Forged lever blade with engineered braking point: In the event of a crash the lever blade will fail at a location which still allows the rider to use the remaining portion for braking. One or two finger compatible.
Linkage driven Pushrod. 2 pcs lever linkage maintains contact point through reach adjust changes and facilitates direct compression of MC piston.
Alloy FCS knob allows for changes in lever contact point.
Ultra high volume reservoir virtually eliminates pump up, even on the longest and steepest descents.
Reach adjust with 3mm hex.
Positioning compatibility with available shifters on market.
Graduated power band resists on/off feel.
Direct exit hose with reattachable fitting. Caliper:
HUGE 24mm Caliper Pistons for amazing power.
Pressure cast 2 piece caliper.
Offset caliper halves reduce weight and improve visual appearance.
Post mount caliper allows compatibility with all current frame and fork standards.
Top Vented caliper allows for wheel on pad changes.
a Cross Country Rider
from Tucson, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: September 22, 2011
Strengths: Simple, easy to install, stays adusted, a lot of power and modulation, fits my gorilla hands well.
Weaknesses: As seems all Formula brakes, more difficult to bleed than others.
Poor Mega. Just doesn't get as much respect as its brother The One. I have both (Ones on my XC FS), and performance is similar (though The Ones are prettier). If I was buying again, I would have just bought another set of Megas for the XC bike. Much less money. As stated, only annoying part is it is more difficult to bleed than some other brakes.
these are the best brakes i have used (hydro's) too date. Im a clydesdale at 250 + and these have not let me down in a year now same bleed and set up and still as strong as the day i installed or actually the week after i installed cause the break in is funny they feel real strong at first almost too grabby but break in OH SO SWEET in the end.
Similar Products Used: hayes stroker ryde's,avid elixir cr's (actually i read the tapor bore tech was developed by formula and licensed too avid)
a Cross Country Rider
from Los Angeles
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2009
Strengths: Modulation is superior to almost every other disc brake system I've ridden. Brakes will stop you right now, no matter how steep the run, sintered brake pads experience no fade due to heat.
Weaknesses: Price, brake pads wear quickly, could however be due to the steep terrain I ride and my weight at 240 pounds wet.
Bought brand new, set up requires that you pay attention to centering the rotor between the brake pads, as the brake line tends to pull the calipers off center, even with the brake lever activated to self center while tightening up the hex bolts. I ended up using a feeler gauge of anywhere from .005" to .011" hands free of the brake lever to get the rotor centered between the calipers and brake pads.
Replacement sintered brake pads are expensive, do not last any longer in mileage than the semi metallic replacements I bought from Disco Brake. I get maybe 700 miles out of a set of brakes, but I do ride in steep areas like the San Gabes. Semi Metallic brakes will squeal on this model... I've tried replacing 180mm rotors, 200mm rotors, etc, replacing pads, to no avail. The only quiet pads on these brakes on my Niner are the sintered pads, but they are quite expensive at $28 a piece, or $56 every 700 miles. As near as I can tell, all the pad manufacturers are having their pads made in China for dirt cheap.
I give 4 flaming dookies for value, Formulas work well, but the consumable brake pad, life of them, and pricing of replacement factory pads drops it from a full five. Either make pads that last longer, or drop the price of the replacement pads. I put a lot of miles on my bike, about 1000 in 3 months, changing brake pads every 2 months gets old and expensive real fast, with factory pads.
I would buy these if you ride big mountains, DH steep stuff, or All Mountain epic rides or are a Clyde and want the very best while being on a budget.
If you ride more XC stuff, or ride the flats, or are one of those 135 pound weight weenie XC racers, you'd be better served with something from the Formula Oro line, like the K 24's or Biancos or Puro's.
I've yet to try any brake that has the modulation as good as Formula Brakes. Formula are about control, complete control 100% of the time.
As for longevity of the calipers, I ran a set of K18 Oro's for two years on my Bioncon Edison. Never had problems as long as I cleaned the calipers up with a good scrubbing with a toothbrush after riding in mud, to clean the grit out. Clean the caliper sealing surfaces with a toothbrush and some isopropyl alcohol every brake pad replacement, and you should be golden.
Similar Products Used: Juicy 7's, Shimano XT, Shimano Saints, Hope Mini Mono
Bike Setup: Niner RIP 9, Manitou Minute 120 w/ 20mm throughaxle, Hadley hubs w 10mm throughaxle, hand laced to Sun Rhyno Lites w DT Swiss Comps, brass nipples, Panaracer Rampage 2.35, 180mm rotors, thomson seat and stem, SRAM X-9 rear, 990 cassette, Truvativ Stylo 175mm, Shimano 540.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2009
Strengths: This far very reliable, good braking power, good modulation, light, not a single problem in one season.
Weaknesses: Price, but good things don't come cheap.
I bought this brakes out of desperation after 3 years of frustration with stock Magura louises, that were plaqued with all sorts of problems, you can imagine (persistent leaking, squealing, rubbing and power loss issues). After having tried julies on a test bike, I came to a conclusion, Maguras are not complete junk after all, just my unfortunate brakes, but this is not about Maguras.
Before giving up completely on hydraulic disc brakes, I wanted to give it one last try and I wanted to get some equipement, that looked (on the paper at least), like it could perform. I menaged to get a nice discount on Megas, but they still came at 200€ x 2, complete with discs and adapters. Although installing was a breeze, I took my bike to the shop to shorten hoses, just to be on the safe side. I also found fine tuning easyer with Formula PM, than Magura IS standard.
After 2 rides, Magas were run in perfectly and they have been performing without a single problem since then. After one season, I still didn't have to bleed them - something I had to do 3 - 4 times per season before, which of course was totaly crazy.
