2014 FSA SLK and Afterburner mountain bike cranksets revive three-bolt arms with 1x11 chainrings

FSA’s reps gave us an exclusive sneak peek at what’s coming for 2014. This is just a partial overview focusing on the technology. The full product announcements will come at Eurobike. FSA is known not as much for introducing groundbreaking new products or tech (BB386 being the recent exclusion), but more for solving problems or providing options with a vast array of products that work with those from the other big drivetrain manufacturers and just about any bike brand. Sometimes, that means their products aren’t even the ones in the spotlight – just hidden between the component and frame and making sure things work. The new bottom bracket is just such a thing.

More visible, though, are the new road and mountain bike chainrings and cranksets. Above, they’re bringing back the three bolt mountain bike cranksets for new 1×11 drivetrains. They’ll use a very a specific chainring that’s not a wide/narrow design. Rather they’re using a taller, special tooth profile. At the moment, it’s planned for 11-speed, but they’re testing it with 10-speed chains. Hopefully they’ll have more to say on that by the time they launch.

2014 FSA BB86 to 30mm spindle conversion bottom bracket

They’ve been testing a PF86 bearing system that’ll allow them to fit their BB386EVO cranks into a PF86 frame. It’ll have a very thin aluminum shell with two rows of very small bearings per side. They’ve been testing it with Giant for a year or more (Giant supposedly approached them with the concept and helped in development) and say the durability is very good despite the smaller bearing size.

It does require a modification to their 386 crankset spindle to fit, though. The spindle will now be scalloped (concave) in the center, which makes room for Di2 wires to fit around them. The spindle will be blue to visually differentiate it.

The bottom bracket’s center sleeve doesn’t have to be installed if you’re not worried about wires or cables sitting on the spindle, or about dirt/water coming in from the seatpost. Thankfully this is not another new standard, just a new way to make current standards work in more places. Their original goal with the BB386EVO cranksets was to let shops stock a single crankset spindle that would work with almost any frame, and this takes that just a bit further.

2014 FSA 11-speed road bike chainrings will be compatible with 10-speed chains

Road bike cranksets, particularly at the higher end, will come with redesigned 11-speed chainrings that’ll be backwards compatible with 10-speed chains. They should also be available aftermarket if you’re just looking to upgrade the rings and not your entire crankset.

Cosmetics get more blacked out or gray/white-on-black logo treatments, too. That makes us very happy.


2014 FSA headsets get updated seals and spacers

Their headsets get an updated alloy or steel race that does away with the split. A rubber seal will mate up with the frame or cup, depending on style, and will do a better job of keeping the water and grit out.

2014 FSA seatposts with Di2 internal battery mount options

Almost all seatposts will start coming with optional alloy inserts at the bottom for internal Di2 batteries. They’ll be preinstalled and permanent, so you either order with or without.

Lastly, new stainless steel bearings in the bottom brackets replace the chromed steel in BB30 and PFBB30. They’ll last longer and have a bit higher precision. The new versions have a white seal to differentiate them visually. This will likely make its way to the PF 24 mm spindle BB’s eventually.


  1. Hello Tyler and All,

    Good to see you @ Dealer Camp and trust your trip was productive.
    A bit of input on the behalf of FSA?

    Evo to BB86: The BB actually has the same sized bearings as our external Mega Exo bottom brackets w/ the mentioned double row per side. The BB is like a semi-cartridge headset with a steel race built into the cup. These have tested well and should be landing soon in the US warehouse.

    Seat posts: The DI2 version will be in our carbon posts only with lengths of 350mm and 400mm. Setbacks for K-Force are @ 0mm, 25mm and 32mm. Setbacks for SLK are @ 0mm and 20mm.

    Questions? chad@fullspeedahead.com
    Thank you, Chad

  2. Why not use the thick/thin chain ring profile? Isn’t it an open standard? It also seems to be testing well…

  3. Every year around this time I worry that bottom bracket technology has plateaued…then FSA comes out with 35 new standards and I can sleep soundly.

  4. the last part about the headset doesnt make sense. the top cover has an o-ring. the red headset shows a split compression ring. if theyre replacing the split compression ring with an o-ring (which doesnt appear so but is implied), theyre taking a huge step backwards.

  5. @Greg, the article clearly states that they are getting away from the split race (fork crown race) and says nothing about getting rid of the split compression ring.

  6. Ok, here we go……..
    Fat bike crank subject: We do make a Afterburner version for the Fatback bikes and for the future my lips are (for now) sealed. Comment sections are not the place for global product launches…..stay tuned.
    Thick/Thin rin: That design works well and we are exploring other options. Our design works excellent and has a few extra tricks up it’s sleeve.
    BB Standards: If you know this subject it’s actually frame makers that drive this cart and we provide solutions to help them obtain their goals. Evo cranks fit Evo, BSA68, BB30, PF30 and soon BB86. From the distribution point of view this clens up needed skus. If you ever need help or clarification drop me a note at the e-mail addy above.
    Crown Races: Split rings are great for ease of installion w/o proper race tools and that is what makes them attractive on the OE and AM level. However, split rings are also know for being a leading factor of creaking in headsets (no matter the brand).
    Proper tools + talented mechanic has always been required for any headset install–no getting around that fact. It has been OE’s request to nix the split ring for a better assembled product. The change is to add a rubber seal to the race. Split compression ring stays the same.
    Any other burning question? Write me if you want since my day is kinda slammed (but no to much to not go for a quick off road spin for lunch!). Real answers are so much nicer than the usual snark that some comment sections can contain.
    Ya can’t ride a keyboard so grab your bike! Chad

What do you think?