Flip-flop lever design.
Removable lever clamp – no need to remove shifters and grips for lever removal.
Patented inline open system reservoir which makes for a super compact lever design.
Polyester braided hose for increased expansion resistance.
Zinc plated fasteners.
Post mount style calipers w/adaptors. No little shims to mess with: Quick and easy adjustments.
22mm pistons for the most stopping power of any 2 piston brake (testing done by Bike Germany in conjunction with a German University).
Quick and easy pad replacement.
Vented Caliper for increased heat dissipation.
Zinc plated fasteners.
-395g with 160mm rotors, IS adaptor and all fasteners included!
-Add 32g for 180mm rotor and 62g for 200mm rotors.
Strengths: at first the back brake had a pile of power. look great. the front brake is amazing.
Weaknesses: back one died after 2 weeks. origional pads are crap.
i bought them at christmas, the back brake worked for 2 weeks after that then all of a sudden when i was riding down a simple trail, i feathered on the back brake and noticed nothing happened, suspecting the worst, i pulled the lever in as far as it would go and it might aswell of been an accelerator to tell you the truth. this resulted in my feet being the brakes because every time i touched the front brake, the front wheel slid away from me. me and the bike ended up in the bush. when i went home, the brake was returned to CRC to see what the problem was... the seals in the lever were burst. crc fixed them. i got back on the bike, rode another trail - this time bombing it! half way down... suprise suprise!, it didnt work. i managed to get to the bottom of the trail and the brake was somewhat.. on fire. by the time i got home, the pad lining had broken away from the metal back plate. the back brake now sits in the bottom of my spare parts box. i dont know if i got a deformitive brake or i just got unlucky with it, but it caused a few promlems. on the other hand, the front brake works a treat! love it! id reccomend them because everyone else likes them and i just think i got unlucky with it.
a Weekend Warrior
from Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2010
Strengths: Great feel and stopping power.
Weaknesses: A little finicky when it comes to bleeding.
My first real bike, so I can't compare these brakes to anything. But, I'm 200 lbs and agressive, and I've never been let down.
I have also pulled them comletely apart and found they were pretty easy to maintain. The replacement parts were easy to find. Bleeding them took a little effort with the small (easy damaged 0-ring), but it all came out good in the end.
Strengths: Looks good, good stopping power in most conditions.
Weaknesses: The silver rod in the leaver pops out in most kind of crashes meaning the end of a race, major fault to the break.
These are good if you are a rider that never crashes and rides xc on smooth trails. If you are going to have the odd crash i would stay away from these. I hope to sell these soon and go back to hope mini's.
Weaknesses: Sounds quiet allot if not properly calibrated/tuned.
This is the second time I go for the same set of brakes, how ever white powder coating this time. While braking them in I push them until Purple-Brownish. No power or modulation fade and the brake discs are still absolutely straight. They can cope for what you trow at them.
Similar Products Used: Shimano XT and XTR, Avid Juicy 7.
Bike Setup: Cube Reaction, Complete XT Shadow group and FOX F100RL
from Portland, OR USA
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2009
Strengths: Excellent stopping power, unreal modulation, light weight, quality second to none.
Weaknesses: Somewhat difficult to bleed - there is an updated "how to" bulletin on their site now that helps.
I'm very confident that these are the best brake for the buck that you will find. The make the Avid Juicy line look like a total joke! Rarely any brake noise and the K-18's share the same caliper as the more expensive versions in the ORO lineup so they have the same superior stopping power without all the bells and whistles.
Did want to comment on the one poster who gave it a 1 because the lever pin fell out; Formula had a recall and that problem was addressed. If you are unsure about yours, call them with the serial no. and they'll send out the updated pin kit free of charge.
Strengths: Great stopping power. Modulation feels great not like any other brakes (xt) ive had! u can feel the brake working rather than just on/off.
Weaknesses: Not really a weakness but theres better pads out there than what come in the box. cant complain tho. I did the whole 2007 winter and never had any trouble.
It took me over a year and almost a releationship to build up my dream machine not cuttin any corners on parts. Thease brakes R in my opinion the dogs bollox! I wouldnt av um if I didnt think they were! No trouble with maintaining them and they could stop a race horse! There not even that expensive anymore! Seen um on merlincycles.com for about £140 a pair!
Bike Setup: Commencal Meta 5 frame with custom powder coat!. Fox Float 32. Sram X9 Shifters. X9 Rear Mech. XT Front. Formula ORO K18 Brakes. Race Face Atlas Crank. Chris King Headset. Hope Stem. Easton EA70 Bars. ODI Ruffien Grips. Thompson Elite Seatpost. Gobi XM Saddle. Time Z Freeride Pedals. Mavic 719 on Hope Hubs. Maxxis Hi Roller 2.35's Hope QR All Round.
a Cross Country Rider
from Wolverhampton UK
Date Reviewed: September 1, 2008
Strengths: Amazing power using the 160mm rotors. Standard Formula pads aren't great in UK riding conditions but a switch to some quality sintered pads and the power is there whatever the conditions. Lever feel is superb - not just off/on like some brakes, you can actually feather your braking. When you need to stop, you will. These inspire confidence and you begin to leave corner braking to the last minute because you know they will bite if you need.
