Formula 'The One' problems/advice??

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  • Formula 'The One' problems/advice??
  • awesom-o
    Member

    Seeking advice on formula brakes. Have a new set of 2009 ‘the ones’ fitted a week ago. Set them up, lined up the calipers dead center using feeler guages etc and went for several dry downhill rides to bed them in. They felt awesome as most reviewers said….until…

    Went for a 30 mile slog through sloppy wet mud (Evan’s ride at Sandown race course, Surrey)… after the ride I noticed the rear pads are wearing unevenly, the inner pad is basically worn out and the outer pad is probably about 1/2 worn. These are the factory sintered pads.

    I have thoroughly cleaned the caliper using brake cleaner etc and have also bled them following the user manual and the avid bleed guide on youtube. When pumping the lever with the pads removed and watching the pistons, the inner piston moves about twice as far as the outer piston with each lever pull. Thinking the outer piston may be a bit sticky I fitted a pad against the inner piston, put it on an old rotor and pumped the lever to force the outer piston most of the way and then pushed it back in and repeated a few times but when allowing both to move freely and pumping the lever the inner piston still moves about twice as far with each lever pull which is consistent with the uneven pad wear…

    I have sent a tech request to formula directly but had no reply yet, anyone else have this problem? Any idea? ๐Ÿ˜•

    backhander
    Member

    Did you get the pads with the brakes?
    If so, they’re organic. Mine didn’t last a ride in the welsh grit. Got some superstar sintered, no probs with pad wear since.
    Not sure about the pistons though. I’d get your LBS to bleed them, I did and they’ve been spot on ever since.

    psychle
    Member

    Yep, a bleed should help, as will switching to sintered pads. Mine seem to last OK riding round Swinley and Surrey Hills.

    awesom-o
    Member

    Thanks, I thought the pads included were sintered ๐Ÿ˜• maybe they are organic, that would explain the quick wear…I have a set of sintered pads on the way…I just did the bleed following the avid guide but with the brakes removed from the bike and the lever mounted vertically as the formula guide suggests. I’ve bled plenty of other brakes and I’m fairly certain I got it right but the pistons still move unevenly…

    DickBarton
    Member

    Which side of the caliper does the fluid come into? Is it the side with the pads that moves more? Could be a wee blockage or a bit of air or something that is preventing the fluid reaching the piston and making it move…or a sticky piston…

    awesom-o
    Member

    The fluid comes into the outside which is the side that the piston moves less…

    Trimix
    Member

    Sticky piston – push the non sticky ones in and let the sticky ones come out as far as you can, then lube them with some fluid. Move then in/out till it frees up.

    awesom-o
    Member

    What type of fluid do you use to lube it?

    psychle
    Member

    man-grease…

    JonEdwards
    Member

    I persevered with my Ones for about 2 years. Pretty good in the dry. Bloody awful in the wet. I’m one of those that has pad wear issues in the wet at the best of times, but the Ones were atrocious. Uneven wear, unpredictable lever feel, a pig to get a good bleed on. You’d get it all sorted, then by the end of the next ride it would all be to cock again.

    Part of the uneven wear issue is that the pistons are quite a sloppy fit in the bore, so its quite easy for the pistons to come out at an angle relative to the rotor, even if the caliper is square. I always wore the bottom edge of both pads down to the metal, while the tops were hardly worn.

    nicolaisam
    Member

    As above,Had mine for 6 months,brilliant feeling and braking,untill they get wet,lots of noise and no braking.
    Went through pads weekly when riding in the winter.Continuously needed adjusting and bleeding.

