Formula Brakes + Wheels & Forks for 2011

Formula is already known for designing incredible mountain bike brake systems and this year the company is applying power, technology, and design to an even wider range of products. While going over the current line with Chris Costello at Interbike last week I couldn’t keep my eyes off the new mountain bike items that will be available in 2011.

We started out by talking about some small changes in the Formula line-up for this year. For 2011 there will be two top-of-the-line brakes, the R1 and The One, followed by The One FR and the RX. Formula felt there was some confusion over the difference between the Mega and the FR so the Mega has been discontinued resulting in a simpler, more refined brake line-up.

In terms of tech and design, the brakes really haven’t changed much since my review of the 2011 R1 lat month. However, as I stated in my review, Formula has added stroke and reach adjust to the R1. When you purchase an R1 or The One you get the new features but you can also purchase a kit to upgrade existing models as well.

In case you’re wondering how the stroke adjuster works, it’s a simple piston (no more than an o-ring with a spring behind it). When you apply the brake you will force the o-ring onto the spring until it bottoms out which then activates the brake. The position of the o-ring relative to the spring determines the amount stroke in the system.

New this year from Formula are some super cool two-piece rotors that will not only add bling to your rig but will actually aid in heat dissipation. Since aluminum conducts heat better than steel, heat will migrate from the steel rotor contact surface to the aluminum center where it will dissipate more quickly. In addition to managing heat, the highly machined centers also stiffen up the rotor without adding too much weight.

Beyond brakes, Formula is really branching out this year. The company is set to launch wheels for 2011: tubular and clinchers, 26- and 29-inch wheels. Right away I noticed the highly machined hub surfaces and minimalist look – classic Formula styling. With features such as scandium rims, 24 straight pull spokes, and weights starting at 1417 grams, these are sure to turn some heads and open more than a few eyes.

Not only is Formula venturing into wheels but they’re also getting into suspension forks. The company is starting off with XC forks in the 80 – 115mm travel range but hopefully (for me) they’ll move into longer travel forks shortly after that. The Formula Thirty3 models on display below are not the final products but give a good indication of the level of fit and finish we can expect from Formula. Being a company that built its reputation on great products I’m sure Formula will deliver the goods with their new suspension forks!