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


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (5)

    I don’t think thehive make a fork.

    [edited story]

    won myself a set of the alloy fifteen g cranks at ssec, pretty chuffed with them.

    those forks look like rockshox from 10 years ago.

    oval pistons? that seems like A Bad Idea to me. honda couldn’t make it work despite having millions of quid to spend on their nr500 project

    Honda only struggled with the oval piston rings and supporting the bigger piston with the connecting rod. An oval piston sliding in a rubber seal is easy conmpared to that.

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