Any fan of downhill will not fail to recognise Formula’s long standing association with the sport. After all they produced the first hydraulic brakes back in 1993 as used by Anne Caroline Chausson, Nico Vouilloz to huge success. When the mighty Honda arrived on the scene a decade later it was the Italian brand they turned to and ran 220mm discs on their Formula brakes.
Today marks a new era for them as they launch their Nero triple clamp downhill fork. The coil version of this 35mm fork features the usual high and low speed compression and rebound adjustments but its the air version that sees a new development in its three way air adjust which is deigned to bring the possibility of a full tune through the shape of the curve of your fork on the hill without the need for any pit dismantling.
Formula believe this air version to be aimed at pros but in truth its a system that anyone can use pretty simply. The three air system features gold and silver valves on the top of the leg and bronze at the rear. The gold is the bottom out control but in reality it’s a bit more than that and controls matters from 110-120mm.
The fork has base settings on the lowers and also an inflating sequence which has to be followed. I took a run down a Val Di Sole downhill run yesterday and found the recommendations good, certainly within five percent on the short time I spent on the fork.
As with any fork its always a question of knowing what exactly you’re after plus a huge variety of other factors that input to the front end of the bike – frame stiffness, wheel tension, tyre durometer. More than this its also about your philosophy on how to set the fork up. Even around the pits of the pro teams here in the World Cup finals riders are still searching.
The Nero comes in at 20mm Boost and comes with adaptors for discs. Pricing is going to be strong and will be less than a Fox 40 and comparable to a RockShox Boxxer. Available from December in both 27.5″ and 29″ the Nero marks the start of a new era from this hugely respected brand.