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Forbidden Druid

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Forbidden Druid
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Posted: Sep 25, 2020 at 7:49 Quote
Anyone else have a Druid out there? Figured it deserved it’s own thread.

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 at 4:17 Quote
Got one on order, should be picking it up next weekend. Test ride was eye opening.

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 at 6:08 Quote
Awesome!!! I’m buying one blind - got it arriving this Friday. Hoping to have the whole build together in time for a Sunday ride but not feeling too confident lol

Posted: Sep 29, 2020 at 22:08 Quote
Got mine a few weeks ago, I demo'd around ten different bikes before trying a Druid. Spent a couple of hours in the Cumberland forest and ordered one the moment I got back to the shop.
Nothing I could type out here would do the bike justice, if you have the opportunity to demo ride one, I would highly recommend it.

Posted: Sep 30, 2020 at 9:39 Quote
Mine's arriving today and I hope to have the build done by this Friday! I absolutely can't wait!!!

Posted: Oct 6, 2020 at 21:30 Quote
I don't really want to make this post but I feel if it helps a future or potential Druid owner it will be worth it.
I have about 12 rides on the bike but have experienced a glaring issue. The area between the seat tube and seat stay is high susceptible to heavy gouging and chipping from rocks. The gap is not large enough to let them fall through, so as the rear triangle pivots, it does this:

Some owners have made rear fender extension, added more 3m tape, or similar to the route I took, made a cover with a old tube.

Having spoken to Forbidden directly through email, they are entirely aware of the issue, working on a possible aftermarket solution but claim this does not fall into a warranty situation as it has not effected all bikes. I was also recommended to join the Druid Owner Facebook group to see what other owners are doing to prevent rock damage. Extremely disappointing to see they acknowledge it as a problem, so much so that they are supposedly working on a solution but don't want to admit any fault or offer help in any manner.
I will reiterate that the bike is amazing, but this a pretty big asterisk that most will not know about until it happens.

Posted: Oct 7, 2020 at 1:39 Quote
That's heartbreaking on a new bike, really feel for you mate. Thanks for posting this invaluable info, good work with the fix Smile

Posted: Oct 7, 2020 at 4:35 Quote
I do have to say the very same thing happened to me on my 2020 Santa Cruz Hightower though as well - SC offered 20% discount crash replacement for a new frame. I think this happens quite frequently to many bikes. I’m getting my bike wrapped now but I doubt they will even wrap it that far down into the rear seat tube.

Posted: Oct 7, 2020 at 4:40 Quote
Here’s the chips on my Hightower from the same thing



Posted: Oct 7, 2020 at 20:16 Quote
That chip in the second image, damn.
My Druid has the tailored Ride Wrap on it, was purchased the sametime I ordered it. I'm not hard on bikes but I wanted to make sure my first new bike since I started riding was protected.

Posted: Oct 8, 2020 at 11:55 Quote
I got her all wrapped up and built and ready to go!




Posted: Oct 8, 2020 at 19:33 Quote
Curious what everyone was riding before they picked up their Druids and how it compares? I just sold my 2020 Norco Optic and it was hands down the best bike I've ever had. Phenomenal all around bike but life is too short to keep one bike! Being in NY, no way I'll ever get the chance to demo a Druid so I'd have to take a leap like I did the Optic.

Posted: Oct 8, 2020 at 21:22 Quote
My main bike for the past two years was a 2016 Devinci Troy. Loved it, put alot of miles on it, even rode whistler (highlight was clearing Schleyer). List of bikes I demo'd before settling on a Druid include Ibis Ripley/Ripmo v1/Mojo, Evil Offering/Following, Devinci Spartan/Django, Marin Alpine Trail/Rift Zone, Rocky Mountain Slayer (old design), Santa Cruz Hightower, Giant Reign and a Norco Sight.

Bikes have gotten so damn good that I honestly was a bit overwhelmed as what to go with. I really like Weagle suspension designs but I honestly was heavily considering ordering a new Slayer. The Rocky demo weekend near me was cancelled middle of that week because of the pandemic (funny how life works) and I put buying a new bike on the back burner. That was until I tried out my buddies HSP Aurum while at Whistler and he is actually the person who brought up Forbidden. I wasn't really interested in a frame up build but when I saw the prebuild pricing I was interested. Being fortunate enough to be less then an hour away from Cumberland, the following weekend I was able to demo a personal bike from a local shop.

