In this crazy year of ‘virtual trade shows’, I had the opportunity to observe an exciting new line of components from FSA (full speed ahead). One of the things that I’ve had on my wish list for a certain pink Salsa Cutthroat (hybrid) that has taken up residency in my garage is a carbon drop bar. But not just any carbon drop bar. I had a laundry list of requirements, like an oval ergonomic top floor and a shallow drop, to downstairs. I like my bars wide, so my dream bar would be something like 460mm wide. So when I spied this sleek K-Wing AGX carbon drop bar that basically checked every box on the list, I pinged our amigos at FSA and we were off to the races. FSA also has a drop-bar dropper post in the pipeline that we hope to test when they become available but today we’re going to share the low-down on this hi-tech carbon vünderbär.
FSA also sent along their Powertouch bar tape which was a nice surprise and helped complete the installation in style. The bar that the K-wing will replace because that’s what came with the cutthroat as original equipment is a Salsa Cowchipper. I put both bars on the Park Tools scale for comparison.
The FSA K-Wing (front) The OE Salsa Cowchipper (back by the gnome)
The Aluminum OE Salsa Cowchipper weighs in at 318 grams
The FSA K-Wing AGX Carbon Drop Bars weighed in at 223 grams
As one might suspect…the carbon bar is 95 grams lighter than the aluminum OE Bar. The K-wing also features internal cable routing (photo above). The cable routing wasn’t a big deal to install for cable disc brakes, but hydro brakes would push this installation beyond what most home mechanics might want to tackle. But if your skill-set includes bleeding hydro-brakes, you might be ok. I ended up replacing a couple of the cables but I was able to re-use all of the housing because it’s only a few months old.
As with any lightweight carbon bicycle component, it’s important to utilize torque limiting tools on all of the bolts. I like the way that the internal routing takes the cable housing out of the ergonomics of where you rest your hands and grip the bar.
I usually run two layers of tape on the upper flat region of drop bars, but decided to give the single layer a shot due to the ergonomic shape of the K-wing’s top floor. That has proven to be a good decision, because the K-wings ergo-shape is rather large and really comfortable. On the first ride, I stopped and made one small tweak to the angle of the bars and that has been where they’ve lived for the last couple of weeks.
My plan is to ride the snot out of these things till ole Jack Frost takes over (hopefully with a blanket of snow). I’ll be back with a full review after hundreds of miles of gravel, pavement, dirt, slurm, or everything in-between. ¡Felices Caminos Amigos!
For more information about FSA visit – https://www.fullspeedahead.com/en