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  1. #1
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    Formula the one - Useless

    So i have a pair of the minnar special edition formula the one brakes - only 250 ever made and probably the most expensive brake ever made. Now i have had them a while and although ok performers considering the price there are a couple of things which have driven me bonkers.

    The lever body combo is just cack - it seems in that polishing the body it has made them slightly thinner. When mated with a normal (the one) lever as they come stock it means there is a load of play on the levers... they rattle when going over rough ground... gahhhhh i have tried the non polished lever bodies and they dont have this issue.

    see the polished ones and black ones here
    http://www.formulabrakeusa.com/wp-co...2/cimg2482.JPG

    The levers are also held by a small bolt.. I have had 2 of these snap. My local distributor has told me i need to but a whole new lever at £25 a pop... gah to replace a tiny bolt which isnt up to the job. #5 in the exploded view here http://www.formula-brake.com/en/support/download/7

    I wish i had waited for the 09 saints as these are total tosh.

    Rant over
    Last edited by Karve; 05-06-2009 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'm not surprised. All formula brakes are overpriced and overhyped garbage. It cracks me up when I see people drooling over them on the internets.

    Shimano, Hayes and Hope. Only 3 places you should ever buy brakes from.

  3. #3
    Nightmare on Lyrik st. VI
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    This seems to be a US phenomenon. In most of Europe no one gives a fart over Formula brakes.

  4. #4
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    Avid isnt included in your great brakes list?

  5. #5
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    I have K24's and they so far are better, performance-wise, than my Avid ultimates, my juicy 7's, and my shimano XT's... To call them garbage is sheer ignorance.

  6. #6
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    Yea mine feel pretty good and have oodles of power.. just having a moan about poor quality of finish and customer support. And when paying buuuuucks for their limited edition top of the line brake I would expect better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpelaston
    I have K24's and they so far are better, performance-wise, than my Avid ultimates, my juicy 7's, and my shimano XT's... To call them garbage is sheer ignorance.

    Hmmmm no. they are garbage. Along with most Avid brakes.

    You see, there is this thing called "proper engineering" that a few of these companies seem to forget about.

    People seem to be wow'd by pretty colors and over hyped marketing techniques.

    From an Industrial Design Engineers point of view it's laughable.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karve
    there is a load of play on the levers... they rattle when going over rough ground...
    Exactly the same with Formula Oro Bianco (polished). It's easy to fix with spacers on lever bolt.

  9. #9
    squish is good
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmangox
    Hmmmm no. they are garbage. Along with most Avid brakes.
    Baaaahahahahaha! I stopped reading after this. You like Hayes over Avid, nuff said.
    Bike good, work bad.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by amrgb
    This seems to be a US phenomenon. In most of Europe no one gives a fart over Formula brakes.
    Well, I happen to live in the country of Europe, and I don't go a day without seeing Formulas. They are second only to Avid. Mostly mtbs used as commuters, but Formulas are out there.

    As far as the levers go, I, as well as others, have complained about various characteristics of the levers. If only they spent any time at all on them, they would be spectacular brakes. They are totally overhyped on these forums as the flavor of the week.

    As far as the lacking customer service, they seem to be available for users in the US. Don't know if that's the OP's market.

    I never tried it yet, but it is of interest to me to mate Hope levers with the Formula calipers. However, there's no point. Hopes work well and reliably. Hell, with a Hope lever, I could bleed the Formula caliper like a normal brake.

    Hey Formula, can you break away from your Avid Juicy design and first:

    1. Make a lever that doesn't require a bleed kit?
    2. Make a lever that doesn't look like garbage and doesn't vent the reservoir to the handlebar clamping surface?
    3. Reduce whatever it is that makes the lever "squish" when it bottoms?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazzy
    Avid isnt included in your great brakes list?
    It would be ironic if it was since formula originally was responsible for designing the Juicy brake

    Personally I favor Shimano and Hope brakes for ease of use, reliability, and no fuss bleeding.

    Formula = flavor of the week (and their week is up unless they get their act together)

    Avid = best bang for the buck

    Hayes = ?? used to be good, then they produced garbage, maybe the stokers are back on track but not likely to appear on my bike

    Magura = ?? I have owned some of their brakes, they worked but nothing impressive
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmangox
    Hmmmm no. they are garbage. Along with most Avid brakes.

    You see, there is this thing called "proper engineering" that a few of these companies seem to forget about.

    People seem to be wow'd by pretty colors and over hyped marketing techniques.

    From an Industrial Design Engineers point of view it's laughable.
    You're wrong

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmangox
    Hmmmm no. they are garbage. Along with most Avid brakes.

    You see, there is this thing called "proper engineering" that a few of these companies seem to forget about.

