by Wil Barrett
August 12, 2016
As one of the first brands to introduce a complete hydraulic disc brake system back in 1993, Italian company Formula is likely best known to mountain bikers for its extensive line of disc brakes. In recent years however, Formula has drawn on its extensive experience of manufacturing motorbike suspension to present a growing range of mountain bike suspension forks. Those include various iterations of the ’33’ and the ’35’ forks, which have emerged as niche alternatives to the likes of RockShox and Fox.
Earlier this year, we brought you a review of the 160mm travel Formula 35 fork, which earned our praise for its buttery-smooth performance and ease of setup. Looking to build upon the strengths of the existing 35 fork, Formula has just unveiled its latest fork called the Selva. In essence, the Selva is a BOOST version of the 35. It uses fundamentally the same design as the 35 fork, but employs a beefier chassis to accommodate the wider hub spacing. One thing to note is that the Selva is the first fork in the Formula lineup not to use a numbered name, which suggests that it may be a sign of more things to come…
Here’s the company line from Formula’s shiny press release:
“The pinnacle of Enduro fork performance is now available in a Boost version. The exclusive Internal Floating Technology (IFT) gives the fork a previously unachievable level of smooth function while the Compression Tuning System (CTS) gives the rider a greater level of compression adjustment. The Remote Cartridge Control (RCC) puts the high speed compression control on the handlebars with its 13 positions from completely open to fully locked. The stanchions use the Hexagon Design making the Selva stiff and reactive, creating huge gains in riding precision and reliability. A strong fork, unequalled in its sensitivity for even the smallest bumps is available in 27,5”, 27,5” Plus and 29” with 120 – 180mm travel. The Selva is the sum of all our suspension knowledge and your definitive weapon for Enduro.”
The Formula Selva Fork features:
- Designed for all mountain riding and enduro racing
- Travel: 120-160mm (170-180mm on the ‘Extended’ 27.5in version)
- Stanchions: 35mm hard anodized alloy
- Spring: Hybrid air/coil
- Internal Floating Technology
- Damper: Drop-in cartridge
- Adjustments: Spring pressure, spring volume, low-speed compression, high-speed compression, rebound, lockout
- BOOST hub spacing only
- Available in 29in, 27.5in, and 27.5+ versions
- Claimed weight: 1940 – 1980 grams
- RRP: €988- €1033
In order to clarify some details on the new Selva fork, we got in touch with Vittorio Platania from Formula in order to find out exactly what’s what:
ST: Is the Selva a replacement for the 35?
No, it is not a replacement. Selva is our BOOST enduro fork. It has the same spring and hydraulics of the 35, but with a new lower and the Hexagon Design to improve stiffness. The 35 will not be discontinued since standard hubs are still the vast majority. On the other side we hardly believe that boost will be THE standard in the future.
ST: I see that the Selva is heavier than the 35 fork. Is it simply the chassis that is different?
It’s heavier due to different lower and different crown. The internal is the same. Still very light if you compare it with other BOOST forks. The Selva is a super robust fork for enduro racing and aggressive all mountain, since you have the option of 180mm travel and 20mm thru-axle.
ST: What other differences are there between the 35 and the Selva?
As I said, just lower legs and crown. But this is not a small difference. The new lowers change a bit the stiffness of the fork. Our 35 is a perfect balance and so is the Selva, but maybe a little bit more ready for aggressive use. We prevent the “flexy issue” that more of the BOOST forks have with our Hexagon Design of the lowers.
ST: The blue compression adjuster dial; is this for adjusting high or low-speed compression?
The blue knob is low-speed compression. The heads you can change with CTS affects the high compression. On top of that you can play with compression also on the air side. Instead of token we used oil, you can put there anything in between 5cc and 25cc. So you can work better than tokens on compression cause you don’t have the steps of a piece of plastic. Let’s say that this is more like a fine tuning with the oil.
And there you have it: Formula’s new Selva enduro fork, in all its colourful BOOST’d glory. Formula will begin shipping the new Selva fork in September this year. As for other new stuff from Formula? We’ll just have to wait and see…