Weaknesses: They are a bugger to bleed... Especially if you lose the bleed nipple o ring! It's tiny. Be careful.
Well, that's it. I'm converted. Will certainly be buying Formula again if and when the K18s die. Just put a 180mm rotor on the front and the balance is perfect.
Bike Setup: Rock shocks, Mavic, Selle Italia, thompson, truvativ, shimano XTR, Schwalbe and now Magura Marta brakes
from Esopus, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: May 9, 2008
Strengths: Does everything a disk brake should do... and very well at that. Price is right too.
Weaknesses: Recall on a screw on the lever. If it's not tight enough, it could result in lever failure. Don't know why they issued a recall though, maybe some freeloader took a shot at a lawsuit. All you have to do is tighten the screw, if it even needs it. Common sense, not a sign of a bad product.
Awesome brake, stop you fast, never any squeeling, no problems at all. They look pretty sexy too. Unless you don't have a problem dishing out over 200 bucks for a brake and rotor, you probably won't find anything better.
Similar Products Used: Magura Hydraulic Rim-brakes, Shimano XT disk.
Bike Setup: Kelley Steel Hardtail.
a Weekend Warrior
from Oslo, Norway
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2008
Strengths: This brake gives me the confidence to improve my DH skills whilst not having to worry about fade or lack of power.
Weaknesses: Slightly weak lever.
The only criticisms I could find about these brakes on this page was that the levers can break, & the front lever on mine got irrepairably pulled out of the plastic innards on the first ride. But in all fairness, I hadnt adjusted the levers far enough away from the handle ends. These little beauties let me discover and push the limits of my neophyte skills with a feeling of confidence in their stopping power ( even when I was on DH sections with only the back brake whilst I was waiting for my new lever ). All in all I reckon I agree with the praise heaped on these here.
Bike Setup: Locally made make- Diamant, model Oppenheimer ( xt gears, Manitou Minute Elite fork, Manitou spv Swinger Coil, Stylo cranks )
from Fort Collins, CO
Date Reviewed: April 14, 2008
Strengths: Cheap, really powerful, great factory bleed, upgradeable to Formula's top of the line stuff.
This is an amazing brake. Before riding it I replaced the pads with the sintered version and this thing is a beast. (That's what the Bianco uses to make it a "DH" brake.) Exactly the same mechanicals as the Bianco, but 100 bucks cheaper. If the hardware starts to corrode you can upgrade that for 20 bucks, if you have to you can get the FCS kit too, and you can out the 1 finger lever on it if you want. Plus the shiny black finish looks the best IMO.
So for about 150 bucks I got this brake, 200mm rotor/adapter, and the sintered pads. One good CO ride and it was broken in and kicking the $#!T outta my Hayes. Not even funny how much better it is. Great modulation and you can go over the bars with one finger. No fade on 3 mile CO descents. Buy this brake!
Similar Products Used: Hayes Mag HD G1 and G2, Avid BB7, deore hydro
Bike Setup: Brodie Thumper, 66 Light, DHX 5.0, assorted heavy freeride things
a Weekend Warrior
from Beckley, WV
Date Reviewed: January 19, 2008
Strengths: Solid feel, great stopping power.
Weaknesses: Not really a weakness but the levers are large. Because of this it took a couple of rides to get them adjusted to my liking.
Big difference in feel over the BB7s. I realize I'm comparing a mechanical brake to a hydraulic brake but some of the differences aren't where I thought they'd be.
These brakes deliver when it comes to better control. They seem to stop my 215 lbs. better than the BB7s as well. I expected more of a difference in feel but other than the "harder" feel of the levers I can't tell much of a difference in that respect.
Where these brakes really shine is on the extended downhill sections of trail one might encounter from time to time. (In my case a 3.5 mile, 1600 ft. vertical drop) Since the brakes react faster to the levers, I can pulse and alternate between the front and rear wheel keeping wear and temperature down lessening fade. When I did this with the BB7s - they would reach a point where it was hard to feel them engage.
I'm very satisfied with my purchase. Not too expensive, great quality, excellent value for those of us who log less than 50 miles a week.
Bike Setup: Stock Cannondale Rush 5. I'm upgrading as I break or find the product I want.
from Mammoth Lakes, CA
Date Reviewed: December 25, 2007
Strengths: Power, superior modulation, low maintenance, very reliable. Plan ahead and have spare pads on hand before you need them. Sintered pads are the way to go when your replace your pads. I weigh 225 pounds, down from 255 when I got the brakes... And these K18's are doing a great job of stopping me on 180mm rotors and long steep descents, 1500 to 2500 feet over 2 to 4 miles of travel. I replaced the factory organic pads with sintered metal, and it's made the brakes even better, quiet!
Weaknesses: Organic pads can get noisy if overheated. These brakes will point out other weaknesses in your braking system, like having tires not suitable to the current riding conditions.
Durable, reliable, superb factory customer service here in the USA, just a great product for the price. All mountain worthy without all the bells and whistles of their higher models. Easily upgradeable, just add the K24 adjusters and it's a K24, add sintered pads, and it's a Puro, without the steep price tag.