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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.

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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.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karve
    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.
    Boring enough for you to agree with me.

  52. #52
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    Ha, Ha, Ha ......

    I swore I would never buy another product from Formula about 4 years ago. Their QC and brakes are total crap. I screwed up a lifetime trip to MOAB because if these brakes. Never again....good to see I made a good decision because people are still having problems with them.

    I say, stick to Hopes, even the old ones still work.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    ^ 8 on the derby rationalization scale

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

    Seeing as the view that *everybody* has problems with these brakes is equally as untenable, perhaps the reality is that some people have problems and some don't. It takes real flair (even for Italians) to get that sort of production variability, so I don't rule out some owners being a factor.

    Do you have any further elucidating comment, Jerk_Chicken?

  54. #54
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    Man, they sure sound like the White Brothers of brakes

  55. #55
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    Quite simply they cannot have been maltreated due to the fact id not used them and they were brand new out of the box. I put them on my new bike build and i was waiting for the bleed kit which i had difficulty obtaining at the time. Anyway I had items missing from one box (the shortening kit) and the bleed instructions were incorrect in the manual anyway - not opinion because Formula did indeed change the bleed instructions after myself and a number of people contacted them and pointed out errors - possibly translation but still errors.

    I totally agree you should not be overfilling the units - however on my rear this had to be done or you had no braking force whatsoever prior to the lever hitting the bar - i was using new Formula discs so it wasnt disc thickness. It didnt feel like air as pumping the lever there was no obvious ramping effect - pre bleed the ramping was obvious.

    Also about QC i've seen a few sets of formula and all had significant amounts of air in them from the factory - therefore indicating the manufacturers were not performing bleeds correctly. If you ultrasonic degas the DOT fluid prior to use and bleed the brakes properly - where is the air gonna come from - you've removed the dissolved air via ultrasonics and -ve pressure then as long as your careful and dont shake the fluid and areate during filling your good as there cant possibly be any gas released when the brake fluid heats up.

    Personally I tried for a couple of days to contact Propel but their phone either just rang or was engaged.. anyway the bike shop who are formula dealers sorted most issues in the meantime.

    Maybe i've just been unlucky and got a duff set. I did get a bleed kit and have redone the rear since the Goodridge pads as it was actally biting too early .

    Something else I have noticed is the mags have picked up on the technical issues with the ones and many are now pointing out they have setup issues and rapid pad wear.. so its not just us the experienced reviewers are also stating short pad life.

    Dispite our clearly different experiences I think you should try out the Goodridge pads and see what you think - they do take some serious bedding in time so id not put a new set on bofore and event. Perhaps you may also find they bite too early for you as they have greater pad thickness to begin with.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketMagnet
    Maybe i've just been unlucky and got a duff set. I did get a bleed kit and have redone the rear since the Goodridge pads as it was actally biting too early .
    If the brakes are adjusted properly, the pad thickness can only have this effect by being too thick to bring the seals into play to set the stand off/retraction. As the pads wear the lever feel will get longer.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm
    If the brakes are adjusted properly, the pad thickness can only have this effect by being too thick to bring the seals into play to set the stand off/retraction. As the pads wear the lever feel will get longer.
    The last bit makes sense - most brakes self adjust for wear but the Formulas dont and you have to move the bite point and change the lever throw to compensate.
    Sorry but i dont understand the middle bit - I think the Formula pads are too thin hence the need to overfill the units in the first place - the Goodridge pads are not too thick they are right for the units as far as i can tell as you dont need to overfill.

    also just because you've not had issues doesnt mean others are imcompetent.. we may genuinely be seeing faults.

    A formula dealer had issues with my set of brakes and they service and repair formula brakes all the time therefore the brakes were at fault.
    Last edited by RocketMagnet; 05-20-2009 at 07:21 AM.

  58. #58
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    Hi Guys,
    I just wanted to drop a line and give everyone our contact info if you are having any issues or have ANY questions regarding our brakes. Hell, even if you just want to say hey. We would love to hear from you so that we can discuss and solve any problems. There has yet to be a problem with any of our brakes which we could not solve.

    Here ya go:

    Formula Brake USA
    (707) 765.2770

    If you are posting from a country other than the US, drop a line to the distributor in your country. They will be more than happy to give you a hand. Distributor information can be found on the Formula Italy website: www.formula-brake.com

    Cheers and we look forward to hearing from you soon,

    Chris Costello

  59. #59
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    I have a question for the pros, I just ordered the Mega brake front and rear, I will use a handelbar like this
    to get the brake levers positioned like this

    Will it work or will the brakes leak?


    edit: which brakes are self adjusting? Only shimanos?
    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Carbon is a fad.
    Quote Originally Posted by robicycle
    Just lube your ass with asscream and ride for how long you want.

