In for Test: Formula Selva R Mountain Bike Fork and Cura 4 Brakes

We are excited to be the first US-based publication to review the Selva R mountain bike fork, appropriately matched with the brand's new 4-piston brakes.

Formula is a household name for mountain bike and moto components across the European continent, and Singletracks is excited to be the first US-based publication to test their famed Selva R fork. The Italian brand supports elite level athletes like Kevin Miquel, who push Formula products far beyond the limits that most average riders can explore, and the race results would indicate that Formula components deserve their place among the best.

We received a set of the recently released Cura 4-piston brakes to test in combination with the Selva R. Check out the details below.

Selva R Fork | Designed for racing

When was the last time you saw a bike component that was made in the same country where it was designed?

The “R” in this stealthy black fork’s name calls out its race bred tunability. The Selva R strays from its simpler cousin, the Selva S, by adding a tunable lower air chamber so riders can dial in the precise amount of sensitivity they need on the front end. The air chamber volume is further adjustable with their patented Neopos volume spacers which Formula says will provide “all the support of a traditional volume spacer halfway through the travel, but without the abrupt ramp in the final part of the compression curve. The progression curve will always remain gradual, allowing you to use all the available travel of your fork.” Now that’s an experience to look forward to.

Our 29″ test fork has 160mm of travel that’s internally adjustable between 120 and 160mm, 35mm stanchions, a 46mm offset, and weighs 1,940 grams before cutting the steerer. It will be tested on an equally Italian made Ancillotti Scarab Evo29.

On the oil side, the Selva R offers a familiar red rebound adjustment knob at the base of the leg, paired with 12 clicks of high and low-speed compression adjustment up top. The amount of compression provided by the golden lockout lever can be adjusted with the black compression threshold that sits alongside it.

Unlike other forks, you don’t need to send the Selva R to a service center for two weeks to have the compression tune changed. The fork comes with two of the seven different Compression Tune System (CTS) inserts that can be swapped at home, with an Allen wrench and a few minutes. We will be testing at least two separate tunes throughout the fork review process, starting with the “industry standard” option. MSRP: $1,550 – $1,670.

Cura 4-Piston Brakes | Powered by mineral oil

The recently released Cura 4 brakes are Formula’s first foray into mineral oil MTB stoppers. I tested a set of them on a ride with one of Formula’s sponsored teams and I recall that the amount of power they provide requires some getting used to. It was immediately clear that these folks also make motorcycle brakes. Given their gravity race intentions, the Cura 4 brakes sit on the top shelf alongside Shimano’s Saint brakes and SRAM’s Code RSC. The modulation, power, overall feel, and pad wear characteristics will be compared with both of those big-brand brakes throughout the test.

Formula was one of the last brands to have two-piston brakes slowing down elite World Cup athletes, and doubling that stopping force with an extra set of 18mm plungers is a bold move. The fully forged brakes employ a Speed Lock hose system that allows riders to quickly detatch the hose from the caliper without introducing air into the system, which would necessitate a bleed. This is a sweet feature if you move parts from bike to bike often, or want to remove your brakes for travel. This set will be tested with the factory-installed resin pads, followed by Formula’s own metal pads.

The Cura 4 will be tested with a set of 203 and 180mm rotors that Formula claims incorporate an “anti-noise design.”

Unlike a lot of brands, Formula is not making any entry or mid-level components these days. They are fully committed to achieving peak performance with their shiny goods, and we are stoked to put them to the test. MSRP: $205 per set.