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just how rubbish are FSA!?!!

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics' started by andywood, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. andywood

    andywood Maximum Pace

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    I should've known better when my first FSA purchase, a seat post, developed a crack a few years back.

    Ignoring that I bought a compact crank set last December.

    The BB and left crank arm failed after 3 months of use.

    http://www.jyonnobitime.com/time/2010/03/fsa.html

    Now the replacement BB has also gone. Thats 7 months use or 10 months for 2 BBs. The BB is a sealed unit. Maybe they do this to hide the fact that the bearings are made of plastic!

    My advice: STAY CLEAR OF FSA!

    Andy

    www.jyonnobitime.com/time
  2. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    Andy,

    Have you contacted FSA regarding this? I have the FSA Mega Exo BB with ceramic bearings on the other bike and love it. I also have the K-Lite compact and its still going strong. The only thing that failed was the extractor bolt for removing the cranks and the sent me 2 in the post to replace the one I broke.

    Not sure what BB you have but if they are the external cups they aren't sealed, you can open them up, repack them and replace the bearing cartridge if needed.

    You need to be careful though as any pressure washer or heavy rain will require you to regrease the bearings, remember these aren't bomb proof enduro BB's like Shimano but high end low friction designed purely for racing and require lots of maintainance.

    I used to do mine before each race just to make sure every thing was great and the are still going strong after a year of riding.
  3. KenjiSugahara

    KenjiSugahara Warming-Up

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    Yeah, highly recommend getting in touch with FSA. Good group of folks.
  4. AlanW

    AlanW Maximum Pace

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    That's still quite rubbish. My bog-standard BB30 bearings are now four years old and have never been touched; meanwhile Naomi's Hope Ceramic BB is about 3 years old, never been touched and is as smooth and friction free as any high-end race stuff. You're right about the pressure washer though. I don't use it on my road bikes.

    Worth a shot on the warranty if it is really falling apart. The bigger companies will usually help you out.
    AW.
  5. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    Alan.... I killed my DuraAce BB within 1 and a half months.... but then again it did go to Cameroon :confused:
  6. andywood

    andywood Maximum Pace

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    James, my BB is the mega exo type (certainly not ceramic) but I'm pretty sure it's a sealed unit, which is why I had to send the BB back earlier this year.

    Kenji, FSA are indeed good at helping out, perhaps because they get a lot of warranty claims. The pain is dismantling the bike, shipping the parts to America (at my cost), waiting for the parts to come back (a few weeks?), and then reassembling the bike.

    I found Shimano BBs much better and fully servicable to regrease. Unfortunately they are not compatible with the FSA crank sets. In hindsight, I should have gone with strength and reliability (the Shimano ultegra compact crank set) over looks (the FSA).

    Anyway, time to dismantle that bike...

    Andy

    www.jyonnobitime.com/time
  7. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    Andy I went through Taiwan for my claim.

    As for sealed the black flat washer cap just pops off!

    Also you say that the Shimano BB's are servicable? How do I get the cap off as my DuraAce is making a horrible clicking noise and may need repacking.
  8. andywood

    andywood Maximum Pace

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    James,

    I'm no mecahnic. I just provide the beers and talk trash while Enosan helps me out. I'll get him to dismantle the bike tonight or tomorrow and see if we can get into the BB. I'm sure we couldn't last time though...

    I'll ask him about Shimano too. Maybe newer versions are sealed? I have a few Shimano BBs that I've had Enosan grease up no problems over the years...

    Andy

    www.jyonnobitime.com/time
  9. Ludwig

    Ludwig Warming-Up

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    Andy, sorry to hear!

    I have FSA cranks and BB on my two road bikes and have been very, very happy. I have ridden 20,000km on them on one of the bikes, and they run extremely smoothly - basically no resistance, no noise, no nothing.

    I don't ride in rain though (unless I get surprised) and I never wash my bike with water.

    I also have a carbon FSA seat post on one of my bikes, and am happy with it - big difference from the aluminium posts on my other bikes.
  10. TOM

    TOM Maximum Pace

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    was about to order

    this seatpost in the 32mm setback version....seriously hesitating now.:(

    Like Andy I have had issues with FSA in the past...outer chainring (on Mega Exo crankset) got warped after only a couple months of normal use (I like to push heavy gears) and a handlebar mount to hold Cateye cycle computer that mid-ride snapped in two (ruining the Cateye too)...

