Tech Point: Formula CTS Valve technology
Formula have once again pioneered a high-tech concept, and brought it to the every rider. But, it’s fair to say that in some ways, that oversimplifies their CTS Valve technology. One of the many benefits to Formula’s CTS Valve system, is that it not only carries huge ramifications for the weekend warriors out there, but it makes tuning fast and efficient, even for professional riders who are chasing tiny adjustments for what could make or break their race day or even their season. So what is Formula’s CTS Valve? Well, it’s not actually just one valve. CTS is a range of seven different, interchangeable valves for Formula forks, each with unique damping characteristics to suit seven different types of rider. Because the CTS valve is a fundamental structural part of the hydraulic cartridge within the fork, changing this valve means changing the cartridge itself, modifying the fork’s behaviour, giving it a custom tune, for which on other forks you would typically send the fork away to a suspensiuon tuning centre. Each valve has its own colour associated with it, and only takes around 5 minutes to change. You can do it yourself, in your garage. There’s no sending your forks away for tuning or re-valving. And at $79.- RRp, having a range of valves to suit a varied season of racing, or even just the variance in your favourite trails, means you can be ready for anything that comes your way, any day of the week.
The Gold CTS valve offers the closest tune to the “industry-standard”. Great sensitivity in the first 20mm of travel, good support at low and medium speeds and a constant, yet gentle grogressivity. This valve is designed to offer the every-rider a high level of comfort and support, combined with the advantage of being able to use all of the available travel when they need it. The Orange CTS valve offers riders maximum sensitivity in that first 20mm again, but with increased support at low and medium speeds and a more pronounced progressivity towards the end of the travel. Green CTS valves are designed with the pure racer in mind, offering a higher level of performance over comfort. This valve offers a very sensitive first two centimetres with maximum compression support at medium and high speeds. This valve is designed for riders who aggressively load the front wheel in the pursuit of fractions of seconds between the tape. Formula’s Desert valve, conversely, offers maximum comfort and sensitivity at low speeds. This valve is designed to give a feeling of infinite travel up to half way, without giving up the indispensable support at high speeds. Similar to the Desert valve, the Blue CTS valve offers a feeling of lots of travel without giving up a sustained behaviour at high speeds. With a pronounced progressivity at high speeds, this valve is designed for riders who are looking for comfort at lower speeds but not at the expense of support at higher speeds. The Red CTS valve takes the high speed progressivity of Formula’s Green valve, but offers a higher level of comfort and sensitivity at lower speeds. This valve is ideal for riders who occupy a very central position on their bike and who have a very smooth riding style. This valve is aptly named the “keep-the-momentum” race option. With the popularity of E-Bikes, Formula’s Anthracite CTS valve is specifically designed to transfer the characteristics of the Green race-ready CTS valve to the typical stresses of an E-Bike. Tuned to cope with a heavier bike with greater inertia under braking, the Anthracite valve is a great option for the E-Bike rider who wants to challenge the race field. With so many options to suit a range of riding techniques and terrain, each with their own high level of customisation, Formula offers mountain bikers a more capable fork with a simpler and wider range of tuning options, without the need to send your fork away, costing you more and potentially voiding your warranty.