This year's contenders for Innovation of the Year featured Pole's Machine, Specialized's ANGI, and Trust's The Message. A wide range of products from a funky carbon linkage fork, an aluminum shredder, and a helmet that might just make a telephone call for you and save you life.
Like all competitions, there can only be one winner, and the winner is.....
The concept of using a linkage fork on a mountain bike isn't new, but it's Trust's take on the idea that gave them the win in the Innovation of the Year category. The Message is the first full-carbon linkage fork, arguably looks cooler than anything that has been done before, and promises to give minimal service intervals and an extremely stable ride characteristic.
This ride feeling should be the main reason for its success; by using a trailing linkage the axle path can be optimized and should prevent dive under braking. These features promise that you will be able to brake harder and later than ever without excessive pitch forwards of the bike's chassis, maintaining the frame's geometry and guarding more available fork travel to absorb bumps. The fork should also offer a more sensitive ride as less compression damping can be used, as well as reducing stiction found on sliding telescopic forks, especially under heavy twisting and flexing.
We currently have The Message fork in for long-term testing - a winter's worth of mud and crud should help determine if this innovative design can handle the rigors of the real world. In the meantime, congratulation to Trust for challenging the norm with a linkage fork that's unlike anything else out there.