Review: Forbidden's New High Pivot Trail Bike - the 2019 Druid

Apr 4, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  
The Forbidden Druid isn’t the title of a fantasy novel, although the bike that belongs to that name does have something of an otherworldly look. It's the creation of Owen Pemberton and Alastair Beckett, two industry veterans who decided to set out on their own to start a new brand, and what they consider to be the ideal trail bike.

The carbon-framed Druid rolls on 29” wheels and has 130mm of rear travel, which is paired with either a 140 or 150mm fork. The bike is a surefire conversation starter out on the trail, especially since the high pivot design is typically associated with longer travel bikes.
Forbidden Druid Details

Travel: 130mm rear / 150mm fork
Wheel size: 29"
Head angle: 65.6º
Chainstay length: 414 - 450mm (size dependent)
Frame construction: carbon fiber
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Weight: 30 lb / 13.6 kg (large, w/o pedals)
Price: $3,099 USD (frame only)
More info: forbiddenbike.com

The first batch will be available as a frame only for $3,099 USD, allowing customers to handpick their ideal components, although there will be complete bikes a little farther down the road.

Our test bike was built up with Shimano's new XTR brakes and 12-speed drivetrain, a 150mm Fox 36 Performance Elite fork, DPX2 shock, and, in a nod to Forbidden's Canadian roots, We Are One carbon rims laced to Industry Nine's Hydra hubs.


bigquotesSmooth and mellow trails aren't really what the Druid was designed for – it's on the rough, rock and root-filled sections where that high pivot design really begins to shine. There may only be 130mm of rear travel, but the Druid's ability to stay on track in chunky terrain is outstanding. Mike Kazimer









Construction and Features


Forbidden's main headquarters are in Cumberland, British Columbia, but the Druid's carbon frame is made overseas in the VIP factory, the same facility that produces high-end frames for several well-known brands. It's the Druid's suspension layout that gets the most press, but there are a ton of little frame details that are also worth mentioning.

“How many chains does that thing need?” I lost count of how many times that question came up, but I wondered the same thing the first time I laid eyes on the Druid. The answer is one for the small and medium frames, and one plus a few extra links on the L and XL sizes. A custom seatstay protector keeps the frame safe, and the amount of chain slap noise to a minimum.

In addition to being able to fit a water bottle on top of the down tube, there are also two bolts on the underside of the top tube that can be used to hold something like Wolf Tooth’s B-Rad system, which is cleaner way of storing a tube or tools compared to a strap or a bunch of unsightly electrical tape.


Forbidden Druid review
Forbidden Druid review


There’s even a little secret compartment underneath the downtube protector. It’s not that easily accessible, so it's best to think of it more like a fire extinguisher housed behind glass – for emergency use only. The amount of space in that cubby depends on frame size, but there's at least enough room to stash a small tube.

The tunnel that the shock passes through is large enough to fit a coil shock, or even an air shock with a larger air can, something like a Float X2. A small fender helps keep mud from getting thrown onto the shock’s stanchion and the bottom of the channel below the shock is angled to make it easy to spray away any accumulated mud.

There’s a threaded bottom bracket and ISCG 05 tabs, and in this case the ability to mount a chain guide is an absolute necessity due to that high pivot design – the lower roller ensures there's enough chain wrap around the chainring.


Geometry & Sizing

Forbidden Druid

The Druid was designed to be an all-round trail bike and its geometry numbers reflect that goal. The head angle sits at 65.6-degrees with a 150mm fork, or 66-degrees with a 140mm fork. The effective seat angle is 75.6 degrees and the actual angle increases depending on the frame size, which is good news for taller riders – the seat tube angle should remain reasonable even when the post is at full extension.

Bike reach numbers have been fluctuating all over the place over the last few years, but at the moment it seems that 460 – 480mm has become fairly typical for a size large and the Druid is right in there at 465mm.

There's a different rear center length for each frame size, a feature that makes a lot of sense yet still isn't all that common. The size small has a rear center length of 414mm, and the number increases by 12mm for each size, all the way up to 450mm for the XL. The large tested here has a rear center measurement of 438mm.




Forbidden Druid review

Suspension Design

The Druid's high single pivot suspension design gives it a rearward axle path and at full compression, the rear center increases by 26mm. That axle path is one of the main reasons this suspension design is so appealing – in theory, it should allow the rear wheel to easily move over obstacles without getting hung up and provide extra stability during large compressions. Of course, a high pivot also creates a large amount of chain growth, which is why an idler pulley is necessary. That idler prevents the chain from tugging on the chainring and minimizes pedal feedback.

The size and position of that idler can be used to adjust the amount of anti-squat, which affects how the bike feels while pedaling. In the case of the Druid, the amount of anti-squat is around 120% at 30% sag, dropping down to 108% by the end of the travel. According to Owen Pemberton, “The beauty of the high pivot, idler equipped design is that we can tune the pedaling efficiency while still keeping a fully active suspension system. This is highlighted by the low amount of pedal feedback in the system.”

