After keeping fairly quiet for a while, Formula launched an all-new brakeset at Sea Otter called Cura. The design used a completely different lever/master cylinder shape (for them) and switched to mineral oil.
On the suspension side, their current 33 and 35 forks carry over mostly unchanged for now, but we did find a few tweaks and tech features worth sharing. Formula’s rep, Vittorio, says most brands are focused on stanchion coatings to reduce friction, and nowadays they’re all pretty good. Where friction can sneak in is when the fork experiences lateral and fore/aft stresses. That not only puts additional friction on the stanchions, but on the damping and air pistons inside those stanchions. So, they created their Internal Flaoting Technology…
The air spring piston floats on a ball socket, letting it pivot to match any bend in the stanchions. Shown above at its extremes, in real world use it’s only like to move a couple degrees max.
The pressurized air is above the piston. To adjust air volume and tune the fork’s progression, you can add between 5cc and 25cc oil to take up volume. Compared to static spacers, they say this provides an infinite amount of volume adjustment within that range.
Formula uses a coil negative spring with a smaller bottom out bumper spring inside it.
The damping cartridge also has a pivoting piston inside, letting the shaft slide easily even when bent.
One of the more recent updates improves user tuning options. The lockout/ high speed lever (gold) can be set anywhere within its range to adjust high speed compression.
The circuit sits just underneath the lever and has three different valve heads available.
Called the Compression Tuning System (CTS), you simply replace the colored valve to switch between soft, medium and firm. More holes means more oil flow and softer (i.e. faster) compression damping. It’s super easy to swap using an Allen wrench to remove the lever and then the included tool to pull out the top of the circuit. Here’s the video if you’d like to see it being changed:
Their RCC remote cartridge control is another unique design. Compared to most remotes that swap range of adjustment for convenience, Formula’s gives you 13 steps of adjustment across their full range of high speed compression, from wide open to full lockout. It does this by integrating the remote’s cable directly into the compression circuit rather than just bolting on from the top, which twists the internals the same way the cap-mounted lever would. Small indents on the lever provide tactile proof you’ve made a click.
For their larger 35 fork, which has 35mm stanchions, they’ll offer a 51mm offset for 29ers and have a 10mm shorter A-to-C than most competitive forks. That men’s you can essentially run 10mm more travel without affecting head angle and geometry.
At 1,790g for the 27.5″ model, the 35 is very competitive on weight. It’s available in 100-160mm travel lengths (internally adjustable) and an “extended” version at 170-180mm. The 29er fork runs 100-140mm travel (150-160mm extended) and weighs in as little as 1,855g.
So what’s in store? Rear shocks are the obvious answer. Now that they have a more modern brake, they want to offer a complete suspension solution to go with it, which ups the odds of OEM spec on complete bikes. And they are working on updated/new forks, too, but they’re not ready to share details.