    Love and hate all in one

    awesom-o
    Member

    that doesn’t sound too promising…I noticed that the inside piston has a nice rounded/bevelled edge whereas the problem piston seems to have a sharp edge…maybe it’s meant to be like that?

    heihei
    Member

    Also had problems with mine in the wet, even when using pads well bedded in. Tend to run Hopes in really sloppy stuff.

    awesom-o
    Member

    I guess I’m going to have to stock up on pads then? Most of my riding seems to be in the wet… Trimix, when you said “lube them with some fluid” did you mean brake fluid?

    coatesy
    Member

    Hunters Silicone fluid works well as a lube(best if you do a full strip and clean too), available from plumbers suppliers and the like.

    bella
    Member

    Had similar problems and the then (not current) importer was a total pain in the arse. Pads were lasting less than a ride in the wet and as I live in the north that got expensive. Suspect mine arrived with a bleed problem but when I contacted the importer to get hold of a bleed kit (same as avid as it turned out) they wanted me to send the brakes back to be checked. They ended up sending them back out still not working. After a lot of pissing and moaning they got sick of it and autherised a refund. Not running hope V2s. They weigh a bit but that just makes me fitter or more knackered.

    awesom-o
    Member

    I’ve just had another go at bleeding and discovered a small air/fluid leak on the edge of the inner piston…looks like a warranty issue after all…I bought these direct from formula italy so I guess they’ll have to go back to them…they haven’t answered my tech query from last week yet, I’ve just posted another one explaining this problem…hopefully this won’t turn into a drawn out saga… ๐Ÿ™„

    Anyone else dealt with formula factory warranty support directly?

    jools182
    Member

    I thought formula the ones were the ultimate brake. Didn’t realise so many people had been having problems with them

    m_t_b
    Member

    No but I bought mine from them direct and they have been great so far they came with sintered pads and I did have a similar problem to you but a bleed sorted it out. My only complaint is that there is too much reach before they bite which makes one finger braking difficult. Good luck sorting yours.

    dans160
    Member

    Oh joy. Just ordered a pair of these… Lets hope the 2011 versions are working better!

    Hob Nob
    Member

    The 2009 brakes were reknowned to be littered with issues if you had a bad or average pair, all wel documented with a bit of Googling. I unfortunatly had one of the bad sets.

    I suffered all the same issues the people above did, and the only thing I found that helped make them more consistent was Goodridge sintered pads. I got quite experienced in trying/buying pretty much every pad brand for this brake, and the Goodridge ones for some reason were by far the longest lasting.

    It frustrated the hell out of me, as with a fresh set of pads & a fresh bleed they really were brilliant. But on a DH bike, in the Alps, it took about 5 runs for them to feel average at best again.

    Mine went back to Propel twice, and I ended up with a new back brake and virtually new front, but the same old issues still. Part of the problem is the lever/master cylinder design, which is why the originals only lasted 18 months before Formula updated them.

    My little bike has a set of the 2010 The One’s and they have had a lot of use so far and ‘appear’ to have addressed all of the issues I had before. They feel rock solid, and the pad wear is consistent with my Tech V2’s I run on the big bike now, which is bloody good. All round thumbs up, especially considering the weight.

    Would I buy one of the ’09 sets? Not a hope in hell, even if they were cheap as hell. Way too much of a gamble.

    flyingfox
    Member

    Sorry to be vaguely positive. I know it’s not right or okay. I’ve had The Ones for years on two different bikes (about to make it 3) and while they can be a bit of a pain (needing a bleed when changing pads) they’re awesome. Braking good in all conditions and pads last long enough for me.

    Maybe you guys should stop dragging the brakes?!

    Trimix
    Member

    I used to have a set of hope four pots for 5 years. When I changed pads I would push the pistons out as far as they would go (one at a time) then use WD40 to clean them. I did this for 5 years – they never stuck, the WD40 never cause the seal any problems.

    Some people say use brake fluid to lube them, well I never did. No point in lubing if they are dirty though, so you have to clean them with something first. Anyway, the solvent in the WD40 soon evaporates leaving a little oil.

    Worked for me for 5 hard years.

