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FSA Drivetrain details

Aug 3, 2009
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Obviously none of this has been confirmed yet, but this is what I've heard so far about the FSA drivetrain in development.

The first big development is 12 speeds in the rear, taking it one step further than Campy. Fits in the same space as 10, just a thinner, lighter, but still strong chain. Finally, a 12-23 with no gaps!:D

Next big news is the shifters. We know how SRAM has improved on Shimano's 2 to 1 shifting ratio by going with the 1 to 1 shifting ratio, but FSA takes it a step further, going to a .8 to 1.2 shifting ratio for even more shifting accuracy.

The internal mechanisms of the shifters are also sealed off completely from the elements, providing road and especially cyclocross racers less maintenance and more reliability.:)

A triple option is also being considered, giving the potential for 36 gears.:eek:

The biggest development is the brakes, but no details can be provided without spilling the beans all over the floor. Roadies will like these brakes, since they are lighter than any of the big three's choices, but cyclocross racers will especially be in love with them once they see how superior they are in adverse conditions. They will only be compatible with FSA shifters and brake levers, making you commit to the 12 speed drivetrain in order to run them.

FSA is clearly taking the next step with this drivetrain. Not only does it look like it will be able to compete with the big three on the road, but it looks like they might be pushing the big three off the road in the realm of cyclocross, if everything is as good as it sounds like it is.

The testing is not complete yet, there still could be some changes.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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If the FSA group existed and worked properly we would already have seen it. Amazing amount of PR for a 'rumoured' product though. Appently it also cooks Popcorn!
 
ProTour said:
Obviously none of this has been confirmed yet, but this is what I've heard so far about the FSA drivetrain in development.

The first big development is 12 speeds in the rear, taking it one step further than Campy. Fits in the same space as 10, just a thinner, lighter, but still strong chain. Finally, a 12-23 with no gaps!:D

Next big news is the shifters. We know how SRAM has improved on Shimano's 2 to 1 shifting ratio by going with the 1 to 1 shifting ratio, but FSA takes it a step further, going to a .8 to 1.2 shifting ratio for even more shifting accuracy.

The internal mechanisms of the shifters are also sealed off completely from the elements, providing road and especially cyclocross racers less maintenance and more reliability.:)


A triple option is also being considered, giving the potential for 36 gears.:eek:

The biggest development is the brakes, but no details can be provided without spilling the beans all over the floor. Roadies will like these brakes, since they are lighter than any of the big three's choices, but cyclocross racers will especially be in love with them once they see how superior they are in adverse conditions. They will only be compatible with FSA shifters and brake levers, making you commit to the 12 speed drivetrain in order to run them.

FSA is clearly taking the next step with this drivetrain. Not only does it look like it will be able to compete with the big three on the road, but it looks like they might be pushing the big three off the road in the realm of cyclocross, if everything is as good as it sounds like it is.

The testing is not complete yet, there still could be some changes.

12 speed with thin chain and really close together cogs..great for cross when the conditions are crappy(nope!)

'More shifting accuracy'. You shift, it goes to the next cog, it's centered. Pretty accurate already. The ratio means little. It means that nothing will be compatible with anything else.

Brakes that provide clearance for big fat tires, yet can be fitted to the single bolt of a road caliper. Brakes may have clearance but the frame and fork won't. "Push" the frame/fork makers for 'road cantis? Road discs? We'll see.

Hopefully the group will better than the company's cranks, bearings, wheels, etc.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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if this is true what a waste.
What good is straight block 12-23?
How many riders not in the Pro peloton have shifted from the 17 to the 19 and thought " this gear sucks! I really need an 18, just plain unacceptable..."
 
Mar 11, 2009
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ProTour said:
Obviously none of this has been confirmed yet, but this is what I've heard so far about the FSA drivetrain in development.

The first big development is 12 speeds in the rear, taking it one step further than Campy. Fits in the same space as 10, just a thinner, lighter, but still strong chain. Finally, a 12-23 with no gaps!:D

Next big news is the shifters. We know how SRAM has improved on Shimano's 2 to 1 shifting ratio by going with the 1 to 1 shifting ratio, but FSA takes it a step further, going to a .8 to 1.2 shifting ratio for even more shifting accuracy.

The internal mechanisms of the shifters are also sealed off completely from the elements, providing road and especially cyclocross racers less maintenance and more reliability.:)

A triple option is also being considered, giving the potential for 36 gears.:eek:

The biggest development is the brakes, but no details can be provided without spilling the beans all over the floor. Roadies will like these brakes, since they are lighter than any of the big three's choices, but cyclocross racers will especially be in love with them once they see how superior they are in adverse conditions. They will only be compatible with FSA shifters and brake levers, making you commit to the 12 speed drivetrain in order to run them.

FSA is clearly taking the next step with this drivetrain. Not only does it look like it will be able to compete with the big three on the road, but it looks like they might be pushing the big three off the road in the realm of cyclocross, if everything is as good as it sounds like it is.

