TECH NEWS

FSA scores first WorldTour win with its K-Force WE electronic groupset at La Vuelta

There's a new groupset in town and it's called K-Force WE

The professional cycling peloton is dominated by Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo when it comes to groupset choices, but there’s now another player in town: FSA and its K-Force WE electronic groupset, which was ridden to victory in the La Vuelta by BH-Burgos rider Angel Madrazo Ruiz (who did well to recover from being driven into by a team car).

bettiniphoto_0414915_1_originali

FSA is best known for making components like cranks, handlebars, stems, seatpost and brake callipers, but it decided to step up to being a groupset manufacturer several years ago. K-Force WE has been many years in development, we first rode a prototype in 2016, the length of time from concept to production readiness shows how tricky making a groupset really is.

mobelsport_IMG_9543

So to claim victory in a Grand Tour, arguably the hardest event there is on cycling equipment, is validation the groupset works. Angel Madrazo Ruiz also plays a big part of course, since he was dropped three times on the final climb but came back in the final kilometre to take the biggest win of his career. And the first for FSA’s new groupset.

Furthermore, the second-placed rider, Jetse Bol also on the BH-Burgos team, was riding the disc brake version of the K-Force WE groupset on his BH G8 bike. That’s it pictured below (we don’t have a good photo of the winning bike just yet).

mobelsport_IMG_9348

It’s sponsoring the Spanish team BH-Burgos and has outfitted all the BH bikes with its latest K-Force WE groupset. Most of the team are choosing to ride disc brakes but it’s clearly a rider decision which brake system they opt for.

What is K-Force WE?

To refresh your memory, K-Force WE is a semi-wireless groupset, with the two derailleurs wired to a battery in the seatpost while the shifters communicate via ANT+ to the mechs, in what it promises is a secure wireless protocol. It’s offered with a choice of disc or rim brakes - the team choosing the latter because, well the pros aren’t all onboard with disc brakes just yet.

FSA K-Force WE groupset - shifter.jpg

The shifting mimics Shimano’s Di2. To change gear you operate a rocker paddle integrated into the lever. The gear shift paddle operates on a rocker mechanism with two small springs behind each end. It’s quite large with a dimpled surface and raised ridge halfway along, all of which makes shifting intuitive and easy.

FSA K-Force WE groupset - front mech.jpg

As we found out when we reviewed it, it works well with comfortable ergonomics and easy setup, but the shift operation isn’t quite as smooth as Shimano Di2 or SRAM eTap. Hopefully, more refinement can be found as FSA continues to develop the groupset.

FSA K-Force WE groupset - rear mech.jpg

You can read our full FSA K-Force WE review here 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

Latest Comments

  • hirsute 39 min 5 sec ago

    Being unusually hopeful, it could be they are fixing it and are starting with the main traffic which is phone based, then moving on to pcs.

  • Mathemagician 43 min 5 sec ago

    Hmm...actually according to the compatibility charts it won't work:...

  • eburtthebike 59 min 53 sec ago

    Quite, and what if the cyclist has a mirror? I'd love to have had a discussion with one of those officers if they'd stopped me for words of advice.

  • eburtthebike 1 hour 2 min ago

    Unless SGlos council have spent a few million on cycle infrastructure in that area in the past year, then no, it isn't very good, in fact most of...

  • qwerty360 1 hour 9 min ago

    The reversing truck is stuck as the road is busses only from that point. They were doing the safest maneveur (given they can't turn around on Tower...

  • kil0ran 1 hour 28 min ago

    Generally you can always use a tube in a tubeless rim with a tubeless compatible tyre as sometimes you'll have such a catastrophic failure that...

  • RobD 1 hour 29 min ago

    Once you get the basic principles it's quite straightforward, scoop has no cut out, line has the channel, the radius, shallow or flat is how curvy...

  • kil0ran 1 hour 43 min ago

    With that average speed I'd say that any aero benefits will be minimal, unless you ride somewhere very hilly and that's dropping your average. That...

  • leqin 2 hours 11 min ago

    How long do we have to put up with this sort of crap. They are not a fucking watchdog if all they do is cart blanch allow one of the newspapers,...

  • slitemere 3 hours 10 min ago

    Doubles and tripls will never die. The only reason SRAM went for 1x was that they have never been able to make a good quality front mech....