Formula Introduces 2-Piece Lever With Increased Adjustability

Mar 30, 2023 at 6:29
by Formula  
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PRESS RELEASE: Formula

Our new two-piece lever, equipped with FCS (Feeling Control System) and TFRA (Tool-Free Reach Adjustment), is designed to increase the adjustability of our Enduro and Downhill brakes. The Feeling Control System enables the rider to customize the lever to suit their needs, potentially resulting in better performance and comfort. Additionally, the rider can fine tune the balance between the lever's feel and braking power, which wasn't previously an option.

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A new system has been developed to attempt to optimize the ergonomics for the Cura, Cura 4, and Cura X.

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In addition to the tool free adjustments, the lever has small perforations that provide more feel and grip, especially if the lever is wet. Furthermore, we believe that all riders should have access to these new features, so the lever can only be purchased as a spare part.

This lever is compatible with the Cura, Cura 4, and Cura X braking systems, although it is best suited for the Cura 4.

TFRA / FCS Brake lever Kit have a retail price of €85.80

For more information please visit rideformula.com.

Author Info:
rideformula avatar

Member since Jan 16, 2013
43 articles

102 Comments
  • 68 1
 Feeling Control System, huh? Do they make that for people? Sounds cheaper than alcohol, long-term...
  • 4 1
 Sounds more like a name made up by AI or a poor translation of reach adjust.
  • 56 0
 Super underrated brake. Sure there are a few too many acronyms for this new lever, but the power and price of these brakes can't be beat
  • 6 0
 Yeah that's cool, but what about the feel and adjustability?
  • 14 0
 Agreed, been running them for 3 season with no issues. Power is top notch and so is modulation. Such a connected feeling and consistent increase in power the harder you pull. Plus all the service parts are available and rebuilding them is a pretty easy job. If you want holy sh*t power, just toss some trickstuff power pads in…
  • 4 33
flag A1990ToyotaHilux FL (Mar 31, 2023 at 13:17) (Below Threshold)
 Magura Trail Sport is better price to performance tbh
  • 10 4
 @A1990ToyotaHilux: Magura Trail Sports come with awful pads that you have to swap out immediately and plastic levers that are prone to breaking in a crash, out of the box performance is not good on them, you have to swap stuff out before they are any good.
  • 4 0
 They make great brakes. I put the Cura Xs on my weight weenie hardtail build and they have power and modularity on par with the Code RSCs on my Decoy but with 2 less pistons.
  • 5 0
 … not to mention great price direct from Italy and the mineral oil isn’t toxic. Absolutely love mine. Other than finicky pad spacing, pretty much perfect
  • 5 1
 Strongly agree. I have the Cura 2 on both my Honzo ESD and Troy. They are more powerful and way more consistent than the Code RSC's I had before. And they cost 200 per wheel. Insane value. Pair them with 200 mm HS2 rotors and they are basically DH brakes.

Paul Aston agrees:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikA5Tmid4g8
  • 1 1
 @A1990ToyotaHilux: Good brakes but you can get a pair of Curas for 180$ with rotors.
  • 3 0
 @AddisonEverett: The levers are aluminum...the body is plastic. The pads worked well enough for me....I used them till they wore out...then bought different pads.
  • 2 0
 Same here. Had Cura 2, changed to Cura 4 and went back to Cura 2. Almost the same stopping power but less maintenance. These brakes are awesome. One or two bleeds per year with more than 45 bikepark days.
  • 1 1
 @AddisonEverett: @AddisonEverett: Incorrect, that is the MT5 you are talking about. I specifically mentioned the Trail sport, because of the alu levers.
  • 1 0
 @DangerDavez: That's the same deal you are getting with the Trail Sport tho. Maybe Magura is more affordable here in Europe
  • 3 0
 @A1990ToyotaHilux: you can actually get the MT5 with alu levers which is what I got for my GF and pads were excellent from the start. All this for 180€ shipped which is the cost of one Cura4 so in my book MT5 definitely take the cake for best affordable brakes. Super consistent as well.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: I have mt5s now paired with shimano xt levers. The power is excellent but the first thing I did even before that was switch to the mt7 pad system. It's so much easier to work on.

