Last week we went to the Mountain Bike Connection Summer in Andalo where we spent some time with the Formula staff who presented us with an in depth breakdown regarding their range of forks and brakes. As anticipated by the title of this article, the most eye catching is definitely the new enduro dual crown fork, which will soon be available on the market.
Dual crown prototype
Talking about innovation regarding a dual crown may seem out of place, considering that the format is in fact the most classic and traditional one for forks. On the other hand, the idea of introducing this format to the enduro world is innovative, which has always been subject to the evolution of the all-mountain single crowns from which enduro forks derive. Formula, on the other hand, believes that, as the enduro segment is now drastically closer to gravity and DH than it has ever been to all mountain, riders and modern bikes of this discipline need adequate performance from their forks.
They have therefore created a new fork which, with its 2,270 grams in 29″ format, is in fact lighter than the single crowns in the same category offered by their main competitors, as well as obviously offering greater stiffness thanks to the additional structure. The fork does not yet have a name and is still being flossed out in terms of some aesthetic details, so in fact it is configured as a prototype, but the technical details are definitive as are what we will find on the stock fork that we will see on the market in 2022.
The lower leg assembly is that of the Selva and the Nero, while the 35mm stanchions have been made specifically for this fork using differentiated thicknesses over the entire length to ensure adequate strength in the critical points, while still saving weight where possible. The hydraulic cartridge is the same as the Selva, adapted to the greater length, therefore with compression and rebound adjustment, the interchangeable CTS valve system and adjustable lock out. As for the spring side, first of all the new dual crown fork will be available in the S version, therefore with air cartridge and triple negative spring.
A lot of work went into the crowns. Firstly, the lower crown was made with a shape very similar to that of the head of a single crown, but with a further reduced overall dimensions thanks to the greater structural rigidity offered by this format. That saves space as regards the axle-to-crown height, keeping it about 10mm lower with the same travel and in any case adjustable unlike a single crown.
There is a small volume saving even laterally thanks to the screw that is hidden in the profile of the lower crown and that tightens the stanchion using a central notch in the crown itself. It’s a different system compared to the one traditionally adopted on forks for DH or motorcycles, in order to reduce the rear encumbrance of the crown thus providing the greatest possible degree of steering rotation without the crown impacting against the frame.
The upper crown, on the other hand, has a more traditional shape but we can see how it is considerably lightened compared to what we could find on a DH fork such as the Nero, from Formula. Like a DH or motorcycle fork, it offers the possibility of attaching a direct mount stem to further improve stiffness and riding precision, as well as ease of assembly. In addition, the direct mount system allows you to easily and quickly raise or lower the stem using a spacer without having to touch the preloading screw of the headset, an interesting aspect especially in the race field.
As a prototype, the new Formula Enduro double plate fork does not yet have a defined price which we will discover at the time of the official launch. Launch which, according to plans, will take place in spring 2022. We’ll keep you posted as more news trickles in!
Photo credits: MTB Connection Summer – Rupert Fowler