  60. #60
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    Thanks for some official repy PD.

    People seem to have a number of common issues that perhaps you could post the common "formula" answers here to the issues raised in this and other threads?

    Mainly long lever throw and rapid pad wear and thin pad depth compared to say the Goodridge pads?
    I like the soft feel of the brakes as I 1 finger brake - but with formula pads 90% of the entire lever throw does nothing at all and im forced to wind out the levers to max out and fcs to max - my brakes dont ramp up on pumping so that rules out air in the system. Put the Goodridge in and I can wind the levers in to a comfortable reach and the fcs to minimum and they bite quite quickly and modulate well to full on.

  61. #61
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    Well, UGI has gotten the better of me. I have decided to buy a set of Tech M4s for my Spot and Tech V2s for my Highline. There is nothing wrong with the Formulas, but I thikn the Hopes are dead sexy. The lever adjustments are the best I have felt to date, the lever throw range is better, pad life should be better, they are a bit heavier though. I went with floating rotors on both, and steel braided lines. I will be interetsted to see how they compare for power and modualtion, something the ONe certainly does very well.

    I suspect I will be leaving the Formula camp, in a more lateral move IMO. I do like the Hope bleeding procedure though. Leaving the brakes on the bike will be a nice change since I bleed twice a year.
    Employed by Pivot Cycles - www.pivotcycles.com

  62. #62
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    I've been running K18s for 2 years, K24s for 18 months and Megas for about three months. Ridden BC, Moab, and tons of Ontario mud. Desert, chunk, 6000' downhills, torrential rain, mud, you name it. And no problems. You need to keep your rotors true. It's not very difficult. That is all.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perigeum Development
    Hi Guys,
    I just wanted to drop a line and give everyone our contact info if you are having any issues or have ANY questions regarding our brakes. Hell, even if you just want to say hey. We would love to hear from you so that we can discuss and solve any problems. There has yet to be a problem with any of our brakes which we could not solve.

    Here ya go:

    Formula Brake USA
    (707) 765.2770

    If you are posting from a country other than the US, drop a line to the distributor in your country. They will be more than happy to give you a hand. Distributor information can be found on the Formula Italy website: www.formula-brake.com

    Cheers and we look forward to hearing from you soon,

    Chris Costello
    Hey Perigeum - I feel slightly sorry for you as I have heard good things about Formula USA. I think this was mentioned in a post further up. Unfortunately its ur UK and European brethren which are letting the side down, and when a product does have issues out of the box its the level and quality of support which shapes peoples opinion of their overall experience.

    I did use use your bleed instructions rather than Formulas to achive ok results... which shows good support on your part but basic issues with the package and instructions formula supply.. Cheers for posting
    I

  64. #64
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    Am I the only one on earth that liked the HFX-9 brakes? Man, I loved those stupid brakes, my Juicy 7s, though they sorta feel ok, are just a giant pain in the rear all the time (well, I fixed the gobble now, so I suppose they might be "awesome" all of a sudden).

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkheadedbug
    I've been running K18s for 2 years, K24s for 18 months and Megas for about three months. Ridden BC, Moab, and tons of Ontario mud. Desert, chunk, 6000' downhills, torrential rain, mud, you name it. And no problems. You need to keep your rotors true. It's not very difficult. That is all.
    Did you bother to read the rest of the thread?

    It always does amaze me the way some people on internet forums feel so attached and loyal to brands that they have to defend said brand till the end. Ussually making up excuses no matter how daft they might sound, and accusing the owners who have had problems as being incompetant. It is almost like they have the urge to constantly try to justify their purchase, and that they weren't just fooled by fancy marketing.

    I think this thread has only served to confirm my instincts regarding Formula brakes. I don't think any Italian engineering (bar older Marz forks) is any good if I am honest. It's pretty much all fancy-marketing, flashy colours, light weight, high maintenance, unreliable, race-inspired crap with a hefty price tag.

    Last edited by Bikeboyhello; 05-21-2009 at 03:33 AM.

  66. #66
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    I've got the black & GM Ltd The Ones; I can't tell the difference between them.

    They need a quick bleed at the lever every 8 to 10 months, but have been trouble free.

    On my last ride, it was raining bucket loads and incredibly sandy (new trail), it did wear the pads very fast, will be trying those Goodridge next time, Ta.

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    You need to keep your rotors true with ANY disc brake.