    People seem to be wow'd by pretty colors and over hyped marketing techniques.

    From an Industrial Design Engineers point of view it's laughable.
    From a Mechanical Engineer's view the Biancos are awesome.

  14. #14
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    I have had Hayes, Hope, Avid and Formula. I still have Formula and Avid. I liked the Hopes but was very disappointed in the Mini, overheated the M4s and loved the V2 but they were pure overkill and heavy. I love my K18 and 24s and still need more time on my Megas. They are extremely easy to bleed. I know Hopes require less equipment to bleed and it is a little quicker but the Avid/Formula bleed method is precise and nearly spill-free. The only quibble is having to flip the Formula lever to get the bleed hole facing upward. The lever on the Mega may be the most comfortable I have felt, I haven't tried the ONE but the lever seems not to get much love.
    Pivot Firebird, Tomac Snyper, KTM 250SX

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmangox
    Hmmmm no. they are garbage. Along with most Avid brakes.

    You see, there is this thing called "proper engineering" that a few of these companies seem to forget about.

    People seem to be wow'd by pretty colors and over hyped marketing techniques.

    From an Industrial Design Engineers point of view it's laughable.
    I have honestly had no problems at all with my The Ones. They're light, they're powerful, they modulate well, I like the lever feel. Maybe I got lucky and got a good set. Maybe I've just had more success setting up and bleeding them than most people (and admittedly they aren't the easiest brakes to set up or bleed). But my experience with them has been very positive.

  16. #16
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    I've got Formula the Ones and they were an absolute nightmare to get right.
    First thing to do is throw away the standard Formula Pads - they are essentially useless
    dont even bother using them just buy some Goodridge replacements bang em in
    and the lever throw problems are sorted.

    With the Formula pads i had to wind the lever to max out and overfill them with fluid to get em to bite before they hit they bar. The Goodridges have been in a couple of months and ive still got the bite points on minimum and the levers wound all the way in.. took more bedding in than the formulas but i'd have been through 4+ sets by now along with the annoyance of constanty shifting bite points as the Formula pads done their rapid vanishing act.

    The formula pads are so unreliable they can often die in a single wet ride - mainly because the compound is so soft and you get very little meat on them to begin with.
    Being cynical its to try and make money by repeat pad sales.. well its a false economy as it simply makes people go elsewhere for thier next set of brakes and pads.

    Once you get them setup correctly with some quality pads i'd rate them highly but i'd probably never buy any again due to the lack of customer support in the UK and the obvious annoying design flaws that can be so easily rectified.

    I had a few mails from Italy and the replies were just gibberish..... and if it wasnt for the Goodridge pad replacements id have binned these brakes ages ago - very powerful and of course the modulation is great - but you'll need to do some serious tweaking to get them working well.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketMagnet
    I've got Formula the Ones and they were an absolute nightmare to get right.
    First thing to do is throw away the standard Formula Pads - they are essentially useless
    dont even bother using them just buy some Goodridge replacements bang em in
    and the lever throw problems are sorted.

    With the Formula pads i had to wind the lever to max out and overfill them with fluid to get em to bite before they hit they bar. The Goodridges have been in a couple of months and ive still got the bite points on minimum and the levers wound all the way in.. took more bedding in than the formulas but i'd have been through 4+ sets by now along with the annoyance of constanty shifting bite points as the Formula pads done their rapid vanishing act.

    The formula pads are so unreliable they can often die in a single wet ride - mainly because the compound is so soft and you get very little meat on them to begin with.
    Being cynical its to try and make money by repeat pad sales.. well its a false economy as it simply makes people go elsewhere for thier next set of brakes and pads.

    Once you get them setup correctly with some quality pads i'd rate them highly but i'd probably never buy any again due to the lack of customer support in the UK and the obvious annoying design flaws that can be so easily rectified.

    I had a few mails from Italy and the replies were just gibberish..... and if it wasnt for the Goodridge pad replacements id have binned these brakes ages ago - very powerful and of course the modulation is great - but you'll need to do some serious tweaking to get them working well.
    Totally agree with your comments, i sold mine before Goodridge pads were available though. Oh, and i had to bin some Easton DH carbon bars because of brake fluid pitting them- the weep hole is out of sight as you no doubt know. I did like them with brand new pads though!
    You can't make a racehorse out of a donkey, but you can make a fast donkey.

  18. #18
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    The one are horrible

    Add to the list ridiculous pad prices.
    The ergonomics on the lever positioning is positively stupid.
    The worlds' smallest o ring at the caliper bleed port is ruined first bleed and the fliud runs out all over and you have to scramble to through your Avid kits for a proper o ring.
    When riding my attention is constantly on the brakes because the poor lever positioning
    and the power runs all over the place as they heat and cool. Rotor gap at the pad is horrible too, slightly bent rotors constantly rub. Over priced set with overpriced special sized rotors makes for some more "high performance" junk for the mtb industry.

