Is this FSA prototype the future of road bikes?

FSA has revealed a prototype at Eurobike 2022, which the brand says looks to the future of road bike design.

Matteo Palazzo of FSA says the bike was going to be presented at Eurobike 2020, but it wasn’t revealed at the time due to the disruption caused by Covid.

Palazzo says FSA worked with its communications studio and the designer Jonny Mole to develop the bike.

In fact, the prototype appears to share a lot in common with a Mole design from 2013, which has many of the same features.

However, Palazzo says the brand decided to show the bike this year to help launch its new 12-speed groupset, the FSA K-Force WE, and as a memento of missed Eurobikes.

Why create a concept bike?

The bike has a computer in the stem.
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First things first, the prototype bike, with its radical frame shape and aero spoke wheels, won’t be turned into a product for general sale.

Palazzo says the bike is really an exploration of what road bikes could become.

“We wanted to create something unique that inspires the future of bikes. It’s thinking about what a normal bike could be with all the technology integrated,” he explains.

“It’s just a project to play with our knowledge of bikes. We sat at the table and said ‘what could a road bike be in 10 years?’”

You can tell this bike isn’t for riding from that chain alignment.
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In terms of integration, the bike comes with an electronic groupset with all cables routed internally. But of more interest is the computer built into the stem, which is itself part of a one-piece handlebar-stem-fork design.

Palazzo says the front end of the bike was developed in a way that mimics motorbike design and stresses this isn’t so far-fetched an idea for a bicycle.

The bike was designed with Jonny Mole, and his signature is on the chainstay.
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“This is something you could build in real life. It looks futuristic, but that could be real,” he says.

We’ll have to see if that part of the design eventually makes it to regular bikes, but with the greater integration of some front ends – especially on time trial bikes such as the recent Colnago TT1 – it doesn’t seem too out there.

Maximise the aerodynamics

You can see aerodynamic, horizontal sections protruding from the bottom of the handlebar drops.
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The FSA prototype bike is intended to be aerodynamic, according to Palazzo.

“We developed it starting with a wind tunnel to maximise the aerodynamics as far as possible,” he says.

The frame has flowing lines throughout, notably here where the top tube runs into the seatstays.
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We don’t currently have any information about the bike’s performance, but Palazzo did point out one feature that he says helps the aerodynamics.

There are pieces of material extending horizontally at the bottom of the drop handlebar. Palazzo says these have a profile a bit like an aeroplane’s wing and help improve aerodynamic performance – as well as offering riders another hand position.

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