by Marc Basiliere
October 8, 2013
Stop! New brakes from Italy.
For 2014, Formula has released new thinking at both the bottom and top of its brake range. At the entry-level (£TBC/$159) sits a new model: the C1. Realizing that small parts (and their installation) frequently makes service of even mid-range brakes less economical than straight replacement, Formula have created a brake whose master cylinder sits in a cartridge within the brake lever. The reasons for this are twofold: moving the tight-tolerance features out of the lever body makes that casting much cheaper to produce and it makes slotting a new master cylinder in quick and inexpensive.
Like all Formula brakes, the C1 will be produced in Italy, with a serialization code etched into its finish. Small-of-hand riders are aided by a pivot that sits closer to the bar than in previous Formula designs. As a bonus, new semi-metallic pads are less prone to noise and bed in much more quickly than earlier models. Weight remains more than respectable at under 350g per wheel.
As reported in August, Forumula also has an entirely new lever design at the high end as well. The R1 Racing is the only aftermarket model to see the new arrangement in which the master cylinder is pulled rather than pushed. The idea is to improve the brake’s ergonomics for most riders while minimising stresses and wear on the master cylinder. Moving to a pull-type arrangement has allowed Formula to move the lever pivot closer to the bar, allowing for a much wider range of lever adjustment- again a boon for riders with smaller hands. The system’s inherently light action means that more hand force gets translated into braking, rather than consumed fighting the system’s internal resistance.
Because of the shape dictated by the new design, the R1 Racing does away with past models’ carbon lever blades- being both stronger and stiffer in aluminum. The lever is also pleasantly long- welcomed by the
four three of us clinging to middle-finger braking. Titanium hardware and a Kevlar-braided hose round out the brand’s range-topper and contribute to a 267g weight: claimed to be the lightest brake on the market. Pricing is to be confirmed.