Trust turned the mountain bike world upside down when it launched the Message linkage suspension fork last fall. The company is following up on the launch of the 130mm-travel Message with a long-travel offering that will turn heads and burn wallets.
Trust Shout Highlights
- 178mm of contour travel
- Replaces 29-inch forks with 160-180mm of travel
- Replaces 27.5-inch forks with 150-170mm of travel
- Axle to crown: 580mm
- Claimed weight: 2,179g (including axle)
- Pricing: $1,975
- Available now
Shout Fork Features
The Shout is the rowdy big brother to the Message. Both forks share carbon chassis with similar aesthetics and a trailing-link suspension design. Unlike the telescopic suspension forks we’re accustomed to, this arrangement gives the fork an axle path that’s more in-line with the impacts riders are likely to encounter on the trail. According to Trust, the result is less brake dive, more traction, more control, and more confidence when you need it most.
The Shout may look nearly identical to the Message, but this new fork ups the ante with 178mm of travel, intended to meet the needs of aggressive trail riders and enduro racers. The Shout can fit 29 or 27.5-inch wheels. It has an axle-to-crown height of 580mm and, according to Trust, is suitable to replace 160-180mm 29er forks, or 150-170mm 27.5-inch forks.
First Ride Impressions: Trust Shout Suspension Fork
In mid-August, I got the chance to spin a few laps on the new Trust Shout. The test setting was the Outerbike consumer demo event at Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Evolution Biker Park. My test mule was a Yeti SB150, the same bike I’ve been using to review Shimano’s 12-speed XTR drivetrain. That rig has a 170mm Fox Factory 36 with new FIT4 damper, so it was interesting to contrast my experiences on that fork with my brief dalliance with the latest from Trust.
Looks are the first thing you notice about the Shout linkage system fork, and honestly, I’m not a huge fan. It’s a massive visual departure from the traditional telescopic forks we’ve all grown so accustomed, with sparking Kashima replaced by a confusing array of carbon parts and pieces. The fork’s layout also gives the impression that your bike is far slacker than it actually is, due to the position of the axle, which sits rearward of the most forward linkage.
Weight is also an issue. Though you’d think all that carbon would save a few grams, the Shout’s claimed weight of 2170g is 150g more than the stock Fox 36 that’s on our Yeti SB150. And as long as we’re griping, you can’t talk about this fork without mentioning price. While the aforementioned Fox 36 sells for around $1000, the Shout is nearly double that. That’s a huge upgrade pill to swallow, considering that cash would go a long way toward a new set of carbon wheels or even a summer bike trip to Whistler.
All that said, there is much to love about the Trust Shout, at least based on our very limited test session, which included one non-technical 30-minute climb, and then three lift-assisted descents on intermediate- and expert-rated bike park terrain. In all cases, we left the Trust Shout in open mode; so again, we’ll need to spend far more time on this fork before delivering any definitive performance conclusions.
But… during this short test, the thing was damn impressive. On the way up, what you notice is the fork moves just enough to maintain traction, but exhibits minimal movement from pedaling inputs whether you’re seated or standing. There’s also a sense of enhanced stiffness, which becomes even more pronounced as soon as you point the Shout downhill.
Indeed, going downhill is what the 178mm Trust Shout was built for. The mostly-carbon chassis felt incredibly stiff, providing a dramatic sense of steering precision and overall control, especially on terrain with repetitive small- and medium-sized impacts (the Upper Westside Trail for those familiar with the Crested Butte Mountain Resort bike park). Instead of getting bounced off-line, the bike seemed almost impervious to obstacles, tracking a straight line that would presumably result in faster speeds.
And because your wheel moves back and up, there’s less front end dive, helping maintain a more balanced feel on the bike without the sensation of being thrown forward as you get deeper in the travel. This allows you to ride further over the front end, which in turns helps keep weight on your front tire, enhancing traction.
The experience was similarly positive on one of the park’s intermediate jump/flow trails (Luge to Teaser) and more technical descents (Avery to Boulder Mason).
The look may be jarring, and the price may be steep, but in all cases, the Shout delivered a sense of enhanced control and stability even when compared to the best from RockShox and Fox. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to spending more test time on the Trust Shout.