Teaser: 2014 Formula Brakes Get Lighter, Easier, Better for Road & Mountain Bikes

2014 Formula R1 Racing hydrauilic disc brakes with reverse pull piston master cylinder

At this point, we’ve got about 80% of what we need to post all about Formula’s 2014 brake lineup, but they’ve asked us to keep the guts of it secret until Eurobike (it starts next week, don’t worry). But there’s no harm in a little teaser, right? And eagle-eyed readers might have noticed some of this stuff popping up in different skin on the 2014 Specialized mountain bike range.

Suffice to say, the top end R1 Racing (aka R1R) is now lighter and gets improved ergonomics thanks to a pull piston on the master cylinder, a bit of a first for mountain bike brake levers. The piston pulls into the fluid rather than having a plunger pushing into the master cylinder. Formula sales & service rep Robert Davis says this gives it much smoother lever feel. Other benefits are even better, stay tuned.

Hit the “breaks” for more…


The new C1 comes in at the entry level and introduces another first for bicycle brakes: A drop-in, cartridge style master cylinder. This makes service and repair easier on the shops and helps keep the prices down since factory assembly is greatly simplified.


Their hydraulic road bike partnership with Colnago is finally bearing fruit for the rest of us. This is the Campagnolo lever shown, but they’ll soon have a Di2 compatible version with dual buttons on the brake lever. It’ll have a black hood with white hose and caliper. This one we’re still waiting for more info to confirm whether it’ll work with the new E-Tube system or just the original 10-speed Dura-Ace Di2.


Their XD Driver Body part is technically available now – in Europe. US availability is coming soon, by the end of the year. They’ve got some other interesting new tech for their 2014 hubs, plus a new 35mm stanchion suspension fork for 27.5″ and 29er wheels.


tinsloth - 08/19/13 - 4:52pm

I could be wrong, but the Hayes HFX-Mag brake lever had a drop-in, cartridge-style master cylinder.

Craig - 08/19/13 - 5:26pm

My biggest complaint about my R1R’s is they feel very digital. Either off or (nearly) fully on.

There’s not much in-between. I hope they have figured that out.

Andrew - 08/19/13 - 5:58pm

My biggest complaint was minimal pad clearance, no matter how well they were bled. Tonnes of power though and very light!

MissedThePoint - 08/19/13 - 6:20pm

Wonder how they are going to steal some of that spotlight that the Pike has, for their 35.

joby - 08/19/13 - 6:27pm

Seems that the pull piston is the correct answer for road/cx levers?

Mindless - 08/19/13 - 6:57pm

@Craig: It is called “modulation”. An unknown concept for roadies.

CXisfun - 08/19/13 - 10:04pm

It’d be pretty silly for them to make the lever compatible with 10-speed Dura-Ace Di2 and not the newer E-Tube. Would that be because the design was going on before 9070 came out as E-Tube?

Psi Squared - 08/19/13 - 10:38pm

It’s called “speaking with credibility”, an unknown concept for the mindless. I’d wager there are more roadies that understand modulation full well than mindless comments would indicate.

greg - 08/20/13 - 12:39am

pull piston= possibly retrofittable into the bodies of existing STI levers? replacement STI lever blade that houses the reservoir? it kinda opens up the possibilities.
Hayes Mag always had a cartridge style master cylinder. or you could get a brake that uses mineral oil and never have to rebuild any part of the brake ever again.

Sardinian Rider - 08/20/13 - 8:29am

Formulas are useless brakes,period.

MulletRacer - 08/20/13 - 10:02am

I first thought to myself, “These could be better than the new 2014 XTR m-987s!” Then I woke up from my dream.

Seraph - 08/20/13 - 5:59pm

@Sardinian Rider A lot of riders would beg to differ with your opinion. I have been running Formula brakes for a few years now, and I have ridden brakes from every other company out there. Formulas have been the most reliable, powerful, and lightweight brake for me. Only Shimano comes anywhere close to the amount of performance and quality you get from Formula.

jason - 09/07/13 - 1:29pm

The 35 fork is easily travel adjustable, the pike requires an air spring swap. 35 is a few hundred grams less than a pike.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.