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  1. #1
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    2012 Formula R1 Racing or XTR?

    Looking to replace my Elixirs this season. I'm wondering if anyone has time on either the R1 Racing or XTR brakes. I like that the R1 has a matchmaker type bracket to mount up my SRAM shifter, but am concerned that the R1 rotor clearance may still be abysmal.
    XTR seems like it may be more reliable but with a few grams more weight. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    bt
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    The Formula R1 pad clearance forced me to sell my near new R1's. Picked up some XTR race brakes from Pro Mountain Outfitters and am very pleased all the way around.

  3. #3
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    Are you kidding? R1s are way down on the list compared to XTRs. I'd give Magura brakes a second place in this case.

  4. #4
    bt
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    just ordered another set of XTR's today.

  5. #5
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    I'm running XTR race with HS1 rotors and they are fantastic!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies guys,
    It looks like it'll be XTRs for me.

    I have an old pair of Formula K24s that work great. I was hoping the R1 would be a lighter improvement on that design. They look damn sexy!

  7. #7
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    Formula

    THE ONES

  8. #8
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    I thought The Ones were for ultralight carbon 29ers. Those wagon wheels can't be that hard to slow down.

  9. #9
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    For the record, I like my older Formula Ones a lot and still have them on one bike. The new R1's just never could get them right for my tastes (pad gap) mainly.

  10. #10
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    THanks BT,
    Tree has been praising the Ones since he picked up a set. I'd go that route, but am looking to drop some weight so I can keep up.

  11. #11
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    They are just as light as the xtr's and the R1's are lighter.
    No experience with the R1's though.
    Get some 650b's

  12. #12
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    Not sure what all the bad press is on the pad clearance for the R1's, but I set them up on my bike and have had NO ISSUES. I bought both the XTR 985 race and the R1's and did a side-by-side comparison between the two on the same trail. In the end I sold the XTR's on eBay (I'm an XTR fanatic, so it was a hard decision but had to go with the brake that felt the best overall).

    For the record I'm an advanced rider from the DFW area and my test trail was a fairly technical 20+ mile multi-loop singletrack course. I ran 160 rotors for both XTR and R1ís.

    My bike setup is an Ellsworth Truth, with a Pace RC39 fork and full XTR groupo (except the brakes).

  13. #13
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    The formula calipers are great, but the R1 rotors are terrible for their harmonics. I use older model shimano rotors, and they are dead quiet.

  14. #14
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    Formulas are not very well built. Far down the list.

  15. #15
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    I fell the old Formula K24s I have are as high quality as any of their competitors. They have great power, but not so much modulation, so they're staying on my DJ/urban bike.

    Jarhead, as you've stated, most of negative reviews I've read on the R1s complain about constant pad rub due to tight pad clearance. This surprises me since the Ones get glowing reviews. Did you have to drop the fluid level to get better pad clearance?

  16. #16
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    Only a couple of rides so far on my new XTR Race, but they were easy to set up, easy to bleed, and so far do there job really well.

  17. #17
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    I have XTR Race and last years R1's.
    They are both great brakes.
    R1 is a little lighter.
    My XTR started acting up on a 28 degree ride....( if you never ride in this temp, don't worry about it)
    Pad clearance is tighter on the R1....but I have no problems with it once I spent an extra 2 minutes setting it up.
    Both levers feel very different....I don't have a favorite.
    Price is very different if you have to pay reatil....

  18. #18
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    I'd go with the R1s. Both brakes are pretty awesome, but Formula released that new quick-release hydraulic hose kit this year that you can upgrade those brakes with. How cool is that?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WrecklessREX View Post
    I'm running XTR race with HS1 rotors and they are fantastic!
    same here!

  20. #20
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    I scored a sweet price on Fleabay set of XTR Race's last night. Snipe-a-riffic!

    Still lust after the F1 Racings...maybe next time.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    I fell the old Formula K24s I have are as high quality as any of their competitors. They have great power, but not so much modulation, so they're staying on my DJ/urban bike.

    Jarhead, as you've stated, most of negative reviews I've read on the R1s complain about constant pad rub due to tight pad clearance. This surprises me since the Ones get glowing reviews. Did you have to drop the fluid level to get better pad clearance?
    My bike and front fork are IS, so had to get the mounting brackets to fit PS brakes, but with a quick (and proper) setup I didn't find any issues with the pad clearance. As far as dropping the fluid level - not sure. I had to shorten the hoses to fit my bike and did a bleed job afterward. I didn't make a conscious effort to lower the brake fluid, but maybe I did anyway?

