New E-Bike Disc Brakes From Formula

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Whether you like it or not, e-bikes are so very hot right now. They represent one of the fastest growing segments in the mountain bike industry, and as you’ll be seeing over the coming months, they’ll be making up a very large percentage of new bike models across all the big brands in 2017. As we’ve found, they’re still very divisive amongst existing mountain bike riders, but one thing we can be sure of is that there is a whole load of people knocking on mountain biking’s doorstep thanks to the invention of electrically-assisted bicycles.

To answer the growing demand for e-bikes, and specifically e-mountain bikes, new components are emerging on the market to better meet the on-trail requirements necessitated by heavier machines. E-bike specific tyres and drivetrains have popped up, and now Formula are dropping an e-bike specific brake.

So what makes it specific for e-bikes? Let’s have a closer look then eh?

formula hydraulic ebike disc brake
Big callipers borrowed from Formula’s downhill disc brake are drawn on for their massive stopping power.

“Based on a platform used specifically for gravity riding, the Cura-E is equipped with the latest generation of brake pads designed for very hard and prolonged use, exactly like what is found in e-biking. The Cura-E has been designed to accept all major e-bike brake sensors making it a universal e-bike brake. Thanks to this, the Cura-E is ready to use with all existing motors on the market, ones that require a brake sensor and those that are automatic.” – Formula

formula hydraulic ebike disc brake
For anyone with off-road e-bike experience, you’ll know the braking demands are quite different to a regular mountain bike.

So in essence, the Cura-E is a really powerful disc brake designed to cope with the added weight of an e-bike. As Formula state, the speeds that you can reach on an e-bike, and the frequency you can hold those speeds is much higher than what you’ll encounter on a regular mountain bike. The braking force and resulting heat runs the risk of overwhelming a conventional braking system when riding technical off-road trails.

formula hydraulic ebike disc brake
The Formula Cura-E hooks into your e-bike’s brake sensor, which keeps the motor from kicking in when you’re on the anchors.

That’s not where it stops though (literally). The really unique aspect of Formula’s new brake is at the lever end, which includes an integrated cable that connects from the master cylinder to the main control unit of the electric motor. Formula have designed their Cura-E with all electric motors in mind, so the plug supposedly features a universal connection point.

This cable connects with your e-bike’s braking sensor, which is designed to track when you’re braking or not. When you’re braking, the system is designed to back off any power assist from the motor, regardless of whether you’re pedalling or not. Without a braking sensor, you could cause some serious heat build up by dragging the brakes through technical sections, while still pedalling and drawing on input from the motor. And that could result in brake fade or worse.

formula hydraulic ebike disc brake
The Cura-E brake uses the same makeup as the existing Formula Cura disc brake, but adds in clever e-bike integration to offer more control when paired with an electric mountain bike.

The Formula Cura-E Disc Brake features:

  • Master cylinder: Axial – Forged Aluminum Body w/Stainless Steel hardware
  • Lever blade: Forged aluminum
  • Calliper: PM6 with 24mm pistons
  • Brake pads: Sintered Compound
  • Feeling Control System Compatible (optional)
  • Speed Lock Standard
  • MixMaster Compatible (optional)
  • Claimed weight: 359 grams (including hose, 160mm rotor and mounting hardware)
formula hydraulic ebike disc brake
Big 24mm diameter pistons dish out masses of stopping power. Increased pad clearance also helps to avoid any annoying rub on the disc.

Otherwise, the Formula Cura-E is in most part just a really powerful disc brake designed to better cope with heat. The calliper uses large 24mm diameter pistons, with enhanced roll-back that delivers increased clearance between the pads and rotor. The pads themselves are sintered metallic to cope with heat build up on long descents, while the calliper also feature’s Formula’s Speed Lock system, which allows the brake hose to be removed and fitted multiple times without need for bleeding.

Need to know more about the Cura-E? Then head to Formula’s website for all the ins and outs.

Comments (2)

    I’m surprised that a brake designed to cope with significant heat build up is spec’s with only a 160mm rotor.

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