    You don't think ANY Italian engineering is any good?

    You are an idiot.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

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    cool

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkheadedbug
    You need to keep your rotors true with ANY disc brake.

    You don't think ANY Italian engineering is any good?

    You are an idiot.
    Thanks for patronising me. I know you have to keep the disc true but you said it as if keeping the disc true solves all the other problems mentioned in this thread. Though I doubt you actually bothered to read the thread anyway, you just wanted to jump in and defend your crappy brakes.

    You my friend are the idiot. Have you ever heard of an opinion? I guess not. I will rephrase for your simple mind: It is MY OPINION that Italian engineering is not good. Ferraris, Lamborghini, Ducatis, Brembo.. all very expensive crap IN MY OPINION. Too race inspired and unreliable. Don't even get me started on shoddy electrics and those piles of junk called Alfa Romeos! My mate had an Aprilia, and it'll also be the last one he'll have! Was the biggest pile of crap ever. Yes it was light and fast but thats probably down to the amount of plastic used in the engine. Said engine had a habit of screwing up/ overheating very frequently! Very temporimental. Complete joke! There are better made, higher quality German and Japanese alternatives to everything the Italians make.

    IN MY OPINION.
    Last edited by Bikeboyhello; 05-21-2009 at 09:40 AM.

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    My brakes aren't crappy. YMMV. And you are still an idiot.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketMagnet
    The last bit makes sense - most brakes self adjust for wear but the Formulas dont
    er... yes they do. The easy test is to remove pads and pump the lever. The very fact that the pistons will move out shows that the brakes are self-adjusting. Really seriously if you don't believe this is the case you have not come to terms with the way these brakes are designed (i.e. just like any other).

    and you have to move the bite point and change the lever throw to compensate
    It sounds to me like there is something causing your lever feel to be unusally poor. Without fixing that, all other measures are sticking plaster. I followed your problems with the brakes from the start and it does not sound like the brakes have ever worked as designed to your satisfaction.

    Sorry but i dont understand the middle bit - I think the Formula pads are too thin hence the need to overfill the units in the first place - the Goodridge pads are not too thick they are right for the units as far as i can tell as you dont need to overfill.
    I don't need to overfill. The brakes work fine for me. They obviously don't work well for you. You have a long lever thjrow without pad contact. This is a fundamental issue. Fixing it with thicker pads is a sticking plaster solution. Those thick pads will wear down and become thin pads. If the brakes were unable to cope with thin pads originally and do not self-adjust to worn thick pads, then there is something fundamental not workign right with the brake.

    also just because you've not had issues doesnt mean others are imcompetent.. we may genuinely be seeing faults.
    I've really backed off in my posts from making such accusations. If you are having to apply sticking plaster measures to get the brakes working satisfactorily and "experts" are describing the brakes as working properly as designed then I cannot feel comfortable that the root cause has been identified. The contrasting point is that you've been quick to ascribe the problem to design faults or QC/QA. Considering that some of the critical tolerances are provided by rubber (EDPM) components bathed in one of many choices of DOT fluid (which may cause expansion), then there is scope for the design to fall outside tolerances and fail to work as intended. Perhaps this is what is going on and it could be construed as a QC/QA issue.

    A formula dealer had issues with my set of brakes and they service and repair formula brakes all the time therefore the brakes were at fault.
    Is the root cause identified? That is all I would be concerned about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkheadedbug
    My brakes aren't crappy. YMMV. And you are still an idiot.
    Ok, it's still better than being ignorant to others views, just like yourself. Have a nice day moron.

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    Lets not get started on the fact most 'German' cars (BMW, VW) are now made in South Africa then!

    I've got K18s and K24s. K18s have been perfect, K24s have not:

    Master cylinder pistons needed changing. Toby from Propel UK was extremely polite and helpful but the turnaround time was 4 weeks; irritating in the middle of summer. If formula had announced the problem I could have swapped the piston myself.

    The levers do self adjust but poorly, especially when the pads are fairly worn. Performance in the wet leaves a lot to be desired. The FCS knob seems a pointless decoration and don't get me started on the fact they use every size torx screw available to put the things together.

    BUT... I like them. Faffing and problems aside they offer lots of power, lots of modulation and feel good on the bars. Pad changing is relatively easy and they're light.

    Far better than the Juicy 5s I had, and I can buy spares unlike Shimano. Hope are good but the the tech levers are huge and they're not cheap.

    Just my 2p....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RicB
    Lets not get started on the fact most 'German' cars (BMW, VW) are now made in South Africa then!

