This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
FSA had a relatively modest start in the late 1990s with just two categories of products: headsets and bottom brackets. Today, the Taiwanese company offers a huge range of gear, including cranksets, handlebars, stems, seat posts, complete wheelsets, shifters, derailleurs and all manner of smaller accessories.
As with much of the modern bicycle industry, FSA's manufacturing hub is centered in Taichung, about two hours southwest of Taipei on the western coast of the island. Here, FSA operates four buildings where crankarms are forged, chainrings are machined, wheels are built, and carbon fibre is laid up by hand.
So what exactly was involved in making your crankset? Dive in to find out
Prototyping and testing is also headquartered here – highlighted by a rarely seen X-ray imager the company uses to check all of its hollow-forged aluminium and hollow carbon fibre crankarms.
We took a tour through the company's primary machining facility where it manufactures the bulk of its drivetrain components, and its nearby composites factory where FSA produces all of its carbon fibre rims and then builds them up into wheelsets completely by hand from start to finish.
It's incredibly labor intensive to make parts out of carbon fibre
Why is stuff so expensive, you ask? Once you see everything that goes into making some of this gear, perhaps the question you should really be asking is why some of it doesn't actually cost more.