Formula Oro K18 Disc Brake System

4.61/5 (44 Reviews)
Weight : 395 grams MSRP : $216.49


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Product Description

ORO K18: Powerful, Lightweight, and Affordable!

-Lever:
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.

-Caliper:
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.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (44 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Pontius_Pirate a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: January 3, 2014

Strengths:    braking power. Looks.

Weaknesses:    parts availability

Bottom Line:   
I ran these brakes for 2+ years on my HT 29er. Absolutely loved the modulation and the power. This bike was my one-bike. It was NOT going down lift served terrain. But it came down 2k foot trail descents with flying colors. i wish these were still available. I never had any concern with trying to adjust lever reach (and hence wanting K24s). Easily my favorite brake of all-time (so far).

Got these on closeout at CRC. Something like 250$ for the set. Amazing deal.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2+ years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   CRC

Similar Products Used:   Avid Juicy, Avid BB, Formula C1

Bike Setup:   29er HT

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rigidftw a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2013

Strengths:    good stopping power, good modulation, light weight, good ergonomics.

Weaknesses:    strong heat buildup (esp. with 160mm rotor in the rear), very inconsistent lever feel, had to bleed the rear brake 4 times until there was no air left in it.



Bottom Line:   
for that sort of money it's a great brake. but i've taken it off my bike and put on some avid bb7's instead.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   a friend

Similar Products Used:   avid juicy 5, avid juicy 7, shimano slx (br-m675), avid bb7

Bike Setup:   gt zaskar team rigid 69er singlespeed

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by sam

Date Reviewed: September 22, 2012

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gatien3030 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

IF I upgrade I'd be going to the RX.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Buckwallow #11

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Pedal Force, St. Joh

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   2007 Meta 5.3 - upgraded to Push'd RP23

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Damitletsride! a Cross Country Rider from Ireland

Date Reviewed: September 26, 2009

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Hope mini.

Bike Setup:   Commencal meta 4

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Schwede a Cross Country Rider from Örebro, Sweden

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2009

Strengths:    Lightweight, Italian, modulation, maintainance.

Weaknesses:    Sounds quiet allot if not properly calibrated/tuned.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Bergslags-track 280k´s of FUN

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Chain Reaction

Similar Products Used:   Shimano XT and XTR, Avid Juicy 7.

Bike Setup:   Cube Reaction, Complete XT Shadow group and FOX F100RL

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gman086 a Downhiller 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Post Canyon

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $245.00

Purchased At:   Universal Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Avids, Hayes.

Bike Setup:   Have on both my Blur LT trail bike and on my Iron Horse 6 Point FR bike (sintered pad upgrade for FR/DH use).

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by eirisch a Cross Country Rider from Gothenburg, Sweden

Date Reviewed: May 11, 2009

Strengths:    Cheap, great stopping power, good modulation.
Easy too bleed.


Weaknesses:    Had a leak in the rear piston. It was easily replaced.

Bottom Line:   
Great break for little money.
I would have settled for the 160mm rotors for my quite tough all-mountain riding and my 65kg of swedish flesh and bone. 180mm offers alot more than I can ever use.

I would have given them 5 chilis if they hadn't begun leaking.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $220.00

Bike Setup:   Frame: Specialized Stumpjumper M4
Wheels: Mavic Crossride
Tyres: Fat Albert Evo
Components: A working mix of deore and standard specialized-parts.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by codenamepistol a Weekend Warrior from England

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2008

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.

Bottom Line:   
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!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywere u can explore

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   merlincycles.com

Similar Products Used:   XT.. Avid juicy 3.

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.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by aphex2k 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Buy buy buy!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cannock Chase

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $280.00

Purchased At:   Velosave ebay

Similar Products Used:   Magura Julie, 08 XT, Avid BB5, Avid Juicy 5

Bike Setup:   Pipedream Sirius hardtail with Revelations @ 120mm

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Daniël a Cross Country Rider from Antwerpen, Belgium

Date Reviewed: July 8, 2008

Strengths:    looks, braking power, price

Weaknesses:    leaking calipers

Bottom Line:   
nice product but the maintaining is very high

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   local trails

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   magura HS33

Bike Setup:   Rock shocks, Mavic, Selle Italia, thompson, truvativ, shimano XTR, Schwalbe and now Magura Marta brakes

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Patrick Carney 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Taconic 909

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Jenson

Similar Products Used:   Magura Hydraulic Rim-brakes, Shimano XT disk.

Bike Setup:   Kelley Steel Hardtail.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Morten Andreassen 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Korsvol-Grinda

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Came with the bike

Similar Products Used:   Only v-brakes

Bike Setup:   Locally made make- Diamant, model Oppenheimer ( xt gears, Manitou Minute Elite fork, Manitou spv Swinger Coil, Stylo cranks )

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andy a Downhiller 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.

Weaknesses:    ???

Bottom Line:   
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!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $135.00

Purchased At:   mtnhighcyclery.com

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

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by guitargonaut 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   all of them

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Avid BB7

Bike Setup:   Stock Cannondale Rush 5. I'm upgrading as I break or find the product I want.

Reviews 1 - 15 (44 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Formula ORO K18 Opinions?

I was about to pick up a set of used Magura Marta Sl's on Ebay. There were a few used sets with "bleeding" issues going for $75 bucks or so. After speaking with the seller turns out they could not be bled after many mechanics have tried and they were not working properly THEN the bidding for these w ... Read More »

shimano slx 665 vs formula oro k18

I can get these for about the same price, which would you guys recommend? thanksRead More »

Formula Oro K18 Bleed Problems

Hi there. Ive just dug out my Cube Fritzz from the back of the shed after riding my hardtail through the winter. So i decided to give it the once over and some new brake pads. The front is very sharp and responsive but My problem lies with the rear. This is the first time im changing the ... Read More »

Formula Oro K18 or Hayes Stroker?

Looking to replace and upgrade my brakes, but not sure which to go for. Does anyone have any experiences good or bad of either. I am not a massive downhiller, just like to ride hard and fast and like to be able to stop quickly should anything get in my way and not want to get out of it. Are they ... Read More »

Formula Oro K18 - what year are mine?

Need to buy some spare parts and don't wanna get the wrong seals...anybody have a link/directions to a list of serial numbers and years? Cheers. stan.Read More »

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