  19. #19
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    Firstly I've got to say that I like them, despite some problems, great modulation and power.
    Quote Originally Posted by jodd
    Add to the list ridiculous pad prices.
    I agree, I've bought quite some packets because there weren't any other brand that would produce pads that fit in the ones a few months ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by jodd
    The worlds' smallest o ring at the caliper bleed port is ruined first bleed and the fliud runs out all over and you have to scramble to through your Avid kits for a proper o ring.
    I didn't have any problems with bleeding.
    Quote Originally Posted by jodd
    When riding my attention is constantly on the brakes because the poor lever positioning
    no problems with that
    Quote Originally Posted by jodd
    and the power runs all over the place as they heat and cool.
    I totally agree, it is weird feeling after they cool and they are almost without power for a few meters. I hope it will be better with pads from other brands.
    Quote Originally Posted by jodd
    Rotor gap at the pad is horrible too, slightly bent rotors constantly rub.
    Yup, constant zing zing sound.
    I would put some more things to the list. I had some problems with caliper pistons, they moved out at an angle, so pads didn't wear out even but at an angle so there were parts on the pads without any meat and on the other side of the pad there was quite some of it.
    It would be nice that bite control would have more effect and they would bite faster.
    I still like them despite all the problems, they didn't let me down once and I hope it will stay the same.

  20. #20
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    Oh the reservoir vent hole is inside the lever clamp?! THAT explains why those K24s on all the rocky's feel like mush at the end of the lever stroke.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  21. #21
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    Stay out of the rain

    Quote Originally Posted by A MAN CALLED HORSE
    Totally agree with your comments, i sold mine before Goodridge pads were available though. Oh, and i had to bin some Easton DH carbon bars because of brake fluid pitting them- the weep hole is out of sight as you no doubt know. I did like them with brand new pads though!
    I totally agree with your total agreement.
    I did a ride in the rain a couple of weeks ago on my Bullit with the Ones. I maybe had about 150 miles on the bike. By the end of my ride my rear brake was gone and my front was totally spongy. It made the last descent a bit sketch. My friend was riding Ones and his rear pads were shot as well and his pads were sintered.

    After I got home I washed the bike and threw it in the garage. A couple of days later I went to replace pads and the calipers on both brakes were stuck.

    I love the brakes when they work but they're just too much maintenance for me.
    Ride it like you stole it!

  22. #22
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    i use bb7s.

    have no problems safely and smoothly stopping all 230 pounds of me on a steel hardtail from 30 mph.

  23. #23
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    I'm surprised Formula/Perigeum hasn't commented.

  24. #24
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    Two DH seasons on K24 and no issues with brakes overall. Organic stock pads are gone in 60 sec of course (3 days in Mammoth to be precise) but Koolstop semis working like charm.

    Just got a set of Ones, hands was getting tired after whole day of DH, so I decided to try something with more power and I needed new set of brakes for XC bike anyway, so K24 went there. I wouldn't bought Ones, but it was smoking deal on Ebay for $220 F/R (no rotors).

    This weekend I got them installed and made a run on regular trails. Power few time more than K24s was, so first time using Formulas I had to adjust FCS to reduce the leverage. Installation went smooth and minimal pad rub went away after small run on parking lot.
    Stock pads get's trashed quickly as well (I got slightly use brakes and pads on rear was chipping away), so new pads in order of course.

    I've been long fun of Hopes brakes (and still is), but 2 sets of Formulas I had on DH and AM bikes were trouble free for two years. Will see how's Ones behave this season.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  25. #25
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    Can't stand it anymore, I gotta weigh in on this formula bashing.

    First, I've been running my K-18's for a year now, so I have some experience now to draw from. Previously, ran Hayes. No experience with Shimano, Hope, or Avid.

    The good stuff. I've had great customer support. I'm in the US, maybe that's the difference, but I've gotten everything I've asked for. No complaints.

    The brakes, themselves. I like the lever/master cylinder arrangement. The lever fits my hand, I do my own work and have learned to do the bleed process in about 4 minutes per brake. I do have the Formula bleed kit, and I clamp the lever to a broom handle to get the upright position. My suggestion about the leakage from the port to the handlebar would be not to overfill the M/C. Shouldn't ever be an issue, hasn't been for me or my brother (I work on his K-18's too) This is assuming the user doesn't spend an inordinate amount of time upside down.

