noted here? Does anyone care about that anymore?

Are we trying to befriend roadies or something (if there was a cute roadie girl there and you wanted to impress her you coulda included internal and external widths).
  • 6 0
 Hey guys, the KF-L and SL-K WideR rims are 25mm inner width, and the Gradient WideR's are 29mm inner width. We have team riders in the EWS on them all season with out touching a spoke. Very stiff out of the box, and one of the fastest rolling hubs we've tested. We had multiple podium placements at the Kellogg, ID NAEC Enduro last weekend on them. You will be impressed.
  • 1 0
 dirt jump bike with no giro tabs or long hydro brake cables. I get that its looks better without the long hose but wouldn't you want it to look like somebody might actually ride it.
  • 3 4
 2000 dollar wheelsets are so done. Show me a set of carbon hoops for 500 and I'll be impressed. Nuts? no just a realist. Carbon is not that hard to make it's just not produced here because she care about our health. Carbon finer dust is 5X more toxic than asbestos. The only thing stopping the drop in carbon costing is TRUMP and his stupid tariffs and it includes bikes.
Personally I can not justify 10K for a bike and if I could I still would buy a bike with carbon wheels in the deal like Giant does. After spending 6K on a bike why the hell add another 2K? it seems lame to me, just lame.
  • 1 0
 Nobody is forcing you to buy $2k wheels. Plenty of affordable solid options.
  • 2 0
 Is there one number too many for that Marin? That's just ridicuous...
  • 1 0
 Hmm Alcatraz is available as frame only in the UK. Shame, it looks like a decent off the peg DJ bike.
  • 1 0
 I believe it was frame only for 2018 but they've added a built model for 2019. Hopefully it will be available soon, worldwide.
  • 1 0
 Is the price correct on the cranks? Seems incredibly cheap for carbon carnks
  • 2 0
 “EWS teams do use them to save some weight on the less demanding trails.” good luck with those road bike cranks!
  • 1 0
 1600$ seems a little pricey for a DJ, I would like to see full spec sheet.
  • 1 0
 Full specs are available on the Marin website. The price in the US is $1299, and the article has been updated to reflect that. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 Any Crank that isnt Titanium is not worth our time...
  • 1 0
 Ti Sweet Wings or bust!
  • 1 4
 FSA wheels 1566g for 29"?
I don't know the exact weight of DT swiss equivalent, but I know XMC 1200 (24mm internal) in 27" is 1380g.
So certainly lighter anyway, and survived really well a Megavalanche week under my 95kg geared up buddy.
And can be found at 1000€, or even 430€... Wink
So I wouldn't risk the FSA, even if one day I was looking for carbon rims
  • 4 0
 The FSA's use hookless asymmetrical rim profiles with a 4mm offset. They are SUPER stiff out of the box and have a very fast rolling hub. These wheels have a low spoke count because of our rim strength. Give them a shot, we know you will be impressed...all of our Pro Team riders were.
  • 1 0
 @FSA-MTB: where is FSA stuff designed? States? Italy? Asia?
  • 7 0
 @FSA-MTB: you forgot to mention your Seattle location in this reply
  • 1 0
 @FSA-MTB: I don't like the 24 spoke count. 28 would have been better.
  • 1 0
 @FSA-MTB: I was just pointing out a difference with what I know, in terms of weight/strength/price, which made me wonder once again the interest of carbon wheels.
I would probably be impressed and they certainly have their utility, but you are talking to a guy who spends max 2500€ on a whole bike, I could never justify carbon wheels, even more so because it's something that breaks.
  • 3 2
 Those -FSA cranks look dope
  • 1 1
 I agree they look sweet.... but carbon cranks make me nervous... from anyone. I had a pair of SRAM XX develop play on the pedal interface and am rocking a pair of RF Next SL and am just waiting for the next pedal strike to do the same.... hasnt yet though... seems like I have a solid set. *knocks on wood*.
  • 1 1
 "XC/Trail Specific" is that like straight g- oh wait I already got a post deleted for that. Is that like linear progressive?
  • 1 0
 Polygon Trid with paint job is pretty cool ^.√
  • 1 0
 That Marin needs 2 metres of rear brake cable.
  • 3 5
 MARIN lies within an hour of Santa Cruz, a dirt jumper Mecca, and they had to take advice from Matt Jones across the ocean...?
  • 6 0
 he is their sponsored rider
  • 3 0
 Outrageous. I think you should introduce a Matt Jones tariff.
  • 2 5
 “Singlespeed the only way for dirt jumping or slope style” obviously got paid by SRAM to say that.. gears are just as stupid as chains
  • 1 2
 Cranks look sleek? - I'd say edgy
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