FSA’s new K-Force WE wireless groupset debuts

Long anticipated drivetrain makes debut at Eurobike in Germany

Eurobike Parts

Eurobike RoadBikeReview

After five years in development, FSA has finally lifted the curtain on a full road drivetrain — and it’s wireless, sort of.

The LED lights on the front derailleur indicate battery status: blue means fully charged; green indicates high battery charge; yellow shows that it is lower; red indicates it will soon be time to recharge. In the event that you run out of charge, the K-Force WE safety system forces the front derailleur into the inner chainring position, so you’ll never be left with a gear you can’t push. Alternatively, you can link it up through FSA’s app, which will show you exactly how many shifts you have left before your battery runs out.

The LED lights on the front derailleur indicate battery status: blue means fully charged; green indicates high battery charge; yellow shows that it is lower; red indicates it will soon be time to recharge. In the event that you run out of charge, the K-Force WE safety system forces the front derailleur into the inner chainring position, so you’ll never be left with a gear you can’t push. Alternatively, you can link it up through FSA’s app, which will show you exactly how many shifts you have left before your battery runs out.

The 2090-gram FSA K-Force WE system features completely un-tethered brake levers that run on coin-style batteres, but front and rear derailleurs and the main battery pack are all connected via a cable that’s hidden in the driveside chainstay and seat tube.

Carbon levers come in a choice of lengths with ergonomic rocker shifter switches. You can make either single gear shifts with the familiar single tap, or shift multiple gears up or down by holding the appropriate button engaged.

Carbon levers come in a choice of lengths with ergonomic rocker shifter switches. You can make either single gear shifts with the familiar single tap, or shift multiple gears up or down by holding the appropriate button engaged.

FSA uses a custom ANT+ protocol to transmit shifting data between levers and the derailleurs, and the ANT+ is “open” so data can be shared with other devices such as GPS head units and power meters.

The front derailleur houses a control box, which receives data from the shifters and then relays it to the appropriate site in the system. Instead of a traditional parallelogram design, the rear derailleur uses a gear box that moves the cage up and down the cassette.

The system is powered by a battery that’s housed in the upper section of the seat tube. It’s charged via a cable and is claimed to have a 4000-6000km run time, or about 2400 to 3700 miles. Battery life and other key metrics can be monitored by the FSA K-Force WE app, which can also be used to reassign buttonds. That means you can move front and rear shifting to either hand. The app is android only at the moment, but an iOS version is in the works.

Along with front shifting, this mech box houses the K-Force WE’s digital control box. Here, signals are received via ANT+ from the shifters, and relayed directly to the front mech itself and by wire to the rear mech.

Along with front shifting, this mech box houses the K-Force WE’s digital control box. Here, signals are received via ANT+ from the shifters, and relayed directly to the front mech itself and by wire to the rear mech.

Full charge from dead takes about 90 minutes. Other features include adjustable travel shifters and there are two brake lever lengths to choose from. Available cassettes run all the way to 11-32, while crank lengths are 165mm-180mm. There are also three chainring combos: 50/34, 52/36, and 53/39. A disc brake version of the system was on display during the official launch event at Eurobike, but no word yet on when that will be released.

The system is powered by a battery that’s housed in the upper section of the seat tube. It’s charged via a cable and is claimed to have a 4000-6000km run time, or about 2400 to 3700 miles. Battery life and other key metrics can be monitored by the FSA K-Force WE app.

The system is powered by a battery that’s housed in the upper section of the seat tube. It’s charged via a cable and is claimed to have a 4000-6000km run time, or about 2400 to 3700 miles. Battery life and other key metrics can be monitored by the FSA K-Force WE app.

No official pricing has been revealed yet. For lots more details, check out the three videos below.

The rear derailleur is not a traditional parallelogram design. Instead the electronic-driven gearbox moves the cage across the cassette with taut precision. This enabled FSA to produce a more compact design where the motor works in synchronicity with the lightweight mechanical arm, transferring motion with minimized opportunity for loss of accuracy.

The rear derailleur is not a traditional parallelogram design. Instead the electronic-driven gearbox moves the cage across the cassette with taut precision. This enabled FSA to produce a more compact design where the motor works in synchronicity with the lightweight mechanical arm, transferring motion with minimized opportunity for loss of accuracy.

Controls and status lights are easy to reach and clear to see on top of the K-Force WE front derailleur.

Controls and status lights are easy to reach and clear to see on top of the K-Force WE front derailleur.

The new cranks are based on the familiar K-Force models, with modifications including slightly thinner arms, resulting in a lower Q-factor.

The new cranks are based on the familiar K-Force models, with modifications including slightly thinner arms, resulting in a lower Q-factor.

For more information please visit www.fullspeedahead.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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