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Bevor wir die Formula Cura-E in diversen Bikeparks und langen Abfahrten Großbritanniens testen können, müssen wir sie einbremsen.
Bevor wir die Formula Cura-E in diversen Bikeparks und langen Abfahrten Großbritanniens testen können, müssen wir sie einbremsen.
Die Formula Cura-E hat einen schlanken Bremshebel …
Die Formula Cura-E hat einen schlanken Bremshebel …
… und eine Bremszange mit 2 ovalen Kolben.
… und eine Bremszange mit 2 ovalen Kolben.
Der Hebel verfügt über ein schlankes, axiales Design.
Der Hebel verfügt über ein schlankes, axiales Design.
Die geschmiedete, zweiteilige Bremszange
Die geschmiedete, zweiteilige Bremszange
Der Bremshebel fühlt sich ergonomisch an, zudem macht die Lagerung einen hochwertigen Eindruck.
Der Bremshebel fühlt sich ergonomisch an, zudem macht die Lagerung einen hochwertigen Eindruck.
Der Hebel nimmt wenig Platz weg und passt gut zu den meisten anderen Cockpit-Elementen.
Der Hebel nimmt wenig Platz weg und passt gut zu den meisten anderen Cockpit-Elementen.
Die Entlüftungsschraube findet sich auf beiden Seiten
Die Entlüftungsschraube findet sich auf beiden Seiten - dadurch kann der Hebel einfach links oder rechts verwendet werden.
Die Beläge zu wechseln, ist kein Problem …
Die Beläge zu wechseln, ist kein Problem …
… sie lassen sich selbst mit eingebautem Hinterrad sehr einfach entnehmen oder einbauen.
… sie lassen sich selbst mit eingebautem Hinterrad sehr einfach entnehmen oder einbauen.
Die Bremszange besteht aus zwei Hälften, die in der Mitte zusammengeschraubt werden.
Die Bremszange besteht aus zwei Hälften, die in der Mitte zusammengeschraubt werden.
Dank des Speed Lock-Systems kann man die Leitung schnell und ohne Verlust von Bremsflüssigkeit entfernen oder anstecken.
Dank des Speed Lock-Systems kann man die Leitung schnell und ohne Verlust von Bremsflüssigkeit entfernen oder anstecken.
Die ovalen 24 mm Kolben aus nächster Nähe
Die ovalen 24 mm Kolben aus nächster Nähe
Sinter-Beläge mit Klammer
Sinter-Beläge mit Klammer - für die Cura-E wurden diese nochmal überarbeitet.
Hier sieht man den Anschluss des Sensorkabels.
Hier sieht man den Anschluss des Sensorkabels.
Auf kurzen, steilen Downhills ließ sich die Cura-E präzise dosieren und stellte ausreichend Power zur Verfügung.
Auf kurzen, steilen Downhills ließ sich die Cura-E präzise dosieren und stellte ausreichend Power zur Verfügung.
Auch auf langen High-Speed-Abfahrten, auf denen die Bremse sehr heiß wird, verändert sich das Bremsgefühl nicht.
Auch auf langen High-Speed-Abfahrten, auf denen die Bremse sehr heiß wird, verändert sich das Bremsgefühl nicht.
Just riding along casually, consistent brakes and up down trails, after descending the hill behind.
Just riding along casually, consistent brakes and up down trails, after descending the hill behind.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

Formula Cura-E brakes tested: The Formula Cura-E brakes are based around Formula’s latest braking platform, and use a mineral oil based system as well as a two piston calliper. Formula has been using this platform on the World Cup downhill circuit for some time, so there is no doubting the pedigree that the Cura-E is based on. We spent time testing in Punta Ala, Italy, Bike Park Wales, UK and around the hills of the Isle of Purbeck in the deep south of the UK, during which we put the E-Bike brakes through their paces and discovered what’s on offer in the Formula Cura-E package – can two pistons be powerful enough for an E-Bike?

Wide open fast descents were safe and perfectly controlled with the Formula Cura-E brakes
# Wide open fast descents were safe and perfectly controlled with the Formula Cura-E brakes

Formula Cura-E  – In Brief

The Formula Cura-E has a slim lever …
# The Formula Cura-E has a slim lever …
… and a calliper with 2 oval pistons.
# … and a calliper with 2 oval pistons.

2 pistons – 2 fast 2 furios

Brakes in general have improved significantly in recent years, especially as the needs of enduro users took hold. Long winding descents, which encouraged riders to drag their brakes more, interspersed with short technical sections, test power, long-term heat performance and modulation characteristics more than ever before. In our experience the ideal brake needs to have bite and also immediate power control ability that remains constant. These are the same characteristics that E-Bikers need as well. With a higher average speed and higher system weight, rider momentum is generally greater – the need for a finely controlled, sensitive, yet powerful stopping force is ever present. The Formula Cura-E uses a powerful calliper combination and well researched lever design to give users a brake that is one of the best performing units we have used so far. In addition to this the Cura-E can be rigged to the electronics of the bike, so that it cuts the power of the motor whilst braking.

