Formula RO disc brakes - Just in

Cross-country weight, benchmark power

Formula's The One brake is a top performer, offering enough stopping power for a World Cup downhiller along with great lever feel at an incredibly light weight.

Well, for 2012 the Italian company have gone one better – the new RO, first seen in prototype form at this year's Sea Otter Classic and launched at this autumn's trade shows, uses oval rather than round pistons to boost braking surface area without increasing calliper size. The result is even more pad pressure than The One – Formula reckon the new brake has 18 percent more power.

The RO is marginally heavier – Formula claim 361g with a 160mm rotor, versus 336g for The One; our samples weigh 280g front and 292g rear, without rotors but with all hardware, including rotor bolts. This is partly down to the larger pistons but the new brake also gains a tool-free reach adjuster (this has also been added to The One for 2012) and pad contact adjustment dial.

Elsewhere, it carries over the previous flagship's best features, including its one-piece calliper and super-light flip-flop lever with split bar clamp. As you'd expect, pricing is higher than The One, at £249 ($380) per end, not including rotors, compared to £229 (US$290).

We'll be putting the new brake through its paces over the next couple of months – look out for a review in Mountain Biking UK and on BikeRadar soon. Formula brakes are available in the UK via Silverfish.

The pistons are lightly ovalised but it's hard to spot unless you get up close

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