Blessed with trickledown technology, the Formula RX Disc Brake shares the general design and performance of the top shelf R1 -- but in an extremely affordable package. You can expect to get that same smooth application of stopping power and consistent lever feel that you expect from Formula's high-end products, with only a tiny weight penalty.The Formula RX Brake employs the new radial design master cylinder. The RX master cylinder body works just like its more expensive big brother, but a pressure cast body, as opposed to a forged body, keeps the cost down as does the use of steel hex-bolt hardware instead of the R1's alloy torx bolts. It can be run moto-style with the rear brake on the left as both lever/master cylinder bodies are identical.It features the same 22mm diameter pistons as the R1 and both can use the same brake pads. However, where the R1 has an alloy backed organic pad, the RX comes with a steel backed organic pad as standard equipment. It uses a polyester braided hose that works to prevent hose expansion when the system is under extreme pressure. Formula uses DOT 4 brake fluid, which is less temperature-sensitive than mineral oil.The pistons themselves are made of a heat dissipating composite material and are cupped to provide even more surface area for the fluid to push against and to help shed built-up heat. The one-piece caliper design is stiffer because there are no bolted-together parts to flex along the seam line when you need to stop fast and grab a finger-full of lever. Good ventilation on both the bottom and top of the piston dissipates heat and the top vent also helps make pad changes easy, even with the wheel still in the bike.The Formula RX Disc Brake is available in Black or White. The price reflects all the parts, save for the rotor which is sold separately in three sizes; 160mm, 180mm, and 203mm. Each size comes with the appropriate adapters. The RX brake weighs 341 grams (with 160mm rotor).Please note: almost all hydraulic brake lines need to be cut to size before a bike is properly shod with hydraulic disc brakes. You'll need a quality cable-cutter like the Park CN-10 and a spoke to first cut and then de-crimp the housing.
Strengths: Modulation, power. Easy to service([pad change) looks, weight
The front brake makes an awesome sound when active. Buzzes like an angry bee. It is not loud and it is a good indicator of brake performance.
Weaknesses: Have not encountered any.
They came stock on my bike
I have been using the Formula RX brakes for about 10 month now. before writing a review I wanted to give them a good work out.
They are good looking and functioning brakes. When I started using them the original organic pads where installed. They worked good at first but after a few long fast downhills they started to become very noisy.
After sanding the pads and cleaning the rotors with isopropyl alcohol they would be quiet for one or two rides(20 milers). Then the sound would come back. I think I was just too heavy 235 lbs and overheated the pads on every ride.
The day I started using sintered pads the became noise free and have been quite ever since.
They have not needed a bleed yet and still feel like they did a year ago.
All of my riding is in dry so cal. Can't say anything about performance when they are wet.
I recommend those and if one were to brake in a crash I would replace it.
Strengths: Strong powerful brake performance with reliability and lightness. Beautifully made. Plenty of options from basic, which is excellent, to highly adjustable. Different colour options.
Weaknesses: Brake pad to rotor tolerances are very close and so occassionally the pads kiss the rotors. This does not effect the performance. I have found that the basic organic pads are very good.
This is a gem of a brake, a really well engineered and manufactured system which showcases the high quality of Italian design & engineering. The power to weight ratio is striking & although this is one of the less expensive of the Formula range of brakes, & therefore slightly heavier, it is still head and shoulders above most braking systems in its class. Reliability is first class, power is forceful, fitment is elementary and the modulation is good. Some have alluded to the modulation as being a little "on and off". I would suggest that this is a braking system for the more advanced rider, someone who has considerable experience of different systems and who will adequately be able to handle a powerful braking system like this one.
Similar Products Used: Shimano Deore, XT, XTR. Hope Mini, Mono Mini, Evo XT & M4, Avid Juicy & Avid Elixir 7, Hayes Prime Comp.
Bike Setup: Commencal Meta 55, Full XT, Hope Pro11 Evo hubs with Stans Arch EX rims Comp spokes, Raceface & Fizik. Maxxis Ardent 2.25's...not tubeless.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 27, 2012
Strengths: Excellent power, very modest weight, good modulation, sexy and sleek design, great construction.
Weaknesses: Can be somewhat noisy, decent but not great modulation.
These brakes came spec'd on my GT Sanction. They have EXCELLENT power, i am completely confident one finger brakeing in all situations. They can squeel a tad, and the modulation isnt superb, but i completely expect that in a single piston brake with this much power. On a heavier longer travel enduro all mountain bike like a sanction, ill take brakeing power over modulation any day. Perhaps it just takes relearning the pressure to be applie to the lever alittle more.
Similar Products Used: 06' XTR brakes, Hayes hydro's
Bike Setup: 2011 Sanction 1.0 stock
Date Reviewed: July 15, 2012
Strengths: Great brakes, very keen and are great on downhill trails. They look great and even sound great when slamming on when bombing down a hill or even on the flats. Have had these on my cube reaction gtc pro for the past year and have no major complaints. Havent had to swap out the pads yet.
Weaknesses: When riding in the wet they squeal and make a resonating humming sound when the pads are really dirty, recommend a good clean after a heavy muddy trail... Apart from that nothing at all.