I never had issues with the original mt5 levers either.
  • 1 0
 Best brake you can by with great value for money.
  • 1 0
 Had cura 2 for 3 seasons, best brake’s ever, new bike came with codes- not even close compared to formula
  • 1 0
 @DangerDavez: where did you get a pair of Curas with rotors for $180? That is around the price I have seen for one brake without rotor. For a full brake set with rotors I would buy them immediately at that price.
  • 1 0
 @abtcup: yup my mt sports work great. For the price they can’t be beat. Haven’t tried the curas but I’m sure they are good too just more costly.
  • 1 0
 @santa-banshee: oil volume is too little in that lever for 4-pot calipers. If you bleed them with fresh pads they'll loose tact after the oils volume isn't enough to compensate for the wear.
  • 1 0
 @laerz: Bike24
  • 2 0
 @DangerDavez: just checked bike 24 and I don’t see that deal anywhere, the cheapest formula cura they have is 84eur without the rotor and bracket and that is for one brake. That’s around 122cad for one brake, so a set with rotors and brackets is going to be at least $340. Please post the link for the full set with rotors for $180, seriously, I want to buy curas and that’s a ridiculously cheap price.
  • 3 0
 i preffer my TRP DHR evo over the cura. been on cura the whole 2021 season. but to each their own
  • 1 0
 @laerz: I did get them during black Friday so it's possible the deal is gone. It was a set of Cura 4s with 203mm rotors for 180€ to be clear.

Our dollar has since dropped over 7 cents on the Euro unfortunately so the deal is much less appealing for us. Still amazing value for Europeans though.
  • 1 0
 @DangerDavez: ya that’s a screaming deal, too bad, I would have jumped on that.
  • 1 0
 @laerz: Alba Distribution has all Formula brakes for 15% off at the moment. That puts the Cura 2 at $164 before rotor/shipping/tax.
  • 1 0
 i can vouch for their brakes. Comfortable, powerful, almost like a sweet spot bewteen sram and shimano where they dont feel smushy, but you have a nice range too.
  • 1 0
 @armyn21: How do you compare these two brakes in terms of strenght, modulation and maintanence?
  • 2 0
 @matejicekkk1: TRP hands down. its like shimano saint and sram code rsc had a baby. on maintenance the trp is better. just a lever burp every month or so then full bleed once a year.. its so easy!
  • 20 0
 Am I crazy, or am I only seeing one lever piece?
  • 16 0
 One on the left, one on the right perhaps
  • 2 0
 Two piece clamp so that you can install it without removing your grips?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I can do that with my current Cura 4 as well.
  • 1 0
 @jzPV: Yeah, they introduce a new master and it has a two piece clamp. Doesn't mean the old version didn't have a two piece clamp.

I'm not the one writing headlines here Wink .
  • 9 0
 VLP, Vitual Lever Piece technology?
  • 1 0
 I don't know, but it might be the lever blade is now made of two pieces which the adjusters push onto. Like on Hope's newer levers, but hidden from view.
  • 5 0
 @DirtBagTim: if that's the case it seems silly to not show the second piece in the article.
  • 3 0
 The second piece looks like it's internalish. Presumably whatever the two adjustment dials affect.
  • 12 0
 I would love to see the market research that convinces companies to come up with acronyms for things like tool free reach adjust that have existed for years on other brands. are people buying parts because a sweet acronym convinces them?
  • 14 0
 Submitting that acronym two days before April first left us genuinely asking questions.
  • 6 1
 No market research. Just a VP of Marketing making sure he is "adding value".
  • 1 0
 Ys
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Thanks for the reminder...must be in the proper mindset tomorrow. Smile
  • 15 0
 Does it fit through a headset?
  • 12 0
 Everything fits through a headset if you push hard enough.
  • 4 0
 @seraph: Hmm, not so sure; That’s what I too thought initially, until I found myself in A&E one evening with an unlikely cover story and no small measure of shame…
  • 12 0
 Ah yes, please do not tell us how the feeling control system changes the feel.
Who writes these shitty articles without any useful information?
  • 7 0
 Sincerely, the marketing department
  • 13 0
 Recently when I went for a ride I set the FCS to somewhat exiting, highly exhilarating, and a little scary. Needles to say I could leave the Prozac at home.
  • 1 0
 At least there are some nice pictures
  • 3 0
 To be fair, they’ve been using these two acronyms for a while now:

www.rideformula.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Brakes-Brochure-2012.pdf
  • 7 2
 These brakes are the f*cking jam beyond reach adjustment, and that is now fixed. My only "complaint" is that somehow the f*cking Cura is better than the Cura4 for the majority of my riding? How is that light little f*cker so powerful?

