FSA K-Wing Compact Carbon bar  £219.99

9/10

Lightweight comfortable and bling with a price to match

Weight 224g   Contact  www.zyro.co.uk

by Jon Burrage   May 6, 2009  

FSA K-Wing Carbon bars

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This new compact version of FSAs extremely popular K-Wing bar provide a good looking, comfortable and responsive set of carbon drops.

By compact, I mean that FSA have shortened the reach from 90mm to 78mm and the drop goes down from 145mm to 125mm. The shallow nature of the drops make it ideal for smaller riders like myself. This incarnation of the K-Wing also makes being on the drops more natural so larger or more upright riders may well enjoy the changes too.

There is enough in the way of damping in the carbon/kevlar construction to calm down the road noise and any potholes that I failed to miss. On the flip side the bars perform very well when climbing, out of the saddle or sprinting when you really need something to work against. There was no softness to the ride, just comfort when you needed it.

The flatter top section won't suit everyone as it can cause your wrist to be at a 90 degree angle for some time, this will clearly be uncomfortable for some but I found it fine, I suspect the more you 'lean' on the bars the worse it could become. A great option for climbing and not an issue that would put me off buying a set.

Subtle touches include a slight cut away section on the inside of the anatomical (rather than a smooth curve) drop to allow the k-wings to fit neatly into the palms of your hand. Internal cable routing, a high gloss 3k carbon weave finish and subtle but attractive graphics mean these bars certainly look the part.

Verdict

The FSA K-Wing is a very lightweight handlebar which will allow you to do miles in comfort at the same time as adding a certain bling factor to the front end of your bike.

road.cc test report

Make and model: FSA KWing Carbon bar

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

FSA say that their new compact K-Wing bar, a mid to top range carbon kevlar road racing set of bars, offers a more natural position that will appeal to smaller riders and larger riders who want to get into the drops more.

I am a smaller rider, I am more suited to climbing so being down on the drops is not my preference however when riding on the k-wings it was a lot more comfortable than I am used to and I felt a great deal more controlled.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Made from a carbon/kevlar monocoque weave the strength of these bars is not in question. FSA have reinforced and textured any areas of the bar that may be used for stem clamping or shifter mounting with the remainder of the bar being finished in high gloss to show off the carbon weave. The compact 80mm reach and 125mm drop also showcases a flatter inside surface for improved comfort when on the drops. These bars also have grooves cut out beneath the flattened top section of the bar to guide your cables through.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

I noticed no faults here. The bars dampened road vibrations very well without any squeaks or creaks. I have no complaints at all.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Lightweight, extremely stiff when working out of the saddle yet with enough in the way of shock absorbtion to take the sting out of the roads round my way. The flat tops can leave wrists feeling a little tight after 100km or so but I didnt find it too much of a problem at all.

Rate the product for durability:
 
10/10

Tough to test over a 6 week period but they bars look brand new (apart from tape marks). I have no doubt that these bars would give years of solid service.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10

Not the lightest bars around but at 215g these certainly are in the lightweight category. They would need to be rivalling the easton ec90 slx bars to get 10/10 but its only 15g shy.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10

Encouraged me to get into the drops more which can only be a good thing. I found the ergonomics of the bars good for me.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Retail price is quite high at around £220 but shop around and these can be found for significantly less. At £220 they are pricey but for £160 I would be very tempted.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

I have no complaints about construction or performance. These bars helped me improve my riding style.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The compact design is a great feature for the likes of me and other smaller riders.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really, the only gripe is that after a long ride with hands on the flat cross section my wrists felt a little stiff from the angle they were held at.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A top set of bars, lightweight and good looking with the ability to tempt riders into the drops more often.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 5ft 10  Weight: 66kg

I usually ride: at the moment my Orbea Ora tri/tt bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb, triathlon

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