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Formula 2011 TheOne Brake (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Good)
 Formula 2011 TheOne Brake  Formula 2011 TheOne Brake
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Formula The Ones

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Weight; Power; Modulation; Feel; Looks

The Bad:

Torx key bolts to tighten the lever; Possibly price

Overall Review:

I was first introduced to Formula The Ones back in 2006 by a friend who had recently attached a set to his DH bike. These were the first generation brakes and I remember being in awe at how good they looked due to their minimalist design and how amazing they felt out on the trail. The lever seemed just right, they had so much power and yet the control was superb. Needless to say, I was very jealous!

Fast forward a few years (well, five...) and it came to building up a new bike. Even though times, and brakes, have changed quite dramatically, there was only one set of brakes that would suffice for the new ride. No surprises what they were....

On went the updated Formula The Ones, with a slightly different lever design and some other small changes. I am pleased to say all those feelings that I had about the first generation brakes were still present with these brakes!

I am really particular about my brakes, probably more so than any other part of the bike. I prefer a short amount of lever movement with a definitive feel when applied. The Formulas provide this perfectly. Modulation is great, but pull hard and the power surpasses pretty much anything else I have tried. There is no spongy feeling from the lever when pulled full on either (which is present on most Avid's I have owned).

Brake fade doesn't appear to be an issue, having endured many long alpine descents. They are reliable to a tee. Pull the lever, slow matter where you are or how fast you are going they just do the job, and they do it well.

Their durability has been great too. Minus the obligatory pad changes, I have barely touched them, which says a lot considering the conditions present in Scotland for most of the year. Unlike avids, they don't suffer from sticky pistons either, which is a relief! They could do with a bleed, not because they need one, more out of routine servicing to make sure they continue to last.

Pricing might be a bit of an issue, as they are certainly far from cheap. I tend not to compromise on brakes and so prefer to spend the extra to get the best available product. I have been using these with shimano XT floating discs as they were considerably cheaper than the formula alternative with noperceivable decrease in performance.

The only negative aspect to these brakes would be the T15 Torx bolts holding the lever to the bar. It was not a size of Torx that I had in my toolkit and required a separate purchase. A similar sized hex-bolt would have been preferable in my opinion. This also became a bit of a problem when I snapped one of the bolts in a crash (Nothing to do with the brakes, the lever went straight into a tree...) as finding a replacement at short notice so I could complete my race run was no doubt a lot more difficult than finding a similar avid/shimano part.

All in all however, I can only sing Formula's praises for making what I believe to be the best DH brake on the market. I would be willing to change my brakes (I can't say I have too much brand loyalty, which is good when it comes to writing honest reviews) but it would have to be a pretty damn spectacular brake to make me do so!

Formula TheOne MY10

The Good:

power, modulation, weight, looks

The Bad:

reliability, customer service, pricey replacement parts

Overall Review:

I've got my set 3 years ago for my AM bike. Straight from the box the brakes where lacking power so i decided to buy an original Formula bleeding kit ( 28 euro ! that is for two syringes and no fluid ! )  and bleed the brakes myself. It helped a lot but not for long. I really didn't know whats going on  but aftrer a while the I've noticed brake fluid leaking on my carbon bars and DOT  fluid damaged the clear coat on :( I've tried to contact formula to ask them whats going on and after couple of attempts i finally got reply from a guy barely speaking english saying I have to contact their service guys from UK. After few email exchanges with UK guys they told me that its a manufacturer fault and they will replace leaking master cylinder cup for free.  I sent my brakes to them and got them back a over a month after that cause they didn't  have the parts and have to wait for them to come from Italy. Mounted the brakes on the bike and they wasn't even bleeded !

The brakes worked good for another few months and the problem started again :/

Another thing is the small Alu  bolts:

- one holding the leaver are  easy to damage in crash or lose cause they can undo easily and fall out. Those things are 8.6euro each. I lost one because of crash and three just fell out

- ones that you use to mount the brakes to handlebars you can round them very easily 9.9euro each. I rounded two

- caliper pads screw ( alu as well ) very easy to round. You can get them in kit only which cost 30.70euro !!! rounded one as well

Formula disc rotors 180/160mm nice and light but easy to  bent and hard to make them straight again.

Overall I'm not happy that I bought them. They are really nice when they work but then when they don't they just DONT.  My life rely on those babies and I just don't trust them any more. Will buy new XTR next.


Product Formula 2011 TheOne Brake
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle
Lever Material Aluminium with Tool Free Reach Adjust
Mount Style Post
Rotor Sizes 160mm, 180mm and 203mm
Rotor Mounting 6 Bolt International Standard or Centerlock
Fluid Type Dot 4
Colors Black with anodized gold accents
Weight 0 lb 12.5 oz (355 g)
Miscellaneous The One brake has it all, light weight, tons of adjust-ability and mega stopping power due to its 24mm diameter pistons. This brake is the premier brake for DH and All Mountain use.
Price $326.95
More Info

Formula website

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