Compared to the brake sistems listed above, in my experience Megas are the most powerful and also deliver very good modulation. Levarage ratio is longer than with any other brake system, I have tried to date. This can be regulated to some amount, but can take a few rides to get used to. All in all, I would say, they are slightly better than XT's, but outclass all others not only in performance, but also because they require much less tinkering. I hope it stays this way.
Bottom line: 5 Chilis for performance, because they are very efficient and reliable and 5 Chilis for value, because although pricy, they are worth every cent.
Similar Products Used: Hayes HFX-9, Magura louise 2003, Magura julie, Avid juicy 3, Shimano XT disc - out of which only XT's are in the same league.
Bike Setup: Cannondale scalpel 1000 (EU model 2005 with Fatty)- stock equipement, except for: Formula Mega brakes 180/160, Selle Italia Flite gel flow sattle, PG 990 cassette, PC 991 chain, Schwalbe Racing Ralph tyres and Ritchey WCS bar ends.
Strengths: gobs of power, great modulation, and they look great. excellent customer support!
Weaknesses: a bit finicky to set up, but take your time and you will do fine.
here is my complete review from the brake forum:
Here are my subjective impressions:
Trimming/bleeding/setup: Piece of cake, mostly. Bleeding the air out of the lines after trimming the lines up was pretty easy, using the Formula bleed kit. Avid bleed kits work as well. Getting the caliper to center up exactly was a bit of work; the squeeze and tighten method does not always center the caliper exactly. Bedding in took a bit of time, I had to find a steep hill to get them feeling pretty good.
Ergonomics/adjustments: You have lots of lever and bite adjustment with the levers, so it is pretty easy to find a lever position the works. I initially set my levers to grab early in travel, but have gone over to having them grab later in travel, so you do not need much pressure on the lever to activate the brakes. Build quiality is decent, mine still look brand new.
Pad life: pretty decent. pads are easy to change too.
power/modulation: excellent! The MEGAs have excellent modulation and gobs of power. They are the first brake I have run that I feel confident will stop me anytime. I have run Louises, Xt's, and XTRs and none compare. I have completely changed my style of braking due to their stopping power: before, I would have to lay on the brakes early before stopping, and would drag the brakes a lot as a result. now, I wait till the last possible second, then grab a handful of brake to stop/slow down. they seem to perform better when used this way, tho of course you can just tap the lever to scrub a little speed off as well.
Personally, I don't notice the slight extra weight and don't think is is even a factor. Also, I had a squeal in the rear brake that took some diagnosing, but I was able to get rid of it with no issues.
Would I buy the MEGAs again? Unless I needed the Oros, the answer is yes. I absolutely love them.
Strengths: Ok, I've only had the brakes since June. They modulate really well & feel awesome - lots of stopping power and don't feel like they have an 'on/off' switch. You can really drag these on gnarly sections and feel like you won't lock up or fade, which is great for the North Shore or other places where you have steep + wet + technical descents. Can't comment too much on these brakes in super-fast environments.
The FCS dial is great and allows you to easily adjust where the brakes 'engage', which is nice feature as your pads wear down (also for personal preference). The dial is metal and tucked in behind the lever itself so no worries about it bending or breaking if you bail. The levers themselves feel nice on the fingers :)
The customer service from Chris at Formula was excellent - all the comments about their support are true. :)
Weaknesses: I had a hell of a time getting these set up properly, but that more to do with the bikes they were installed on (condition and poor setup) than the brakes themselves. I had lots of vibration and howling that was coming through the cranks, up the bottoms of my feet and all the way into my fillings. I suspect that is because the calipers weren't lined up properly etc. They seem nice and quiet now (ahhh) and are performing brilliantly.
These brakes seem great - like I said, I had a tough time getting them set up and installed properly so had to endure some initial howling and vibration. I took them off my old Kona Stab because the pivots etc on the Stab were shot. Put them on the Cove next and they worked a lot better, until I had loose cone issues on the back. Now everything is tightened up and lined up and they modulate beautifully, with plenty of stopping power. I have great confidence in them and don't worry about fade, lock-up or vibration (now that they are running properly). You can dial these in sooo easily to suit your preferences.
Glad not to be running Juicys anymore. Looking forward to Formula getting a bigger piece of the pie in Canada so that the pads and parts are easier to get.
This is an update on my previous review. I have now used these brakes extensively. I have just spent 3 weeks in the french alps, riding steep and rocky mountains, using the brakes a lot. I have given them some serious punishment, and they have not once felt anything but amazing. I can say with confidence that these are some seriously reliable brakes. I bent one of the levers after sliding out on a steep rocky corner, but I think any lever would have bent under those conditions. I'm really impressed with these brakes, they feel amazing and they are so durable. Well worth the money. I would advice these brakes to anyone. I've never used hope or avid, but I cant see how a brake could be much better than the Formula mega/one. Great product.
Strengths: Light. Good modulation. Good power. Not too expensive. Adjustable lever reach. Easy to bleed. Good customer service.
Weaknesses: None that I've found so far. Maybe the fact that you have to buy full disc and mount kits if you want a new mount - at least I couldnt find them sold seperately.
Very nice brakes. They have a longer leverage ratio than most brakes - this means that when you first get them it seems as though the lever comes a bit closer to the bar than usual. I was worried that the power would come on too late in emergency braking situations, but that isnt the case. The power is very apparent when the lever is pulled in fully and there's lots of it. But the longer leverage ratio means that there's a lot of smooth modulation. With some brakes it's all or nothing, and if you want to lose a bit of speed you have to kind of pretty much tap the brakes - not with these, the more you pull the more power is gradually provided - and in a very predictable - as you want it way. Smoooooooth.
As for durability, I cant say - but Im going to give them a 5 based on what I've experienced so far and assume they'll last.