For most of my years of riding I’ve always stuck to using alloy bars due to their safety and reliability. However, carbon handlebars, specifically FSA K-Force Compact Carbon road handlebars, have come a long way putting any worries aside.
Good road handlebars are like a good seat, they just have to feel comfortable as you’ll be riding and holding on to them in one position or another for the duration of your ride what ever type of ride that might be.
I have been using the FSA Energy compact alloy bars over the past few years and they have been my go to bar as they are extremely comfortable. The contact points and shape need to be very comfortable for the duration of your ride whether your racing, training or just riding.
Finding a handlebar that has a good all-around feel is a must for the serious cyclist. The first thing that I enjoy about the FSA K-Force Compact Carbon road bars is that they are made almost identical to the FSA Energy alloy bars, so the switch was an easy transition.
Just like the FSA Energy handlebars, the slightly flat top of the bars adds extra comfort and stability along with added stiffness. The drop is just the right height and reach. The other thing I like about the FSA K-Force Compact Carbon road bars is that when your sprinting you won’t hit your wrist, like you do with some other bars.
So having the FSA K-Force Compact Carbon road bars using some of the same shapes as the FSA Energy handlebars is a good thing.
There are some minor differences from the FSA K-Force Compact Carbon road bars and FSA Energy handlebars: The drop of the bars are slightly shorter. Also, there is added carbon in the center where you might use an aero bar clip on bars or a computer mount.
The ride on these handlebars is amazing, due to the fact that you get added comfort due to the Kevlar reinforced unidirectional carbon fiber. You definitely can feel the road and small vibrations almost go away and smooth out the ride from the normal vibration you would normally get with alloy bars.
You get all of the comfort without losing any stiffness (or at least noticing it) when you are standing out of the saddle or on a climb or sprinting.
The FSA K-Force Compact Carbon road bars are extremely light weight, comfortable, very stiff and durable.
They also have textured area where the lever and stem goes so there won’t be any slipping.
- Newest-generation ‘Compact Design’ for improved reach and performance
- Continuous UD carbon/kevlar composite construction
- Wide 110mm center section for clip-ons and accessories
- New internal cable routing options for Di2 improves stiffness and fatigue life while allowing for cleaner cable routing
- Reinforced and textured clamping areas
- UD carbon finish
- Bar width: center/center from the handlebar tails
- Weight reduction – 180g (400mm); 185g (420mm); 190g (440mm)
Review by Frank Sarate, SoCalCycling.com