    I've got K18s and K24s. K18s have been perfect, K24s have not:

    Master cylinder pistons needed changing. Toby from Propel UK was extremely polite and helpful but the turnaround time was 4 weeks; irritating in the middle of summer. If formula had announced the problem I could have swapped the piston myself.

    The levers do self adjust but poorly, especially when the pads are fairly worn. Performance in the wet leaves a lot to be desired. The FCS knob seems a pointless decoration and don't get me started on the fact they use every size torx screw available to put the things together.

    BUT... I like them. Faffing and problems aside they offer lots of power, lots of modulation and feel good on the bars. Pad changing is relatively easy and they're light.

    Far better than the Juicy 5s I had, and I can buy spares unlike Shimano. Hope are good but the the tech levers are huge and they're not cheap.

    Just my 2p....
    Yes the new BMWs and VWs are not what they used to be. The older ones were solid though. Whereas Italian cars have always been either tinny little rust buckets plagued with electrical faults and poor reliability OR poorly made, ridiculous supercars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris- again with poor reliability..

    I'm still yet to hear anyone tell me of a piece of Italian engineering that is well made, reliable and offers value for money....

    You must have small hands if you think the tech lever is huge..

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    lol - I have tiny hands but I meant the whole lever (master cylinder) assembly! Hope have had to put pics on their website explaining how to set them up with various shifters.

    Didn't Zocchi forks used to be made in Italy when reliability was good, then moved to the far east where the reliability problems started?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RicB
    lol - I have tiny hands but I meant the whole lever (master cylinder) assembly! Hope have had to put pics on their website explaining how to set them up with various shifters.

    Didn't Zocchi forks used to be made in Italy when reliability was good, then moved to the far east where the reliability problems started?
    Yeah, I know what you mean, but it's not 'that' big really. Its a lot more compact in person than it looks in pics. I was quite surprised if I'm honest.

    As for Marzocchi, I mentioned them as an exception in one of my other posts in this thread. Apart from their older forks though, I cant think of any Italian stuff that is particularly good. I'd take a japanese sports bike or crosser over anything Italian. Cars- I'd buy older German and Japanese.

    Just my opinion anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm
    er... yes they do. The easy test is to remove pads and pump the lever. The very fact that the pistons will move out shows that the brakes are self-adjusting. Really seriously if you don't believe this is the case you have not come to terms with the way these brakes are designed (i.e. just like any other).
    Thanks for clarifying! I got a little worried there for a while.

    Btw which is the "correct" bleeding instructions and where can I find these?
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    Just lube your ass with asscream and ride for how long you want.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by longcat
    Thanks for clarifying! I got a little worried there for a while.

    Btw which is the "correct" bleeding instructions and where can I find these?
    http://www.formulabrakeusa.com/wp-co...ions_final.pdf

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    Well it sounds like i've just got a duff set - the rear is much worse than the front.

    Also making the assumtion that all problems are user error and not design issues is just
    as bad as assuming everything is due to poor design. I would guess the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    I'll have to bleed the rear again this week as its started ramping - indicating air ingress.
    Has been fine for a few months but it was definitely all over the place today as the temp increased on the decent.

    As far as i'm concerned due to the fiddly setup and constant attention these brakes need then this is in itself poor design.

    When these brakes are working they are fantastic - just seen a review in this months WMB about the R1 and they state that the stock pads are useless (ones and R1 take same pads) for use int he UK and to invest in some sintered. They also state they need lots of TLC (just like the Ones) to keep them running well.

    I really like the feel of the lever personally and the brakes have many good points yet they can really annoy me from time to time by spoiling a ride.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketMagnet
    Well it sounds like i've just got a duff set - the rear is much worse than the front.

    Also making the assumtion that all problems are user error and not design issues is just
    as bad as assuming everything is due to poor design. I would guess the truth lies somewhere in the middle.


    I'll have to bleed the rear again this week as its started ramping - indicating air ingress.
    Has been fine for a few months but it was definitely all over the place today as the temp increased on the decent.

    As far as i'm concerned due to the fiddly setup and constant attention these brakes need then this is in itself poor design.

    When these brakes are working they are fantastic - just seen a review in this months WMB about the R1 and they state that the stock pads are useless (ones and R1 take same pads) for use int he UK and to invest in some sintered. They also state they need lots of TLC (just like the Ones) to keep them running well.

    I really like the feel of the lever personally and the brakes have many good points yet they can really annoy me from time to time by spoiling a ride.
    Maybe, maybe not. You also have to analyze the sources of the misinformation, whether they are biased due to personal involvement with the brand, invested in some way, or simply bought into the brand culture.