The Druid has a progressive suspension design, with a leverage ratio that's designed to provide small bump sensitivity at the beginning of the stroke, and then enough ramp up later in the travel to keep it from going through its travel too quickly.


Forbidden Druid
Forbidden Druid
Forbidden Druid

Forbidden Druid
Forbidden Druid


Forbidden Druid review


3 Questions With Forbidden's Owen Pemberton

What inspired the decision to start Forbidden?


Both myself and Ali had a desire to start a small company/brand that would allow us to develop the products that we wanted to create without having to keep one eye on pleasing the mass market. We often spoke about the craft beer industry and how you can relate what the bigger bike brands produce to brands like Budweiser, Kokanee, Carling, etc...It’s not a bad product, it does what it’s supposed to, but in a way that will appeal to as many people as possible.

And then you have these small upstart brands, much like the craft breweries, popping up and making the product that they want to make, purely because it’s what they want to make. Some are a bit more experimental than others, some are better quality than others, but they all have a real-ness that a growing number of customers seem to associate with. We felt like there was enough room for another small, boutique, brand to offer a somewhat unique product, and here we are with Forbidden and the Druid.

Do you have any goals as far as how much you want the company to grow?


From day one we’ve always said we just want to grow it enough that ourselves and everyone else involved can make a comfortable living. We don’t have any desires to compete with any of the big guys with volume. I’m a big believer if you scale a business right you don’t have to be so focused on constantly growing. Growth is good and healthy in the initial phase of a business but you often see these days that it becomes all-consuming, it’s at that point that you run the risk of losing your passion and alienating your core customers, just to make the numbers look good.


What's been the hardest part about starting your own bike company?


Ali and I are product focused guys so developing the bike has been relatively easy. It’s all the other parts of operating a business, the things that are new to us, that have been a challenge. It’s always daunting taking on new, unfamiliar tasks but when you have as many as we have had to get this off the ground it can be a little difficult. We’ve assembled a great team, which presently stands 6 strong, everyone involved is pushing themselves to gain knowledge and develop new skills as and when needed to overcome the challenges we have faced. It’s awesome to see and I’m confident moving forward that we’ve got the right people to make this work.





Specifications
Price
Travel 130mm
Rear Shock Fox Float DPX2
Fork Fox 36 Performance Elite 150mm travel, 44mm offset
Cassette Shimano XTR 12-speed 10-51 tooth
Crankarms RaceFace Next R
Chainguide e*thirteen LG1
Bottom Bracket Shimano SM-BB93
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR M9100 12-speed
Chain Shimano XTR M9100
Shifter Pods Shimano XTR M9100 12-speed
Handlebar RaceFace Next R
Stem RaceFace Turbine 50mm
Brakes Shimano XTR M9120
Hubs Industry 9 Hydra
Rim We Are One Insider carbon
Tires Maxxis Minion 2.5" DHF / 2.4" DHRII
Seat WTB
Seatpost Fox Transfer, Shimano remote



Forbidden Druid review






Forbidden Druid review



Test Bike Seutp

With shorter travel bikes, it often takes a little longer to find the sweet spot when it comes to suspension pressure – they tend to be a little more finicky than bigger, squishier models. I didn't have any trouble getting the Druid dialed in, though, and once the Fox DPX2 was set at 30% sag I didn't have any reason to deviate from that for the duration of the test period.

Setting up the 150mm Fox 36 was just as straightforward – a version of that fork has been on the majority of bikes I've tested over the last 12 months, and it only took a few minutes to get it to my preferred settings.

The Next R bars were trimmed to my preferred 780mm width, and I left the 50mm stem in place. I typically run a 40mm stem, but the size large Druid's reach is a touch shorter than the bikes I've been on recently, so the slightly longer stem helped make up for the difference.


Me.
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Age: 36
Height: 5'11"
Inseam: 33"
Weight: 160 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer

Testing took place in Bellingham, Washington, over the course of two months, just as the last bits of snow melted away and the trails returned to prime condition.

Forbidden Druid review

Climbing

The Druid may look more like a freeride bike than a singletrack slayer, but it holds its own when it comes time to climb. There's plenty of anti-squat to keep it from diving too deeply into its travel, and I never felt the need to reach down for that blue compression lever.

We're seeing head angles get slacker and slacker across the board every season, but there's something to be said about not going too slack, especially on bikes that will be doing more than just plummeting down the fall line. The Druid's 65.6-degree head angle gives it a very neutral steering feel – it isn't overly sluggish and navigating through tighter, more technical climbs wasn't any trouble.

In fact, it's close to a Goldilocks bike, at least for me - all the dimensions worked extremely well for my 5'11” height. The seat angle wasn't too slack or too steep, and the same goes for the chainstay length – everything felt just right. Granted, it doesn't have have the same level of liveliness as, say, the Ibis Ripmo, but it's still a very competent climber.

