Formula 35 forks

Discussion in 'Parts 'n Stuff' started by bikeyoulongtime, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. bikeyoulongtime

    bikeyoulongtime Likes Dirt

    About six weeks ago a pair of formula 35s landed on the front of my bike.

    So how are the 35s? Pretty fuss free. I pumped them up to about 25% sag, left all the settings at factory and went for a fang at Majura. For most people I think this is all that is required - just go ride! which is nice. I'm a pretty big unit (90+kg) who likes to try to go fast, so tinkering was required.

    i've since added 5cc of oil to the air side and dropped the spring pressure a touch, to about 30% sag now. At the same time, I added more compression damping (2-3 clicks toward closed from the midle).

    I'm using the standard compression valve, don't feel the need yet to change it. The internal floating stuff does what it says on the tin - the fork is super active through corners (a bit unsettling at first, smooooooooothness). This review describes it well:

    ...and holy shit they're light. And the little steampunk dially bits are works of art.

    Anyway, just confirming that people other than bike magazine reviewers ride these puppies, and so far I really like 'em.

    Details: 2017 Formula 35, 27.5 non boost, 160mm travel, medium compression valve.
    Bike: Liteville 301 mk11 XL
    Former fork: XF Sweep RC HLR

    Why not pikes or fox 36s or DVOs or Metrics? I was leaning toward 36s (rc2 damper) or metrics, but the formulas kept frothing up in my mind. Having good dealings with the importer in the past was a factor, plus really liking other formula things I have. That aside it was really hard to decide on paper. Almost a four sided coin toss, with a little bit of realising I don't ride nearly hard enough to justify metrics. Which is actually awesome, it seems really hard to buy a bad fork these days! So differences seem either personal preference or incremental. I rode a bike with Pikes just before pulling the trigger, and another with fox 34/fit4s - both were great (pike was better out of the two), but I bought the formulas anyway and I have no regrets.

    My personal feeling about where forks sit, with respect to having not a heap of experience on all of them (1-2 rides on Pikes on trails I'm very familiar with, a few weeks on a 120mm fit4 29er (not the newest model though), quite a while on XF sweeps (both RL2 and RC HLR) and a few weeks on the 35's) - and please feel free to disagree:
    Smoothness in my mind: Formula > Pike > XF == Fox fit4
    Damping in the rocky gnar: Formula > Pike == XF > Fox fit4. Seriously, XF damping in the rocky chunder is really really good, this is where they shine! easily on par with the big players - the 35s have a slight edge because of noticeably better response when the fork is leaned over. Noting that the fit4 fork was also 120mm/32, so not really a fair comparison
    Low speed support (berms, general ride height): Formula == pike == XF > fit4 - another place where the XF shines among the big kids.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  2. John U

    John U MTB Precision

    I had a pair of Laurins on the XC bike. First got them about 10 years ago. They were great forks. Easy to tune. Changing tune made noticeable differences, stiff. Was pretty happy with them.
  3. bikeyoulongtime

    bikeyoulongtime Likes Dirt

    ...a few edits with details in the top post :) HTH
  4. Logic

    Logic Likes Dirt

    I absolutely love those adjustments at the top of the fork, They're like no other fork on the market!
  5. Hools

    Hools Likes Dirt

    Nice review. Do you mind sharing where you got them from?
  6. No Skid Marks

    No Skid Marks Blue Mountain Bikes Brooklyn/Lahar/Kowa/PO1NT Raci
    bikeyoulooooongt did you get the awesome purple ones?
    great review. Not applicable to me being a feather weight so may just have to get some myself. Anyone want some new Fox 36s unriden, pm me.
  7. bikeyoulongtime

    bikeyoulongtime Likes Dirt

    No Skid Marks has it - Eightyonespices. Ask your friendly LBS to give them a yell.

    ...thanks, and very nearly went purple. Soon as I saw another build pic with them I regretted not making the loud choice. Next bike!

    Here's the machine with forks on, fresh from a run down short and sharp at Stromlo a week or so ago. I took the yellow warning label off yesterday ;)


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