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Bike Check: Marcel Hunt's 27.5" Forbidden Druid Jib Bike

May 13, 2024
by Matt Beer  

Forbidden Druid 27.5
BIKE CHECK
Marcel Hunt's
Forbidden Druid
A pastel pink frame, flashy chrome bits, and natural brown tones turns heads.

When I first laid eyes on this bike, I figured there would be a captivating story behind it. Dirt jump and slopestyle guru, Marcel Hunt, built up a Forbidden Druid V2 that's totally capable of flipping and spinning through the woods, but didn't want to limit what new trails he could venture to. "Custom build" barely describes this bike as it has everything from dual 27.5" wheels, specially-tuned suspension and hand-milled machined bits.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Marcel was drawn to British Columbia years ago after first seeing freeride flicks like the New World Disorder films and Drop In TV series. Fast forward to present day where he's the star in an upcoming video project that will showcase his slopestyle talents on the woodwork and rock slabs around Squamish. Along with some friends, Marcel is creating a jibby trail and built this Forbidden Druid to tackle it. Being the humble guy he is, Marcel's stoked to share his trail with everyone once the film project is wrapped.

photo


Age: 35
Height: 175 cm / 5'9"
Weight: 75 kg / 165 lb
Residence: Squamish, B.C.
Sponsors: Forbidden Bikes, Chromag Bikes, Industry Nine Wheels, Fluid Function, North Shore Billet
Instagram:@marcelmtbhunt

photo
When I ask Marcel why his front brake wasn't matched to the same position as the rear on the handlebar, I knew there was a good reason.

bigquotesRunning the front brake further inboard gives me more room to catch bar-spins and get my hand back on to land superman seat grabs.Marcel Hunt


Forbidden Druid 27.5
There's no mistaking whose bike this is.
Forbidden Druid 27.5
The chrome to matte pink anodized alloy spokes really set this bike off.
Bike Details:

Frame: Forbidden Druid V2, size S2 (MD), 130mm travel
Fork: RockShox Zeb 27.5" 160mm travel
Shock: Rock Shox Super Deluxe Ultimate
Wheels: Industry Nine Grade 300 rims 27.5", Hydra Hubs, straight pull alloy spokes
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5" EXO casing, Maxx Grip front & rear
Inserts: N/A
Brakes: SRAM Maven Ultimate, 200mm front/180mm rear rotor
Bars: Chromag OSX LTD 25mm rise
Stem: Chromag Riza 31.8mm diameter, 32mm long
Grips: Chromag Wax
Shifting: SRAM GX Transmission w/ AXS Pod Ultimate
Cranks: North Shore Billet Talon 155mm, 30-tooth, 0mm offset chainring
Pedals: Chromag Pressure
Saddle: Chromag Overture
Post: OneUp Components V3 Dropper & Lever
Extras: Custom machined components, laser engraving and anodized spokes.
Weight: 15.67kg / 34.55 lb