    I do need to qualify my comments a little as I've only been riding them for a few months and no big wrecks or bends in the rotors. I do notice a squeal on the front pads/rotors but not bad enough that I want to replace anything yet - we'll see after it gets a little worse. I like the comment from another poster that mentions older Shimano rotors to get rid of the noise and may try that sometime soon.

    Anybody else have recommendations on good quiet rotors and pads??

  22. #22
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    a few rides on my xtr race and just loving it...

  23. #23
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    I have the Formula RX on my Mojo SL they're great on normal rides (<20 miles), but my hands start cramping on longer ones with a lot of downhill due to the lack of adjustability.

    Also, getting the pad clearance right on the RX was a pain. I bought and installed a set of XTR Trail brakes and they were super simple to setup. I needed the greater degree of lever adjustability on the XTR vs the RX and I'm hoping modulation is like my Hope X2s.

    BTW, the XTR brakes hoses are all screwy and sit flat again my bar. I've rolled and unrolled them and can't get them to sit right.

  24. #24
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    Formula Brakes are extremely well built,

    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Formulas are not very well built. Far down the list.
    I ride One's and they are the best brake on the planet.

    To say that they are not "well built" is retarded. The forging is absolutely perfect.

    If you don't like the engineering, you are hard to please. One finger braking all day in a package that is as light as a cross country set of brakes. Why not the best?

  25. #25
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    Got my XTR races installed and one city ride on them. Great power and modulation. I think the Servo-Wave on the Trails would have been overkill for me since I've got giant meat hooks for hands.

    The lever shape is perfect for one-finger braking and these actually mate up with X0 shifters better than the SRAM levers in my opinion. Happy so far.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by zkampyman View Post
    I ride One's and they are the best brake on the planet.

    To say that they are not "well built" is retarded. The forging is absolutely perfect.

    If you don't like the engineering, you are hard to please. One finger braking all day in a package that is as light as a cross country set of brakes. Why not the best?
    They are not well built. You do know that "Forging" is only to harden the metal right? Saying what you just said, well I won't put it in your terms, but it's much worse. The problems with these brakes are lack of power, flexing, bleeding, and air intrusion getting into the system more so than others over time, getting the pads stay on level over time is also an issue. They are a very finicky brake. No, not the best brake ever, far from it. I'm glad you like yours, and I'm not going to call someone names because I disagree with them, but I know far too many riders and have a close relationship with a bike manufacture whose employees tell me the same thing. You have your opinion, and I respect that, but I have seen so many junked One's to know that they are on average not a good product.

  27. #27
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    Bikeradar recently did a review of the Hope Race Evo X2 here, might be a good contender!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    You do know that "Forging" is only to harden the metal right?
    I stopped reading your drivel right there. Please, please know what you are talking about before you contradict somebody else. 30 seconds on wikipedia's forging page should set you straight.

  29. #29
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    XTR, by a mile. In the "Trail" version.

    Simple to setup and to maintain and perform flawlessly. Formula are good. but by all accounts fussy to deal with (I only have RX with R1 rotors)

    Formula rotors are light but turned out to be very easy to bend - and hard to straighten as they bend close to bolts - with all those thin support legs. Shimano disks do not do that.

    I would only pick Formula for a show off weight weeinie build. (But would certainly pick them over anything by Avid...)

  30. #30
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    If you don't take weight into consideration you'd have to compare the XTR to ROs or The Ones as they're much heavier, especially the rotors (let alone the Trail version).
    XTR already comes with very sturdy rotors and high performance pads, the R1 has light rotors and light pads. The R1 feels different with better rotors (2-piece design or from a different company altogether) and different pads (sintered or at least something without aluminium backplate).
    XTRs will be easier to setup as their pad clearance is rather large, R1 is lighter and can be used with matchmakers and tons of other custom parts.
    I'm using the R1 and I like it even though it needed different pads to suit my riding. I never had an issue setting them up but I have to admit that I love to buy and use "custom" / boutique stuff so attention to detail is nothing out of the ordinary for me. My brakes don't rub (anywhere), the won't make a noise when cornering and they always stay quiet under dry conditions.

  31. #31
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    I am considering the same issue (R1 Racing vs XTR)...