    If I were you I would sell them and get something like Hope or Saints. At least with Hope they are in the UK, have very good service and warranty, they will even fix them for you if you send them back. Saints work very well, the most stopping power ive ever had. (apart from using trees/walls)

    Sell them I say.

    ridingscared
    Member

    I’ve just bought a set of these as well- heres hoping I’ve got a good set. My oros worked flawlessly, yet my V2’s didn’t. Seems like a lottery whatever you go for.

    awesom-o
    Member

    thanks for all the comments…I thought I had done some fairly comprehensive research before buying these but not enough it seems…I don’t really drag the brakes but I am quite heavy so that won’t help pad life. I like to tinker and carry out regular maintenance on my bikes, the comments I had read beforehand all suggested they are a bit more fiddly to setup than others but overall the feedback seemed to be good. they felt awesome for the first few days before the long mud bash…I’ll persevere for a bit longer, hopefully this is just be a minor setback… ๐Ÿ˜

    awesom-o
    Member

    coatesy, do you think silicone spray (like the 3-in-one product) would be OK?

    Premier Icon portlyone
    Subscriber

    The pads that came with my Mega’s wore out within three rides. Yesterday’s ride too them to the back plate, though it was particularly muddy/gritty on our ride. Still stopped me when I needed them to though! Swapped the pads with superstar sintered ones, they seem to work well on my other bike.

    I say pads, I mean pad. My front brake had to go back to Formula/their reps after the first ride because of a fault.

    awesom-o
    Member

    portlyone, Are your megas the 2009 model? Did you buy direct from formula?

    flyingfox
    Member

    Don’t let the forums grind you down! You’ve made your choice and it’s a good one. Persevere, it’ll work out. The mechanics don’t like my Formula The Ones but I’m selling my Hope X2s because they’re not as powerful and work the way I like. You’re allowed to have an opinion. Again, sorry for being positive.

    Love Tubs
    Member

    I have read that Goodridge sintered pads (for the one’s) last very well, comparabl to the rest…according to the OP.

    awesom-o
    Member

    thanks for the encouraging words flyingfox ๐Ÿ™‚ I do like a challenge and am not giving up yet…(I can’t afford to anyway! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ) I ordered some sintered pads from disco, they emailed later saying their stock count was wrong and have offered 2 pairs of semi-metallic instead…I’ll give the pistons a good clean and lube, re-bleed and give them another bash. The first few rides were awesome, first brakes I’ve ever had that can lock the rear wheel at will…(even with my heavy carcass on top!) They come with a 2 year warranty so as long as the factory after-sales service isn’t too slow I’m sure they will be fine once the teething problems are sorted…

    awesom-o
    Member

    does anyone have, or know where to get hold of the special tool for removing the bore cap on ‘the one’ caliper? I can’t see it listed in the formula store…

    nille
    Member

    Just to add to the positive side of things:

    I ride the 2009 Formula The Ones on my Cube Stereo for the last year and absolutely love them. Setting them up correctly is a bit of a faff but once done they work a charm. Lots of stopping power in the wet too (living in Scotland I get that quite a lot).

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    Anyone else dealt with formula factory warranty support directly?

    Don’t send to Italy, contact silverfish, they’ll give you an address and a ref no. to send back with.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I’m a bit underwhelmed with the braking power of my Formula Oro K24’s, and the right lever sometimes doesn’t return fully after braking, which can be annoying, so perhaps they are the alfa romeo of the brake world!

    Premier Icon BlobOnAStick
    Subscriber

    I had the same problems the other Friday at Afan – a wet ride that wore the pads very quickly. Ended up with highly inconsistant braking – they would pump up so they gave a nice firm feel, then leave them 20 seconds and the bite point had moved to almost against the bars again.

    It appears that the calipers have difficulty keeping up with the pad wear when the pads disappear so quickly. I managed to fix it by removing the wheel (removing the disc) and pumping the levers to the bar about 3 times and then replacing the wheel. Pain in the arse half way down a descent!

    I’m going to try the sintered pads (maybe just keep them for wet rides).

    Awesome-o: If you have any luck with fixing the problem please could you update this thread? Ta.

    Ben

    Premier Icon portlyone
    Subscriber

    awesom-o – Member

    portlyone, Are your megas the 2009 model? Did you buy direct from formula?

    Bought mine from CRC. Not sure what year they are to be honest

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Fooking ‘ell!^, I’ve just crossed them off my short list.

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