Brilliant set of brakes, they look good, sound great, are light and will definitely stop you dead on a steep slope, worth the money.
i ride these on my XC fully - 180fr/160rr. they have tons of power and feel great. i haven't noticed any modulation issues but can see why some describe them as a touch grabby.
so far, these brakes are perfect. only thing left to see is long term reliability and how they deal with really long west coast downhills (20-30mins).
bottom line is these can't be beat for performance and value and i don't give out that rating easily
Strengths: Great stopping power, relatively light, durable, problem free
Weaknesses: A bit of an on/off feel, there isn't tons of modulation
Initially, I was not impressed with the brakes, but I soon found that the extremely lightweight rotors were the culprit in the vibration while stopping. When I changed out the rotors for something that was also lightweight but tried and true performers, the problems went away.
These brakes have always been very grabby, even with the installed organic brakes pads. I have grown used to the little modulation that I have to work with, and favor their consistency on the trail. I get really good braking power all the time and never notice any fade. I have had these brakes for just over a year now and they have not needed a bleed or even felt like the stopping power has deteriorated.
Strengths: Great set of brakes for the price. Stop on a dime, easy to install, and great modulation. I bought a set of these for about 200 bucks. Very good value for the buck. Formula CS has been awesome too.
Weaknesses: Rotors squeal when wet and my front one squeals when applying light brake pressure. Might be user error but nontheless annoying.
Most definitely would buy these again. You wont go wrong with formula brakes. Love the looks and the feel.
a Cross Country Rider
from Hartbeespoort, South Africa
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2012
Strengths: Its light, brakes well whether you're slamming them or just want to slow down - great control. They look awesome!
I have had quite a number of different brake sets and changed radically when I did in an attempt to find the perfect set. And then I found these....Won't be changing soon again.
Similar Products Used: Tried all Avid version and these are far more superior at a great price.
a All Mountain Rider
from Auburn, WA USA
Date Reviewed: March 10, 2012
Strengths: Great power, great lever feel, modulation.
Weaknesses: A little noisy in the break-in period.
Outstanding brakes at a great price. Easily as nice as my Saint brakes, and better than any of the other brakes that I have tried out. Four chilis only because I would like to spend more time on them to see what the longevity is on the pads and the durability of the small parts.
Similar Products Used: Hayes mags, Hayes HFX, Shimano XT, Shimano Saint.
Bike Setup: Ellsworth Epiphany, Loaded custom hand built wheels, e.Thirteen cranks,
a Weekend Warrior
from Beaver Falls, PA
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2012
Strengths: Great feel & modulation. Very powerful
I bought these to replace ORO K24's, which I liked. These are even better. Great feel, very powerful, clean design. They use the same pad as The One brake, which is larger than the Oro pad. Im a 200 lb guy on a 30 lb 29er. Not one issue with these brakes and Im still on the original pads after more than 6 months of 2-3 times a week riding hilly terrain. Haven't tried a bleed yet. Haven't needed to. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these brakes. Very pleased
Weaknesses: Get noisy riding during cooler temps using sintered pads.
I use these bikes for my trail riding on my bikes here in CO front range for one season. For the price, they are an excellent value. They have worked well from day one out of the box. They seemed to hold up very well for the steep fast descents that are common here in CO. Modulation has been excellent so far. I didn't experience any issues aligning them when installing. I think they are a great break for typical trail moutain biking for those on a budget.
Similar Products Used: Avid Juicy 7's and Elixers and Shimano XT and XTR
Bike Setup: Yeti 575 and Kona Four Supreme
a Weekend Warrior
from Albuquerque, NM, USA
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2011
Strengths: Power, feel, consistency
Profound power, too much for the 180mm rotor in the back so I switched to a 160mm and that helped a lot with modulating. Rock solid feel probably attributable to the monobloc calipers. Completely consistent from ride to ride. Just an extraordinary performance level at this price. Also have a Scott Spark with Avid Juicy 3.5 which makes me wish I'd never felt the Formulas because now I'm going to have to buy another set. Some complain about noise. There are several solutions including a very careful setup/alignment, semi-metallic pads, ear plugs or my personal choice, ignore the noise and enjoy these magnificent brakes.
Bike Setup: Lenz Behemoth 29r formula rx, hammerschmitd, flow/hadley, saint derailleur, fox rp23, rock shox 120mm air ti
a Cross Country Rider
from Sonoma County, California
Date Reviewed: October 29, 2011
Strengths: Good looks, solid construction - well shaped magnesium levers, steel lever pivots (unlike Magura's Delrin), no need to bleed after a year. Light weight for their moderate price compared to the competition.
Weaknesses: Noisy. One master cylinder buzzes like an angry bee. While braking I seem to get it all - squealing, honking, chattering, vibration. Kool Stop replacement pads helped a little. Both rotors slightly warped after only ~400 miles
My Martas delivered 4,000 miles of smooth, silent XC use, but when the delrin bits fell apart I couldn't repair them, and nobody else (Magura USA included) wanted the job either. Formulas are built with more metal and less plastic, but they've been noisy from day one. I mountain bike to escape metallic screaching, not listen to it for hours. Doesn't make many friends on the trail either. A+ for looks and apparent build quality, if they were silent I'd give them an A overall - especially given their mid-market price.