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Full Speed Ahead (more commonly known as FSA) is diving headfirst into the mountain bike wheel game in 2015. Those who have followed the brand may remember FSA wheels back in 2009/2010, which lasted just a short while in a saturated marketplace. While competition is still strong today, FSA took the past few years to re-invest their efforts into road bike wheels under the Vision brand name, and they learned a lot about how to make better wheels in the process. That fresh knowledge will be reflected in three all-new mountain bike wheelsets set to make their aftermarket debut in 2015. The wheels come close behind FSA's new disc brakes, rounding out a more complete product line for mountain bikers.

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How can road wheel technology translate to MTB? Just like FSA's Tour de France hotshot Peter Sagan's skills, more than you'd imagine. Tech features that transfer over include FSA's fast rolling Preload Reduction Assembly (PRA) hubs with Quick-Draw freehub design, asymmetric rim profiles, and carefully balanced spoke tensions.

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FSA's hubs allow you to fine tune preload on the wheel bearings, which can minimize bearing drag when properly adjusted. The user friendly design is easy to access and can't be over tightened, unlike many other hub systems. FSA claims increased performance, speed, and bearing longevity.

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The Quick-Draw freehub uses a 6-pawl design where 3 pawls are engaged at any time on the 27-tooth ratchet ring. This adds up to 54 engagement points and super quick 6.6-degree engagement, helping you to put power to the dirt quicker.

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Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the new wheels is the high-offset asymmetric rim profile. By drastically offsetting the profile to one side, FSA says they're able to balance spoke tensions up to 30% better than traditional symmetric designs. This balance allows them to increase spoke tension by 20%. The combined effect is increased lateral stiffness, rigidity, and durability. It also comes at less weight because FSA chose to capitalize on the advantages by reducing the number of spokes. All three wheels are laced with double butted spokes and brass nipples with 2 to 1 lacing on the rear wheel.

FSA's new wheels include 27.5 and 29-inch options in the K-Force Light (XC and XC race), SL-K (XC and Trail), and Afterburner (Trail and light Enduro/All-Mountain). Nearly all of the components are made in-house, ensuring an extra level of refinement and control over the end product.

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K-Force Light Wheelset Highlights

  • Application - XC and XC race
  • Rim - Asymmetric Carbon Clincher with UD Carbon Finish
  • Hubs - 6 Ceramic Cartridge Bearings (2 F+4 R), Anodized Red
  • Spokes - 2 Cross Double Butted Black Aero Spokes with Anodized Red Alloy Nipples
  • Graphics - Red, Black
  • Weight - 27.5 inch: 1,414 grams / 29 inch: 1,464 grams (w/o QR)
  • MSRP - $2,049.99

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SL-K Wheelset Highlights

  • Application - XC and Trail
  • Rim - Asymmetric Carbon Clincher with UD Carbon Finish
  • Hubs - 6 Stainless Steel Bearings (2 F+4 R), Anodized Black
  • Spokes - 2 Cross Double Butted Black Spokes with Black Brass Nipples
  • Graphics - Red, Black
  • Weight - 27.5 inch: 1,450 grams / 29 inch: 1,500 grams (w/o QR)
  • MSRP - $1,799.99

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Afterburner Wheelset Highlights

  • Application - Trail and Light Enduro/All-Mountain
  • Rim - Asymmetric Alloy Clincher with Black Anodized Finish
  • Hubs - 6 Stainless Steel Bearings (2 F+4 R), Anodized Black
  • Spokes - 2 Cross Double Butted Black Spokes with Black Brass Nipples
  • Graphics - Black
  • Weight - 27.5 inch: 1,590 grams / 29 inch: 1,660 grams (w/o QR)
  • MSRP - $649.99

Shared Features

  • All three wheelsets feature a 25mm deep X 26mm wide rim profile with 21mm inner bead width
  • 24 spokes per wheel
  • Artisan built, entirely by hand
  • Includes Stan's NoTubes kit or FSA tape and tubeless valve kit
  • Alloy PRA hubs for DP spokes
  • Front hub with 9QR/15TA axle compatibility / Rear hub with 135QR/142TA axle compatibility
  • Aluminum freehub body for Shimano 9-11 speed or SRAM XD for 11 speed

Visit www.fullspeadahead.com for more details. Wheelsets should be available in summer 2015 through your local FSA dealer.

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