    Just take Fox, for example. So many people bought into the brand culture that their fans (and employees) came on the forum and shot down any people who said the 36's were delivered without oil, until more and more came forward to say so. Some of the defense was so pathetic, which included shops, that it wasn't even believable.

    Unfortunately, some people just don't get it, when it comes to this being a consumer forum and looking to help consumers even out the playing field. This place came about when 50% of the stuff put on the market just didn't work. It made the manufacturers accountable and helped the push of stuff that actually worked and buried the stuff that didn't. It really looks pretty sad when people post like Carm above and pretend no one is having any problems.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    It really looks pretty sad when people post like Carm above and pretend no one is having any problems.
    Read again. I'm reporting that my sets of brakes work, negating the idea that there is a fundamental design flaw. A fundamental design flaw would affect all brakes.

    I've not suggested that RocketMagnet and others do not have problems. I suggest that most of the problems are fixable up to the point that faulty brakes have been supplied at which point replacement/refund should be the only option.

    You can be condescending and sad about my disposition if you like. Other people might find it useful to form a balanced view that the brakes can be picky to set up and *some* people have problem sets. You have no idea how sad I am about contributions you make on this and on other threads like this. [condescension returned].

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    I'm not condescending; you have suggested that there are no problems with these brakes outside of user abuse or setup error.

    Whether there is a design flaw or manufacturing flaw is outside my argument. The bottom line is there is a problem that has affected multiple sets. There is also a history with the K series and their faulty master cylinders, which Formula also kept hush about, offering bleeds to new users, but in fact, replacing the MC pistons that were defective because they spec'd an unsuitable material. So it's not out of line to think there could be a manufacturing or design flaw. This is, after all, the same company that made the B4, which had decent calipers, but levers made out of plastic and brittle metals that couldn't really stand up to real mountain usage without breakdowns.

    You're also discounting the experiences with the poorly designed and made pads.

    I also don't care about how sad you are. You then might have a problem and have to step away from the internet if a differing thought hurts you so much. If you're so sad, you might actually be emo, then I can't help you, but crying and cutting will.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    You're also discounting the experiences with the poorly designed and made pads.
    No. I'm not discounting experiences. I merely counter with my own experiences which are positive.

    To be clear, my least favourite brake is the Hope Mono Mini that I run on one bike. Now I know it is made by your beloved Hope, but it is the epitome of a flawed braking system. Those pads don't last at all and don't perform except when freshly bedded in and only ridden in the dry. Turn the bike upside down and you risk (and I have experienced repeatedly) air bubbles from the m/c getting into the brake hoses demanding a bleed to rectify. The idea that rolling a membrane across an open reservoir somehow eliminates all air is laughable and a two syringe bleeding solution is superior. Just my opinions.

    I also don't care about how sad you are.
    You seemed very keen to express your sadness about my previous posts. How strange it is that you dish it out but can't take it.

    You then might have a problem and have to step away from the internet if a differing thought hurts you so much. If you're so sad, you might actually be emo, then I can't help you, but crying and cutting will.
    I wouldn't give you the satisfaction despite your tendency to go after the man rather than argue the issues in hand. Perhaps you should step away from the internet. You manage to serially upset so many here, perhaps you would not be missed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm
    No. I'm not discounting experiences. I merely counter with my own experiences which are positive.

    To be clear, my least favourite brake is the Hope Mono Mini that I run on one bike. Now I know it is made by your beloved Hope, but it is the epitome of a flawed braking system. Those pads don't last at all and don't perform except when freshly bedded in and only ridden in the dry. Turn the bike upside down and you risk (and I have experienced repeatedly) air bubbles from the m/c getting into the brake hoses demanding a bleed to rectify. The idea that rolling a membrane across an open reservoir somehow eliminates all air is laughable and a two syringe bleeding solution is superior. Just my opinions.



    You seemed very keen to express your sadness about my previous posts. How strange it is that you dish it out but can't take it.



    I wouldn't give you the satisfaction despite your tendency to go after the man rather than argue the issues in hand. Perhaps you should step away from the internet. You manage to serially upset so many here, perhaps you would not be missed.
    Your experience with Hope is your own, and it doesn't hurt me, one way or another. "Beloved" is an interesting term because I have called several Hope items as sub-par, including their skewers. There's also a thread I posted in 2007 about some lower quality reservoir cover bolts they used that I ended up having to drill out. Additionally, several riders have spoken about the broken pawl springs in the ProII hubs, which I too have experienced, although at 22 months. However, I shared the sentiment with the riders that have not had a positive thing to say about the springs themselves. Mine have and are lasting, but I won't discount the broken ones because I know they exist. Then there's the bearing play of the ProII front that I agree with and somewhat lame responses from Hope about it.