Right from the get go I was completely comfortable being on it, like I had been riding it for years. What I was not prepared for was the way it corners, picked up and carried speed. Let go of the brakes, let the suspension do its thing and you will catch yourself muttering "holy shit" alot. The way it smooths super uneven ground and square edged hits inspires confidence and in turn, you carry even more speed. There is a really good section of trail in my normal loop that always would shift my feet when I bombed through on my Troy. With the Driud, I rode the section 5 or 6 times, each time going faster to see if my feet would budge. They didn't.

I have been Trailfork logging all of my rides this year, I have had the Druid for a little less then a month and I have been faster climbing and descending by some pretty startling margins. I am by no means a KOM chaser but I felt like I had gotten pretty comfortable with my Troy over the span of two years that I did not think some of the time differences were even possible.

Drawbacks from my limited time with it thus far (minus the my post above about the rock damage):
-You are buying into a (at this point) low volume brand. Forbidden is extremely open with everything a owner would need to know to service or work on the bikes, but I cannot comment on availability of parts/replacement bits.
-The drivetrain requires more cleaning/maintenance, with the idler and bottom guide roller being wear items.
-Crashing. This is going to sound stupid, but stay with me. I have had my fair share of bumps and bruises over the years of riding but I had a "stupid" moment riding Bucket of Blood in Cumberland Forest last weekend that I am still paying for. The flipside to all of the confidence and speed the Druid gives you means when you do stack, it is going to hurt. This is probably true for most current day bikes but I do not remember ever hurting this bad (that includes knocking myself out a few times) from riding my DH bikes.

Anyways I don't know if that rambling helps you at all but I will end with saying, I would still recommend trying to throw a leg over one before buying but if you do choose to take the plunge, I would be surprised if you did not like it. And if you do not, they hold their value really well.

Posted: Oct 9, 2020 at 7:19 Quote
Right on man! Appreciate you taking the time to respond. Pretty impressive stable of demo bikes to beat out, many of which were on my list to look at.

Posted: Oct 9, 2020 at 8:12 Quote
cmb47 wrote:
Curious what everyone was riding before they picked up their Druids and how it compares? I just sold my 2020 Norco Optic and it was hands down the best bike I've ever had. Phenomenal all around bike but life is too short to keep one bike! Being in NY, no way I'll ever get the chance to demo a Druid so I'd have to take a leap like I did the Optic.

I wrote this earlier today in a Facebook group. I just came off of riding the 2020 Hightower for the past 12 months.

“ Yep! I just came from a 2020 Hightower v2 that I rode for exactly the past 12 months. I put 1000+ miles on it during that time and just got my druid last week (I've only put 35 miles on it since.)

Here's my thoughts.

The geometry of the hightower feels like it fits my body better at 6'2" (I'm on an XL). The cockpit of the druid is slightly more cramped but I think that's expected moving to more of a trail bike than an enduro bike.

I miss the steeper seat tube angle of the hightower - I Honestly think that it climbs JUST barely better than the druid and I think that's only due to it being slightly lighter and slightly steeper seat tube.

However, it does NOT have to be ridden really hard to appreciate it. I took it to my local trail that I ride about 200x a year on today and I had my 3rd fastest time without really trying hard. I felt much more agile around the turns and found myself jumping a lot more of the roots than I used to on the hightower. It was simply more fun.

This past weekend I took it to the mountains and rode some really steep technical trails. The descents BLEW the hightower out of the water due to the rear suspension. It ate up all of the big chunk so much more effectively than the hightower did but somehow had me feeling more lively and more poppy and fun on the sections where I could get the bike in the air.

But - today I took it to a small jump track and I felt like the rear end was harder for me to get into the air off the lips of the jumps. It's a slow speed jump track and I could tell that the chainstay was slightly longer out back which I'm sure will just take a short time to get used to. I'm not worried about it but I thought that's worth mentioning.

I honestly don't think you can go wrong. There's parts I miss about my hightower and there's parts I like much better about the druid. You will have a blast on both bikes.

Today I changed the travel on my FOX36 from 160mm to 150mm and the bike is definitely more trail oriented now. For sure. So I would say this - if you want a fun trail bike that can eat up really big chunk, go with the Druid. But if you're looking for more of an enduro feel, something that may feel really stable at a bike park, I would maybe keep the hightower. Hope that helps!”

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