    I really like the power (190lbs, 28lb bike) and the modulation. My brother weighs in at 210 with a 29lb bike, he likes his too. We are running 7 inch front rotors. We did have similar experience with the original organic pads. We upgraded to the sintered metal pads very quickly into our use. I have not found pad prices to be out of line with Hayes. I would suggest tossing the organic pads immediately. I think their design purpose was to hold the caliper pistons in place during shipping.

    Compared to the Hayes. I never got the Hayes as firm as I can get the Formulas. When I did get the Hayes working good, they tended to be more off/on than I cared for. The Hayes calipers don't seem to be as good. They always had a sticky piston, always. The Formula calipers seem, at least so far, to have a better design, because I have excellent pad retraction, and very symmetrical piston extension.

    The bad stuff, the original organic pads are lame.

    For the past year all I have done is change out the pads. I just now did a complete service job. Lubed the pistons, exchanged/bled the fluid (it was dirty, glad I did it), trimmed off some excess hose, and new pads (sintered). They work now as good as when they were new. I'm very happy with my Formulas, and no I'm not on the payroll, nor do I feel that I suscumbed to any media hype. I get most of my information from right here on MTBR.


  26. #26
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    I have 2 sets of the Ones, one Minaar SE and another black. The Minaar version did have more slop in the lever, which was easily curable with a small brake shim on the underside of the lever.

    The new bleed procedure is much better than the old instructions, and it is important to rotate the caliper as noted in the instructions. My levers are very solid, no mush at all. The throw works very well for me, and the FCS works well.

    I ride in dry weather, my original pads lasted a year, averaging 4 rides per week. I bought Goodrich replacement pads and they work well, and seem to have more material.

    Overall, I am very happy, they work well, are super quiet (especially compared to Avid products) have rediculous power and have a reasonable weight. The lever has a low profile and have seemed to held up well in crashes.

    I have to admit though, the new Hopes look sweet and I am half tempted to try the M4 on my Spot and the V2 on my Highline. My only experience with Hopes were the original Mini which worked well, just lacked power. My only concern with the Hopes is the new lever seems bulky in the photos.

    As with any product, there will be haters. I have had great luck with my Formulas, but Hope is a top notch company with top noch support (needed help with my Minis).
    Employed by Pivot Cycles - www.pivotcycles.com

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er
    My only concern with the Hopes is the new lever seems bulky in the photos.

    My mate has the new tech v2s and i was surprised how sleek and compact the lever was the first time i saw it. I thought it'd be big and bulky too.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er
    I have 2 sets of the Ones, one Minaar SE and another black. The Minaar version did have more slop in the lever, which was easily curable with a small brake shim on the underside of the lever.
    The most expensive brakes ever made and you have to cure lever slop with a washer from a brake... not really acceptable is it? shows a lack of testing and shoddy QA.

    Glad to hear you are getting good cust serv in the US... here in Europe its pathetic.

    I have 2 sets as well and the performance is good but for the money all the other issues really grate.

  29. #29
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    Damn!! 2 years running a two sets of one's and a set of bianco's on my bikes. A complete oil change twice a year and using non-formula pads and these brakes continue to perform excellent, don't know why many of you are having such problems.

  30. #30
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    Clearly we have different riding conditions in the UK as its more prone to rain.
    A bedded in set of Formula pads can fail inside 15 miles on a wet ride with little apparent warning... blam your decending fast and sod all happens when you hit the brakes and the levers hit the bar.. this is extremely dangerous for brakes to fail in this manor.
    There was some really lame advice about taking the wheels off and pumping the pistons but when you committed to something its a bit too late then isnt it. Stopping every mile or so to remove your wheels is really unacceptable and warrants a product recall IMO.

    To say the customer support is poor in the UK is being a bit kind .. its non existant unless you consider total gibberish replys from Italy as acceptable.

    The QA is very questionable as its not difficult to bleed brakes at manufacture.. if they are bled properly and the dot fluid degassed prior to use then they should work out of the box do this properly and wheres the air gonna come from?... both mine were full of air indicating no attempt to bleed them in factory. The shortening kit was missing from one set - the bleed instructions were clearly incorrect (At least Formula USA has rectified the bleed instructions however).

    The Goodridge pads have significantly more meat on them than the formula ones so this removes the need to overfill the units (you still will lose the use of 50% of the meat on the pad tho) and you can finally wind in the levers from maximum and 90% of the throw no longer does absolutely nothing.

    Personally it's not Formula bashing for no reason.. the brakes are unreliable and hence are dangerous - the advice to not buy Formula pads is sound and also in the UK not to buy Formula products full stop as you'll get no support trying to solve all the little glitches and design flaws is also sound advice.

    Whats really annoying is they are so close to being unbeatable..

