Interbike 2011: Formula give brakes a break, get wheels off the ground

Looking remarkably similar to the those shown last year, Formula’s Volo (“flight” in Italian) wheelsets (26in and 29er in XC and All Mountain variations) are finally nearing delivery- and still looking good.  (But what is it about Italians and red?)  With freehubs specifically designed to support the engagement mechanism and reduce the pops and damage that can come from partial engagement, the hub shells are intricately machined inside and out- and build up to some surprisingly light wheels that could give carbon hoops a run for their money.  Find out more- and see some revamped brakes- after the break.

With a 21mm (inside width) scandium rim, the Volo All Mountain wheelset should be strong enough for trail use light enough for racing at 1,455g (26in) and 1,538g (29er).  Not light enough?  Drop down to the 19mm wide XC wheelsets for to come in at 1,344g and 1,440g- pretty awesome.  The front hubs will work with QR, 15mm, and 20mm thru axles and the rear with 135mm QRs and 142mm thru axles.  What’s the damage?  Between $1,675 (26in XC)and $1,775 (29in All Mountain)- out of reach for a lot of riders but splitting the difference between much of their aluminum- and carbon-rimmed competition.

In one of many brake model revamps, The ONE gets tool-free reach adjustment and Feel Control System bite point adjustment as stock along with a 25% bigger master cylinder to better manage heat buildup.  The oval-piston’d R0 was also on display and looking lovely.

The standard R1 gets steel hardware (hooray!) and the no holds barred R1 Racing gets Ti hardware, a carbon lever blade, and Kevlar-reinforced hose for a 270g, $412 (per wheel) wunderbrake.  Add $100 for a 9g-saving 2pc rotor.

Back on earth, Formula’s new hydraulic quick disconnect is a response to their race teams, demo fleets, and rental customers who need to be able to quickly swap out damaged levers or calipers.  As the disconnects can be used without requiring a brake bleed.  We could also see it being useful on S&S-coupled or Ibis Tranny style travel bikes as well.  Pricing has yet to be determined, but shouldn’t be too far off that of Formula’s existing hose kits.

formulabrakeusa.com

www.formula-brake.it

Comments

MattGVT - 10/01/11 - 8:00am

1775 … I don’t know.. Seems very high for alumnlinum wheelset. My sun ringle charger pros were 450 have the same features, wider rim and a bit heavier.

adam - 10/01/11 - 9:52pm

MattGVT – I dont know how you can really compare an 1800g all mountain wheelset and a 1440g xc wheelset. Not slighting the Sun Ringle’s, but they’re not really even trying to be the same thing.

I’m curious about Formula’s hubs, I’d like more detail about them, axel size, bearing size, engagement degrees and pawl count, etc.

Mindless - 10/03/11 - 4:12pm

$1,675? Are they mad?

cat8rider - 10/04/11 - 5:44pm

serious price point for the weight. stan’s are lighter and less expensive. no brainer.

[...] wanted to spend some quality time with the company’s Italian-made Volo wheelsets since seeing prototypes two Interbikes ago, I’m excited to toll on Formula’s race [...]

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