    I have the XTR now and have ridden them since February. I have had to have the rear brake warranted twice for leaking. Once from the banjo/hose connection this last time because the caliper was leaking. I am considering jumping ship to R1's or MT8's because of the lack of home mechanic serviceability of the XTR's. I am not clear on the MT8's but the Formula parts fro rebuilds are readily available.

    I love the power of the XTR and run them with Marta SL rotors( I'd intend to run the MT8 or R1 with the same rotor) but twice bitten...

    The brakes are run on a Yeti 575. Riding is Pisgah, Dupont and Bent Creek in Asheville and all of the normal trails back home in Cincy (EI, Devou, Harbin, Heuston).

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeb View Post
    I stopped reading your drivel right there. Please, please know what you are talking about before you contradict somebody else. 30 seconds on wikipedia's forging page should set you straight.
    Perhaps you should take up reading!

    Forging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I have a close friend that works here.
    Vulcan Forge & Machine Co, San Jose, CA | Spoke
    He told me the process can be extensive, but it's the strengthen/harden metal. I will trust him over somebody on the internet all day long with no valid rebuttal. I showed him the link here, and he laughed at your response. Thanks for playing.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by two-one View Post
    Bikeradar recently did a review of the Hope Race Evo X2 here, might be a good contender!
    I have a set of those on the rear, it's a good brake, pretty strong, but not totally powerful. The M or V2 brakes are much stronger and almost the same weight. The V2 is farly light and is really powerful.

  34. #34
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    Past 7 yrs I had used Hayes juicy 7, hope 2, avid elixir C. And tried XTR few times. Now I am using R1 and RX . Kind of love XTR and R1 the most. R1 racing brake is my favorite now. I just like the R1's design and the feel. I prefer the Shimano rotors cuz formula s rotors are easy to bend . and most of my components are Shimano XT. XTR and R1 are very powerful brake . Can't go wrong with these two .

  35. #35
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    Another Formula R1 rider here. I have them on both my XC race bikes. I'm an advanced rider and competitive endurance racer. The first set I've been using for about 2.5 years. The power and modulation on these brakes is brilliant. You can brake very hard with little effort from one finger. The control you have with these is fantastic. The quality seems top notch to me, not sure what others are referencing there. I've had no rubbing or leaking issues at all. I do tinker and routinely clean the pads (just run them across a dry paper towel on the bench) and adjust the calipers. It's a 5 minute task. I do this after about 10 hours of riding depending on conditions. The organic pads that come with them are great overall, but work poorly in wet conditions. I have a set of sintered as a backup just in case, but have rarely used them. You certainly can't beat them for their sexy factor.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael9218 View Post
    The power and modulation on these brakes is brilliant. You can brake very hard with little effort from one finger. The control you have with these is fantastic. The quality seems top notch to me, not sure what others are referencing there. I've had no rubbing or leaking issues at all.
    I am eager to find out what did they improved with the new calipers, allegedly with more retraction. That would fix my only complaint about brakes themselves.

    Another complaint is that the pivot on the lever seems to corrode and get sticky. Easily solved with unbolting and lubing it.

    What I do not like at all is that their 180mm R1 rotors are very flimsy - they bend easily and hard to straighten back. I now have a Hope rotor with RX brakes and it works just fine. Though my favorites rotors now are Shimano ice-tech ones. Light, straight, stiff and that aluminum core does seem to improve things.

  37. #37
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    Rotor gap in the 2013 R1 caliper looks near 2x wider than the One's I have.. a must for the rear.. pistons retract more.. great rear brake w/ one finger modulation. Definitely want to try the Shimano rotors

  38. #38
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    Which one wins in the overall power catagory?

    I'm debating one of these two for my new bike.
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  39. #39
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    Whichever fits your grip better, or cheaper. Funky thing with the formula one piece rotor, I have never had a problem with the larger rotors, only the 180mm's

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael9218 View Post
    I do tinker and routinely clean the pads (just run them across a dry paper towel on the bench) and adjust the calipers. It's a 5 minute task. I do this after about 10 hours of riding depending on conditions. The organic pads that come with them are great overall, but work poorly in wet conditions. I have a set of sintered as a backup just in case, but have rarely used them. You certainly can't beat them for their sexy factor.
    Question: What happens if you don't tinker with them or adjust the calipers? Say for example, you just left the brakes alone until it's time to change the brake pads?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    They are not well built. You do know that "Forging" is only to harden the metal right? Saying what you just said, well I won't put it in your terms, but it's much worse. The problems with these brakes are lack of power, flexing, bleeding, and air intrusion getting into the system more so than others over time, getting the pads stay on level over time is also an issue. They are a very finicky brake. No, not the best brake ever, far from it. I'm glad you like yours, and I'm not going to call someone names because I disagree with them, but I know far too many riders and have a close relationship with a bike manufacture whose employees tell me the same thing. You have your opinion, and I respect that, but I have seen so many junked One's to know that they are on average not a good product.
    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Perhaps you should take up reading!