    So if you're thinking I'm biased for Hope, it's not entirely true. I run the products they make that work and the ones that don't, I don't, so your attempt at getting one over is not only doing yourself a disservice because it shows how personally invested your being is in getting these Formula brakes and being one of MTBR's cool people, but it only reinforces the other side you're fighting against as you take the topic further and further away from the problem at hand.

    Furthermore, your step by step about the operation of the Hope brake, like Derby, proves either ignorance, dishonesty, or both. Maybe a bit of stupidity thrown into the mix. The Hope users (and there is actually exact documentation on this site by several Hope users and dealers of many brake brands) anti to your experience.

    So yes, you are discounting people's experiences and showing how personal your crusade to discount them is. It's fine and good, and your posts are making for excellent reading and future reference for Fo's blahg.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm
    Read again. I'm reporting that my sets of brakes work, negating the idea that there is a fundamental design flaw. A fundamental design flaw would affect all brakes.
    IMO that is faulty logic. An inherent weakness could be present in a design but only exposed under certain combinations of small changes in manufacturing tolerances, user environment, etc. That doesn't mean the circumstances are to blame, because a better design might not have been affected at all

    If it was possible to determine design problems from a single example of any product, then companies would be able to find their problems with a single prototype and they would all end up launching perfect products every time

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    All this yakking about/between personalities difuses the point. There are people having trouble with their Formula brakes, and there are people very happy with their Formula brakes.

    Minus JerkChicken's background a reader has no way of knowing how much he really knows. Certainly, he THINKS he's an expert, and has no trouble attacking an opposing view. I see his posts often, and often they are agressively critical. In this specific case I don't remember a post indicating Jerk Chicken has any personal experience with Formula brakes, it appears he's basing his comments on what others say. I would suggest that often in life the "self proclaimed" expert isn't really an expert, he's just the loudest, or most aggressive.

    When it comes to these forums, I find I have to discount about half of what you read for various causes. For instance not being able to verify the expertise of the poster, whether the poster has an axe to grind, or maybe the poster is an employee with a bias. It's very hard to tell from a post if a person bleeding his own brakes actually knows how to complete the procedure.

    To the point, My Formula brakes work very well (after the pad change), don't require anymore work than my Hayes did (actually less), have not leaked fluid out or air in, and customer support from Formula USA has been very positive. Period. No discounting problems others have had, or contributing to the "hype" Jerk Chicken is so opposed to. Just the facts.

    This is based upon a full years use. I do my own work, my background is technical in nature and I have always done all my own work. Homes, boats, some aircraft work, cars, motorcycles, and now bikes. FWIW, I did have to practice the bleed procedure a couple of times before I got it down.

    Fire away, I'm vaccinated, and immune.

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    I don't remember a post indicating Jerk Chicken has any personal experience with Formula brakes, it appears he's basing his comments on what others say.
    Then you're not searching enough through my posts.

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    you have 15k posts, are you kidding?
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    Not my problem

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    IMO that is faulty logic. An inherent weakness could be present in a design but only exposed under certain combinations of small changes in manufacturing tolerances, user environment, etc. That doesn't mean the circumstances are to blame, because a better design might not have been affected at all

    If it was possible to determine design problems from a single example of any product, then companies would be able to find their problems with a single prototype and they would all end up launching perfect products every time
    I've installed three sets of The Ones. Two on my own bikes and one on a friend's. They have all been trouble free apart from the brake I bought from ebay (with dubious history) which had a fixable fault (main cup seal worn). I'm basing my opinion on a sample of three brake sets.

    I appreciate what you're saying though. I didn't emphasise it in my post but I used the phrase fundamental design fault as weasel words to support my logic. If the design fault is based on inappropriate tolerances/materials ganging up and causing nn% of brakes to fail when all the individual components are within spec, I wouldn't describe it as a fundamental design fault unless nn% was a huge number. QC could cover the issue but the distinction doesn't help owners who are suffering with faulty brakes.

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    So we have someone that is happy with their brakes and unfortunately people dont post if they dont have an issue normally so it can look like whinging - tho its hard not to be negative when your brakes have spoiled a good days riding - TBH i'm losing patiance with my The Ones - the rear needs bled yet again and was all over the place the other day as it heated up on the decent.

