Italy has a fierce tradition of artisan craftsmanship and loyalty to local manufacture that still holds true in the face of far eastern mass manufacture.
When you see what this up close and personal product development and prototype to production link let companies like Formula do, it’s easy to see why they defend it so determinedly.
It’s certainly not the easiest route though and while their motorbike and hydraulic work is well respected, their superb mountain bike stoppers were unfairly overlooked for a long time. That all changed overnight with the R1 though. A disc brake so light that it was hard to believe it was real when you held it. Despite the fragile looks the finely wrought radial piston and minimalist caliper that made it the first sub 200g brake also delivered more power than most DH brakes double the weight. As any chatty dictator will tell you though, power is nothing without control and the R1 also set whole new benchmarks for smoothly squeezed anti skid modulation and finely metered anchorage.
From the R1 came The One. Still lighter than most XC brakes but with enough power to stop a runaway truck sat in the crook of your finger. Never ones to rest on laurels despite rave reviews the R1R got even lighter with a kevlar hose and carbon blade options. Not content with having the best power to weight braking ratio anywhere, the Italian innovators have also introduced the R0 with its radical oval piston design stopping riders faster than anything this side of a stick in the spokes. Or as the Italians might say, to go faster eat pasta, to stop quicker pick Formula.
Formula is distributed in the UK by Silverfish. Here at Silverfish we’re really proud to be a founder supporter of the MTB Hall of Fame. That’s because we’re proud of the part we’ve played by delivering the best biking gear from across the globe into the best UK shops.
We scabbed our knees and bloodied our shins while Barrie Clarke proved wheels were the fastest way to cross Wales in the Man V Horse race. We saw the late great Jason McCroy introduce riser bars, tattoos – and let’s be honest – real style into racing. We’ve seen Rob Warner turn from being the first UK World Cup downhill winner to being the instantly recognisable rowdy voice of global MTB TV, and in the time it’s taken for Steve Peat to become World Champion and Nick Craig to prove he’s a perpetual motion XC terminator, we’ve laid down serious milestones of our own.
So here’s to the new MTB Hall of fame and all the inspirational icons in it – long may it continue.
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