The one slight downside of the high pivot suspension design is that the idler pulley was a little noisier than a 'traditional' setup at times, especially in muddier conditions, or if the chain needed some lube. That extra bit of noise will be familiar to anyone that used to run a chain guide with an upper and lower pulley wheel. There's also probably a little extra friction in the drivetrain as a whole, and I did notice that pedaling felt smoother when I switched back to a bike without an idler.


Forbidden Druid review

Descending

Canadian freeskiing legend Hugo Harrison had a reputation in the early 2000s for absolutely stomping his landing after hucking massive cliffs. He'd touch down after each air without any backslapping or hot-tubbing and continue rocketing down the slope, seemingly unfazed by what he had just done. How's that related to the Druid? Well, both Hugo and this carbon machine have an amazing ability to land and not get bucked in the wrong direction. The Druid sits into its travel with an incredibly planted feel upon touching down to earth, ready to take on the next hit. The shock's o-ring showed that I was using all 130mm of travel, but I never experienced any harsh or unexpected bottom outs.

On smoother, flowier descents the Druid behaves like a well-mannered trail bike should. It's calm, stable, and easy to whip through tight turns, although it does take a tiny bit more effort to bunnyhop and pop it up and over obstacles on flatter sections of trail - it has more of a ground-hugging nature rather than being ultra poppy and playful. But smooth and mellow trails aren't really what the Druid was designed for – it's on the rough, rock and root-filled sections where that high pivot design really begins to shine. There may only be 130mm of rear travel, but the Druid's ability to stay on track in chunky terrain is outstanding.

The suspension has the firmer, more supportive feel you'd expect from a shorter travel bike on smaller bumps, but its ability to smooth out bigger hits is what separates it from other bikes in this travel bracket. It's a sensation that seems to dare you to go even faster into chopped up sections of trail, simply to see how the back end will respond. The way that the rear wheel gets out of the way, especially at higher speeds, goes a long way towards muting impacts. You can still feel the terrain underneath your tires, but it's as if someone smoothed out all the pointy bits, which makes it easier to remain on track.


Forbidden Druid review



Forbidden Druid review
Forbidden Druid

Devinci Troy 29
Devinci Troy

How does it compare?

The Druid sits comfortably in the aggressive trail category, the realm of bikes that are designed to handle just about everything short of XC racing or knocking out laps in the bike park. The Devinci Troy can be placed in the same category, and since Devinci's headquarters are also in Canada, albeit on the other side of the country from Forbidden, a brief comparison seemed fitting. Yes, the Troy does have a little more travel (140mm vs 130mm), but it has an identical reach and head tube angle.

The Troy is a more active climber, which gave it good traction on techier climbs, but I made use of the compression lever much more often than I did on the Druid on smoother ascents. It also has a slacker seat tube angle, which, combined with the shorter chainstays, put me in a more rearward position than on the Druid, and I had to pay more attention to my weight distribution in order to maintain traction.

Both bikes are testaments to just how capable mid-travel 29ers have become, and either one can handle a hearty serving of gnar. When it comes to small-bump sensitivity I'd give that point to the Troy – its suspension feels extra-supple on chattery sections of trail. The Druid has a little firmer suspension feel initially, but it opens up nicely when plowing through repeated impacts. It's almost too close to call, but I felt more comfortable on the Druid in rougher terrain, despite the fact that it has 10mm less travel - the longer chainstays and that high-pivot design make it possible keep charging forward without getting knocked off line.

There's also the fact that the Devinci has SuperBoost spacing, while the Druid has 'regular' Boost, although that really only matters if you have a wheelset you're planning on transferring over to a new frame.



Forbidden Druid review
The XTR drivetrain delivered quick, consistent shifting without any issues.
Forbidden Druid review
We Are One's Canadian-made Insider rims held up to everything I threw at them.

Technical Report

The Forbidden is only available as a frame only, but there were a few components on the test bike that are worth a mention.

We Are One wheels: We Are One has a legion of scarily loyal fans that pop up in the comments section every time a wheel review hits the Pinkbike homepage espousing. The made-in-Canada story is a good one, as is the lifetime warranty. I didn't hold back during my time on the Druid, and I had a number of rim vs. ground impacts that I thought for sure would knock the wheel out of true, if not worse. My fears were unfounded, and the Insider rims survived unscathed.

I9 Hydra hubs: I never got used to the high pitched scream of the super-high engagement Industry Nine Hydra hubs, but that racket can be toned down a bit with a little Dumonde Tech freehub grease, a highly recommended step unless you're trying to have the loudest bike possible.

Shimano XTR drivetrain: I've been on several XTR-equipped bikes over the last few months, and in each instance, the shifting has been flawless. The lever action is quick and precise, and the ability to shift whenever I felt like it came in hand on trails with sudden climbs, or when I needed to quickly drop down the cassette to put in a few pedal strokes out of a corner. Shimano's dropper post lever is easy to overlook, but it matches the feel of the shifter and worked perfectly with the Transfer dropper post.