    BTW, can anyone recommend a decent 27.2 seatpost with a setback in the 32mm range?
  11. andywood

    andywood Maximum Pace

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    Cheers Ludwig,

    Maybe I should stop riding in the rain, move over to Kanto or better still California! Riding in the rain is probably not good but still I'd expect more than a few months use.

    Tom, sorry to say that that is the same seat post I cracked. The setback is nice but the crack appeared on the back of the post (perhaps due to the extra weight being applied to the rear). I gave up on carbon and now have an aluminium one firmly wedged in my frame! You can't win!

    Andy

    www.jyonnobitime.com/time
  12. Half-Fast Mike

    Half-Fast Mike Maximum Pace

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    My other bike's a Felt F3C. It came with a fancy FSA compact crank that I never liked; thought it was poorly made with sharp spikes on the chainrings waiting to spike me during cleaning and bolts that rusted quickly. Eventually replaced it with Ultegra compact crank and just love it.

    Should ride that bike more, but it doesn't carry enough of my crap: never knowingly underpacked.

    --HF Mike--
  13. dgl2

    dgl2 Speeding Up

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    I've had no problem with FSA carbon handlebars, stem, seat post, ... but I also had an FSA cyclometer holder break (el cheapo plastic).

    As for cranks, I had a nice 2004 FSA compact carbon crank that worked like a charm for 3-4 years, then the left crank arm delaminated (probably from abuse getting it on/off the bike).

    The same thing happened again with another FSA crank last year (not sure there was any misuse -- no hammer involved), but I got a replacement left crank arm and, due to some confusion, also was sent straight from Taiwan a full (left and right pieces) new version of the Team Issue crank. The new one (still in box) looks like a much stronger piece of equipment. Never had any FSA BB problems.

    Then again, I've never, ever had problems with Shimano cranks.
  14. andywood

    andywood Maximum Pace

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    Since writing this post in October last year, I bought a new bottom bracket as FSA wouldn't honor the warranty and I was stuck with a carbon crankset and no BB to go with it.

    That "new" BB has now also worn out. Not been using that bike much this year really so I was quite amazed at how quickly the part wore out!

    So just to reiterate the warning, if you have a choice, don't choose FSA....

    www.jyonnobitime.com/time
  15. onm

    onm

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    Not totally relevant as it was a long time ago, but I went through 4 FSA headsets on my MTB in the space of a year.

    I was doing a bit of jumping, but they marketed the model I bought as being bomb-proof.

    It wasn't. Kept on warranting it (was young and poor, and had to save up for ages to get a Chris King), and eventually gave up. The bearings went indexy and rough almost instantly too.

    Oh well.
  16. Gunjira

    Gunjira Maximum Pace

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    Same experience. Never go Fsa on anything that moves/has bearings. Seatpost, stem and the likes are fine.

    Isn't there a rumor, that they want to come out with a full groupset? That I would avoid like the plague
  17. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    Back in the UK as Owen probably remembers FSA ment: Faulty Stuff (Or other word) - Avoid.

    However I've not actually had any issues with my BB or my cranks.
  18. onm

    onm

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    Yeah, this was a long time ago admittedly, and I don't have anything by FSA at the moment. Was going to get some of the cranks, but spent the money on some other stuff instead.
  19. Ludwig

    Ludwig Warming-Up

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    Same here, still no issues. But I also avoid riding in the rain.
  20. ikedawilliams

    ikedawilliams Speeding Up

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    Starting to think FSA is bad afterall...

    I have a bunch of FSA stuff on my bike and it looks good and I hadn't had any issues, but the bottom bracket started to make a racket and there is some play so I figured it needed to be replaced. I am fairly handy, but not an experienced mechanic. I undid the two bolts that tighten the arm to the spindle, but I stripped the retaining bold that goes into the spindle. I am about ready to give up on fixing this myself. Too bad since I bought a tool kit with my bike that seems to have the tools I need to remove the bottom bracket, and I bought the tools for that purpose with the thought of saving money in the long run in mind. Put ''fsa stripped head on crank'' into Google and at least one page of stuff comes up from other people with the same misfortune. Aluminum bolts.... hmm.... who is the genius that came up with that? Not to mention the fact that I have only had my bike for just over 6 months and there is less than 3,000kms on it. I thought the part would have lasted longer than that. And another thing, the BBs on Wiggle are going for nearly 6,000 yen, while the Shimano Ultegra equivalent is around 3,500 yen. 2,500 yen is not going to break the bank, but is the product supposed to be nearly twice a good? It doesn't make any sense.

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