Forbidden Druid 27.5
The 130mm travel Druid can accept a 27.5" or 29" rear wheel by switching out the specific chainstays to raise or lower the rear axle accordingly. The head angle becomes 0.5 degree slacker with the smaller rear wheel.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
44mm offset, 27.5" wheel, 160mm of travel, not 190.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Industry Nine custom anodized these color fade alloy spoked-wheels for Marcel.
Forbidden Druid 27.5
The 27.5" front wheel - still bigger than what's on a DJ bike, but a rarity on the trails these days indeed. It's hard to fault Minion DHFs.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Marcel has the Zeb set to 70.5 psi with 2 tokens. The low-speed compression is backed off 2 clicks from the "mid" position while the high-speed is closed 1 position.
Forbidden Druid 27.5
This Charger 3 damper has a custom compression tune and the rebound is 14 clicks from closed.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
The Super Deluxe is also custom tuned and pumped to 250 psi. The rebound is 8 clicks from closed and the compression adjusters are fully open. The dual 27.5" wheels make for an extra low BB, but a climb switch and short cranks will help to avoid pedal strikes.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
How short? 155m to be exact. These are off-the-shelf item from North Shore Billet.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Those cranks turn over a standard SRAM GX T-type 10-52-tooth cassette.
Forbidden Druid 27.5
Chromag's Pressure pedal's platform wraps back in towards the crank to give a solid purchase close to the crankarms when landing no-footed tricks. Marcel has removed the spacers to raise the pins.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Chromag OSX LTD bars have a 25mm rise and are cut to 780mm.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
A creative and slick use of ordinary items keeps the brake hose in check.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
The front brake line runs in through the super clean top cap that was made on a manual lathe.
Forbidden Druid 27.5
... and out the bottom. A threaded rod system replaces the usual star nut to preload the bearings.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Marcel is used to a steep brake lever angle from years of riding dirt jump bikes. Check out his Instagram clips. They're working just fine for him.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
SRAM's powerful Maven brakes have been an adjustment for Marcel, though he's loving the responsive lever feel. Organic pads are installed at both ends. Up front is a 200mm rotor and out back is a 180mm.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Much more power than a cable brake.
Forbidden Druid 27.5
Full-length push-on Chromag Wax grips and an AXS Pod Ultimate shifter aren't seen together every day.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Built for more trickery. A OneUp dropper lever is mounted to a bracket hand-milled by Sean Murphy at Fluid Function, who also laboured over the front brake routing. The custom mount frees up the grip area and is one less cable to detangle.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Over, under, and in. The cable housing runs into the storage compartment in the BB shell and up through the seat tube.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Signs of the witch.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
Gotta get up to get down. The saddle is nearly all the way back in the rails for pinching while the hands come off.
Forbidden Druid 27.5
This isn't the first Chromag Overture I've seen bolted to a dropper post. It sure looks comfy.

Forbidden Druid 27.5
You know the deal.


Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
375 articles

107 Comments
  • 122 5
 Beautiful bike, Forbidden really nailed it with the colourway, and the details on this build are captivating.

Oh and, since this is PB comments: the people want 27.5"!! Give us the 27.5"!!
  • 22 5
 The Spruce Green launch color can't be beat.
  • 14 65
flag cmi85 (May 13, 2024 at 14:25) (Below Threshold)
 Nailed it with pastel pink? GTFOH.
  • 40 2
 I gave up my 29er and went back to exclusively riding my 27.5 5010v3. At this point, unless the market changes, I think I'll be spending my remaining years mountain biking basically tracking down 5010v4s once my v3 gives up the ghost.
  • 25 0
 a Pinkbike!!!
  • 11 1
 @Nathan-A: 5010V1's for me with -2 headset, 165 cranks, longer stroke shock. And Weighs 25 pounds not 35 pounds.
  • 13 0
 Banshee Spitfire
  • 9 0
 @Nathan-A: love my V4 5010 and plan to buy them all up in XL. Sorry about that
  • 8 1
 @tiffe: Thankfully I'm a bit shrimpier, so I'll just need an M for jib days and an L for trail days.

I say we form an alliance. I'll send every decent XL I come across to you, and you send the lil guys to me.