Shimano M9120 brakes: The XTR brakes were a little finicky early on in the testing period when temperatures hovered around freezing, but once the mercury rose the lever feel improved. I'm still skeptical of the 'Saint-like-power' claims, but there was plenty of bite to keep things under control on sustained steep trails.



Forbidden Druid review


Pros

+ Excels at maintaining speed in rough terrain
+ Incredibly planted feel when landing drops and jumps.
+ Chainstay length increases with each size
Cons

- Slightly noisier drivetrain due to idler pulley
- There are lighter, livelier options in this travel bracket




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Druid would be an impressive addition to a well-established company's lineup, which makes the fact that it's Forbidden's inaugural entry into the marketplace even more noteworthy. It's a well designed, very engaging bike to ride, and would make an ideal all-rounder for riders whose preferred trails are more technical than tame but don't want (or need) a long travel enduro sled.  Mike Kazimer









357 Comments

  • 267 6
 It looks absolutely amazing.
  • 19 0
 I hope they get european distribution sorted out asap, this'd be a really strong contender when time comes to get a new ride.
  • 60 1
 @Rusettipasta: The Druid is available now through our UK/European distribution for direct purchase on our website. We also have retail partners throughout the UK.
  • 40 116
flag NYShred (Apr 3, 2019 at 7:39) (Below Threshold)
 Beautiful bike - bummer that it's plastic.
  • 11 4
 @NYShred: it'd be a bit of a tank made from aluminum.
  • 7 55
flag thetrailpup (Apr 3, 2019 at 8:52) (Below Threshold)
 Looks kinda like SC Bronson
  • 10 5
 As beautiful as the Bold Unplugged volume 2!
  • 7 5
 True that but just a quick question to those what know... If you replace the chain on this beauty do you have to buy two and splice them to get the correct length?
  • 3 1
 Looks sick, but why is the seat tube so thick? @ForbiddenBike
  • 6 0
 @landscapeben: The article says the S and M sizes can fit a regular chain, but the L and XL need a few extra links. Maybe you could score some extras links from a friend or your local shop or something.
  • 20 3
 Enough with the appearance comparisons. Played out beyond belief.
  • 7 2
 @thetrailpup: @thetrailpup: What kind of drugs did you do?
  • 2 0
 @ForbiddenBike: Where do the EU distributor ship from? UK?
  • 3 1
 @landscapeben: Yes. But chain life will be proportionally longer so cost is the same.
  • 3 0
 @landscapeben: the answer is in the article.
  • 3 0
 Cons: Chain will rub your pants.
  • 6 1
 @b1k35c13nt15t: But that is what the human mind does. When something is new you compare it to already existing files in yer noggin.
  • 2 1
 @dlxah: We've had two bikes fail in that region in the last couple of months. I think that large mast makes sense and it looks cohesive.
  • 7 0
 Really cuts through the noise. Such a hot bike. Can’t even think of a smartass comment.
  • 5 0
 All bikes should have a little fender like that to keep the grime out of the linkage etc.
  • 3 1
 Nothing like a bronson @thetrailpup:
  • 1 0
 @MonEddy: Just as well
  • 1 0
 @thetrailpup: just like every other bike with a low shock? It doesn't even look like a santa cruz either
  • 45 1
 Now time for someone to one-up the high pivot design and just make a bike that's constructed entirely of pivots. Wait, no, @mikelevy already has one.
  • 14 0
 Was just picturing a trust fork on my knolly!
  • 14 0
 @johnski - 1. @mikelevy - 0
  • 40 10
 I'm sorry but what's the problem with flipping climb switches? They're there for a reason and are getting more sophisticated each year
  • 20 3
 Yeah, but if the shock is positioned as low as here, it is kinda hard to reach for while riding, let alone on a trail. Just a fair thing to point out.
  • 28 2
 It isn't a problem but it's nice not to have to.
  • 11 7
 I've never used my 'climb' switch in the almost 2 years I've owned my Remedy
  • 58 4
 Water bottles and climb switches are the only things bike reviewers can complain about without offending their advertisers.
  • 10 0
 @mate1998: that's fair. On my Warden it's pretty accessible and I'm not ashamed to give it a turn when things are bobbing too much. Generally though, I find a smooth cadence to be better than climbing aids
  • 5 4
 When you are bleeding out your eyeballs in the middle of a race run you are not going to reach down and flip a switch to make the bike pedal better. Not everyone is racing, but to some people it makes a difference especially if you get similar ride qualities from the suspension otherwise.
  • 41 2
 The bummer is just when you forgot to flip it back and you're already descending some rocky gnar, being bounced all over because your shock is locked out, and you can't possibly take your hands off the bar to reach down and flick it without stopping. It's nice to just not have to worry about it.
  • 24 23
 Because they’re useless, and a relic of poorly designed kinematics and shite dampeners.

