Twenty-five years is a long time in mountain biking, so Italian brake manufacturers Formula chose to celebrate by making just 600 pairs of these specially finished and anodised brakes.
The one piece forged calliper uses 24mm pistons, but with minor tweaks for 2013. Improved piston retraction reduces rubbing and there’s angled hose routing for better clearance. The top loading pads are easy to fit.
As with all current Formula brakes they use radial levers; the master piston sits perpendicular to the bar and forms both the body and the clamp, so they can run on either side. A complete 180mm front brake weighs 397g.
There’s tool-free reach and bite point adjustment for the lever, but riders who like to run levers so they sit close to the bar and bite even closer found it hard to get a position that worked.
If you dial both adjusters all the way in for a close bite point and minimal lever throw, the lever can actually connect with the body itself, stopping you braking any harder. Less extreme setups were fine, though the large hook on the lever end split opinion again.
The feel is markedly different from both Avid and Shimano, with a less vicious initial bite that progresses into serious stopping power with plenty of feel. The glossy, gunmetal-style finish certainly looks the part, and the general quality of construction is top notch.