Spotted: Formula's Air Shock for Enduro Bikes

Sep 26, 2023 at 10:32
by Matt Beer  
photo

Eagle-eyed Pinkbike user, Weirdo12345, spotted this Formula air shock prototype on board a very Italian-spec'd Transition Spire while in Finale Ligure. Other components worth noting is the enduro dual-crown prototype fork that we previously covered, and the unique pink anodized Cura 4 brakes.

The shock looks similar to a Fox Float X in shape but features a gold lockout lever, as well as blue and red dials. Further details are scarce but we wouldn't be surprised if Formula incorporated their 2Air and CTS technologies found on their Selva R forks and MOD coil shocks. Those components allow for a tuneable negative air spring and interchangeable compression damping circuits.

When asked for more info about the shock, Formula wasn't ready to share any information about when we might see this product available.

Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
363 articles

58 Comments
  • 32 1
 I can't believe two years later there isn't a peep about their enduro fork. I have asked them directly and still nothing. Extending the upper length of an existing fork and giving it some industry standard fitting crowns doesn't seem too hard. My guess is the lawyers are telling them wait until other big names come out with some or until the majority of enduro frame makers approve of duals. An easy to install, shorter travel than DH enduro dual crown fork that doesn't need a special hub will find it's way onto a zillion frames not made truly made for a dual crown fork. A big front wheel with large rotor doing big moves will test how good the head tube areas really are on enduro frames.
  • 12 2
 I would say market analysis has killed the project from the mainstream.
  • 7 0
 The MRP Bartlett exists and it's awesome! The industry needs to get on board. That said, as @yabbaDABdo said, I don't think there's a strong market for it. People laugh when they see dual crown forks on anything besides DH bikes. I've had my Bartlett for a couple of months and I am very satisfied having a dual crown fork on an enduro bike. No issues on the ups and it's amazing when it's pointed downhill. I love it and won't go back to having a single crown.
  • 5 0
 @highndry Just checking you are aware the Ohlins DH38 can (very cheaply) be adjusted in 10mm increments anywhere from 200mm down to 90mm travel. Fox40s and Boxxers are both available in 200 and 180. And as mentioned above, the MRP Bartlet exists
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: Absolutely! The DH38 @180mm w/27.5 is running strong on my Spindrift. Before leaning so hard into super enduros as a better way of life, I was just hoping for something slightly lighter in a dual I could stay in 15mm with and share front wheels with my 27.5 trail bikes. Just not a fan of the Bartlet's feel. But now that I have spent a season on the DH38, no other fork compares.
  • 1 0
 @highndry: I love my Spindrift. I sold my dh bike and enduro bike to build it and have no regrets. It’s the perfect split.
  • 1 0
 Just take a Nero R 50mm offset and travel it to 180mm (which can be done with supplied spacers).It has a superb tripple airchamber (unlike the enduro prototype) and probably therefor is the better fork. It weights probably 300 - 400g more than the prototype but who cares it is still pretty light for what it is.
  • 1 0
 While quite a bit stiffer in torsion, dual crown forks don't give much in bending (fore-aft) stiffness...
www.vitalmtb.com/forums/The-Hub,2/How-stiff-are-dual-crown-forks,11150

You do gain on axle to crown (lower fork for a given travel) but considering there appears to be an increase in handlebar heights in some circles, it's hardly a benefit to be honest...
  • 1 0
 @Primoz: your calculation is impressive but ignores steerertubeflex. Shorter axle to crown also means less flex. I still think the perceived increase in fore aft stiffness of a DC fork is not just a Placebo.
  • 1 0
 @Vinnijussi: steerer tube flex is taken into account to some degree.. Much better in torsion than in flex, but taken into account nevertheless. For a more realistic simulation a headset with bearings and all the contacts should be modeled.
  • 2 0
 @bhuff: I have an early Ribbon that I sent back this year for a total rebuild and to have the bushings checked, etc. While they had it, I asked for the chocolux upgrade, and man, what a difference. The fork was always good, but with a fresh burnish on the bushings and lower friction internals, the fork really got supple. I had to increase my base settings for damping and add 1-2 clicks of ramp control.
  • 3 0
 I've been saying this for probably close to ten years now: "Dual crown enduro fork. 35 or 36mm stanchions. 170/180mm travel options, 15mm axle". Build it and they will come. And, any frame with over 160mm of travel should be tested to DH standards as well as D.C. compatible. THERE IS a market for this! Though the industry doesn't seem to think so.
  • 1 0
 @tmwjr777: 100% agree. Plus look at the weight of a Zeb versus the old 35mm boxxer their really isn't a weight penalty
  • 4 0
 Well, there goes mid test-ride gelato stops…

Dual-crown enduro fork - we hear you. As mentioned this is something we’ve been working on for a while, and as you can see it’s still very much still in development. There are plenty of people in Formula waiting for this fork, so believe us, we want it to happen ASAP too.