Is that a thing? I have the Cura4 on my enduro bike with bigger rotors and Galfer pads, and I'm not convinced it's equal/less powerful than the Cura with Galfer pads on my "downcountry" bike.

I'm sure it is more fade resistant, but I live in NC and that rarely matters.

Anyways, Formula brakes for life...my only complaint is gone, and you can buy them from across the pond for cheaper than grabbing a competitor in the states.
  • 1 0
 That may be because of the 2-Piston System. It’s not the number of pistons that makes a break powerful but the hydraulic transmission(?) between master and slave cylinder and especially the size of the pad. Less pistons usually make a brake with less modulation. The cura 2 was actually raced downhill at world cups.
  • 7 0
 I prefer “not having stuff sticking out of the lever” -NHSSOOTL adjustment.
  • 3 0
 Is it moving the pivot? That's awesome, reminds me of the Avid Ultimate levers with the movable cable anchor. Could dial power vs feel instantly. BB7s with metal pads and Ultimates dialed to account for the extra cable length on the rear were the bomb before hydro really got dialed.
  • 6 0
 Love my Curas. Pretty close to being a perfect brake as is.
  • 2 0
 For all EU inhabitants: There is a guy calls Lupicus milling aftermarket levers for the cura. They come with roller bearings for a silky smooth lever action and cost the same as these. He sells them on the mtb-news.de bike market.
  • 1 0
 I love the feel and power of these (4 up front and 2 in the back) but I just can't be bothered with the bleeding process. Takes too long to get all of the bubbles out. No such issue with other brands of mineral oil brakes IME. Anyone else having issues bleeding these, specifically those who take shuttles where the bike is held vertically in a rack? My levers come to the bars after 800m elevation shuttle with bike mounted vertical.
  • 1 0
 I got this with my Cure 4 at Maydena. Rear only though. Solved by rotating lever on bars when bleeding to make sure air doesn't get trapped above bleed port. Once you get the angle right, issue gone. Otherwise best brakes in have had.
  • 1 0
 Add to the bleed process locking 3 pistons at time and let remaining one move a few times (push it with the lever, push it back gently). That would take the air behind the pistons. It would work for any brake,mandatory if the brake is new and you fill it from empty. There are some 3d printed tools to work 1 piston,those used to move sticky pistons out and clean them.
I added this step to an XT brake bleed and a ton of bubbles come out. The brake had wandering bite point syndrome and since then it is working fine,same solid lever feel. That bike is from a good friend,he had some trouble when taking the bike out home in the elevator ( or at least he noticed in that situation). It is a commuter bike.
  • 1 0
 Have you tried bleeding the brakes, removing the syringe on the calliper, adding the pads and installing the wheel/rotor, pull the lever and get things feeling solid with the syringe still installed at the lever, then do a last little lever bleed so there’s no air in the system? It’s technically “over bleeding” the system and you have to make sure to hook a syringe up before resetting your pistons or installing new pads in the future bc or you risk rupturing the rubber bladder but this should help avoid your problem!
  • 1 0
 I haven't had these issues, running 2s and 4s on two different bikes for about 5 years. Maybe I'm lucky, but I've never even had time bleed them unless I'm changing frames.
  • 2 0
 Air will always accumulate in the reservoir over time with mineral oil brakes. I don't think overfilling the brake is the remedy. Air in the reservoir itself won't do much harm but you don't want it to migrate back into the system (between the master and slave pistons). What you can do when transporting the brake is to squeeze the lever and hold it down with a rubber band or whatever you have. This will close the port to the reservoir so at least no air can migrate between the two. This will save you from these nasty surprises when you unload the bike from the shuttle. Most of the times when it happens, you can chase the air back into the reservoir by "pumping" the brake. Squeeze slowly, release fast, wait and tick the hoses, repeat a few times. Rapidly squeezing the lever (which I often see people do) doesn't work that well as you're just pushing bubbles back and forth instead of allowing them to move up. Of course once you're home, best is to bleed the brake properly. Or, if you're in a rush, pump the brake until it is firm, push the pads back and top up the reservoir. Some people will recommend to not push the pads back but as mentioned, I'm no fan of overfilling the brake.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Air would not accumulate in the reservoir if you bleed your brakes fully 100%.
You need to bleed the caliper too and no one I know does it. It is mandatory for new brakes IMO,no matter the brand. Some brakes would be almost 100% with a regular bleed,but not Shimano one´s. You think the lever is firm,till you heat you brakes and bubbles start to move around and find your lever or simply the wrong place...
This is well known in track car/bikes,you could find yourself hitting the barrier cos bad bleed brakes.
That´s why you need to move pistons one by one in and out to fully bleed the caliper too. Shimano brakes with wandering bite point= air in the system you can´t bleed with the funnel/syringe if you do not work the caliper.
  • 2 0
 @homerjm: That's an interesting one. If air won't accumulate in the reservoir then you'll never have to bleed a mineral oil brake. I haven't heard of anyone who has ever managed to do that. The very same reason DOT brakes need a bleed every now and then. The water that enters the system is being extracted from the air. It just enters the system somehow.