But consumers want them, because of perceived gain. Just pedal like a sane person and boom, problem solved.
  • 49 2
 The problem is that you forget to open it up again. Its quite humiliating for keyboard warriors who wank on about mm in bike geometry, but fail to notice that their shock is locked out until they wash the bike post-ride. #personalexperience
  • 6 4
 depending on suspension characteristics which can vary greatly, some bikes need a climb switch, some don't. The ones that don't can run the shock fully open at all times. Convenient yes and nice not to have to flip the switch, but also has implications as to which shock gets used, durability etc. For example running a coil shock with no climbing switch needed, would always feel great, probably perform better and last longer than a shock with a climb switch (more complicated internals)
  • 15 0
 On an enduro bike where the intended use case is mostly "ride straight up, then ride back down" I'd agree with you. On a trail bike where the intended use case will often be riding trails where the grade switches back and forth rapidly from uphill to downhill, it's certainly nice to be able to leave the shock open.
  • 3 0
 @KennyWatson: that's true. If I'm riding some undulating terrain then it would be inconvenient to have to use the climb switch. Otherwise I'm happy to flip, sit, and spin
  • 3 1
 I flip to Trail mode on my DPX2 to help with pedal strikes in aggressive pedaly terrain, otherwise Open mode. It isn't a problem per se, but I'd rather have a bar mounted switch for it. The 2019 models have this.
  • 4 2
 @gnarnaimo: i have remedy 29 and im using it constantly. dont know how you ride your bike, but for me its ALWAYS less energy consuming on my 70-100km all mountain rides when using propedal/lock on flat or climbs, and the comfort isnt hurt... (With Rock shox deluxe RT3)
  • 3 0
 In use my cane Creek bar remote for the climb switch like I use my gears. Takes the same amount of physical and mental effort. About 000.0001% of buger all.
Use it loads.

Plus cane creeks Climb mode is the dogs vs RS and fox
  • 3 4
 Because lots of "climb switches" are garbage, like on my RS Deluxe RT. My bike has 130mm rear travel, and there isn't a single scenario when the climb switch is helpful. All it does is make the shock feel harsher/dead, and yet it doesn't make jumping or climbing easier. I don't even use it on the road (and I ride to my trails).
  • 2 0
 I flip the climb switch on my Float X2 for climbing sometimes but on flow trails almost always. I love the slower low speed rebound and higher low speed compression (I think that’s what it does?) to help stiffen up the rear and keep it glued.
  • 3 0
 @Lookinforit: thats what she said
  • 3 0
 @S851: Holy fvck! 70 - 100km all mountain rides??? You dropped that in there way too casually!
  • 2 0
 @S851: I ride similarly to you, but with the climb switch open, always. Never feel a need to flip the switch even on my longer 50 km, 2000m+ rides.
  • 1 0
 @TucsonDon: and you are too tires to head back up to retry that steep chute you just messed because you didnt flip that lever. First world problema
  • 1 1
 @WestwardHo: I use my lockout a lot, especially when pedalling fast out of corners and up steep hills
  • 27 8
 @mikekazimer Could you comment more on pedaling around with the idler pulley? Is it silly to ask how many watts it might add of drag? Once you throw in tire inserts, that 31 pound weight , etc, I think that starts to matter on a 130mm travel trail bike.
  • 10 5
 Plus the weight of the second chain to get around the idler and the 1x derailleur. Big Grin
  • 75 2
 @youann2170: lower tyre pressures to save weight
  • 13 2
 How about just a frame weight? I don't mind 30+ lbs. for my 160mm bike, but I'd like to get closer to 28 lb. total on a shorter travel bike I would use on long rides (25+ miles) that cover everything from xc to all mountain.
  • 15 1
 I feel like you shouldn't need tire inserts on a 130mm trail bike... most people anyway.
  • 2 1
 Looks like it has exo+ tires, which add a bit more weight. Also proper build so its not terrible, but not light.
  • 9 0
 @mikekazimer I'd be curious about the extra friction and if it was noticeable over time once worn in a bit. Guesses on the durability of the bearing etc.? I know the pulleys on the old chain guides I used to run could be a pain in the ass if they got gunked up and regular maintenance was key.
  • 5 0
 @smithcreek: Fanatik's bike builder claims weight without shock is just a hair over 6lb, or just under 7lb with the stock DPX2. Lighter than a Transition Smuggler, which has less travel.
  • 8 1
 FWIW, the data on derailer pulleys says that they only cost a max of 1w or so if new and clean. However, there is driveforce the front idler so drag from that will be higher. The chainguide should be on the same order of magnitude as the rear derailer. The problems start once those pulleys get dirty, greasy and the bearings wear out. Then the drag quickly increases to noticeable levels. However, given current trends in mountainbiking, i don't think customers care much. Day trips are getting shorter, huge vert is often accesssed by shutte or gondola and pedaling is seen as a necessary evil to get across flat sections of trail or short uphill technical bits.
  • 6 1
 @smithcreek: with big wheels and that suspension design I think this bike will do what a lot of 150-160mm bikes will do. At least, that's how the review reads.
  • 2 2
 @crsimmons: you need tire inserts on a 130 bike more than on a long travel bike because more force is transferred to the wheel for the same terrain
  • 26 7
 Why not an SB130 comparo? The SB seems to be a benchmark in that category (at least for riding...if not build quality)...a high pivot vs. Infinity throwdown is a must!
  • 13 3
 One thing I really liked about Paul Aston's reviews was that not only would he make comparisons to the bike that he thought most similar, he would also include a comparison with the bike he thought was the category benchmark.
  • 26 0
 That's definitely another standout in this category, but I don't have enough time on one to make a fair comparison - my time was spent on the SB150. That being said, the Switch Infinity system and the Druid's suspension design both deliver very efficient climbing. One difference between the SB130 and the Druid's geo is the reach - a large SB130 is 480mm, while the Druid sits at 465mm, but you could always size up if you wanted more length. In addition, the chainstay length changes with each size Druid, but remains the same on all sizes of SB130.
  • 10 2
 Y not Jeffsy, y not offering,...lol endless
  • 6 0
 @mikekazimer: You can't size up once you're at the XL. And sizing up you break other things.
  • 2 0
 Why not compare it to the Craftworks ENR?
  • 17 0
 Can build this up with almost all small Canadian company products. Deck this thing out with we are one, chromag bars/stem/saddle/flat pedals, oneup edc/chainring/dropper post/etc. And other stuff Im probably forgetting. I guess there's no Canadian Drivetrain options currently. But pretty cool none the less.
  • 20 0
 That's what I did on my Sight. I tried to do a CDN themed bike as much as I could. We Are One + RaceFace + Chromag. Doing my best to Make Canada Great Again...lol.
  • 55 0
 fill your water bottle with maple syrup and forget about the rest
  • 13 11
 @mtnbkrmike: Did something similar thing with my Knolly until I realized Raceface is owned by Fox... should have gone full Chromag on the cockpit. I was more trying to keep my money away from US companies while Trump is in office. Oh well, I tried...

