Trust Performance Message suspension fork

Radical, trailing multi-link front $2700 fork from Weagle and friends

Suspension

What is it

Years in the making in the Trust Performance labs, the Message is the first trailing multi-link front suspension design from this think tank. It delivers 130mm of shaped travel through a Trust engineered twin-tube thru-shaft damper. It features a trailing multi-link design that pedals like it’s running XC suspension but descends like a full-on enduro suspension. With a full-carbon chassis, steerer and links, the Message is competitively lightweight at 1980 grams and resoundingly stiff. It’s an ‘out of the box’ design with a stratospheric price tag of $2700.

29” / 27.5”+ bikes designed around 110mm to 150mm of travel; 27.5” bikes designed around 130mm to 150mm of travel

The Message is designed to fit on mountain bikes with a traditional tapered head tube running a 15x110mm “Boost” front axle and a standard 180mm post-style brake mount. Because of its versatile travel, the Message is also suitable for a wider range of axle-to-crown lengths and travel — one model is capable of replacing 29” / 27.5”+ telescopic forks with 110mm to 150mm of travel and 27.5” telescopic forks with 130mm to 150mm of travel. The Message retail price is $2700.

Something new

The Message offers supple performance early in the stroke, supported with a progressive mid-stroke and more bottom-out resistance at the end of the travel. Like a well-designed rear suspension, the linkage design also takes over the important duties of pedaling support, stability control and bump absorption.

Trust Performance Message profile is clean and roomy with no fork bridge

Axle Path

The trailing multi-link design means that the axle path isn’t forced to travel in line with the steering axis. Instead, it counteracts the natural steering angle change with a corresponding adjustment in offset. The result: The Message maintains caster through the range of travel, giving the rider predictable handling in a wider variety of trail conditions. The contour wheel path of the Message also lessens the feel of head angle, axle-to-crown height, and fixed offset. As a result, it is capable of performing on a wide range of telescopic axle-to-crown heights.

Trust Performance Message excels in the rooty segments

THE RIDE

Caster Effect: Modern mountain bikes use slack head angles and shorter fork offsets to increase caster measurements (mechanical trail) as a way to improve high-speed handling. Longer front centers increase stability at speed; however, this results in slower turning in tight or technical situations. Due to the unique design and axle path of the Message, the front end of the bike is now capable of providing both. The wheel behaves like a caster and provides a self-aligning dynamic in which the rider experiences greater control and more predictable steering in most conditions.

Trust engineered twin-tube, thru-shaft damper

Ratio Effect: Because of the linkage design, the Message brings to front suspension what rear suspension designs have enjoyed for years — supple performance early in the stroke to provide ground-hugging traction, support through the mid-stroke and more bottom-out resistance at the end of the travel. Ratio provides the rider a progressive and predictable ramp through the travel — light resistance at the beginning, heavy resistance at the end.

Trust Effect: Trust Effect is a sensation that makes you realize you can have more control, compliance and confidence. It is the combination of Ratio and Caster effects that result in a third effect — the Trust Effect — which is a sensation that the bike pedals as though it’s running XC suspension but descends like an enduro suspension. Simply put, this Effect is a multiplier for your front end performance.

Trust Performance Message sag meter is built in for proper setup

SETUP

The Message is designed to be incredibly easy to set up and operate. The air springs and rebound are set to the rider’s body weight — rider weight in pounds is equal to the air spring pressure in PSI (1-to-1). A 3-way mode adjust provides on-the-fly adjustments to control compression performance across three positions: open, medium and firm. The firm setting operates with a unique blow-off characteristic and there is an additional compression speed adjustment for fine tuning the medium setting.

Ratio provides the rider a progressive and predictable ramp through the travel — light resistance at the beginning, heavy resistance at the end.

SPECIFICATIONS

Design: Trailing multi-link front suspension
Construction: Full carbon chassis, steerer tube and linkages with aluminum pivots
Travel: 130mm contour travel
Wheel Size: Fits 29” / 27.5”+ / and 27.5” wheel sizes
Tire Clearance: 29”x 2.6” (762 x 66) max or 27.5” x 2.8” (744 x 78) max
Rotor Size: Direct mount 180mm rotor (with adapter: 203mm)
Suggested Bikes: 29” / 27.5”+ bikes designed around 110mm to 150mm of travel; 27.5” bikes designed around 130mm to 150mm of travel
Weight: 1980 grams
Damper Technology: Trust engineered twin-tube, thru-shaft damper
Adjustments: External rebound; three-position compression adjust (open, medium, firm)
Hub Spacing: “Boost” 15x110mm thru axle standard, or with “torque caps”
Axle to Crown: 535mm
Steer Tube Diameter: Tapered (1⅛ – 1½ inch)
Price: $2700

Hap Seliga, Dave Weagle and Jason Schiers

COMPANY OVERVIEW

Ok, this product is so ‘out there’ and unexpected that we quickly discounted it as a Eurobike prototype developed by mad scientists. But a deeper look reveals that it’s created by some of the most respected bike innovators around.

Trust Performance was founded by industry innovators Dave Weagle, Jason Schiers and Hap Seliga. Its operations, design and engineering staff are headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and the company operates its own production facility in Taichung, Taiwan. Since formally incorporating in 2015, Trust Performance has attracted a talented team of product engineers, developers and industry veterans. More information can be found at www.trustperformance.com

More Info: www.trustperformance.com


About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • justin says:

    What’s the black friday deal price?

  • Svend says:

    Way too expensive. I get that designers and innovators need to recoup their R&D costs but this thing is 4-5x the price of a Pike or a Fox 36. Nobody is going to pay that much for this thing, there’s no way in hell it’s 5x better than it’s competition.

    • kam says:

      It’s usually not good to judg e a product with broad sweeping statements. “Nobody” is incorrect. There are four guys I know at work that already bought it. Granted, this is Google. As for “no way in hell it’s better than it’s competition”. Once again, a broad sweeping statement. And I suspect one with no basis of fact since you haven’t even tried it yet.

  • Joe says:

    When you think about it, this is an extension of the frame geometry “revolution” that happened in full squish bikes. For the most part, many manufacturers have gone away from the 90’s/early 2000’s single pivot design because it relies upon the shock to handle all the small bump compliance, pedallling bob, preventing braking forces from locking suspension out, etc. Now, frame designers rely more on suspension linkage design to handle most of that, while having the shock handle what it does best — the damping & spring rate. Examples being DW-Link, VPP, Maestro, etc.

    In order for this to be successful, though, they will a) have a more competitive price point and b) have a marketing campaign like Pivot — Pivot somehow gets a major article into every magazine and online forum at least once a month.

  • Brian says:

    Throw this fork on a NAILD R3act-2Play and you’ll have the ugliest, but potentially best performing bike that (A LOT of) money can buy!

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