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review

FSA K-Force Light Seatpost SB0

7
£194.95

VERDICT:

7
10
Light and beautifully made, but clamp design needs refining – and it's expensive
Stiff, yet with some comfort
Comes with carbon paste
Loads of sizes and offsets
Front bolt is hard to reach
Saddle installation is very fiddly
Expensive
Weight: 
206g

Used by the pros, the FSA K-Force Light Seatpost SB0 is stiff, light and it looks stunning. The two bolt clamp holds the saddle firm, but it's fiddly to set up and the front bolt has design issues. There are length, diameter and setback options for everyone, but it's expensive against competition that's often lighter too.

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If you've got the cash, and want to treat your Sunday best to a lovely upgrade, FSA's latest carbon post might just be the ticket. Featuring a one-piece carbon fibre construction, a forged alloy two-bolt 'Minimal Top Clamp,' and weighing in at 205g for the 31.6mm x 350mm version, it's a pretty slick bit of kit.

2020 FSA K-Force SB0 Seatpost 4.jpg

If pro teams including EF Education First Pro Cycling and BH Burgos, it must be good, right?

Well, mostly. The K-Force Light comes in zero offset (as tested) or 25mm setback, as well as 350mm or 400mm lengths. It works with either standard 7mm rails or 7x9mm oval rails. You also get a Di2 battery mount, if you're into the electronic wizardry, and FSA doesn't stipulate a weight limit.

2020 FSA K-Force SB0 Seatpost 2.jpg

Included in the box is a small packet of carbon paste. Normally I steer clear of this stuff as I worry it might scratch the finish (I use Park Tool's ASC instead, which secures slippery carbon without any abrasives), but in the interests of science I gave a go. The good news is it definitely works, and I've had no slippage at all. The non-news is that I haven't yet dared check for scratches.

2020 FSA K-Force SB0 Seatpost 5.jpg

Fit the saddle though, and things get tricky. The two bolt design is effective once tightened, but boy is it a pain to get the saddle on. Getting the two-piece clamp around the rails and then tightening the bolts successfully is the sort of thing that makes you think having several extra, child-sized hands growing from your chest would be worth the stares.

Next you find the angle of the front bolt forces any regular hex key into contact with the post – and tightening the bolt will mark the post. A ball-ended key will let you get so far, but when you need to properly torque it up, you can't do so without damaging it.

2020 FSA K-Force SB0 Seatpost 3.jpg

Possibly a very long T-handled, ball-ended hex driver would give you enough clearance and torque. Lacking one, I used a thin piece of card as a basic shield.

The two bolts do at least make angle adjustment super easy, so that's something, and it's entirely secure too.

Stiffness

The K-Force Light doesn't feel any more plush than my normal carbon post which was merely OK anyway (plus cheaper and lighter), but then a 31.6mm post is never going to have the compliance of a 27.2mm. You could also argue that, as something used by pro teams, comfort is secondary to stiffness.

Despite the 'Light' in the name the K-Force feels very substantial, and I feel confident it won't flex (or break) when I really mash the pedals – and I'm a pretty big rider.

> 29 of the best bike saddles for men and women – find a more comfortable ride

The glossy finish looks rather posh, and thankfully there are no shouty logos to spoil things, but the style might not be for everyone. I prefer my finishing kit matt black, for instance.

Value

£194.95 is a lot of money for a seat post, and I don't feel the K-Force Light is doing quite enough to justify it. At 206g it's light, sure, but there are lighter posts out there for similar money, such as the 163g Ritchey WCS Carbon Link Flexlogic at £187 or Prime's 190g Primavera Inline Carbon Seatpost at £129.99. I do think the FSA offers more for your money than the £215, 209g Vision Metron SB20 Seatpost, though.

Overall

The K-Force Light is beautifully made and looks fantastic, but weight, price and performance are all average or even lacking against the competition. There's no ignoring that problematic clamp, either. Admittedly, it works really well once together and tight, but getting there is a potentially damaging faff. Maybe the pros don't care because they're not the ones paying for it, and they're not having to fit the things either...

Verdict

Light and beautifully made, but clamp design needs refining – and it's expensive

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road.cc test report

Make and model: FSA K-Force Light Seatpost SB0

Size tested: 31.6mm / 350mm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

FSA says: "With shaft and head formed from one continuous carbon fiber section, the K-Force Light SB0 seatpost is both light and strong. The K-Force Light SB0 features a zero-offset (in-line) clamp for a forward saddle position, with our forged alloy Minimal Top Clamp holding the saddle securely."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Forged alloy Minimal Top Clamp (MTC)

One piece continuous carbon fiber construction

Fits 7mm standard rails and 7X9mm oval rails

Finish: UD carbon finish

Color graphics - black

Weight - 185 grams (Ø27.2x350mm)

0mm or 25mm setback

27.2 or 31.6mm width

350 or 400mm length

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Feels incredibly well built and looks stunning.

Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10

Saddle attachment is fiddly, but the clamp is secure and the included carbon paste ensures the post never slips.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

The glossy finish should help protect the carbon from marks.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

Definitely not the lightest for the money, but pretty competitive.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

It does damp some vibes, but as this it's designed for racing its primary purpose is to be stiff.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

There are cheaper posts that do more or less the same job.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The looks and effective clamp.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Front bolt is almost impossible to tighten without marking the post.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Ritchey WCS Carbon Flexlogic is lighter for the same sort of money. Prime's Primavera Inline Carbon Seatpost costs £55 less and weighs roughly the same. It's cheaper than the high-performing, but heavy, Vision Metron SB20 Seatpost.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's reasonably comfortable, stiff and fairly light, while the clamping is secure - all the things you want from a seatpost, really. It's exceptionally well built but the design makes it hard to tighten the front bolt without marking the post, which is a shame – especially given the price. Overall it's merely good, and a seven.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'4  Weight: 175lbs

I usually ride: Steel audax bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,

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