The FSA WE electronic groupset is just starting to hit the market – as they say better late than never. That didn’t stop them from showing off the next steps for WE – disc brakes and TT bikes. Now, we’ve seen prototypes of the disc brake version before, but at Eurobike FSA was showing the most polished looking version yet, hinting that production could be near. They also had a very early prototype of a TT/Tri group that would expand WE’s capabilities into the world of aerobars…
All FSA would say is that this was indeed a prototype WE system for TT or Tri bikes. Duh. From the looks of it, a lot the parts look like they came from a 3D printer suggesting that this group may be pretty far off, but at least we know what might be coming. Running mechanical brake levers with a two button rocker switch on each lever, shifting can be made from the brakes or from the extensions. The extensions each have a shifter with one button on the inside and outside of the bar end for thumb/index finger shifting on either extension. No word on whether this system would be the same hybrid wired/wireless as the current WE, but we should find out soon enough.
The disc brake WE groupset on the other hand was looking very close to production, with FSA even suggesting that it would be available early next year. Using a very similar rocker switch set up on each brake lever, the hoods have a fairly slim appearance given their hydraulic internals.
At the other end of the line, it looks a like a lot of thought has gone into the brake caliper to make it functional and aerodynamic. FSA says that the pads have built in aluminum heat sinks that also act as shrouds to improve airflow over the opening to the caliper. They also have a rearward facing bleed port which supposedly improves bleeding and aids in the removal of air bubbles from the caliper.
Each caliper also has a quick release hose fitting which FSA says allows you to remove and install the line without having to rebleed the system.
Of course, at this point flat mount calipers are pretty much guaranteed on new bikes. So the FSA calipers fit the bill.
FSA also hinted at the potential for a new rotor standard to emerge for professional road racing. They seemed to think that moving forward rotors would have to have smaller holes in the mounting arm structure so the FSA rotor complies with an aluminum disc that eliminates any finger sized holes.
Otherwise, both systems looked to use the same 11 speed drivetrain with a wired front and rear derailleur with a connection to the battery, and the brains of the system are contained in the front derailleur. Hopefully, that means that the rear half of the system will be compatible with any of the three shift/brake systems once all three are available.