As for the rest of you, sorry. You'll be stuck with your dump trucks an earth movers. @tiffe and I will have all the fun bikes on lock.
  • 2 0
 @GBeard: this is the way!!!
  • 2 0
 Still rocking my Intense Spider, only thing I'd change about it is the length of the seat post
  • 1 0
 @Nathan-A: You should look at Bird bikes.
  • 1 0
 @captainclunkz: They only have one 27.5 which is beeing discontinued.
  • 1 0
 @TeddyC: Ah didn't realise they were discontinuing it. My mate has one and it's great looking piece of kit.
  • 2 0
 @GBeard: I have a v3 and love it. Most overlooked bike by the media.
  • 1 0
 @tiffe: I think pretty much any mullet bike can be converted back to full 27.5 with a slightly longer fork (per the pictured build). I have seen pictures of this with the newest 5010. So I think you’re good to go here.
  • 3 0
 Imagine they paid attention and gave the people 27.5 bikes… nah wouldn’t catch on let’s stuff the next marketing buzz word down your neck.. UpDuro 29.5 mulletride
  • 1 0
 Comparable to SB135
  • 3 0
 @Bro-tato: this! If you currently have a 27.5 bike you can upgrade to a ‘mullet frame and just stick a spacer (Reverse make a good one) under the headset in place of the crown race, and if you do that while using 29 inch forks you’ll get pretty much the same geometry a the frame is designed around albeit with dual 27.5 wheels, it’s really not as much of a big deal as some people make it out to be
  • 1 0
 @samdaman1: is this a proven strategy? I’m about to buy a mullet but only cus I can’t find a 27.5/27.5…
  • 1 0
 @samdaman1: You will need 20mm of spacers and the BB drop will be reduced nearly 20mm. 29" offset is different from 27.5".
  • 1 0
 @StickyRickey: mate of mine has been riding his current nomad with a 27.5 fork and wheel and while it is a bit of a compromise, it’s not slowed him down! If you already own a full 27.5 bike and are planning on upgrading to a mullet frame, there’s no harm in trying that method out, it might just be exactly what you’re looking for! Likewise it might actually be the case that you end up preferring a mullet, but you will only find out if you try it
  • 2 0
 @TeddyC: increase the travel 10mm, add the 20mm spacer, and viola it's front end and bb is pretty much the same.

I ran a V1 druid full 27.5" with a 10mm wolftooth headset spacer, 160mm travel on a 27.5 fox 36 and it felt great.

Recently swapped to a 29er zeb at 160mm with everything else the same and i could barley even tell a difference

Yall act like the front end being 2cms lower will actually make a difference.
  • 46 6
 Admit it: 27.5 bikes look way better than wagon wheels!
  • 24 7
 Not in big man sizes.
  • 5 1
 @PhillipJ: Agreed.
  • 42 3
 That's a lot of work to not run an AXS dropper.
  • 4 35
flag sdaly (May 13, 2024 at 15:02) (Below Threshold)
 So how would running an AXS dropper make any difference to the amount of work it took to mount the lever in that location?
  • 27 1
 @sdaly: I think sliding a wireless dropper post lever onto the handlebars takes a little less time compared to fabricating a custom bracket to mount onto the bottle cage bosses...
  • 13 8
 If the remote isn’t easily accessible while riding, why not run a normal post with a qr collar?
  • 27 0
 Dual 27.5 inch wheels, the new fad!
  • 23 0
 Someone should invent a slightly smaller wheel size to make it even more fun and playful
  • 24 5
 Not needing or wanting huge wheels would be the norm if it wasn’t pushed. 27.5 bikes are more versatile, but people are getting soft, so..
  • 22 0
 One of the more stunning bikes I've seen recently, I gotta admit. This is the only type of cable tourism I can get on board with, even if I will probably never in my life attempt a bar spin
  • 12 0
 Tried one once, one end of the bar hooked on my fly and pulled down my pants when i landed, the other smacked me in the face. Was in a busy skatepark, full of kids. Not recommended.
  • 21 0
 Exo casing tyres, Pinkbike reviewers be like
  • 19 2
 I'm not jibby at all, but I am genuinely curious if this is where a high pivot bike makes sense?
  • 39 0
 pays the bills
  • 2 4
 possibly b/c the intended use is out on the trails and not a groomed track?...probably helps when the run up to a feature is a bit sketchy
  • 3 1
 Max out the shocks so it feels like a hardtail. Nice and poppy. But squishy for the biggest hits.
  • 19 1
 Double mullet! Bring back the double mullet!
  • 20 0
 Party on the front, party in the back
  • 14 0
 Evil Insurgent LB here...cant say enough about how fun 27.5 is. Winning the fun race is all i care about.
  • 12 0
 Dream build. Keeping full 27.5 bikes alive and well!
  • 8 0
 "When I ask Marcel why he runs his front brake wasn't matched to the same position as the rear on the handlebar,"

Matt Beer, what?
  • 3 0
 I can’t help you out:

