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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).


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.


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).


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 worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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Sriracha | 4 years ago
1 like

"...what it promises is a secure wireless protocol..."
How long before remote wireless hacking/jamming of someone's gearshift?

TheBillder | 4 years ago

Much as another player in this market is welcome, I'm really struggling to love FSA right now. My FSA press-fit BB has given up after less than a year and 3000 km. LBS looked at Hope and other well-regarded replacements, but for some reason to do with FSA crank alignment, only another FSA BB will fit, so I expect to be replacing again next summer. To add insult to injury, the FSA BB was £70 and took a long time to arrive.


Miller | 4 years ago

K-Force WE, hasn't this been 'new' for about 3 years now.

handlebarcam | 4 years ago

Probably the first grand tour win for the unfortunately-named XPEDO brand of pedals as well, and about as much a factor in the win.

hawkinspeter replied to handlebarcam | 4 years ago

handlebarcam wrote:

Probably the first grand tour win for the unfortunately-named XPEDO brand of pedals as well, and about as much a factor in the win.

Reminds me of this:

HarryTrauts replied to handlebarcam | 4 years ago

handlebarcam wrote:

Probably the first grand tour win for the unfortunately-named XPEDO brand of pedals as well, and about as much a factor in the win.

At least it's better to be an ex-pedo than a practising one.

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