On test: Formula Oro Puro disc brakes

Few components demonstrate the trade-off between light weight and performance more plainly than disc...

Lightweight stoppers with plenty of bite

Few components demonstrate the trade-off between light weight and performance more plainly than disc brakes, but Formula somehow manages to walk the line to deliver a package that is not only easy on the scale, but offers impressive clamping power.

Formula has had a bit of a tough time in the hydraulic disc brake world. Although it has had its share of standouts, including the ultralight, but somewhat fragile, B4SL+, things just never quite caught on and the company was left standing squarely on the B-list while others gobbled up market share and race wins. Formula clearly wasn't content to stay on the lesser rung, though, as it introduced an entirely new brake last year that was a dramatic departure from its previous offerings.

Keep it in the family

Instead of introducing just one new hydraulic disc brake, Formula saw fit to launch a whole new platform. The Oro line consists of four distinct models: the wallet-friendly K18, the mid-level K24, the top-end Puro (caught on to the naming convention yet?), and the so-chromed-out-that-your-retinas-bleed Greg Minaar signature-edition Bianco.

Each member of the family shares the same basic ingredients but varies in features, materials, finish… and, of course, cost. On the whole, the Oro is a pretty slick-looking design. Common architecture includes a compact flip-flop master cylinder with a cleverly concealed reservoir for the DOT 4 hydraulic fluid, a tidy two-piece, two-piston aluminum caliper, and a full range of stainless steel rotors that start at 140mm in diameter (for rear only) and go all the way up to a pizza-sized 220mm. With the exception of the base-model K18, all Oro brakes also include Formula's neatly concealed Feeling Control System (FCS), which adjusts the pad contact point a la the Speed Dial on select Juicy models from Avid.

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