Formula Cura-E – Technical Information

  • 2 oval pistons (ø = 24 mm)
  • Aluminium lever with reach adjust
  • Brake pads: sintered
  • MixMaster compatible (SRAM/Shimano shifters)
  • Speed Lock system for easy connection and disconnection of the brake hose
  • Hoses: 100 cm front, 165 cm back
  • PM160-calliper
  • Electronic connection to all major motors
  • Weight: 359 g (85 cm hose, 160 mm rotor & adaptor)
  • Price: 149 € (per brake, w/o rotor & adaptor)
The lever has a slim-line, axial design
# The lever has a slim-line, axial design
A two-piece forged calliper
# A two-piece forged calliper

Formula Cura-E – Hands On

The lever feels very ergonomic and the pivot hardware is of good quality.
# The lever feels very ergonomic and the pivot hardware is of good quality.

A quality component with an excellent finish.

The higher system weight of most E-Bikes requires by law the bikes to have brakes that respect the EN 14764 standard. In practice most brakes meet this standard – however, if you wish to ride faster and more aggressive or with greater control, upgrading your brakes is sometimes a consideration. The Formula Cura-E is a natural choice, based on its technical criteria and our riding experience. Installation is made easy with its Speed Lock system, which allows the cables to be disconnected from the calliper without introducing air into the system or leaking oil anywhere. The electronic motor cut-out switch is only meant for low end E-Bikes, therefore on normal E-Bikes with wheel rotation sensors the attachment is not necessary.

The lever fits quite well with other bike parts on the bar.
# The lever fits quite well with other bike parts on the bar.
The bleed port screw is mimicked on both sides
# The bleed port screw is mimicked on both sides - the brakes are flip-able.

The Formula Cura-E also fits most bar systems without fuss. E-Bikes tend to be pretty crowded in the cockpit area, due to the extra power controls. The master cylinder is axial, it sits parallel to the bar with the brake hose exiting the end of the cylinder. This design allowed Formula to forge the master cylinder, saving weight and cutting cost over casting. The axial layout also gives a traditional feel to the lever. The choice of having the reach adjust as a screw behind the lever means that the lever has a very slimline look to it as well. With nothing sticking out if you crash, you are also less likely to damage the adjustment screw. Pivot hardware and bleed hardware is of very high quality and well positioned.

Pad removal is no problem …
# Pad removal is no problem …
… the pads just slide in and out very easily, even with the wheel installed.
# … the pads just slide in and out very easily, even with the wheel installed.

We also liked the ease of changing the brake pads, which can even be done with the wheel installed and with a normal bike tool. Setting up the calliper is pretty easy, but should be done with an assistant for best results. The brake pads are specific to the Formula Cura-E: rather than the more organic leaning pad material of the normal Cura, the material is some way to being a fully sintered metallic pad. The idea is to increase braking performance for the greater bike weight when dragging brakes on long descents.

The calliper unit is made of two pieces that are screwed together in the middle.
# The calliper unit is made of two pieces that are screwed together in the middle.
The Speed Lock system allows you to connect or disconnect the brake hose without losing any fluid or introducing air into the system.
# The Speed Lock system allows you to connect or disconnect the brake hose without losing any fluid or introducing air into the system.

The Formula Cura-E calliper is a design that has been used on previous Formula brakes. It consists of a novel oval 24 mm piston – according to Formula this negates the need for four pistons, as the acting surface area of the piston is greater. The calliper has the unique Speed Lock system installed on it and is composed of two forged parts screwed together. The connection banjo is fixed in position or really part of the speed lock system, therefore the brake hose exits the calliper at a constant angle. We noted that the hose is flexible enough and the connection port well positioned for this to work on most E-Bikes.

A close up view of the oval 24 mm pistons
# A close up view of the oval 24 mm pistons

For the test we used Formula’s standard disc. The vent design is supposed to increase lateral stiffness by 40 %  and reduce noise and vibration. This though, we can’t actually test out on the trail. We can say that once beaded in, the discs worked extremely well. We also tried the brakes with some other brand discs, as not all riders would want to change their discs as well as brakes. We found that even non-Formula discs worked equally well during our test period.

Sintered pads with the metal spring clip
# Sintered pads with the metal spring clip - these were reworked for the Cura-E.

Most of the time we used the E-Bike-specific brake pads and have only been impressed with their durability and stopping performance in numerous wet, dry, hot, cold, muddy and dusty conditions. Long term experience plus our test on these brakes tells us Formula have created an optimal pad material. We also tried the organic pads, which worked well in muddy and wet conditions.

This is where the electrical connection cable goes.
# This is where the electrical connection cable goes.

The electronic connection was not tested by us, as we had no need for it on our E-Bike. However, it is easy to install and fits on the apparent bleed port on the back of the master cylinder, remaining out of the way.

Formula Cura-E – On The Trail

Trail

Short descents are well controlled and precise speed is possible.
# Short descents are well controlled and precise speed is possible.

