To complement their mountain bike brake and fork offerings, Formula thought the next direction to go should be hubs, which makes sense as a good link between the two. But they didn’t just dip their toes lightly into the endeavor, so they jumped in with both feet and went with well-rounded wheelsets, offering wheels for 27.5”, 27.5+ & 29ers in both Boost and standard spacings to cover everything from your lightweight XC riding, through regular trail riding, and off the enduro drops on the other side. Take a look with us at the new Linea 2, 3 & 4 wheelsets, and the hubs at their core after the jump.
Plus, check out their new Cura-E e-bike brakes too, to see what happens when you start thinking about connecting your levers into your bike’s wiring harness…
With 3 years of R&D, Formula really built a set of hubs that did what they wanted to do and then wrapped them in three different aluminum tubeless rims to get them out to all manner of mountain bike riders. Max smoothness, extremely reliable, minimized wear on their bearings, and really no maintenance were their goals. Those are ideals most any mountain biker can get behind, and why they ended up building these hubs into wheels for pretty much every trail discipline.
With the option for Boost or standard spaced hubs, rims diameters of 29”, 27.5” & 27.5+ in three rim widths – 27.2, 30 & 40mm, there really does seem to be something for everyone. From cross country to all-mountain to enduro, Formula now has wheels to get most every mountain biker rolling down the trail.
With an internal width of 27mm, the hookless rim Linea 2 promises excellent tubeless to cover a wide range from cross country & marathon riding in their wagon wheel variety to trail & all-mountain in the smaller 27.5″. The wheels claimed at just 1356g in their lightest 27.5″ variant are also available in 29″, with both in Boost or standard hub spacings.
Priced at $550/435€ for the front and $615/485€ for the rear in either diameter or hub spacing, the Linea 2 is meant to be the go-to wheelset for most trail riders seeking no compromise.
Looking towards more aggressive enduro riding, Formula pulled in a 30mm internal aluminum rim to balance lightweight and durability. Built to withstand bashing like a downhill wheel of a few years ago might have seen, the Linea 3 really benefits from the new bulletproof hubs and the benefits of modern spacing standards.
Again available in both 27.5″ and 29″ rims, and Boost or standard spacing, the Linea 3 wheels are said to still be pretty light from 1631g, while being ready to take a beating. Their pricing is the same as the narrower wheels to come in at $1165/920€ for the set, ready to thrash some trail.
27.5+ just keeps attracting more mountain bikers, and winning them over one ride at a time. While the thought of such big volume for regular trail riding is still pretty new, it is growing as fast as tire makers can keep up. The 1994g Linea 4 wheels use a wide, hookless tubeless 40mm internal rim to get the most float, comfort, and traction out of those wide tires. Again the same price, it seems that Formula is trying to keep it easy on use figuring out how much it will cost to roll on a new set of wheels.
At the heart of all of the wheels are Formula’s new Linea hubs. They call them a next generation hubset that use a Wide Position Design (WPD) for stability, an Easy Maintenance System (EMS) to keep them running smoothly with little effort and Full Contact Technology (FCT) for doubled bearing life. The hubs get 28 2x offset & straight pull spokes, 4 pawl – 6° engagement (60 engagement points), Shimano cassette & SRAM XD driver compatibility, and Boost or regular spacing for thru-axles only.
With a wide distance (WPD) between the hub bearings (94mm on the rear hub) Formula has built a hun that they say will outlast and out perform a typical hub. By spreading out the bearings, the axle is more stable, the wheel is overall stiffer, and bearings are subject to less stress, also meaning there is less drag in the system. So not only should the hubs and bearings last longer, the wheel should spin more smoothly too.
The FCTech also is said to help, putting the bearings one step farther into the hub where the are better protected from the elements. By enclosing the bearings more in the hub, it is also said to reducing their lateral movement, again adding longevity.
Lastly the low maintenance EMS setup. How many people really service their hubs regularly anyway? Most of the time it involves special tools and a trip to your neighborhood mechanic. Which means that often it gets ignore until it’s too late. Well Formula has that covered with an easy to get to setup that means you’ll have no excuse that you didn’t make sure everything is cleaned and properly greased up inside.
All of the new Formula Linea mountain bike wheels are expect to be available in September 2016.
With more and more new and heavier e-bikes coming to the mountain bike market, Formula also saw the need to develop a brake to handle their specific needs. The new Cura-E brakes may be the first true e-MTB specific brake. Built on a similar platform to what you would use on more gravity-fed mountain bikes the Cura-E is built to handle the extra heat build up generated by the heavier bikes, and often longer sustained braking on extended descents.
The brakes get a forged master cylinder and caliper with a pair of 24mm pistons. To handle the sustained braking, they also use a new ultra-long wearing sintered brake pad. The brakes use Formula’s typical flip-flop body and Mix Master clamp to integrate either SRAM or Shimano shifters, and will work with any of their standard 1 or 2 piece rotors. Like the non-e-bike version, the Curas are also the first brakes from Formula to use mineral oil, which they say they have finally come to a formulation that meets their performance needs.
The Cura-E even incorporates sensors and wiring to make them compatible with the integrated braking sensors in a number of complete e-bike systems. With that built-in connectivity it is said to work with all of the drive motor systems currently on the market that react to braking in either integrated or automatic setups. The e-MTB brakes will be available from September and will sell for $200/150€ for each wheel, without rotors.