Formula T1S Brakes Review (2013)


Behold the world’s lightest all mountain brake set! The Italian manufacturer Formula took the step to include the current cutting-edge technologies in bike braking in their T1S (The One) model, altogether with shaving off as many grams as possible, getting an outstanding result. Versatility is certainly one of the strong points of the set, the manufacturer recommending them for disciplines ranging from XC to DH, but I believe that all mountain suits best the T1S for reasons found below.

First of all, for XC usage I would go for a lighter set, while downhill needs are better met by a 4-piston brake caliper. Therefore, T1S sits inbetween these specifications with the total of 666 grams it weighs, the value not being far off Avid’s X0 Trail brake set. To break down the weight figure a bit, I must mention that the levers, hoses and calipers tip the scale at 420 grams, while a single rotor has 123 grams.

The levers don’t have the nicest design when compared with fellow competitors, but beauty sits in the eye of the beholder, so I’ll just stick to noticing that the grip is quite good, aproximately at the same level as Avid’s. Still, it doesn’t manage to surpass Shimano in this regard. You can adjust the distance between T1S’ lever and the handlebar with a small size Allen key, a thing that cut some grams compared to the standard model, that used a heavier system for this operation.

On the trail, the brakes provide excellent braking power, mainly thanks to the large 24mm pistons. Modulation is also superbe, giving you the choice to actuate the levers at various levels. It even provides the answer for fading, which occured on long descents, simply pulling the lever harder making the bike slow down or stop, according to my wishes.

The flip-flop levers can be switched if you want so, and another quality feature is the brake caliper built out of a single piece, and not from two put together like the rest of the competition does. Therefore, finishing touches can be given without problems 5 stars. But quality has its price, and the aproximately 500 euros they cost make them off-limits to a number of consumers.

The bottom line is that Formula’s T1S brakes can be used when mountainbiking in so many ways, and the fact that they’re light is nothing but a very strong point in the struggle to overpass competiton. I mean, when a 2-piston brake performs like a 4-piston one, what could you add to this?

Weight: 666 grams (whole set)