Pinkbike Awards: Innovation of the Year Winner

Dec 19, 2018
by Paul Aston  


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.






74 Comments

  • + 85
 I have a feeling that if anyone other than DW brought this to market, it would be shunned just like all of the other linkage forks.
  • + 14
 Not really, it doesn't look like it will fold and twist after the first send to flat.
  • + 0
 All the other brands trying to get one to market have died with only a handful of production or prototype models.
MAYBE they have some benefits (some of them). I wouldn't be surprised if Weagle buys up the IP to Structure now that the Structure is effectively dead (apparently not paying the main designer is bad for progress?) and incorporates their tech into a v2.
  • + 30
 If Cannondale put this out it would have gotten laughed off of Pinkbike.
  • + 13
 Rumors have it that Sick Bicycles is already working on a slacker, single pivot version of this design.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Sick is making a slacker, single pivot version of EVERY design. Long live Sick!
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13: Hey I know a guy who was helping design the Structure at work. Did they not get paid? I'll have to ask him...
  • + 44
 Massive damper on my day
  • + 10
 Just suspend your disbelief.
  • + 17
 I hope you rebound from your sadness.
  • + 3
 I'm feeling compressed by this.
  • + 14
 Sent me into a deep compression
  • + 4
 Hopefully we haven't bottomed out on pinkbikes end of the year winners.
  • - 12
flag Patrick9-32 (Dec 19, 2018 at 8:44) (Below Threshold)
 Alright guys, we get the message, Pinkbike loves pun threads.
  • + 1
 I suspend my judgment until the Pinkbike users choice polls are closed
  • + 6
 I lost my Trust in the judges opinions.
  • + 8
 @Patrick9-32: Fork-off mate, the more puns the better! ;-)
  • + 4
 mine just folded right up
  • + 10
 @Patrick9-32: Your message may have been a little to supple for this audience to make the links.
  • + 6
 The constant trail of puns makes this award easier to handle.
  • + 3
 The good news is once you’ve bottomed out, the only way to go is up.
  • + 5
 I'm packing up and leaving
  • + 8
 Pun of the year Award would be forking cool
  • + 29
 I really dont understand everyone's hatred of this fork - the tech and idea makes total sense to me and the general dislike appears to be looks which is the dumbest reason to not want to put something on your bike.
  • + 9
 Agreed. I'd love to try this fork.
  • + 8
 The only thing I dislike is the price. I would love to get my hands on one of these to try, but then I would have to cry as I could not afford to keep it! If the concept works and begins to gain momentum, perhaps prices will come down and some day I will ride one.
  • + 11
 A lots of "promise" and "should" in the explanation. So the winner is like a politician !
  • + 2
 My thoughts exactly. How can it get an award without any results on performance?!
  • + 1
 @tatchle1:
X3 - thought the same thing as I read through, lots of "shoulds"...

Technically, that doesn't have anything to do with whether it is innovative or not. I don't have a beef with the result. Personally I think it would be cool if it did live up to all the "shoulds".
  • + 5
 There is no way that is more significant than the Machine. The machine introduced a whole new manufacturing process which allowed designs which were previously impossible. This isn't even the first linkage fork.
  • + 3
 I had a girlfriend once that was extremely ugly just like this Fork but preformed like a dream. I always knew when a prettier Fork came along I would dump the one I had and get the nicer looking Fork.
  • + 6
 Is anybody really shocked by this?
  • + 8
 We’re forked.
  • + 1
 Aside from the weird looks it would be interesting to see how this thing performs after all the pivot points start to loosen and/or the pivots etc get packed with mud and sand. Looks like you'd get a major shimmy problem like a worn aircraft nose landing gear.
  • + 6
 Pole got robbed!
  • + 4
 They just got thrown into deep waters here
  • + 1
 agreed!
  • + 3
 Last year it was a 1,200 dollar shock, this year a 2,700 dollar fork... Next year I' betting it will be a 5,800 dollar frame?
  • + 2
 course the 5,800 dollar frame won't come with any suspension dampeners and will only work with the 1,200 dollar shock and 2,700 dollar fork!
  • + 3
 Now this was worth winning. Props to Trust for coming out with something different tup
  • + 3
 Most forks get stickers to make them look better. This one comes with a burlap sack.
  • + 1
 This is exactly what this boring industry needs is innovative products like this. Stay away from the carbon, make it out of metal to keep costs down and don't rip people off. I'm sure this could be a winner.
  • + 0
 Odd that this has been tried/done a number of times and while this one may "work" it doesn't significantly change anything. The Pole Machine on the other hand has come out of nowhere to bring to market a completely new build process who's results are huge. The build and geo are ground breaking with most major manufacturers copying the geo immediately. The Machine reviews at 4.5 Stars every review and rides unlike any other bike currently produced. I think the lack of Pole's need to get anyone else's attention drives their tepid interest from the industry. They "are" the innovation of the year+ Good luck to everyone else. You have some catching up to do.
  • + 2
 I would very much like to see a slo-mo huck to flat comparative to the ones in your field test. All the telescopic forks looks like they suuuck at absorbing those impacts.
  • + 2
 Good choice, the engineer is defensible. Hope to see more iterations and lower price in the future.
  • + 3
 What about spike shoes and rubber pedals?
  • + 2
 Looks like Mae West goin East, or the North end of a Southbound mule, in other words BUTT UGLY
  • + 2
 But can it fit on the chairlift and on a bike rack? that is the question....new standard
  • + 1
 But how do I mount my sweet new tiger face fender to the trust?
  • + 1
 The praying mantis of bike parts.
  • + 2
 CONGRATS Guys and gals!!
  • + 1
 What is the actual “optimized” axle path of the Trust fork?
  • + 0
 Let’s take something that is simple and make it more complex
  • + 0
 I sure hope there's a rapid recovery from all these puns
  • + 1
 Just increase your rebound a few clicks! :-)
  • - 3
 We havent even seen a test on it and its being praised as innovation of the year? Cmon pinkbike. Lets give praise to something that has proven itself and not some mythical un-obtainable part.

Thing looks like trash too
  • - 15
flag islandforlife (Dec 19, 2018 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 Winner of "worst looking innovation of the year". No matter how good that thing is... even if it only cost $100, it's not going on my bike. Fugly ass fork right there.
  • - 14
flag projectnortheast (Dec 19, 2018 at 9:04) (Below Threshold)
 even if I had all the money in the world, I would still not buy it just because the simple fact that it does... look like complete trash
  • + 1
 You should try reading some of the reviews online.
  • + 0
 @DrPete: im waiting for pinkbikes. They are the ones with the highest of praise and no test
  • - 2
 yawn - 20 odd year design with no mass production, massive price and looks that suit a marin quad frame.
  • - 1
 Is it April fools day?
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