Sunday, August 5, 2007

Formula ORO Brake Review

Howdy all -

sorry about my absence (again) - but I've got a whole file of reviews that I'll be posting for you to read!

Today's review is on the new (for 2007) Formula Oro Brakes. I've got a pair of the k18's on hand, these have 99% of the functionality of the k24's - but cost a bit less.

Short and Dirty review of the Formula Oro Brake Family

Most people use power, modulation, adjustability,weight and ergonomics as their evaluation criteria - so I will too.

Modulation - yup, these things feel good! It's nice to have a brake that allows you to feel what's happening at the wheel and on the ground. I've ridden lots of high end brakes in my day - and the only other brakes that I've found with a similar feel were the Juicy 7's... but even the Juicy's fall short when it comes to the brake's feel

Adjustability -
So here it is - the base model is missing what the other models have - an "FCS" system that allows you to adjust the pad's contact point (pull). As I own the base model, but have ridden the other models - I can tell you that I don't feel like I'm missing out. The Juicy's adjustable system is too adjustable and doesn't much power - the Hayes adjustable system blows... so there's no real comparison out there. All of the models include a reach adjustment for the lever. High amount of adjustability here - top ratings for this!

Ergonomics -
This is the only area where the brakes fall a little short. The clamping placement is a little funny. It just happens to get in the way of most folk's shifter placement. This is no reflection on the brake itself - but shows that they didn't use racer's to test out the model... As a former pro racer - it were these kinds of details that we would be able to give as feedback (other than "this sucks" or "can I have another one"). Luckily, new Sram and Shimano shifters are offering more adjustability that they have in the past (being able to place the clamp into multiple spots on the shifter). This took care of the issue for me (90% of where I like my placement)

Weight -
well under 1lbl for every model, including rotor, bolts, hosing, caliper and lever. It's light, and it works good.

Power -
By far the strongest 2 piston brake I've ever ridden. Maybe the 2nd or 3 strongest brake I ever ridden (including 4 pods). Magura's DH brake and Formula's DH brake take top power awards, although I haven't tested Avid's Code DH brake yet.

They are crazy strong - Super light - feel great - and are crazy reliable.
The drawback? they aren't cheap.

My Advice -
Drop some coin - you won't regret it!


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