    Personally i'm pretty clear on my issues im having. the pads are indeed of low quality in comparison to the replacements i've tried and getting a good bleed can be troublesome with them. I had bits missing from my box and the brakes were full of air (they wouldnt even bite the discs at all out of the box they were so full of air - really if they are bled properly initially then where is the air gonna come from?).

    Personally difficult to set up and equipment that needs lots of TLC to operate well is poor design by definition. Especially for somthing which is a safety system on the bike.
    Many professonal reviewers are now commenting on Formulas technical issues and they are all stating poor pad life as a negative so these are people who ride all the avaialbe brake systems with the credentials and experience to back up their findings.

    I do find it odd that someone is claiming that all the issues were having are our fault - i've not seen any advice i've not already tried only that myself and the Formula dealer must be doing something wrong during the bleeds. I would love it not to be design issues then I could resolve them and have hassle free riding again - that is my ultimate goal not to whinge about a specific company.

    There are a number of people with similar issues but Formula who have read this and other posts seemingly refuse to post possible solutions.. either they know they have some manufacturing issues or they think its not worthwhile as were just moaners - well like ive said i just want my brakes to work consistently is it too much to ask for a response to pad wear and the lever throw issues?

    Sounds like Formula USA are doing a stearling job of fixing these issues but this isnt the experience in the UK

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    Bleed issues

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I have a suggestion to those having bleed issues with the Formula brakes. I'm talking to the people that are doing their own work or to the bike mechanics that are pulling their hair out over this bleed problem.

    In the bleed instructions I got with my brakes there was a step that was easy to overlook, or to get out of sequence. Getting this step correct made a big difference in the quality of my bleed procedure. I have no idea how this compares to earlier instructions or to instructions from other countries/distributers.

    If one simply glances at the instructions, an experienced person would simply see attaching two syringes at each end of the system and pump fluid back and forth until no more bubbles were seen. However, step 8 of my instructions specify holding the brake lever in the closed/on/pressure position (after pushing fluid back and forth), and THEN drawing a suction (creating low pressure) on the caliper syringe. I think this is a significant step. I have witnessed, repeatedly, bubbles appearing from the fluid itself. I HAVE never had to do this before with any other brake system. The bubbles could only have come from gases dissolved within the brake fluid itself. This is an issue with the fluid and not something exclusive to Formula. It makes me wonder how much better the brakes on my car would be if I were able to do the same de-gassing procedure with that system.

    If this is of some help to somebody, great. If it steps on someones toes, I apologize in advance. If it implies that the Formula brakes require a GOOD bleed to work properly and to be more/better immune to heat/fade issues then mission accomplished.

    Last edited by oldn0tded; 05-26-2009 at 11:09 AM.

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    You'll need to pull a reasonable Vacuum for a significant length of time coupled with ultrasonics to remove all the dissolved air from the DOT fluid. I would suspect the bubbles your seeing are coming from a void that actualting the lever exposes.

    Put simply youll need a dry air supply (to control the applied vac - DOT oil absorbs water) - Vac pump - a glass buchner funnel and an ultrasonic bath for 1hr+. Then add the degassed DOT oil to the system carefully avoiding airation. The slight vac wont do much on its own tbh - well nothing compared to the heat generated when your riding the brakes hard.

    So yeah I have been following the online instructions (not the manual in the box as its incorrect - well was last year) - I can get the front perfect but the rear is just passable with the lever slow to return - its the clip on the rear thats making the return sluggish as it doesnt fit as well as the front but i can live with the sluggish return.

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    Bubbles

    I will not disagree that to completely de-gas the brake fluid (or any fluid) a person would have to use the technique described....ultrasonics, and a vacuum for an extended length of time. No doubt the very, very slight vacuum I created with the syringe was almost nil, but it was enough to remove some of the dissolved gases.

    I know what I saw, very, very tiny bubbles, simply appear. All together the "foam" might have made one small bubble. My vocabulary fails me at this point, but the bubbles were closer to "foam", certainly not a bubble that had been trapped upstream. It was illuminating for me, and as I said before, as easy as it was to do, I can't help but to think how a similar procedure would help my car (or any car).

    Now having said all that, I completely understand if I'm blown off as a quack. If I were reading this post I'd have a hard time believing a plastic 50 cent syringe would be able to produce these results. Nonetheless, this is what I experienced, and I put the info out to those with bleed issues. Hopefully it will help someone out there willing to try it.



    I do have an additional thought though......What's different about Formula brakes that calls for this extra step? ANNNND Why hasn't this come up before?
    Last edited by oldn0tded; 05-26-2009 at 04:41 PM.