    Forging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I have a close friend that works here.
    Vulcan Forge & Machine Co, San Jose, CA | Spoke
    He told me the process can be extensive, but it's the strengthen/harden metal. I will trust him over somebody on the internet all day long with no valid rebuttal. I showed him the link here, and he laughed at your response. Thanks for playing.
    Keeb's response echoed mine. Your first post asserted that ""Forging" is only to harden the metal"; this is not correct as evidenced by your second post which says that forging is used to "strengthen/harden metal". You got it mostly right but still missed the other advantages of forging such as a reduction in defects due to working of the metal and better dimensional stability due to superior heat treatment (in relation to casting). Clearly, forging is used not just to harden metal.

    Anyway, I had Formula K18's on my old Trek Top Fuel and really liked those brakes. Quality was excellent, and they never needed to be bled. My main issue with them was noise from my Hayes discs that I could never eradicate. I never tried different discs, so maybe that would have solved the problem. Also, the stopping power, while very good, was not up to par with my buddy's XT brakes (not sure what model). Never had an issue with stopping on long descents.
    Last edited by Mark in Baltimore; 03-02-2013 at 01:37 PM. Reason: grammar
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark in Baltimore View Post
    Keeb's response echoed mine. Your first post asserted that ""Forging" is only to harden the metal"; this is not correct as evidenced by your second post which says that forging is used to "strengthen/harden metal". You got it mostly right but still missed the other advantages of forging such as a reduction in defects due to working of the metal and better dimensional stability due to superior heat treatment (in relation to casting). Clearly, forging is used not just to harden metal.

    Anyway, I had Formula K18's on my old Trek Top Fuel and really liked those brakes. Quality was excellent, and they never needed to be bled. My main issue with them was noise from my Hayes discs that I could never eradicate. I never tried different discs, so maybe that would have solved the problem. Also, the stopping power, while very good, was not up to par with my buddy's XT brakes (not sure what model). Never had an issue with stopping on long descents.
    You're very much correct, but that gets into areas that don't really involved the brakes per say. The Formula brakes have had a terrible rep for years for a variety of problems, mostly due to design. They make a ton of noise, hard to adjust and come out of adjustment constantly. The retraction issue is still a problem with their 13 models. The air issues at least so far this year seems to have been solved, but other issues remain. From a reliability standpoint the xtr is less prone to issues. Although some brakes have been good for some customers, but their qc issues remain.

  43. #43
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    It's not exactly a "ton" of problems and the problems aren't exactly severe. Noise and adjustment only tells me something about the quality of workmanship honestly and I'd rather have a set of brakes that makes noise, but works, than a set that is silent but doesn't bite.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radical_53 View Post
    It's not exactly a "ton" of problems and the problems aren't exactly severe. Noise and adjustment only tells me something about the quality of workmanship honestly and I'd rather have a set of brakes that makes noise, but works, than a set that is silent but doesn't bite.
    If you do a search here on the formula issues, you will see a ton, it's the same thing over and over. Some riders have great sucess with them, but a lot dont either. Enough that a bike manufacture will no longer use them anymore. I would rather have a set of brakes that could do both, bite good and have no noise. I have had great luck with xt/xtr but even better luck with hopes. All I am saying is that I have a lot of personal dealings with a ton of different brakes, and these just seem much more problematic than their worth. Again, not everyone has problems, but i do have to respectfully disagree on what I feel about their current products and the OP was asking about one verses the other.

  45. #45
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    The same thing over and over, yes. But mostly things that are solved easily. As most manufacturers over here still use them and the brakes still work very well I really don't see your point.

