Formula Cura 4 Brakes | Shiny Stoppers With Modulation and Power

by 5

David tests out the ever so shiny Formula Cura 4 brakes. Once he’s stopped looking at them, or himself in the reflection, how do they perform?

Having tried a lot of high end brakes, I’d never actually got to try Formula’s before in spite of drooling over them at previous Eurobikes. The Curas have been around a while, getting shiny in 2016, but these four piston Formula Cura 4 ones are (relatively) new.

They are very shiny. Really shiny. So shiny it took me longer to photograph them and put them on the bike, because I was busy gazing and going “ooh”.

By default Formula Cura 4s come with 175cm hoses, but these seemed to have already been shortened. So much that, being giant, Ross couldn’t fit them to his bike and they ended up with me, for whom they were perfectly sized. I swear I didn’t hack his email (for the record though, Ross is a touch over 5’7″, on the borderline of small/medium sizing for most things, and if things are personalised prefers to go by the name “David Hayward”).

Formula Cura 4

As well as polished silver, these are available in polished black and oh-so-blingy gold anodised. All have glossy black lever blades.

Installation and Set Up

Installation is pretty easy, though one of the reasons for that is I do nearly all brake testing on an externally routed hardtail – because who has the time? Arrows on the clamps face up, and much like Hayes’ clamps you tighten the top (designated on the Cura by an upward arrow) until it contacts the master cylinder, then tighten the bottom to the given torque.

Formula Cura 4
This way up

Reach adjust is a little fiddly and out the way, being built into two small Allen bolts behind the lever blades, but once set you can forget it anyway. Definitely a faff with a multitool on a shakedown ride, but a long Allen key makes it easy.

Formula Cura 4
Get your pokey tools out

Aligning the caliper isn’t the fiddliest I’ve done, though I had to tweak them a little after cinching the bolts down first time.

The brake pads are secured by a bolt with threads at the head end, which in turn is secured at the other by a tiny circlip. The caliper bodies have a pleasingly machined recess they drop into but not through, making it easier to install pads than on some more simply machined brakes.

Near the end of this test, while changing front pads the circlip pinged off. Cursing myself and carefully sweeping the yard with a magnet on a stick, I noticed that, much like the front one now, the circlip for the rear brake was long gone even without the Curse of Hamfist. I guess there’s a reason Hope use little curly through pins to do the same thing. Less worried since seeing that, I’ve just put threadlock on both bolts.

Formula Cura 4
Extreme Lateral Stiffness.

The rotors are six bolt, and in Formula’s own words, bold type included, have extreme lateral stiffness (unlike everything else in the bike industry that’s laterally stiff, they’re not vertically compliant though, because a rotor shouldn’t be).

I confirmed weights at 243g for the front brake with 85cm hose, rotors: 200g/203mm, 161g/180mm.


The rest of this review is available to Premier members only

We need your help – Join Us

If you like what we do – if you like our independence then the best way to support us is by joining us. Every penny of your membership goes back into Singletrack to pay the bills and the wages of the people who work here. No shareholders to pay, just the people who create the content you love to read and watch.

Review Info

Product:Cura 4 brakes
Price:£328 (silver with rotors, £312 in black)
Tested:by David Hayward for 4 months

Comments (5)

    Great brakes. I’ve got 4pots up front and 2pots rear on my zesty and worlds better than the XT brakes I’ve had on the last couple of bikes. Just popped a full set of 2pots on a top fuel and they just work. Don’t think about them just intuitive. Same can’t be said of the constantly wondering bite point I used to know so well.

    What’s the clearance like on these and the 2 pots? OK for a UK winter or a constant soundtrack?

    My 2 posts have been fine this winter. Find them very quiet in South Wales typically conditions, especially compared to friends Maguras and my old XTs.

    There is a recent thread where an owner of both 2 & 4 pots said the 4s have more clearance so were less sensitive to setup, not that I’ve had an issue with mine.

    I sure hope they are stiffer than older rotors from Formula, which used to be so soft that they´d bend if you looked at them wrong…

    Been looking at these for a while to replace my RO’s which have been fantastic.
    Great review and sound like they are a decent brake..

Leave Reply