Everyone loves a ‘Proto’ sticker, don’t they? And seeing the rows of bikes at the Formula truck at Bike Connection Winter, there was definitely something up.
A quick glance at the bikes show a telltale ‘Spring preload’ knob on the left hand fork leg where you’d normally expect an air valve. And a bounce on the forks gives away that instant suppleness that coil fork users love. So, in our meeting with Vittorio from Formula, it wasn’t a surprise to see big coils on the meeting room table. Let’s dig into the details:
Coil Selva Fork – and a new distributor!
The first topic, though, is one of distribution. Formula has a new UK distributor, one that it is very excited about – and one you’ll probably be familiar with: it’s Geometron Bikes in Monmouth. The company, founded by Chris Porter will be familiar to many people as the former distributor for Fox and a well-regarded suspension tuning company.
Chris from Geometron is very excited to be working with Formula, especially given the adjustability of Formula’s Selva forks. Details and prices will be found at www.geometronbikes.co.uk and there’s already a sneaky link on there to Formula’s website. Geometron is promising tech training for dealers and set-up and tuning help for riders.
With that covered, let’s look at this new Selva Coil. Formula is keen to stress that this isn’t a new platform, it’s an extension of the 35mm Selva fork line. Formula’s idea is that the Selva is a platform with infinite tuning potential – and while there is now a Selva air fork, a Selva R dual-air fork and now a coil, the whole range is both interchangeable, swappable and upgradeable. You might start with a Selva fork, but if you later want to swap to coil, or dual-air, that’s possible. And that’s before we even get into the whole CTS technology…
Formula’s CTS system is essentially a user-swappable damping circuit. Rather than have a tech adjust your shim stacks to get you the fork of your dreams, you can buy a CTS unit (about the size of half an AAA battery) and swap it out. There are CTS units that are designed for everything from a 50kg junior hotshot, to a heavy rider on an e-bike racing an enduro. While it does give you the chance to completely cock things up if you don’t know what you’re on about, with the right guidance (hence Geometron’s planned setup help) you can end up with a fork that works for your everyday riding, with the ability to swap to an enduro-racing setup, or a ‘week in the alps’ setup with minimal faff. And in each setting, you have a much narrower, use-specific setup that is then harder to adjust badly.
The Coil Selva will probably come up to a 160mm 29er length and 170mm in 27.5in wheel. The price will be similar to the air Selva, though probably a touch cheaper. Expect to see forks in the late spring/early summer.
Formula Cura 4 Brake
The Cura 4 was shown at Bike Connection last year, but it is now shipping. The brake is (duh!) the four piston version of the Cura. The regular two-piston Cura was used to great effect by Formula’s downhill racers, but this system is designed for DH racing and enduro and for anyone who needs all of the power. The four piston brake comes it at an impressive 379g per end including a 160mm rotor. (And the rotors, themselves have been tweaked to give less bite as the early versions were deemed too powerful. Apparently that is a thing.
The brake comes with optional i-spec or Matchmaker clamps to make them work seamlessly with Shimano or SRAM shifters respectively and there’s a neat feature called Speedlock, which is an optional oil-lossless quick release at the caliper for riders who need to pull their bike apart often or who don’t want to have to keep bleeding their brakes when they rerout the brakes through the frame.