The testing is not complete yet, there still could be some changes.

I'm guessing hydraulic discs. Remains to be seen if makers of uber light frames and forks will make their offerings stronger + tabs to accommodate discs. Samo for hub/wheel makers.
 
runninboy said:
if this is true what a waste.
What good is straight block 12-23?
How many riders not in the Pro peloton have shifted from the 17 to the 19 and thought " this gear sucks! I really need an 18, just plain unacceptable..."

The reason I like a 12 - 23 cassette is that it has an 18 tooth cog. The 18 is right in the sweet spot of the big ring.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Bustedknuckle said:
12 speed with thin chain and really close together cogs..great for cross when the conditions are crappy(nope!)

'More shifting accuracy'. You shift, it goes to the next cog, it's centered. Pretty accurate already. The ratio means little. It means that nothing will be compatible with anything else.
The ratio makes a huge difference, anyone who has ever experienced the frustration of using Shimano MTB components in muddy conditions, and then used SRAM in muddy conditions knows what I'm talking about. Having a a more evenly matched ratio gives the rear deraileur more room for error when the mud starts collecting in the cables, chains, and derailleurs.

I'm actually surprised Shimano has stuck with it's 2 to 1 ratio, at least with their MTB components, when it is so obvious that the closer ratio SRAM uses works better. Their MTB derailleurs are starting to look more and more like SRAM's, but it's not the looks that makes them work better, it's the ratio. Shimano's derailleurs are actually better in terms of quality of production, but they are lacking in terms of design functionality.

As for your concerns about compatibility.....well, if you want to make something better, sometimes you have to start from the ground up.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Pietro said:
I'm guessing hydraulic discs. Remains to be seen if makers of uber light frames and forks will make their offerings stronger + tabs to accommodate discs. Samo for hub/wheel makers.

UCI regulations ban discs in elite and pro CX so if they're hydraulic they'll be rim brakes like the old Muguras, and I can't see that happening.
 
Apr 8, 2009
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BroDeal said:
The reason I like a 12 - 23 cassette is that it has an 18 tooth cog. The 18 is right in the sweet spot of the big ring.
That depends on how fast you are going. Trying to hang onto the back of someones wheel when they are flat out, can make the 12 or 11 the 'sweet spot' :D
 
Jun 16, 2009
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BroDeal said:
The reason I like a 12 - 23 cassette is that it has an 18 tooth cog. The 18 is right in the sweet spot of the big ring.

Sorry my bad. it has just been my experience that i myself have never felt
"gear deprived" and cant believe that someone would want half again as many gears as i use. Yup i am the doofus still running 8 speed, but it seems to cover all my needs even when i race.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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runninboy said:
Sorry my bad. it has just been my experience that i myself have never felt
"gear deprived" and cant believe that someone would want half again as many gears as i use. Yup i am the doofus still running 8 speed, but it seems to cover all my needs even when i race.

I think it depends on the terrain you're racing on, and how comfortable you are with mashing.

If you're on a flat enough course, you can just about be competitive on a single-speed :)

If you like to spin, and you're on a course with long steep climbs and descents, you're going to want a very broad range of gears. This is particularly for mugs like myself who can't charge up Verbier in 20 minutes on the big ring.

With cassettes with 10, 11, or (hypothetically) 12 cogs on them, you can run that kind of broad range without having annoyingly large gaps between them.

As I understand it, SRAM's best-selling cassette is the 11-28. Given that, the appeal of more intermediate cogs should be clear.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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rgmerk said:
I think it depends on the terrain you're racing on, and how comfortable you are with mashing.

If you're on a flat enough course, you can just about be competitive on a single-speed :)

If you like to spin, and you're on a course with long steep climbs and descents, you're going to want a very broad range of gears. This is particularly for mugs like myself who can't charge up Verbier in 20 minutes on the big ring.

With cassettes with 10, 11, or (hypothetically) 12 cogs on them, you can run that kind of broad range without having annoyingly large gaps between them.

As I understand it, SRAM's best-selling cassette is the 11-28. Given that, the appeal of more intermediate cogs should be clear.