There are a couple of reason why we’re taking our time with this though. The full story is a bit too long and complex for even the Pinkbike comment section, but we’re going to be launching a newsletter very soon, and dual-crown enduro forks is one of the topics we’ll be looking at in it. Keep an eye on the Formula socials for more.

And for those who can’t wait, and want a Formula dual-crown enduro fork right now, it’s possible to spec the Nero R with 180mm of travel, tapered steerer and a 15mm axle…
  • 1 0
 @tmwjr777: forthermore i do not fully understand why a shorter a/c dualcrownfork should kill a frame faster than a longer singlecrownfork, especially as there are so many additional variables (riderweight, ridingstyle etc.). especially if we assume that the conclusion of the Vitalthreat of Primoz is right and a dualcrownfork ads 20 % of fore - aft stiffness (given same ac and tubediameter). A singlecrown upsidedown fork will exceed those numbers without a problem.

Often there is no riderweightlimit listed but dualcrownforks is a nono, makes no sense.
  • 1 0
 @rideformula: and Hope sells an adapter to run a 1/18 fork in a tapered steerertube -if you choose to buy the fork off the shelf from bike 24 (as i did) or others. Best fork i have ever owned.
  • 1 0
 @Vinnijussi: you can also fit the lowers from the Selva to get 15mm axle
  • 13 0
 I predict the market will give us at least one more generation of morbidly obese single crown enduro forks with creaky CSU's before they unleash their ultimate solution. An Enduro specific dual crown fork which is, as if by magic, lighter, stiffer, slimmer, vertically compliant, laterally stiffer. I'm disappointed in Formula the industry outsiders for holding out on us. We know the technology exists, just give it to us!
  • 1 0
 I would love to see Manitou doing a modern X-vert carbon. Such a thing would not weight more than a Zeb for sure and be miles ahead in performance.
  • 1 0
 This˄˄ I've been wishing for a lightweight dual crown 36 / Lyrik / Selva etc for years but instead the marketing departments gave us 38s and Zebs, i got a good deal on a Zeb and tried it out and it performs well but the thing nobody seems to be talking about is axle to crown, the extra stiff crowns and chunkier build mean it's 12mm taller than my Fox 36 with the same travel (measured in the real world, not claimed) this means it's probably a bit too big for the frame to start but also you could easily have 10-20mm more travel for a given fork size with a dual crown setup making over forking without messing geometry up (high BB) a great option, this would also massively help shorter riders who end up with a really high front end on big travel 29er bikes.
  • 3 0
 @maglor: This is the problem. Single crown forks are maxxed out and they have to be incredibly thick and heavy to be stiff enough. I honestly believe that they're just pushing them to the logical end point and then dual crown forks will start popping up in EWS/EDR whatever and the demand will come through hype. An enduro specific dual-crown will be so much stiffer, lighter and more compact than a Zeb or 38 so the marketing blurb writes itself.
  • 1 0
 @Vinnijussi: Just run a Dorado
  • 1 0
 @TommyNunchuck: EWS/ EDR riders will ride what the sponsors ask them to ride. Do you think someone like Courdurier is better served on Zeb versus a Lyrik, as fast as she is she's tiny and would also benefit from a lighter bike
  • 1 0
 @briain: I think it will be one of the big manufacturers that releases a dual crown enduro fork. They haven't yet that's why no one is riding them. I'd bet my life that Fox and RS have them on the drawing board. They're just holding out until they've exhausted the current generations of forks lifespan. I don't think there's any argument that single crown forks are hitting an evolutionary dead end and the Big 2 need to keep selling new products.
  • 1 0
 @TommyNunchuck: Annoyingly it's probably going to take one of the big 2 to do it to make it mainstream, and therefore get frame manufacturers making thier frames compatible (not that many will approve dual crowns due to risk of denting tubes in a crash, extra material where the fork legs stop against the frame is needed) also even if Formula drop thier dual crown enduro fork i think it will only sell in small quantities to those who are really keen, just like you don't see that many formula forks around, like MRP offer the Bartlett but you don't see many just like you don't see that many other MRP fork, comes down to the marketing and OEM power of the big boys.
  • 1 0
 @briain: I considered it, but went with the 350 g lighter and stiffer (in torsion) Formula Nero. Also you cant fit a Dorado with short offsetcrowns (47 mm) to a frame with 117mm + headtube so i would have had to pick the 57 mm version.