    Not sure it's wise for Formula to post as were not making this stuff up.. why would we?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karve
    The most expensive brakes ever made and you have to cure lever slop with a washer from a brake... not really acceptable is it? shows a lack of testing and shoddy QA.
    Well...yeah. No product is perfect as far as I am concerned. Every product has some sort of drawback. If I have to place a small shim to cure the most annoying issue I have with the product, then yeah. It certainly is better then having no slop lever on an underperforming brake.

    I'm not defending Formula, certainly they should address these issues. The lever pull issue is a matter of personal preference. I like it, it is what allows them to modulate so well.

    As I said, the new Hopes have really cought my eye, I just might have to try them.
    Employed by Pivot Cycles - www.pivotcycles.com

  32. #32
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    Oro series are absolutely awesome. They are going to remain on my 6" bike.

    The Mega's/One's I am done with. '09 Saints on the bike as of tonight and woooooooo boy......
    805

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmangox
    I'm not surprised. All formula brakes are overpriced and overhyped garbage. It cracks me up when I see people drooling over them on the internets.

    Shimano, Hayes and Hope. Only 3 places you should ever buy brakes from.
    Rubbish. I have shimano XT on one of my bikes and formula K24's on the other. the Formulas made me realise how rubbish shimano really are. And yes, I had Juicy ultimates on this bike before the Formulas. Juicy Ultimates are even worse than shimano XT!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmangox
    Hmmmm no. they are garbage. Along with most Avid brakes.

    You see, there is this thing called "proper engineering" that a few of these companies seem to forget about.

    People seem to be wow'd by pretty colors and over hyped marketing techniques.

    From an Industrial Design Engineers point of view it's laughable.
    Mmmm. Working as a brake hydraulics technician for 7 years, and now as a Hydraulics Engineer, I say there is nothing wrong with the Formulas. The K24's are awesome. Off you go with your Hayes Sole- such a beautiful design.

  35. #35
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    I think there are some important things that need improving on The One. Having not owned them I’ve not had any major problems but there are some consistently annoying things about The One's I’ve tried.

    Formula only brought them out just over a year ago and they're already getting a redesign...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmangox
    I'm not surprised. All formula brakes are overpriced and overhyped garbage. It cracks me up when I see people drooling over them on the internets.

    Shimano, Hayes and Hope. Only 3 places you should ever buy brakes from.
    agreed,I have owned the ones,more hype than performance !!!!
    heres my list in this order
    Hopes.....the best by far...peroid
    Shimano....ease of everything
    Avids elixs......great brakes for $$$$$

  37. #37
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    After riding in muddy conditions yesterday with Koolstop pads I have to agree with RocketMagnet, a big part of the problem with my Megas were the Formula pads. I still had some squealing when wet but they quieted down and worked very, very well. A good bleed and aftermarket pads seemed to do the trick.
    Pivot Firebird, Tomac Snyper, KTM 250SX

  38. #38
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    The lever on those looks sick

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    Have you used the new version of any of the Formulas? A friend was telling me that in the early days Formula based their designs off their motorbike stuff (they only used to make brakes for motorbikes). Of course these early versions were plagued with faults because they simply took the design for their motorbike caliper and master cylinder and made it smaller! Formula, therefore, quickly gained a very bad reputation.

    Last year I was looking for a new set of brakes for my new build, a Cannondale Scalpel. Having already tried Shimano XT M775's with the new 'servo wave' technology (installed on my other bike) I was disappointed in their power compared to the set of Hayes Nine I installed on my brother's freeride bike (hayes I know- so scary but they actually work really well with upgraded hoses and after a god bleed) So off I went searching for something better. After reading a lot of reviews, there was one name that kept popping up on the top of the list with constant 5 star reviews- Formula Oro. So I bought a set of K24s from Chain Reaction Cycles for around the same price as a set of Hope Mono Minis. I haven't been disappointed. Power a plenty! I have had overheating problems but this was soon fixed by changing the stock pads for some ceramic ones, and getting rid of my 140mm rear rotor for a 160mm one. Only problem is that I found that the breather on the back of the lever body where it clamps onto my carbon bars has started to eat away at the resin! This is a design flaw that I never heard mentioned in any forums. I fixed this by wrapping some electrical tape around the clamping area on the bars before re-installing the levers. I suppose they figured that putting the breather there would stop them from getting clogged, a good idea but not so good if you are running carbon bars!

  40. #40
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    I have a set of Greg Minnaar SE The One's that have been completely trouble free. I ran in a UK 24 hour event on that bike over the weekend in atrocious conditions. No trouble from the brakes with standard sintered pads.