I haven't tried your suggestion of pushing the slave pistons in and out though. I just push them all the way back as that way there is no where for the bubbles to hide. I could try it though. I have little experience with Shimano brakes (only had a Saint 2004 brake, the small two piston one), primarily pre-MT Magura brakes. Main thing there is to orient the bike such that the hose exits the caliper at the highest point and that you have a continuous upwards hose routing. For many (full suspension) bikes I can see that be the main issue for the rear brake in particular.

But yeah, my thoughts were that you'll always have some air ingress over time and in case of a mineral oil brake, the ideal situation actually is that the air that does enter eventually collects in the reservoir. Now Magura oil has a relatively low boiling point (only slightly above that of water) so they're designed to keep the liquid temperature below that of water anyway. But if you have another mineral oil brake (like Shimano) designed around a higher boiling point the water that eventually pools down in the caliper could be an even bigger issue. You could heat up the brake to the point that you get a vapor-lock and lose all brakeforce. Obviously it is good to flush the water out of any mineral oil brake every now and then, but on these it is even more important as they only go soft when they heat up.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: There are very useful 3d printed tools,those for sticky pistons,perfect for bleeding the caliper.
One quick test you can do is put your bike upside down and brake multiple times. If there is some air the lever feel and lever stroke would change.
A perfect bleed mineral oil brake would last very long cos fluid is more durable than DOT,mineral oil do not mix with water.
I do not think air would enter so easy any brake system. Reservoirs are open,that´s why water can get inside. Piston seals could let some dust and fine particles enter the system,but not air.
When I bleed the caliper most of the bubbles come out by the syringe next to the caliper,not in the lever syringe.
Most of brake problems are bad bleed from the minute 1,when the brake was filled in the factory or installed new in your bike.
  • 2 0
 @homerjm: Yeah, I usually don't have to bleed my brakes frequently, but it really depends on the type. I'm currently running a Magura Louise 2006 master with a Louise 2007 caliper. One caliper bore was just too worn over time and it sucked air too quickly. Eventually I replaced that one with a Marta 2009 master and I think that one is also sealed differently, just like the Louise 2008 and maybe even the Louise 2007 master (but I'm not sure about that last one). So I've still got one Louise 2006 master and it is ok, but every now and then I do need to top up the reservoir. I do agree it wasn't too frequent in the past and it still is only once every few months now. But I think even during the first few years, there could be a tiny bit of air that could accumulate in the reservoir.
  • 1 0
 The reach adjust seems to be the same, just a slightly larger dial, which makes sense because the old one is too small to turn by hand. Not that I care, I don't adjust the reach once it is set.
But can someone please explain to me what this 'feeling control system' adjusts? Does it change stroke? Bite point? Something else?
  • 2 0
 It looks like It changes the mechanical leverage ratio, by changing the distanze between the main pivot and the push rod. It would be useful to know the adjustment range in comparison to the original lever...
  • 1 0
 @rgbikecomponents: Aha, thanks. That is actually a useful type of adjustment. I can imagine adjusting that depending on where I ride. A bit more modulation when near home on flatter ground, more power for long steep alpine terrain. And, now I think of it, different ratios for front and rear brakes would also be useful.