3 kg is too heavy for an endurofork, i believe a modern xvert could be at least one pound lighter.
  • 2 0
 @maglor: That's exactly how it will happen. Once sales slow down on the current big, heavy, creaky single crowns, a top enduro rider will turn up at round 1 with a dual crown fork and it'll be the latest and greatest thing ever.
  • 1 0
 @TommyNunchuck: Yep, having said that the quicker Formula get their's to market the quicker it might make the big boys make thier own version to compete, the big guys quite often stay conservative and let the small guys innovate and test the market before they jump in, maybe less so in the components world but this definitely happens with frame design, just look at high pivot or modern geometry.
  • 1 0
 @Vinnijussi: You just have to get stronger. No, the weight is the only issue I have with the Dorado. I've just put a 180mm Mezzer on my Giga and I don't really notice it as lighter or easier to pick up the front end. I have half an idea of how to make a much lighter dual crown assembly similar to what intend does which would get the Dorados weight in line with the 38mm single crown forks. Also the quoted weights versus the actual weights are quite different check out r2 bike they list the weight of everything they sell
  • 1 0
 @TommyNunchuck: Totally agree. I think it'll be e-bikes that kick them off already starting to see a few bikes spec'd from factory with dual crowns and it should trickle down from there.
  • 1 0
 @briain: Manitous are great, I have 2 Mattocs on my other bikes and the Mezzer 180 would also have been a great choice for my Superenduro. The Nero was lower ac and you can mount a directmount stem though. Coming from a selva coil i also did not notice a difference in picking up the frontwheel.
  • 1 0
 @Vinnijussi: how does the Nero compair to the mezzer? I’m deciding between those 2 for my enduro build and there is very very little on Nero reviews out there
  • 1 0
 @marindown: The mezzer is probably the more rational decision but the Nero is very good and very well made. Its obviously doublecrown and very stiff. The big problem ist that you really have to take your time to set it up, its gonna take at least 10 hours in my opinion, which can be very frustrating. But after 1 year i would not trade it for anything on the market - if manitou did a 2.1 kg xvert revival -maybe.
  • 1 0
 @marindown: I can only give my opinion on the Mezzer. I absolutely love it. I don't think it was that hard to setup went with the recommended settings and tweaked from there which compared to Fox their recommended settings just don't work for me. Would love to try a formula fork they are beautifully made. I've seen a few in the flesh but have not had the chance to ride one yet
  • 14 1
 formula dual crown enduro when?
  • 4 0
 Mid last year according to the release announcing the fork
  • 6 1
 I have worked in the MTB industry for 24 years now. The best products the best company and the best people I have ever dealt with is Formula. Shiela at Formula is a fantastic person. She is so helpful. Their forks brakes, and wheel sets are fantastic products. If you buy a Selva R fork and you can not get it to perform perfectly for you. That is on you, that's your fault 100%. Those forks are just so adjustable and tuneable, the quality of the build is so good. The service tools shock pump and fork oil are in the box, including CTS damer Cartridges and the Neopos volume spacers too. If you can not get the perfect ride, you are doing it wrong. Formula are a class act.
  • 16 1
 Get a room.
  • 2 0
 Cheers trashpander275! We'll pass on your comments to Sheila, they'll make her day.
  • 6 0
 Just happy to see super enduros with dual crowns!
  • 1 0
 Wanted formula selva and mod for a long time. I bought used selva first to find out it's quality and how it's made. Unfortunatelly previous owner didin't bleed the damper in time and it got damaged. Formula refused to sell me spare bladder. They sell a complete damper only. That's a shame. I still like this company but can't convince myself to buy their stuff...
  • 1 0
 Hey Lightone. The reason we don't sell just the bladder is because it's an integral part of the damper. If the bladder is damaged other components may well be too. For the sake of safety, reliability and performance a new damper unit is a much better way to go. If you've got any other problems drop us an email: service@rideformula.com
  • 1 0
 @rideformula:
I will consider giving you another chance in the future.
  • 4 0
 well...it looks like every other shock...so there's that.
  • 4 0
 i have Cura 4's. super powerful at least on par if not more than my MT5's
  • 2 0
 Our guide's bike. Already had it a year ago. Can't remember why he has this stuff, but he loves it.
  • 3 1
 Bicycle paparazzi, taking spy photos in Italy... Ironic.
  • 2 0
 I like swimming pools…
  • 1 0
 yipee...another air shock!
  • 2 0
 They do already make an excellent coil version, so you can't accuse them of having their priorities wrong. This could be a really good option for trail bikes, with the CTS system allowing huge tuning changes by the user.
  • 1 0
 One thing is for certain...that is a very nice bike!
  • 1 0
 enduro dual crown or upside-down single crown ?
  • 1 0
 Looks like a DVO topaz v1
  • 1 0
 Mix match tires
  • 1 0
 super nice!
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