Formula Cura Brake
Up until now, every single one of Formula's mountain bike brakes has employed DOT fluid. Not so with their new Cura brake, however, with the Italian company making the move to mineral oil for their new offering. The Cura may be one of their least expensive brakes, but Formula's Vittorio Platania was also quick to point out that an earlier prototype version of the brake, one that he says actually had less power than the production model shown here, was ridden to a junior World Cup victory last season. The Cura retails for $150 USD, and will be available this coming September.
Formula Cura Details:
• Intended use: XC / EN / DH
• Fluid: mineral oil
• Two-piston caliper
• Two-piece caliper
• Speed Lock hose attachment stock
• Ships with organic pads
• Accepts previous Formula brake pads
• Ambidextrous lever
• Colors: polished or black
• Weight: 359 grams (160mm one-piece rotor, mounting hardware)
• MSRP: $150 USD
Brake manufacturers don't often, or ever, switch from DOT to mineral oil or vice versa, and especially not when they have decades upon decades of history with one or the other. So why has Formula gone with mineral oil for the Cura when the rest of their brakes all use DOT fluid? Part of it came down to consumer demand, Platania explained, with mineral oil certainly having a more environmentally friendly image going for it. It's friendlier on any surface it makes contact with, be it bike or skin, and a lot of consumers are probably less intimidated by the idea of working with mineral oil.
The switch means that all-new seals are used throughout on the Cura, of course, and Formula will also recommend a revised but still simple bleeding procedure compared to their DOT systems.
The majority of Formula's brakes feature a radial-style master cylinder, be it push or pull, but the Cura's top end sees the master cylinder oriented to be in line with the handlebar, much in the same way that Shimano or SRAM position there's, and that Formula has themselves done with their older C1 offering. Formula says that they were aiming for a more traditional lever feel for the Cura and that the brake's layout is key for this.
The inline design that sees the brake's master cylinder on the same plane as the perch also allows Formula to efficiently forge the entire assembly rather than cast it, with the latter technique being most common for a brake in this price range. Forging makes a stronger final product, and Formula claims that this allows them to manufacture a lighter assembly - more strength means that less material is required.
Downstairs, the Cura calls on a two-piece caliper that Formula says is easier to work on, and no doubt easier and less expensive to manufacture, and two 24mm diameter pistons clamp down on the rotor. Thankfully, Formula has stuck with the same pad shape, thereby making it easy to get ahold of pads that you'll eventually require. They've also included their nifty tool-free Speed Lock hydraulic hose attachment system down at the caliper, making it simple to disconnect and reconnect the line (without having to perform a bleed) if you need to feed it through your frame