I got my whole front & rear set including a pair of rotors for €179, and it is almost new so upgrading isn't really my priority but I will keep this in mind.
  • 2 0
 Running RG components (CNCed) levers on my Curas but I am super curious about these levers. I wonder if the tolerances are improved (stock levers have quite a bit of slop).
  • 1 0
 Did you feel any difference? Thinking of getting the long levers.
  • 3 0
 @Davidt93: huge difference in feel, so much more solid. For me certainly worth every penny.
  • 2 0
 I have two piston Cura's. Great brake, less fuss than the Cura4. They do the opposite of xt's on rowdy trails. They bite sooner in the stroke.
  • 1 0
 I used the Formula One breaks for years the modulation and toll free adjustment meant I always had them failed and lived the lever shape very reminiscent of these ! Love to try a set again!
  • 1 0
 They clearly found the right formula for acronym use; if they also did for brake development we shall see in tomorrow's full review.
  • 2 0
 I've been on T1s's for years on the dh, 220 rotors and a good bleed and there's more power than I need, Formula are great
  • 1 0
 It’s 2023. Why are there brake levers that still require tools to adjust? Tool free adjustment should not be a new thing in 2023
  • 2 0
 I don't mind using a tool for adjustment. Exposed adjusters seem more likely to break in case of a crash. If the brake needs frequent and/or on the fly adjustment, there might be something wrong with the brake or the bleed. Or the brake is still new and you're still testing.
  • 1 0
 Have been way interested in the Cura4s, but this looks like they rehashed the El Camino master cylinder.
  • 2 0
 I love this organic shape.
  • 1 0
 I can't find these for sale anywhere, what's the point of a press release if you haven't prepared your sales channel?
  • 1 0
 HAve you tried contacting your local distributor... we have them in stock in Australia...
  • 2 0
 Dead link in the article... Please fix Pinkbike...
  • 4 2
 I dont Cura
  • 1 0
 Love my two sets of Cura's just wish I got get carbon levers for them
  • 1 0
 You can... the Cura X have carbon levers and they can be fitted to the Cura2 or Cura4 brakes as well. The bonus is you would then also have a tool free reach adjust, as the carbon CURA-X levers are the first to offer this, the Cura2 and Cura4 do not have a tool free reach adjust, althoght he knurled nut looks like they might
  • 1 0
 Mine came in the post yesterday and this news comes out today. Typical!
  • 1 0
 I believe you have to buy the original Cura or Cura 4 brakes first (with the original old levers attached), then buy these FCS levers as an additional cost), then swop them out yourself.

I don’t think they are up updating the Cura / Cura 4 brakes to come supplied with these already attached, as some will not want to pay more for the extra adjustment or feel feature. Maybe both options will be available in the future

If anyone has more information, please add a comment, thanks
  • 1 0
 @Alhonga: they are available to upgrade existing brakes only. This is good because it would raise the price of the brakes and I would say not everyone wants / needs extra dials. It's an optional extra and options are great ;-)
  • 1 0
 Oh dear break lever, Im here to talk about my feelings
  • 1 0
 Formula related...anyone had experience with their MOD rear shock?
  • 1 0
 €85 per side! Insane pricing.
  • 1 0
 cool tech!
  • 1 0
 Chicuracura
  • 1 0
 That's not how to spell cockroach even if it feels like it. Wink
  • 1 0
 "extra thin"
  • 1 0
 i Love my CURA
  • 1 0
 Looks one piece to me







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