Sea Otter: Formula and The Hive

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I took a spin past Formula to see what was new. Some was obvious and some was tucked down out of sight…

First up, there’s a new brake, it doesn’t seem to have a name at the moment, but its big thing is that it has a large, oval piston. Pistons can’t get much bigger or they’ll start fouling the spokes, so the Formula idea is to run a large, oval piston. It’s longer than it is tall and so offers more pad contact, but without the complexity of a four-piston brake.

Oval pistons for more pad contact and a stronger caliper body.
The clue's in the writing...
The lever, offering R1 style master cylinder and tools free lever adjust (red lever) and pad contact (little threaded lever at the end of the lever body.)

It seems that many XC racers are running tubular tyres for racing. Formula is playing with a carbon rim for XC racing (which you’ll probably only ever get to ride if you’re a sponsored pro…) but it comes in at 220g!

220g carbon rim anyone? Now you just need the Dugast tubs...

Formula is also coming out with complete wheels. Scandium rims give a super light weight for these 24 spoke wheels. Front is 585g, rear is 750g to give an all up weight of 1335g. The rear hub has four pawls with a 10° engagement.

Red hubs should be easy to spot...
Forged body for strength, many pawls for clicky-quick engagement.
Straight pull spokes.
A Formula suspension fork? Yep...

Formula is stepping into the murky and difficult world of suspension forks. This is an XC fork which comes in 80/100 and 115mm travel (internally adjustable for length). It’s an air fork and offers lockout and rebound knobs. All up weight is 1350g

33mm stanchions, just to be different...

The next door booth housed The Hive, who were showing rear Chub freehubs (that actually exist – or nearly exist now…) and they were also showing their new DH crank. It’s based on the same rounded triangle shaped BB axle, only in 30mm steel instead of alloy. The Hive reckons it’s had zero problems with the XC crank and its alloy axle). Weight for the DH crank is due to be similar to Saint, but lighter than Race Face’s Atlas.

Geniune scuffed prototype...
The Hive boasts that their competitors' axles will fit INSIDE their 30mm monster axle
Clicky Chub. Oversize, light and now not just for singlespeeders
Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 23 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running mountain bike magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

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