    I've always relied on having pads properly broken in before showing them poor conditions. Seems to work. For me, the brakes work and the words of people like RocketMagnet don't bear any resemblance to my own experience.

    In particular, the comment about a bleed port oozing fluid onto a carbon handlebar is indicative of a failure to understand these brakes. Fluid will only ooze if the brake is overfilled or was abused when bleeding. Apart from that, by design, the diaphragm will keep the fluid in reservoir and it will just be air panting in and out of the vent hole. If abused brakes don't work properly, who is to blame?

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    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm
    I have a set of Greg Minnaar SE The One's that have been completely trouble free. I ran in a UK 24 hour event on that bike over the weekend in atrocious conditions. No trouble from the brakes with standard sintered pads.

    I've always relied on having pads properly broken in before showing them poor conditions. Seems to work. For me, the brakes work and the words of people like RocketMagnet don't bear any resemblance to my own experience.

    In particular, the comment about a bleed port oozing fluid onto a carbon handlebar is indicative of a failure to understand these brakes. Fluid will only ooze if the brake is overfilled or was abused when bleeding. Apart from that, by design, the diaphragm will keep the fluid in reservoir and it will just be air panting in and out of the vent hole. If abused brakes don't work properly, who is to blame?
    Hi mate,

    It was not the bleed port I am talking about, it is the breather hole, which is the tiny hole located on the inside of the handlebar clamp. And no, the brakes have not been abused, they are <6months old and have been bled from factory. I suspect that these have been overfilled and as I was having overheating problems, the fluid may be weeping out of the breather upon overheating.

    Do you know for a fact that this is a fully sealed system? I suspect that the breather may be open to the atmosphere as on hayes and the older hopes.

    cheers, J

  42. #42
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    Whatevuh

    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm
    In particular, the comment about a bleed port oozing fluid onto a carbon handlebar is indicative of a failure to understand these brakes. Fluid will only ooze if the brake is overfilled or was abused when bleeding. Apart from that, by design, the diaphragm will keep the fluid in reservoir and it will just be air panting in and out of the vent hole. If abused brakes don't work properly, who is to blame?
    Yes, they MUST have been abused because nothing EVER goes wrong with brakes fresh from the factory. And we must all have abused the factory installed pads that wore out after one ride.

    I had the same issue with the fluid coming out the vent on a set of brakes that had maybe 5 rides on them and were never tampered with but I guess that's my fault.
    Ride it like you stole it!

  43. #43
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    "Abuse"

    People are a little overprotective of Formula. Must have been abuse, eh? Formula did a good job of keeping the defective MC pistons quiet, didn't they? We only got the news because they told some people, and in the case of others they had them sent back for a bleed, meanwhile those people later found out their MC pistons were changed under the radar.
    Last edited by Jerk_Chicken; 05-19-2009 at 11:14 AM.

  44. #44
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    I've had numerous technical issues with my set of Formula the ones and reading these forums its clear im not alone.. mainly all coming down to a couple of fundamental design issues and poor QA/QC at manufacture. Though replacing the Formula stock pads with Goodridge resovled two of the main probelms - lever throw (which had to be got round by overfilling the units slightly) and rapid pad wear.

    Yes riding a new set of pads not bedded in will destroy them in wet/muddy cconditions but they tend to pit and crumble not just smoothly wear away - due to this its pretty obvious when this is the root cause - still got my old formula pads in a bag and none show this type of wear therefore ruling out insufficient bedding in. Anyway I was bedding in the pads and did comment on the increased bed in time required for the Goodridge pads in another Formula the ones thread showing I always do it. Simple plain fact is the Goodridge pads have a greater depth - are harder wearing and provide even better performance. I have a few bikes with different brakes and i've never had any pad wear issues (once again demonstrating im clearly bedding pads in properly) nor any real technical issues.

    I notice your doing a 24 hr race so i would consider this may be a contributing factor due to the style of riding involved? - these brakes although light are aimed squarely at the more aggressive end - in fact a number of DH racers use them. Are you using 160 discs .. im running 200/180 as this will also impact upon pad wear...

    Also not sure but perhaps there are technical differences between the Greg Minnar's and the standard.. maybe better QC or even design tweaks?

    i'm not an overly aggressive rider and I can rapidly kill a set of bedded in formula pads (both front and back - i dont drag) i've seen reports of others having even shorter pad lifetimes.. I dont know if this is due to insufficient bedding in however or more aggressive riding.

    Another point you've clearly not had any experience with is trying to get tech support in the UK.

    Overall I eventually took my bike to a bike shop near me that deals with formula (Cube bikes mainly have Formulas fitted as standard) and it took him a few days to get the things resonable and he confirmed the issues I was having were not my imagination or maltreatment.

