Formula have been hard at work designing their new freeride cum downhill brake range. The current Oro model has been a big success on everything from XC to downhill bikes but Formula felt the need to beef it up and create something specifically for the harder freeride and downhill scene. The result is the new Formula One and Mega brake systems.
It may look like a pimped up Oro but there's a whole lot more to the new One. The master cylinder's reservoir that also serves as an expansion bladder is still housed in the lever body to keep it protected but the similarity ends there. The most notable difference is the addition of a gold CNC machined lever reach dial. This does away with fiddly Allen key adjustment and makes on the move tweaks far easier, especially if you're wearing thick gloves.
The lever clamp is offset to help improve mounting options and Formula has ditched the two part banjo attachment going into the master cylinder in favour of a simpler inline hose.
Built to take the knocks of freeriding and downhill the One's lever features a machined sheer off point. This is designed to save the master cylinder body from damage in the event of a crash. The lever also runs on an oversized pivot for improved stiffness and strength.
The master cylinder piston has also been redesigned. Gone is the 2mm push rod (found on many a brake system) to be replaced by a micro rocker cam held in place by a clip on the back of the lever. This is less prone to damage and just like Avid brakes it allows the lever to move out in the event of a small impact. The clip can also be fully released to move beyond its natural stop. Similar to the Oro's the Ones also feature FCS stroke adjustment courtesy of another gold dial. It all looks like ingeniously simple well built stuff.
It's all change at the calliper end as well. It looks a lot bigger and burlier but the weight is almost identical to the current Oro calliper and the pad size stays the same. The reverse side of the calliper also features a classy CNC machined access plug, in matching gold.
The Mega carries same strength characteristics of the One but with fewer "fancy" parts. This means less machining with the reach dial replaced by an Allen key screw and there's a two part calliper assembly instead of the single block of the One.
Formula say the One and Mega brakes deliver about 20% more stopping power but in the same clean and refined manner of the Oros. With weight closely matching the Oro's it's clear that the new brakes will also find a place on everyday trail bikes as well as more specialist freeride and downhill rigs.
Expect UK prices to be around £170 price mark with the Mega's coming in lower at £135ish. The brakes will be appearing on bikes in time for Eurobike, at the end of August, and are due to hit the shops shortly after that in early September. Check past reviews of the Formula's Biancho brakes here on BikeRadar and we hope to give the One a full review in MBUK magaizine.