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FSA K-Force New Ergo handlebar



Excellent shape and a good compromise between stiffness, weight and comfort

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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K-Force is the name FSA give to their top-level race components and our 44cm (measured centre to centre) New Ergo model weighed in at 204g. That puts it firmly in the Very Light category. You can get bars a little lighter – but only by a few grams. It’s also available in 40 and 42cm widths, oversized (31.8mm) clamp diameter only.

I got on really well with the not-too-radical New Ergo shape. The tops are level and the curve of the drop straightens a touch just below where the levers clamp. It’s not completely flat there but it’s less curved, so you get a comfy, non-cramped hand position. Then you get a generous amount of rearward extension so you don’t necessarily have to reach miles forward every time you want to get down there.

The drop is 150mm so you can get a low, tucked position – a Compact version is available with just a 125mm drop if you prefer – and the reach (the distance from the clamping area to the furthest extension forward) is 80mm. There’s a 2° outward bend too so you get a bit of extra leverage when you’re chucking the bike around from the drops.

The bar is a continuous carbon/Kevlar construction with what FSA call a ‘double-width single cable groove’. It’s not actually a groove, it’s just a flattened face at the front of the tops, but it does mean you don't feel your cables as much as you do with a purely round profile once you have your bar tape fitted.

The clamping areas for the levers and stem are reinforced and they’re textured to add extra grip. Nothing has moved since we fitted the bars, so no complaints on that front.

As I said, I found the bar shape comfortable with several different hand positions, and there’s enough downward flex on the drops to dampen out road vibration and stop unexpected potholes jarring right through your body. Testing has involved loads of big rides on these on some dreadful roads and they’ve felt great throughout.

There’s occasionally a bit of flex when you haul on the drops too. Not a crazy amount, although if you want complete rigidity in your bars, you might want to steer (ahem!) clear. There are plenty of stiffer aluminium offerings out there, but then you have a weight penalty. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

To me, though, these are a good compromise between stiffness, weight and comfort. And as for the price, they’re not cheap but this is about the going rate for a set of high-quality carbon bars.


Excellent shape; not the most rigid bars ever, but a good compromise between stiffness, weight and comfort

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Make and model: FSA K-Force New Ergo handlebar

Size tested: 440mm

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K-Force components are FSA's lightweight race range.

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Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 190cm  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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