    Still it's worthwhile to point out you can get lucky and get a good set - but it's also valid to point out many people are having problems and the fact you'll get no help off Formula in the UK also i think its good advice to point out im getting orders of magnitude decrease in pad wear with an alternative set of pads.

  45. #45
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    Good to excite the level of debate, don't you think.

    With a little bit of experience in product management and a little bit of witnessing the level of subtlety and expertise demonstrated by the average spanner-wielding internet forum dweller, I have come to the conclusion that the state of any brake that has spent more than 15 minutes out of the factory cannot be relied upon. By which I mean that anyone looking to sift through forum contents in search of the truth about the brake has to treat every report with the respect it deserves.

    Taken at their word, contributors would have us believe that every subsystem on the Formula The One brake is flawed.

    Pads wear out.

    Fluid oozes out of secret, hidden compartments expressly to rot the carbon fibre of handlebars.

    Bleeding procedures require a masters degree in voodoo.

    The lever wobbles, pointing to an underlying flaw in quality control.

    So now the great Jerk_Chicken determines that I am "overprotective" when all I am trying to do is square my experience which contrasts entirely with the reports I have read here. I can think up plausible explanations for most of the symptoms described, based on what trauma/misassembly/component failure would be required to exhibit those symptoms.

    1. For fluid to come out of the vent hole, it has to traverse a diaphragm designed explicitly to separate the fluid chamber from the air expansion gap. Has the diaphragm failed? What has caused the diaphragm to fail? Has the diaphragm been bypassed? What cause the diaphragm to be bypassed? If there are doubts about such thing a faulty brake should be returned, but the most likely scenario borne out by the many posts advising on non-standard bleed procedures, is that the diaphragm has been overly stretched in the course of bleeding. If the problem is evident in a factory bleed, then it is a factory fault.

    2. Pads. The One uses sintered pads as standard. I have no experience of other pad types. The sintered pads are reasonably hefty and have a good amount of heat capacity. They take a lot of bedding in. If I use pads in a gritty environment without bedding them in, I expect them to disappear pretty quickly. This has been true of all manufacturers brakes that I have used and seen used, including Hope Mono Minis, Hope Mono M4, Avid Juicys and Shimano XTs. In my experience, complaining about sintered pads that disappear just means they weren't bedded in. I don't use resin pads so am not qualified to comment, but if this is a thread about The One brake, then it is pertinent to talk about the standard sintered pads.

    3. Bleeding. It certainly helps if you have a modicum of mechanical sensitivity when bleeding the brake. Pushing hard on a caliper syringe without helping the lever syringe expand will place more pressure on the diaphragm than is perhaps intended. The description of helping with the lever syringe is in the instructions, but how many people actually do that when bleeding the brake.

    The volume of the final bleed is important. Pushing back the pads before closing the bleed port sets the volume correctly as long as the diaphragm is in the right place (see above). Closing off the bleed ports and then pushing back the pads means you have an overfilled system and all sorts of problems will result.

    DOT fluid attracts moisture. Very small contaminations with water will get past some seals eventually. This may manifest as an increase in fluid volume and an inability to push back the pistons fully. Excess fluid volume should be released from the system to restore proper functionality, but ideally the brake should be bled with fresh fluid. It happens. In the roll call of DOT brakes, Avid Juicys are much worse.

    4. Lever wobble may worry some users. Without seeing the specific brakes I would not be able to comment on whether there is variation from one brake to another. For my use, the wobble has been entirely acceptable on three sets of brakes that I get to use regularly.


    I will add that I had a The One brake that I bought from ebay exhibit a lever creep mode of failure. I started by supposing this could be a fluid contamination issue and I replaced the evidently mucky fluid with clean fresh fluid. The problem remained, so I had a new main cup seal fitted which rectified the problem. I have no idea of the history of the brake, but the fluid was definitely not in a good state. I presume that the main cup seal either had a manufacturing fault or had reacted badly to some combination of fluids it had been exposed to. With the fault rectified it feels just like my other brakes and I have no reason not to expect long and reliable service.

  46. #46
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    ^ 8 on the derby rationalization scale

    You're basically saying no one has problems with these brakes.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketMagnet
    I've had numerous technical issues with my set of Formula the ones and reading these forums its clear im not alone.. mainly all coming down to a couple of fundamental design issues and poor QA/QC at manufacture.
    This is where we fundamentally disagree. I can see no evidence of fundamental design issues and I have no evidence of poor QA/QC in my own experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by RocketMagnet
    Though replacing the Formula stock pads with Goodridge resovled two of the main probelms - lever throw (which had to be got round by overfilling the units slightly) and rapid pad wear.
    I'll bear in mind the Goodridge pads, given your recommendation. At the moment I have no complaints with the standard pads.

