Formula R1 Racing MTB disc brake review

Ultra light, smoothly controlled exotica

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £331.00 RRP | USD $410.95
Formula's R1 Racing disc brakes are super light with great modulation

Our review

Expensive, but the lightest brakes available with minimal power and setup compromise
Buy if, You need the lightest major-name MTB disc brake on the market and to hell with the price
Pros: Super light, reliable, excellent modulation
Cons: Super expensive, come up a little short in outright power terms
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The R1 has been around for a while but the R1 Racing uses a completely different lever for a more inclusive but still ultralight performance.


Obviously you’d expect a ‘Racing’ brake to be light and the addition of a distinctive stripy Kevlar-reinforced hose, titanium bolts and an alloy-hubbed, two-piece rotor to an already very light brake drops weight lower than any other major brand anchor.

The ‘Racing’ lever body reverses normal setup by pulling the master cylinder rather than pushing it. Unlike the normal R1 brake, which sits a long way from the bar, the hooked lever now has a full range of reach adjustment via a sunken Allen key, which will please riders who like their braking to occur close to the grips.

There’s the option to add an FCS bite point adjuster to the hose/lever junction for extra tuning too. Increased pad clearance also reduces rotor scuff in dirty conditions.

Power is adequate rather than amazing, but a 180mm rotor is enough to cope with aggressive riding. Modulation is excellent, with a very rich connection between the slightly soft lever feel and the contact point of your tyres that works really well in sketchy conditions.


Bleeding requires a bit of patience, but long term experience shows they’re a consistently reliable brake. Original resin pads do need bedding in comprehensively to give them a reasonable life, but switching to sintered doesn’t cause any heat problems in normal use.

Product Specifications


Name R1 Racing Brake (with rotor) (12)
Brand Formula

Description Average torque: 104nM
Weight (g) 334
Brake Rotor Diameters 140mm 160mm 180mm