I understand where u r coming from I used to be a bit of a masher but am a spinner. I have always found it pretty easy to modulate my rpms during a race. I can be comfortable spinning a 19 on a climb within 10 or 15 rpms, why not turn the 19 at 93 rpms instead of the 18 at 83?
Just as a point of reference i normally find myself in a flat crit spinning a 17 behind people turning 15, which makes it easier to adjust to the slight variations in tempo.
I bought some used gears from a team that Malcolm Elliott raced for and the joke was you could tell which ones were Malcolms because the 12 had never been used. I watched him sprint by people all the time without using a 12, I can get up to 55mph on a downhill in a 12 why do u need a 11?
I think people who are looking for more gears maybe could learn how to use what they have first.

wait, that sounds like a dig and i dont mean it that way.
What i mean is someone gets something new, tells someone else how much better it is, so the guy tries it out, not sure if it is better but keeps using it, then other people see they are getting "left behind" etc etc
I used to do the rose bowl ride with a coach from the track where we had to use a 75 inch gear. When he saw me at the rose bowl using my big ring he was like what s up and i felt really stupid because the guy was riding with the leaders in his little ring. I realized that everything i had learned about spinning i had left on the track and i thought i had to slam some big gears to be riding with the big boys. Maybe it is just me, but it seems to be easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing instead of doing what is right.
A good carpenter never blames his tools and i think that is what we tend to do with our bikes, we call upon them to minimize our shortcomings.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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Once again I am validating the OP with a response. WHY?

But for those who are interested here are the patent drawings for the rear-mech.
http://knobmag.com/2008/12/13/the-derailleur-decoded/

The writer says:
The illustrations show a meticulously sculpted rear derailleur that appears to forgo the traditional parallelogram linkage and use a single arm with an internal gear mechanism to keep the lower knuckle aligned. Not only is does it appear that FSA decided to go push the limits in terms of weight, they are looking to push the limits in terms of technology. What is perhaps most interesting is that the application suggests that the same derailleur design could be actuated by a small electric motor, either to complete the entire shift, or to provide on the fly adjustments for an otherwise cable driven system. If FSA adopts the latter, they would be brilliantly positioned to take on the big three with a hybrid system that offers the better reliability and battery life. Knowing how long it took Shimano and Campy to develop electronic shifting, however, I would bet that FSA would wait to debut this technology for a later generation of the product.
and for the leavers
And the shifters http://knobmag.com/2008/11/16/fsa-11-speed-derailleur-shifter/

Also here is Bike Radars tech piece on the FSA 11 speed group. http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/fsa-targets-11-speed-groupset-in-2010-18925

Looks like it will use existing K-Force brakes and cranks and will tie in with the black/red/white of the FSA product range. So yeah it looks like an interesting new product, but there is no evidence to suggest any of the claims that the OP has made. Personally I have found that FSA products are not up to scratch and would not use them but am interested to see what they come up with.
 
53 x 11 said:
Once again I am validating the OP with a response. WHY?

But for those who are interested here are the patent drawings for the rear-mech.
http://knobmag.com/2008/12/13/the-derailleur-decoded/

The writer says:

And the shifters http://knobmag.com/2008/11/16/fsa-11-speed-derailleur-shifter/

Also here is Bike Radars tech piece on the FSA 11 speed group. http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/fsa-targets-11-speed-groupset-in-2010-18925

Looks like it will use existing K-Force brakes and cranks and will tie in with the black/red/white of the FSA product range. So yeah it looks like an interesting new product, but there is no evidence to suggest any of the claims that the OP has made. Personally I have found that FSA products are not up to scratch and would not use them but am interested to see what they come up with.

Asper the bikeradar report, Barloworld and AG2R will test them...altho Barloworld announced they are done with bike racing sponsorship.

I'd expect to see a team test this stuff before they sell it. Looks complicated and expensive.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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runninboy said:
Just as a point of reference i normally find myself in a flat crit spinning a 17 behind people turning 15, which makes it easier to adjust to the slight variations in tempo.
And you're probably using less energy also, saving your legs for the final sprint.


runninboy said:
I used to do the rose bowl ride with a coach from the track where we had to use a 75 inch gear. When he saw me at the rose bowl using my big ring he was like what s up and i felt really stupid because the guy was riding with the leaders in his little ring. I realized that everything i had learned about spinning i had left on the track and i thought i had to slam some big gears to be riding with the big boys. Maybe it is just me, but it seems to be easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing instead of doing what is right.
A good carpenter never blames his tools and i think that is what we tend to do with our bikes, we call upon them to minimize our shortcomings.

word. Some good stuff there. Most racers and riders, especially on the road side, get too caught up with all the latest and greatest technology instead of focusing on what's important: winning the race or having a good ride.:rolleyes:
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I rarely use an 11. In fact, I've stopped using 11-tooth casettes when I race. I find the 12-25 cassette to be perfect for just about every race I enter. I'd really like to see the kind of races people are doing where an 11 is needed. Just because the Protour uses 11's doesn't mean it's needed by everyone.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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nightfend said:
I rarely use an 11. In fact, I've stopped using 11-tooth casettes when I race. I find the 12-25 cassette to be perfect for just about every race I enter. I'd really like to see the kind of races people are doing where an 11 is needed. Just because the Protour uses 11's doesn't mean it's needed by everyone.

Any light rider trying to consolodate a gap he created on a good climb will motor the 11 on the descent; or use it to bridge any gap on the same downhill. It's a leg-saver in that circumstance but otherwise it's not a common use.
 

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