    I find the suggestion of overfilling the brakes abhorrent. I have no lever throw issues, although the feeling is softer than my Hope brakes, for instance.

    Yes riding a new set of pads not bedded in will destroy them in wet/muddy cconditions but they tend to pit and crumble not just smoothly wear away - due to this its pretty obvious when this is the root cause - still got my old formula pads in a bag and none show this type of wear therefore ruling out insufficient bedding in. Anyway I was bedding in the pads and did comment on the increased bed in time required for the Goodridge pads in another Formula the ones thread showing I always do it. Simple plain fact is the Goodridge pads have a greater depth - are harder wearing and provide even better performance. I have a few bikes with different brakes and i've never had any pad wear issues (once again demonstrating im clearly bedding pads in properly) nor any real technical issues.
    Sounds like I'd better retract the accusation.

    I notice your doing a 24 hr race so i would consider this may be a contributing factor due to the style of riding involved? - these brakes although light are aimed squarely at the more aggressive end - in fact a number of DH racers use them. Are you using 160 discs .. im running 200/180 as this will also impact upon pad wear...
    This is the state my bike got into over the weekend:



    My thoughts in approaching the event were that I wanted to run the existing pads as long as possible because it would be impossible to bed in fresh pads. The same event was run in similar conditions in 2007 and I managed to get through a set of Hope Mono M4 pads on that occasion. My bike runs 180/180 The Ones and is not an XC race machine. I ride it aggressively and have never been caught out for lack of braking with this combination.

    Also not sure but perhaps there are technical differences between the Greg Minnar's and the standard.. maybe better QC or even design tweaks?

    i'm not an overly aggressive rider and I can rapidly kill a set of bedded in formula pads (both front and back - i dont drag) i've seen reports of others having even shorter pad lifetimes.. I dont know if this is due to insufficient bedding in however or more aggressive riding.

    Another point you've clearly not had any experience with is trying to get tech support in the UK.
    I mention above that I have had excellent service from Propel in rectifying a fault on my brake. Very good telephone support and quick turnaround on the rebuild and seal replacement.

    Overall I eventually took my bike to a bike shop near me that deals with formula (Cube bikes mainly have Formulas fitted as standard) and it took him a few days to get the things resonable and he confirmed the issues I was having were not my imagination or maltreatment.
    Not quite sure how the bike shop could determine that the brakes had not arrived in their current state on account of maltreatment.

    Still it's worthwhile to point out you can get lucky and get a good set - but it's also valid to point out many people are having problems and the fact you'll get no help off Formula in the UK also i think its good advice to point out im getting orders of magnitude decrease in pad wear with an alternative set of pads.
    I am lucky that the three sets I have had have all been good, except for the single brake bought from ebay. Propel fixed that faulty brake. I have no worse pad wear than I expect from other manufacturers although I may experiment with alternate pad types as per your recommendation.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by EGF168
    Yep that lever redesign does indicate that they were not happy with the original which is only 12 months old.. shame we had to endure being the test bunnies on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm
    The lever wobbles, pointing to an underlying flaw in quality control.
    Sorry bro but on my Silver SE Minnars its just stupid... 5-7 mm up down movement at the end of the lever and it rattles on rough terrain... just shocking. remember at the time time these were the most expensive brakes you could buy. Just not good enough.

    I think the real shocker is the customer service.. it has been a real ball ache from start to finish really.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karve
    Yep that lever redesign does indicate that they were not happy with the original which is only 12 months old.. shame we had to endure being the test bunnies on this.



    Sorry bro but on my Silver SE Minnars its just stupid... 5-7 mm up down movement at the end of the lever and it rattles on rough terrain... just shocking. remember at the time time these were the most expensive brakes you could buy. Just not good enough.

    I think the real shocker is the customer service.. it has been a real ball ache from start to finish really.
    That's incorrect. No one forced you to be a "Test Bunny". You, like many others on mtbr, early adopted and paid for that privilege. In fact, I've even seen on these forums people saying such things as "it's Formula, so it must be good", even though an item didn't come out yet.

    These forums generate a lot of hype and peer pressure to constantly swap out parts for the newest, coolest, lust-worthy items. In that quest, people get burned. Yes, even by Formula, a company that joined the party of brakes that actually work some years late, especially after their B4 program where everything in the lever was made from plastic or brittle, thin metals, and simply didn't stand up to usage, much less impacts.

    Don't early adopt in the future.

  50. #50
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    yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn J_C stirring again. Boooring

    Testing on the paying public is not an acceptable way to conduct a manufacturing business. Goods should be fit for purpose when offered for sale - no argument.

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