“When I asked Marcel why his front brake wasn’t matched to the same position as the rear on the handlebar…”
  • 3 1
 Proofreeading is money.
  • 7 1
 "When I ask Marcel why his front brake wasn't matched to the same position as the rear on the handlebar, I knew there was a good reason." It's genuinely heartwarming that he went back after you posted this, edited his caption and still didn't get the tense correct. You keep at it @mattbeer! Third time's a charm.
  • 11 1
 More 27.5" bikes please. Make MTB fun again
  • 11 4
 when you have to modify hard because bike industry doesn't make bikes fit for purpose anymore...............
  • 2 0
 Tom Isted actually drilled into a new carbon frame on one of his videos recently to get it to work for him!
  • 6 0
 Buts it a 27.5 are we not supposed to dislike them....
I love my SC Nomad 5 Smile
  • 6 0
 Me too. Saw the way the 29” revolution was going so snapped one up quick smart. Perfect.
  • 3 0
 Popping out at lunch time for an hour's ride. Do I take my;
DH Bike
Jib bike
Slope bike
XC bike
Down-country bike
Dirt Jumper
Pub bike
Enduro bike
Trail bike

Sod it....it's too late to go now.
  • 4 1
 For a lunch ride? Probably your all mountain bike. Wouldn’t wanna pedal too much weight or be limited by your trail bike.
  • 5 0
 Really cool to see a non-clown wheel bike for a change. 29'er can suck it lol
  • 4 0
 those wheels are fire!!!!
  • 2 0
 @mattbeer , @marcelmtbhunt, @industrynine
are you sure the "tie-dye" alloy spokes are "custom painted" ? Surely they're anodised no?
Sorry I'm a geek!
Love the bike!
  • 3 1
 That dropper lever location sure is waki. I dig the innovation there! Also, those wheels have me absolutely drooling
  • 13 0
 Waki? Didn't he get banned?
  • 1 0
 Fork compression is backed off? Wouldn’t that mean the dials are rotated left/counterclockwise for less damping/more open — aka backed off? Looks clockwise in the photo.
  • 6 5
 Jib bike with a 52 cassette. This type of bike needs a gearbox but I like the general idea.
  • 8 0
 Or maybe just a light 10sp
  • 4 0
 or maybe single speed
  • 2 0
 @naptime: came to the comments for this.
  • 2 1
 NSB crank arms are so nice looking. Wish they would come back in stock so I can scoop a set for my Druid!
  • 6 0
 We’ll have some spindles to build more sets for 73mm BB shells this week!
  • 2 0
 @nsbillet: hooray! Thanks for letting me know. I’ll definitely be placing an order when they are available. Keep up the great work. Loving my NSB idler pulley.
  • 2 2
 Machined cranks are always gonna be heavier or weaker than a good forged set of cranks.
  • 2 1
 @emptybe-er: implying that the GX crankset is lighter and/or stronger than the Talon crankset?
  • 1 0
 @603roost: To answer your question about 2 crappy sram cranksets, some forging sucks
  • 2 0
 More shiny bike parts! Polish that aluminum!
  • 1 0
 Ah yeah, Purple haze… What a good looking bike.
  • 2 1
 Yet another rider with the Zeb rebound turned all the way off...
  • 1 0
 They sure have a cool and different visual look to their bikes
  • 1 0
 Great looking bike. And Marcel can use it too!
  • 1 0
 Love the dropper lever, that's saf
  • 2 3
 Bar spins are the only justifiable reason I can think of for headset cable routing
  • 10 0
 That particular headset cable routing was sort of 'invented' back in the 80's with the BMX freestylers. Most of the older style quill stems had a 'Potts Mod' which had the brake cable running straight down the quill bolt
  • 1 0
 Such a sick bike!
  • 1 1
 This weighs as much as my Dreddy. Wild
  • 1 1
 This is the only acceptable headset cable routing.
  • 1 0
 28.25 maybe one day
  • 1 4
 Sick bike but the brake levers are backwards...
Seems like a QR and rigid post would save some weight/cables
  • 1 3
 Best grips out there, but do wire them on, it only takes a minute
  • 1 0
 Better than longnecks?
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