With so many "holding companies" or "Brand owners" it can hard to be sure who owns who these days
  • 7 1
 Don't forget a made in Canada 9point8 dropper.
  • 33 0
 @islandforlife: Rest assured we are Canadian as Maple Syrup... My Uncle actually makes the stuff back East.
  • 5 0
 No Canadian suspension either, but you can at least get a custom tune and spring from Vorsprung Suspension (who i think are entirely Canadian, despite the German name).
  • 4 0
 @OneUpComponents: Oh I know you are... love what you're doing and it's why I'm rocking your flats when I'm not clipped.
  • 10 1
 @mtnbkrmike: canada never stopped being great
  • 4 0
 @Ttimer: Too bad Elka stopped making shocks
  • 7 0
 @islandforlife: Heeeeyyyyyyy maaaaaannnnnn, I understand/support Canadian pride and all, but don't punish us small rider owned US brands any more than were already being punished Smile
  • 3 0
 Blackspire too!
  • 31 12
 such a nice bike, it looks really so great, if it would be 27,5 on 140mm in rear I would be about to sell my actual bike
  • 23 6
 My thoughts as well, 27.5 and a bit more travel and I would be keen
  • 52 4
 but have you tried a 9er trailbike? Drink the koolaid. DRINK IT!!!
  • 7 4
 @lognar: a fair amount of them 29" but not a Niner Smile the one which fits me the most was SB4.5, but ended on SB6 anyway, better feeling for me
  • 4 1
 they exist, but with a bit more travel than 140mm

www.commencalusa.com/supreme-sx-c102x3044467
  • 2 0
 @ATXZJ: totally different weapon, tried that one too
  • 2 3
 @lognar: Yes it felt like maneuvering a dump truck.
  • 3 0
 My issue. If this was a competitor for the sb150 (150mm rear travel) at a lesser price all while looking as good as this I'd be super interested.

I'm sure @forbiddenbike is already developing a 150mm enduro bike. Would be a sweet ride.
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ: Agree on application, but its one of the few HP non-dh rigs out there. What didn't you like about the SX?
  • 2 0
 @Ryan2949: agreed, plenty of places where 150mm makes a better trail bike than 130mm
  • 2 0
 @ATXZJ: too much plush, not so efficient pedalling, honestly my last bike was Banshee Spitrife 150/140 and I used it from xc trips to Whistler shreds so Iam used to less travel, so I got SB6 week ago which is not so today's in geo, but fits me perfectly, it's light while it feels like a sturdy bike and the suspension is awesome
  • 2 0
 Check out Craftworks in Australia. It isn’t carbon but the price is awesome. www.craftworkscycles.com

I’ve had one of these on my “next bike” shirt list for a while, problem is that it was wasn’t that long ago that I got my last bike!
  • 1 0
 @NickBit: that looks interesting, but honestly being almost exactly on the other side of the planet could be really a pain in a hole in case of any warranty issues etc, yeti has a presence here and the price was incredibly good and I wanted the SB6 for really long time, so the dreams come true
  • 16 1
 You can downvote if you want, but I have an aluminum 130mm 29'er that was 3k MSRP for the complete bike, and it weighs 30lbs. But it's a medium, so apples to oranges I guess.
  • 22 0
 Nah, not apples to oranges. All this craze around carbon is completely un-understandable (derstandable?) to me.
  • 9 0
 The general rule for FS bikes is that on average, carbon has a weight advantage of 500g and a price penalty of about 1000$/€.

