Loic Bruni's Prototype Formula Brakes - Lenzerheide DH World Cup 2017

Jul 7, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
Prototype Formula DH brakes

Loic Bruni has been running a set of protoype Formula brakes on his bike for the last two World Cup races, brakes that use a four piston caliper instead of the two piston setup we saw him experimenting with earlier in the season at Crankworx Rotorua. There are currently only two sets in existence, and they're numbered 000 and 001 accordingly.

One set is installed on his race bike, and the other is on a Specialized Demo that's bristling with wires - it's been outfitted with a data acquisition device that can detect everything from suspension movement to how often Loic is using his brakes. Jack Roure, Loic's mechanic, said that after analyzing the data they found that Loic usually has his lever ever-so-slightly pulled, but with the new model he's braking less, and getting quicker times.

Loic said that he's been happy with the performance of the brakes; after all, they survived the sustained steepness of Vallnord without any fading, but he's not completely satisfied with his own riding. “My main problem this year is because I'm looking for my pace – I go too fast, brake too late; it's more my problem than the brakes. When I brake it's all good, but I wish, like, in Andorra, the last corner, the last hard one, I was like a little bit scared, and I braked a lot. I saw that that was my riding mistake. I need to work on that, and obviously here it's a little bit harder, but it's ok.”

At the moment there aren't any set plans for the brakes to go into production - for now Formula are concentrating on helping one of the fastest riders on the planet to go even faster.


Prototype Formula DH brakes
A custom lever has been installed on a Cura body, one that has a less pronounced bend to it than the stock lever.

Prototype Formula DH brakes
Prototype Formula DH brakes
Data acquisition is becoming more and more common, but Loic and his mechanic Jack Roure aren't newcomers to the technology - they've been working with it for multiple seasons.

Prototype Formula DH brakes
Loic's race day machine getting ready for action.



61 Comments

  • + 60
 These look like some high caliper components!
  • + 61
 You're really piston me off with these puns.
  • - 6
flag scar4me (Jul 7, 2017 at 13:01) (Below Threshold)
  • + 31
 just stop it
  • + 10
 After an about an hour, it looks like the puns are starting to slow down. Bummer.
  • - 4
flag DaFreerider44 (Jul 7, 2017 at 13:47) (Below Threshold)
 @aoneal: stop it! get some help
  • - 4
flag Ron-C (Jul 7, 2017 at 13:57) (Below Threshold)
 The formula for success is a @#$%load of prototyping and mules.
  • + 4
 I'll just lever these puns alone...
  • + 1
 You hose needle to stop with the puns, they're killing me. But olive.
  • + 12
 take a brake guys
  • + 0
 There just has to be a cura for these puns, they have to stop!
  • + 0
 @aoneal: Give it a brake, retard.
  • - 5
flag homey78 (Jul 7, 2017 at 18:11) (Below Threshold)
 These aren't punny
  • + 3
 if you ask me these puns are the most rotorious and fluid, but hose opinion matters anyway?
  • + 3
 @watchtower: I reckon everyone has missed your epic double pun
  • + 3
 I never meant for my comment to cause so much friction. It just happened organically.
  • + 24
 Am I crazy or does it seem like the weight of those data acquisition computers would affect the data they're supposed to be collecting..
  • + 7
 Given the size of some very smart tech you can purchase these days, they do seem awfully large and ungainly.
  • + 20
 They put an acquisition unit on top of the first acquisition unit to determine its effect on the data, and then they know what to remove from the raw results. Note: The 2nd acquisition unit is even bigger.
  • + 1
 Unless the weight is accounted for.
  • + 10
 @Ron-C: sounds like xzibit
  • + 0
 @DC1988: it depends. If you're only interested in force then no weight won't come into play. If you're measuring the force with a direction eg motion data too, then yes weight has more of an impact. But you could keep weight as a relative constant 1/k for each Nm increment tbh.
  • + 5
 @Ron-C: Yo dawg, I heard you like acquisition units...
  • + 0
 @seraph: yo dawg we heard you like data so we gave your data some data
  • + 19
 You guys should give the puns a brake
  • + 9
 "At the moment there aren't any set plans for the brakes to go into production - for now Formula are concentrating on helping one of the fastest riders on the planet to go even faster."

