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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
    29 some of the time...
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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
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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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.


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