Interbike 2011: Formula breaks new ground

New brakes, Volo wheels and the 33 suspension fork

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Formula is coming out swinging for 2012 with a host of new products, including two new disc brakes, a three-model Volo wheel line and the now complete 33 cross-country suspension fork.

Formula’s more powerful R0 is ready, plus R1 Racing

The R0 is the first brake with an ovalized piston to come to the bicycle industry. The point of the brake is to increase power, by increasing the piston surface area without jumping to a heavier four-piston design.

By using the oval slave piston, Formula engineers are able to alleviate spoke clearance problems which would be associated with a round piston of the same dimension, and also better align the piston between the brake mounts so as to minimize the amount of leverage exerted on the forged caliper body. The oval piston measures 25.4mm by 24mm, and Formula claim an 18-percent increase in power over their previous The One brake.

The r0 uses an ovalized caliper piston to increase power by 18-percent: the r0 uses an ovalized caliper piston to increase power by 18-percent
Matt Pacocha

The R0 uses an ovalized caliper piston to increase power by 18-percent over The One brake

The R0 comes equipped with Formula’s FCS (Feeling Control System) pad contact and TFR (Tool Free Reach) adjustments, standard. A front 160mm post mount brake with a 800mm line and all of its hardware weighs a claimed 361g. It costs US$382 with a standard steel rotor.

R1 Racing is Formula’s new no-holds-barred lightweight racing brake. The brake comes tricked out with a carbon fiber lever, Kevlar wrapped hose and titanium hardware, which drops the weight to just 270g in the above configuration (front post mount with a 160mm rotor and 800mm line) with a steel rotor; a $100 upgrade to a two-piece rotor can save another 9g. The R1 Racing costs $412 in the standard configuration and $512 with the two-piece rotor.

The standard R1, The One and RX brakes all stay in the line for 2012.

Volo wheels: ready to take flight

In Italian, Volo means ‘to fly’ and while Formula showed the Volo wheel line last year at Interbike the line now seems ready to take flight for 2012; Formula says they will be for sale by December 2011. Formula will offer two models—XC and All-Mountain—with both 26in and 29in options in both formats.

Hodaka manufacture the scandium rims to Formula’s specifications. The XC model features a 19mm inner dimension and weighs a claimed 335g, while the 29er features the same profile at 370g. Formula uses scandium because it offers the ability to make a stiff, light rim, without the cost associated with carbon.

At the heart of the XC wheels are Formula’s own hub design; the rear 4 bearing hub features a wide bearing stance (the drive side hub bearing is placed outboard of the cassette) and four-pawl cassette body, while the front hub adapts to 9mm, 15mm and 20mm axles and either 135mm quick release or 142×12 rear through-axles. The 26in wheelset is claimed at 1,290g and costs $1,673.95, while the 29in set is claimed at 1,437g and costs $1,752.95. The wheels use 24 Sapim straight pull spokes and alloy nipples front and rear.

Formula’s volo rear hub has four-pawls and a wide-stance bearing design: formula’s volo rear hub has four-pawls and a wide-stance bearing design
Matt Pacocha

Formula’s Volo rear hub has four-pawls and a wide-stance bearing design

The All-Mountain set relies on the same hubs, but a wider 21mm (I.D.) scandium rim. The beefier rim adds roughly 150g to each wheel size; the 26in set is claimed at 1,440g and the 29in at 1,538g. The cost $1693.95, and $1777.95, respectively.

The 33 suspension fork edges closer to production

Formula’s 33 (for 33mm upper stanchions) cross-country suspension fork will be produced for 2012, according to Chris Costello of the Hive, Formula’s US distributor. The fork, which was shown at last year’s show, is built using internal design concepts from Paioli a 25-year-old Italian motorcycle suspension manufacturer.

The key feature of the fork is the use of a pull spring for the initial compression, after which a more traditional air spring takes over. The goal is to meld the small bump sensitivity of a coil-sprung fork with the lightweight of an air-sprung model.

Formula’s 33 is claimed ready for sale: formula’s 33 is claimed ready for sale
Matt Pacocha

The 33 fork is named for its 33mm stanchions

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The fork can be set for 80mm, 100mm or 115mm of travel via internals spacers and offers adjustable rebound damping and a compression-to-lock lever on the top of the TK fork leg. The fork comes with a tapered steerer and the option of 9mm quick-release or a 15mm through-axle for the magnesium lowers.The 33 will cost $1,397.95.