My understanding is that prototypes can be used in mountain bike racing without pre-approval from the UCI. But would this not be a violation of the following UCI rule if these brakes never go into production? Or as another example, the shock on the bike of Fayolle?

UCI ARTICLE 1.3.007
“Bicycles and their accessories shall be of a type that is sold for use by anyone
practising cycling as a sport.
As a result of production imperatives (time constraints), an exception may be
requested from the UCI for equipment that is a final product and that will be
marketed in the nine months after its first use in competition. The manufacturer must
however publish information on the equipment in question in advance and
announce the date of its market launch.
The use of equipment designed especially for the attainment of a particular
performance (record or other) shall be not authorised.”
  • + 1
 @teamtoad I guess it's not a problem as Gwin won the 2015 overall on a demo with a custom rocker/linkage that was never released.
  • + 1
 @zede: Brendog's carbon rear triangle too?
  • + 1
 don't have the roadies custom frames too?
  • + 4
 @jzPV: I don't know about road biking man, I'm straight
  • + 10
 Alway makes me smile when I see #longlivechainsaw on the pro bikes....
  • + 1
 Pretty excited about what Formula has been up to recently. They certainly lost their way for a few years and didnt address issues quickly enough. However, the new team in charge there has been doing an awesome job and the new products are AMAZING. The Cura's are hands down the best trailbike brake I have tried and now these look like they could give the Saint and TRP a run for their money in the DH category. Their forks also seem to be gaining a core following from a lot of fast folks.
  • + 4
 I am on my 3rd set of Formula T1S (2 new sets that came on the bikes and one used) and I just love them! Always consistent brake feel, very strong and easy to service. I tried ZEE's, Saint's and Codes but I always came back.
  • + 1
 I had a set of Formula R1 and they were superb. Great feel, low weight, great power, and (most importantly?) great looks. The only thing I didn't like was how ungodly loud they were when it was wet and cold.
  • + 3
 They look kinda like Guides.
  • + 1
 sounds to me, from reading his nput, that Loic is mostly concerned with technique to get faster.
R&D people just need work too.
  • + 3
 Funny I couldn't stop reading.
  • + 1
 Apparently they work to good....Bruni is slowing down to much in his runs...
  • + 2
 Wonder how they disperse all the heat through such a tiny housing
  • + 1
 by prototype, does that mean they will work?
  • + 0
 The downside to brakes is they only slow you down and add weight to your bike. Formula figured out the formula for only one of the downsides, namely the latter.
  • + 0
 Stop... Me if I'm wrong but they all do the same thing really well these days.
  • + 3
 I disagree.
  • + 1
 I think there's always room for improvement. Never seen dual front rotors on a mountain bike, and very few floating rotors. I think there's not enough real competition between companies, like nobody has ever gone and tried 10 different brakes on their bike to find the best one, they've only bought, and assumed.
  • + 1
 Well said!!! @Kramz:
  • + 1
 Loic needs a brain on there. Come on Specialized!
  • + 1
 We need to put a stop to all this new tech.
  • + 9
 yea come on guys stop making brakes work better geez.
  • - 3
 Congrats....you win the most ridiculous comment ever to be posted on the internet, ever!
  • + 3
 Yah! How will I ever have the best of the best if they're constantly improving!?
  • + 8
 I said a "stop"? It's an article about a brake... Tough crowd.
  • + 3
 @AZRyder: I got it the first time... probably cause I was looking for a good pun!
  • - 3
 So finally formula figure out or bow to pressure on four pots. No your oval piston is simply not up there despite the marketing hype. Time to get with the program and get back on top formula
  • + 10
 My oval piston Formula RO are more powerful than my 4 pot Avid Code R ... and aren't affected at all by fading. They are definitely up there. I think a 4 piston caliper has more to do with cooling and modulation than stopping power, but i'm not sure.
  • + 1
 @ORTOGONAL555: my saints and zees are awesome, Keep my oval piston formulas on xc bike as they are majorly down on power in comparison. Modulation is overly rated. You wouldn't jump from a Ford focus to a Ferrari and complain that the brakes are too powerful and lack modulation. Instead you would adapt to the increased power.
  • + 0
 Loic needs a Brake Power Meter...
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