Consistent, consistent and consistent …

The first thing to note on normal rolling trails is: The Formula Cura-E is consistent. With no excessive heating and an optimal setup, the stopping power and feel of the pad contacting the disc was always the same. We set up our levers fairly close to the bar, which worked well, because of the consistent bite point. The great thing we have always noticed about Formula brakes is, that the lever feel is superb. We were even able to feel the subtle moment the pad contacts the disc. Brakes need to be more an extension of the rider, rather than a guessing game. We did not have to think about our braking state at any time. This consistency meant, once we had set our reach with a tool, we did not have to reset it like we have had to do with other brands that we have ride experience with.

When riding short climbs or dropping down short trail abutments the brakes allow the rider to check his speed precisely but gently, as the lever action is not sudden or snappy – this is called modulation. Ideally, but also depending on rider preference, the lever travel to the pad should be short, then the feel as the power increases on the brake is a consistent pressure that gradually increases. The lever feel doesn’t get hard or spongy, which results in poor modulation and is often noted on steep descents or after arduous periods of braking.

Downhill

On long, high speed descents, where brakes heat up, the lever feel is consistent.
# On long, high speed descents, where brakes heat up, the lever feel is consistent.

No fade, great modulation

With E-Bikes the difference between downhill and trail performance is much smaller, as we tend to use the brakes a lot more uphill and downhill. This is because with the motor power we normally accelerate up-to-speed a lot quicker than a traditional bicycle, meaning we tend to then decelerate more often on winding trails. However on the occasion of long descents and technical sections that require braking we would say that the Formula Cura-E is extremely good. We did not experience any over heating and fade in the system – even on the very fast, winding, wet and muddy trails of Bike Park Wales. When we took in some rocky Italian Mediterranean descents, we also found braking to be up there with the best brakes we have used. We were able to rely on their stopping power whenever we called upon them to act.

Conclusion – Formula Cura-E

Brakes have been and will always be a bit of a personal choice. Since the advent of E-Bikes the extra system weight means, that brakes, with heavier riders particularly, need to be more powerful. We found in all our varied testing environments over a few weeks the Formula Cura-E to be an ideal E-Bike brake. Power is constant and well modulated even in extreme situations, which is very reassuring. Weight wise the brakes are competitive and pricing is mid-market – performance for price, though, is, in our opinion, excellent.

Pros

  • Consistent and powerful
  • Low profile
  • Easy pad swap

Cons

  • The Speed Lock adaptor doesn’t pass through all internal cable routing frame ports
  • You need help to get the callipers perfectly straight during initial setup

Testing Procedure

We tested the Formula Cura-E brakes in various environments:

  • Punta Ala / Italy: rocky enduro trails and flowing single track
  • Bike Park Wales & Isle of Purbeck / UK: wet, muddy trails of various difficulties

Tester-profile Alex Boyce

Expand for tester-profile

  • Name: Alex Boyce
  • Height: 183 cm
  • Weight (with riding-gear): 95 kg
  • Inside leg: 88 cm
  • Arm’s length: 69 cm
  • Torso: 67 cm
  • Riding style: soft, jumps preferred, every terrain, Uphill in turbo-mode
  • What do I ride mainly: E-Bike, Enduro, Gravel.
  • Preferred suspension: Responsive and direct steering, Plus-Tires
  • Preferred geometry: Wide bars (800 mm), long frame, chainstays mid-length

What brakes are specced on your E-Bike? Are you happy with them?


Further Information about the Formula Cura-E Brakes

Website: www.rideformula.com
Text & Edit: Alex Boyce | eMTB-News.de
Photos: Alex Boyce, Cinzia Montemaggi

Test von: Formula Cura-E

Autor:
Wertung:
5
Datum: 24. October 2017
Aktualisiert: 24. October 2017

Fazit:

Brakes have been and will always be a bit of a personal choice. Since the advent of E-Bikes the extra system weight means, that brakes, with heavier riders particularly, need to be more powerful. We found in all our varied testing environments over a few weeks the Formula Cura-E to be an ideal E-Bike brake. Power is constant and well modulated even in extreme situations, which is very reassuring. Weight wise the brakes are competitive and pricing is mid-market – performance for price, though, is, in our opinion, excellent.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

About The Author

Alex

Alex Boyce fährt seit etwa 1994 Mountainbike und hat seit dieser Zeit all die verschiedenen Veränderungen und Entwicklungen bis heute mitbekommen. Heute verfolgt er diese Neuerungen und testet sie. Als Journalist kommt er seit 2007 mit verschiedenen Sportarten wie Kitesurfen, Bergsport, MotoGP, Motocross und MTB in Berührung - für die ständigen Veränderungen und Entwicklungen bei Athleten und Ausrüstung hat er ein offenes Auge und verfolgt, wie diese Änderungen ihren Weg in die Produkte für uns Endkunden finden. "Ich mag es, mit den Meinungsführern, professionellen Athleten und Ingenieuren Radtouren zu machen und ja, es ist befriedigend einen KOM auf einem E-Bike zu schlagen ... ;-)"

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