    Shimano for example seems to have problems with leaks lately. It's just so much easier to mount brakes correctly and be done with all sorts of problems than to look for leaks every other day, isn't it?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    You're very much correct, but that gets into areas that don't really involved the brakes per say. The Formula brakes have had a terrible rep for years for a variety of problems, mostly due to design. They make a ton of noise, hard to adjust and come out of adjustment constantly. The retraction issue is still a problem with their 13 models. The air issues at least so far this year seems to have been solved, but other issues remain. From a reliability standpoint the xtr is less prone to issues. Although some brakes have been good for some customers, but their qc issues remain.
    What part of forging doesn't involve "the brakes per say [sic]"? The strength part?? Or the reduction in defects part?? Do you really think it's okay to not have brakes that are strong and free of defects?

    Without question, the attributes of forging absolutely do matter for brakes. To even question this makes no sense.
    Last edited by Mark in Baltimore; 03-03-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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  47. #47
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    I think the XTR is the best brakes in the world, only drawback is not being the lightest.
    XTR race at 450g vs. R1 racing 356g +16g for fair comparison with alloy levers.
    The question is how important 78g weight difference to you.
    R1 in comparing to the almost perfect XTR has a few drawbacks.
    1 noise, 2 vibrations and 3 pad clearance.
    I have almost fixed the R1ís noise and vibration problems with use of two piece rotors.
    The rear is complete silent and vibration free.
    The front still has a bit vibrations and in very rare occasions squealing, but I can live with that.
    Pads clearance is still very tight, but I have zero rubbing.
    Good calliper alignment is essential, adaptor facing needed.

    jx
    Last edited by lorteti; 03-03-2013 at 03:28 PM.

  48. #48
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    For a differenze of 80-90g you could either get a T1/RO or use large discs and nicer pads. That's fairly significant I would say.

  49. #49
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    Maz, I have got a friend . . . who is an expert . . .

    [QUOTE=mazspeed;10205815] Enough that a bike manufacture will no longer use them anymore.

    Formula Brakes are made in Italy which is ruled by the Euro. Formula Brakes are expensive due to the Euro. The high cost due to the euro prevents Formula Brakes from being used as OEM equipment for all but the high end bikes (Turner, Ibis etc.).

    We have established that you know nothing about forging metal and we have established that you have an alleged 'friend' who knows a lot about metal. (Everyone should have at least one friend or at least a dog).
    Your friend says this and your friend says that . . . .
    What you are is an internet blow hard.

    Based upon my experience which includes: mtn. bike riding since 1985, some experience working in bike store a decade ago my opinion is different than yours. But, our common ground is that we both like Shimano, Hope's and Magura brakes. I also like Formula brakes.

    The main difference has more to do with the maintenance and set up of any of the brakes. These are all very good brakes.

    Anyone on the Forum who says they bought their brakes based up weight has essentially confirmed that they nothing about performance.
    99.9% of forum readers are no where near world class racers. I am pretty convinced that 200 grams on a bike (6.6 ounces) means absolutely nothing to any rider in any race. I remember listening to two young kids talk about the Ti skewer that one of them bought for his $300 bike. He was convinced that this would make him go faster.

    By the way your maxspeed name sounds like an extra large tampon.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
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    [QUOTE=zkampyman;10206871]
    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Enough that a bike manufacture will no longer use them anymore.

    Formula Brakes are made in Italy which is ruled by the Euro. Formula Brakes are expensive due to the Euro. The high cost due to the euro prevents Formula Brakes from being used as OEM equipment for all but the high end bikes (Turner, Ibis etc.).

    We have established that you know nothing about forging metal and we have established that you have an alleged 'friend' who knows a lot about metal. (Everyone should have at least one friend or at least a dog).
    Your friend says this and your friend says that . . . .
    What you are is an internet blow hard.

    Based upon my experience which includes: mtn. bike riding since 1985, some experience working in bike store a decade ago my opinion is different than yours. But, our common ground is that we both like Shimano, Hope's and Magura brakes. I also like Formula brakes.

    The main difference has more to do with the maintenance and set up of any of the brakes. These are all very good brakes.

    Anyone on the Forum who says they bought their brakes based up weight has essentially confirmed that they nothing about performance.
    99.9% of forum readers are no where near world class racers. I am pretty convinced that 200 grams on a bike (6.6 ounces) means absolutely nothing to any rider in any race. I remember listening to two young kids talk about the Ti skewer that one of them bought for his $300 bike. He was convinced that this would make him go faster.

    By the way your maxspeed name sounds like an extra large tampon.
    hahahahahahahahaha

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