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Formula Belva Dual-Crown Enduro Fork Delivers Light, Supple Precision – First Rides

Formula Belva prototypelightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, riding bikepark
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Formula wants us to rethink long-travel enduro and freeride forks with their new dual-crown Belva. Sharing the same lowers and much of the same internals tech as their Selva all-mountain to enduro single-crown forks, this new Belva takes lightweight suspension to a new level of performance. This is not a DH fork – they’ve got the Nero for that. And it’s not even longer travel than the biggest Selva. Instead, this stiffer double-crown fork is built to help you push your enduro bike harder than ever.

Formula Belva 170/180mm dual-crown enduro/freeride fork

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, 170mm or 180mm of supple freeride MTB travel, angled
(Photo/Cory Benson)

Formula spent the past several years behind the scenes transforming their popular 35mm-stanchion single-crown Selva platform into a lightweight dual-crown enduro fork. They set out to create a double-crown fork as light or lighter than any equally long single-crown enduro fork. But tougher, more supple, and stiffer where it matters.

Formula Belva prototype lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, 170mm or 180mm of supple freeride MTB travel, Cory bikeparking
(Riding photos by Rupert Fowler/Mountain Bike Connection)

More mountain bike riders are pushing enduro bikes harder and further than ever before. Freeride isn’t dead. It just somehow got blended in with a type of riding we do on bikes that we sometimes pedal to the top of the mountain. You’ll find more ‘enduro’ bikes and single-crown forks in bike parks most days than proper DH bikes with double-crowns. You even see riders at Rampage sending off cliffs on single-crown enduro forks.

So suspension makers had to keep beefing up their single crowns to handle the 170mm, 180mm & 190mm of single-crown travel that modern enduro buyers demanded.

But really, why?

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, 170mm or 180mm rtavel in purple

For Formula, it wasn’t about bigger travel, or necessarily saving a bunch of weight.

Their engineers just knew that building a dual-crown meant eliminating the inherent structural cantilever issue where a single crown, steerer & stanchions come together. This is simply the point where most single-crown flex is going to occur, no matter how big the stanchions get.

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, upper crown detail

So with the same 35mm diameter stanchions, Formula could significantly reduce flex and achieve more supple suspension action. Plus, they could lower stack if they wanted with a much shorter/thinner lower crown. They could deliver more precise and connected direct-mount steering. And all at very little additional weight.

This fork weighs about 400g more than the lightest 170mm 29er Selva S – at a claimed 2370g for the new Belva. But that’s still said to be lighter than either a 38mm-stanchion RockShox Zeb or Fox 38, either with 180mm of travel.

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, crown details

Formula doesn’t really push the adjustable axle-to-crown aspect as their initial push it to work with getting the new fork as a simple direct-swap on existing bikes without changing suspension characteristics. But the dual-crown inherently gives riders ~1cm of a-c adjustment. That means you can probably replicate the setup of your existing fork exactly. But its much shorter-stack lower crown also means you could probably swap in a 180mm fork in the same a-c height of your current 170mm fork, without changing ride height or bike geometry. There’s simply much more opportunity for customized setup with a dual-crown. And Formula could easily lower stack on the lower crown by another centimeter if they wanted (or if there was demand.)

Tech details

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, new uppers
(Photo/Cory Benson)

The dual-crown Belva enduro fork delivers either 170mm or 180mm of internally adjustable travel. The air spring fork keeps weight low with new 35mm double-butted 7075 aluminum stanchions and lightweight hollow-forged alloy crowns.

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, old borrowed Sleva lowers
(Photo/Cory Benson)

Pair that to the same cast magnesium lowers as the Selva – for bonus modularity.

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, new direct mount crown, plus a lockout for climbing
(Photo/Cory Benson)

It features the same single air spring tech and steel triple-coil negative spring as its Selva S sibling, volume spacer adjustability. As well as the same drop-in Internal Floating Tech cartridge damper, with Formula’s signature rider-customizable CTS compression tuning system. Plus, a lock-out lever on top of the right crown – an easy reach just under your bar since it’s a double-crown.

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, QR axle

The 29″ wheel Belva fork gets a 43mm offset, 15x110mm QR Boost thru-axle, and a 1.5″ tapered aluminum steerer. And it is built for big travel enduro ebikes, as well.

How does it ride?

Formula Belva prototype lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, 180mm of supple freeride travel, Cory berming
(Photo by Rupert Fowler/BCA)

Two and a half years ago when I first tested a prototype of this double-crown fork, I rode away pretty amazed. The fork was just so smooth and handling so precise, that I felt like my personal skill level had instantly notched up a level.

It’s not nearly as stiff as a DH fork. But this is meant for a lighter, shorter travel, more maneuverable bike. One that you are likely to pedal back uphill sometimes, too. It truly felt like it soaked up hits better than every single crown fork I had ridden previously. So it gave me extra confidence to bomb root-strewn tracks and air it out a bit higher on the buff jump lines.

One of the biggest obstacles to riding a dual-crown enduro fork though, is mental. It’s impossible not to see those stanchions extend up next to your headtube. And to know that you can only turn your bars about 30° to either side. It’s a real limit that must be contended with. No big casual whips, at least until you learn how to better-control the bike in the air than I do.

Formula Belva prototype light double-crown enduro mountain bike fork with 180mm of freeride travel, bike park airtime
(Photo by Rupert Fowler/BCA)

On the other hand, flying down rooted DH tracks, rocky bike park trails, and blasting berms at ungodly speeds – that’s a non-issue.

Yet riding steep, slow technical trail is a different story. I’ve already seen, first with internal lock-block bikes, and more recently riding the KIS-equipped Canyon on my local trails, that a change in how you turn the bar can require real rethinking of how you tackle certain terrain.

But I’m pretty sure that the confidence-inspiring ride I’ve already experienced riding the Formula Belva fork is worth that trade-off. And I want to ride it more, on more types of trails and terrain.

2024 Formula Belva fork – Pricing, options & availability

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, in black or ultraviolet
2024 Formula Belva

Formula offers the new dual-crown Formula Belva fork with matte black or signature Ultraviolet purple lowers and hard anodized black stanchions. The new fork retails for 1850€, not exactly affordable, right? (Noticeably, almost 250-600€ more than the most-expensive Zeb or 38.)

But the bigger issue might be availability… if you just can’t resist the dual-crown enduro temptation.

2024 Formula Belva lightweight double-crown enduro mountain bike fork, 170mm or 180mm of supple freeride MTB travel, complete on a Propain eMTB
(Photo/Cory Benson)

Formula knows this is a relatively niche fork. And they know everyone isn’t going to run out to switch from a single-crown to a double-crown. So they are only gradually ramping up production, and these are going to be available in limited supply. And working with a few select OEM partners like Propain to get them as an option on complete bikes & eMTBs.

I personally would love to get one and put it to a long-term test in my hometown bikepark and on our steepest, gnarliest local trails. But even I will probably have to wait until midsummer to spend more time on this lovely new Belva.

RideFormula.com

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Tim
Tim
24 days ago

Glad to see some variety in the enduro fork market, which is pretty crowded with 36 and 38mm stanchion forks with not much differentiation between them, at least not to this untrained eye.
Dual crowns are already a significant break from the status quo, and coils as the stock spring to a lesser extent.

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