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    I've seen the same thing as oldn0tded. He's not crazy. Bleeding brakes properly takes a while, with two people, and is best done with them off the bike. If you maintain that mini-vacuum you can keep pulling air out for a long while. Add some tapping and inversions while you are holding the low pressure. Afterward the brakes are rock solid.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

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    Just a "me too"... My Formula The One brakes are absolutely awesome on my Santa Cruz Blur LT2. They worked fine out of the box and better after bleeding (yes I got bubbles also when applying a vacuum). They are zero maintenance for me, great modulation and silent.
    Geoff Stahl
    San Jose

    BLTc, Chameleon Single Speed, Speedvagen Road

  97. #97
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    And I thought the M4's sucked!

    Wow, what a range of experiences here

    I dropped serious coin on a set of Hope M4's a couple years ago, and after only the first few months, had nothing but problems with them. I mean everything that could go wrong did - resevior seals leaking, pistons leaking, then sticking after repair, then the other resevior leaking, then the other pistons sticking... on and on and on... These were brand new from an authorized dealer.

    I eventually tossed them and "borrowed" my wifes Oro K24's "just until I got a new set". I was shocked that the Oro's, while much lighter, immidiately delivered more power than the M4's (which I know were not functioning as intended), better modulation, and guess what - almost 2 years have gone by and I'm still using them! Bled twice w/ kit, a couple sets of sintered pads, and they've been perfectly fine.

    This is on a 6x7 "am" bike that's occasionally does BD DH duty. In those extended DH situations my hands do get tired, so I wouldn't consider them dedicated DH brakes - which is whay I'm on the forums now reading about The One

    As for customer service: About a year ago I crashed dramatically on a DH course - bike landed on the end of the handlebar after a serious flight of at least 30 feet. Dramatic! The rear lever hyper-extended, and as designed, the "relay rod" pulled from the body. After a few minutes of examination we were able to fix it with just a multi-tool! I finished the day!

    The next day I contacted Formula USA and a tech immidiately sent a PDF exploded diagram and instructions to help us be sure we'd repaired it correctly, and stayed on the phone with me to make sure I got it and understood what I was looking at and didn't need more help. Very friendly, immidate service with a "we'll take care of you" tone.

    In contrast, when dealing with Hope, it usually took several calls and emails just to get an initial response - which never happened in less than a week. Twice, TWICE they said they mailed a part which never arrived, and TWICE MORE they sent the WRONG part (a lever instead of a seal kit, and a rotor adapter in place of a piston cup)! This, after waiting weeks for the part! We're talking about MONTHS of cumulative down time dealing with Hope.

    During this time I was on the Hope forum a bunch, and guess what - the M4's were recieving the same exact sort of beating that The One's are getting here; some hating them, some satisfied.

    The moral of the story?

    Ya'll know it.

  98. #98
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    "The moral of the story?"

    When all else fails, deflect attention by laying into somebody else?

    What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -
    Diogenes


  99. #99
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    The moral is...

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    "The moral of the story?"

    When all else fails, deflect attention by laying into somebody else?
    Why would I deflect attention Steve? I don't care. I have no brand loyalty whatsoever .

    And I was not "laying into" Hope - just relaying my experience with a system that was cited in this thread as superior, to demonstrate a point. In fact, I'm as likely to buy another set of Hope brakes as I am another set of Formula. Read that agin. Why? Because I've spun enough orbits on this rock to understand and accept that there are always going to be lemons in any and all mass productions. And never buy the first model run - be it a new Porche or power tool.

    THIS is the moral that I assumed would be obvious: There are people who have had both great and horrible experiences with almost every high-end braking system out there. None are perfect. Period.

    Of course we all WANT that perfect bake system - the one that functions as advertised, and in our desiring we invest emotion (and time and money), and when things don't work out, we feel betrayed by the manufacturer and seek solace through vehement expression. We write on the forum, get heated, look for others who feel the same, and thus build/perpetuate a hatred - or defend because "I spent a lot of $ on these brakes (or whatever) and I want them to be what I hoped they'd be".

    Our societal molding leads us to crave drama and conflict - so we end up with Jerry Springer and heated forum threads

    Quick question: If you'd had MY experience, would you buy another set of M4's, or The One? Seriously?




    There is no right answer, is there!

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstahl
    Just a "me too"... My Formula The One brakes are absolutely awesome on my Santa Cruz Blur LT2. They worked fine out of the box and better after bleeding (yes I got bubbles also when applying a vacuum). They are zero maintenance for me, great modulation and silent.
    Have you ridden them in the rain?
    Ride it like you stole it!

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