Then there are outliers like Giant with their super light aluminium frames or Scott with dramatically lighter carbon ones.

Keeping that in mind, the Druid is very much an exotic boutique frame and pricing reflects that.
  • 6 3
 @Ttimer: True, but it's not just weight that you gain with carbon vs aluminium. Carbon frames are far more rigid than aluminium frames and are not prone to failed welding points (although carbon cracks have their own issues).
  • 4 0
 Im sure there is a Ford car with the same power to weight as a Mercedez...
  • 2 0
 @lance-h: but, on the other hand, if somebody spent $8 or 9k on an SB130, I can assure you that it'd be lighter than my $3k aluminum bike.
  • 2 0
 @lance-h: a carbon framed Mercedes!?!?
  • 2 0
 @pinhead907: @pinhead907: Barely. XX1 build with carbon wheel "upgrade" is $10,099 and 28 lbs. Companies aren't building bikes to be light these days... It's obviously not an apples-to-apples comparison, but if your bike is 30 lbs, that works out to a mere $3,550 per pound of weight savings...
  • 1 1
 @Climbtech: again, it's not sll about weight savings. You can absolutely tell the difference between a deore/gx and an Xtr/xx1, just as you can tell the difference between carbon and aluminium versions of the same frame.
  • 1 0
 @Climbtech: and this is coming from a guy who is on his first carbon frame and still uses 26" wheels
  • 1 1
 @the-lorax: I agree, there are other performance benefits of carbon (you identified some of them out above), I was just pointing out that weight isn't one of them (or at least not very significant) for today's components. For example, full carbon Stumpjumper EVO with carbon rims is only ~1lb lighter than the alu verson.

Possibly unlike others on this site, I don't judge someone's knowledge about bikes based on their frame material or wheelsize, so not sure where you are coming from with this disclaimer. If your wheels still roll, then in my opinion they still "work". :-)
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: A good carbon frame made from expensive high-tensile mats will have more like a 600-1200g advantage in weight. Depending on the type of aluminium its compared to.

Although cheap carbon compared against better alloys like Prolite, 6066 or 7005 will practically not have a weight advantage at all, given similar stiffness and strengh requirements. Also carbon mats are way easier to work with than aluminium alloy, so actual values highly depend on the metal working prowess of the company making the frames. Generally its way easier to manufacture a decent carbon frame than it is to manufacture a decent alloy frame, theres just a lot less that can go wrong and it generally requires less skill.
  • 1 1
 @benmoosmann: Please elaborate on the point that it's easier to make a carbon frame. Because the world speaks against you. We know how to manufacture metal parts all over the world, we can automate things, designing metal parts and products is dead easy (their isotropic properties help here a lot), etc.

On the other hand anisotropic properties make designing composite products much more difficult, different layups affect the characteristics of the products, if you were to simulate said products before manufacturing every change in the layup would need to be simulated, there is simulation software to predict draping and to design separate cloth pieces to do the layup, etc. Then there's the fact that the whole manufacturing process is insanely labour intensive and is, for the cycling industry, mostly performed in asia or in general in less developed parts of the world due to price reasons with only select few manufacturers doing the layup in the 'western' world. The existing large scale manufacturers also do it by the way of 'black magic' with little actual designing done on the frames (simulation and layup optimisation) as far as i'm told, etc.

One thing is for sure, we've most likely reached peak aluminium. We most likely have not scratched the composite surface yet. But I'm not sure we ever will due to price constraints.

And one benefit for composite is the fact that as a garage company ordering the frames from asia, the MOQ is much lower for composite frames (but the entry cost per frame is higher because of tooling).
  • 10 0
 This thing is so dialed, which is especially impressive for a first time manufacturer (yes I know the founders are well experienced in the bike industry, but still). If I were in the market for a trail bike, this would be at the top of my list. I just wish they made a 160mm-ish version, as that is where my sweet spot of bike is.
  • 1 0
 No doubt it'll be coming Smile
  • 13 4
 Great review and I love the look, the top tube and seat tube have a mondraker feel to them. To be honest, I thought the pricing would be a little more aggressive. New brand and new product but with Santa Cruz pricing. I know that most brands have raised their prices lately (thanks Trump), but as Canadians, I like it when there is a separate price, not just a conversion rate. Especially from a Canadian company.
  • 14 3
 This WAS on my shortlist for next bike, but at $4k Canada for a frame... nope. Not gonna happen, especially when Guerrilla Gravity offers a carbon frame with (arguably) better carbon technology for $1000 less and made in North America.
  • 19 24
flag islandforlife (Apr 3, 2019 at 11:13) (Below Threshold)
 @ratedgg13: Except GG is made in Trumps america and that's where your money goes. Yes, this is a little more expensive, but at least your cash is mostly staying in Canada. And yes, it's a small thing and maybe means and does nothing at the end of the day. But I believe we each have to "walk our talk" and think a little more about who and what we're supporting on every level. So to me, that's worth the extra dough... and if i didn't just buy a bike, I'd be all over this... it's part of the reason I'm on a Knolly.
  • 8 5
 I think you should expect to pay a little more for a bike from a small grass roots low volume maker. Big volumes allow for lower prices, but generally those companies are beholden to holding companies and investors who don't give two shits about the employees or the local economy. Their philosophy about building a company that isn't looking for growth and increased profits year over year over year at the expense of other things is commendable and needs to catch on. These are things I'm willing to pay a little more for.
  • 11 2
 4k for a frameset is in line with top frames of Spec, Trek, RM and a few other brands made overseas. I would refer to pricing of big companies as aggressive... a small company selling a unique quasi-boutique frame for 4K is reasonable.
  • 13 1
 @islandforlife: Not a great argument if I'm being honest. GG does not equal Trump. Does that mean I shouldn't buy Hope parts because Theresa May is making Brexit happen? And Forbidden's frames come from Asia, so while the design proportion of the money goes to Owen & co, the construction portion of the money goes to Taiwan.

A Knolly is legit one of my alternatives, and has just been bumped up the list because of my disappointment at the pricing of the Druid.
  • 8 0
 @ratedgg13: I love Guerrilla Gravity (e-love them, I don't have one of their bikes) and think the Smash is a natural competitor for the Druid, but the price difference isn't $1000 with a similar spec, at least in the US. The base price for the Smash is without a shock. Add the Fox DPX2 which comes on the Druid frame and you're at $2640. Still $460 cheaper for a North American made frame, but closer (though going through the configurator now, it appears that the Druid doesn't come with a headset.

Edit: i mostly retract this. I just built up a Druid on Fanatik and a Smash on Guerrilla Gravity's website. Choosing almost the exact same spec (sometimes somewhat oddly as they were the most comparable options), I get the Druid to come in at $7144 vs. the Smash at $5960 for the Smash. They are basically the same weight, with the Smash coming in maybe a 1/5 lb lighter, but I suspect that's within the margin of measurement error. On the Druid/Fanatik build you get charged extra for basically everything (headset, chain, BB, etc) whereas on the Smash some of that is included in the original frame price and other components are sold in more cost effective but build limiting packages. That adds up to spread the price out a bit farther than just frame/shock would have suggested.

For reference, the bikes were built in size L with the DPX2, a MRP Ribbon 150, an NX drivetrain (for comparability), Code R brakes, and a Bike Yoke Revive dropper. I'm not sure what headset or bottom bracket the Smash is, I used basic Cane Creek and SRAM offerings on the Druid. The wheels were different (Ibis 942 Logo Carbons on the Druid vs. Industry 9 Enduro 305s on the Smash) so that put the weight comparison off a bit, though they were the most similarly priced in the configurators.
  • 3 0
 @ratedgg13: I can't edit my above reply anymore, but when I got to checkout, Fanatik applied a 5% discount as part of a promotion so it brought it to ~ $6400. So closer to the custom configured Smash and about $1000 more than the Ride 1 Build smash with the wheels and suspension set to match what I did on the Druid.
  • 11 4
 @ratedgg13: Yep, people will have their own opinions on the matter. But for me it has more to do with Trumps war on Canada (NAFTA, softwood lumber, aluminum tariffs etc.) we should be seen as a vital partner vs. an enemy. And so, in my own little way, I will continue to keep my dollars out of the US and away from american companies when I can, even if those companies are great ones like GG. Many Canadians are doing the same and so if logic doesn't work on him, perhaps economics will.

Anyway, it's a small and probably inconsequential form of protest, but it helps me feel like I'm doing something. At the end of the day it at least helps companies in my own and other countries outside the US.


Side note... I've been on the new Knolly Fugitive LT for a couple months now, just raced my first enduro of the year on it last weekend. And the thing truly does f*cking rip! It's just so fast... Actually reading this review I couldn't help but keep thinking how it sounded like he was describing my Fugitive and the way it rides. The four by four suspension system really is killer and the 135mm of travel out back feels like way more. I've got a 160mm fork on it, ride on the west coast of BC and haven't found anything it can't handle yet. Knolly is great company to work with, you can just call them up and start building a bike over the phone... super cool people. Let me know if you have any questions.
  • 3 0
 @islandforlife:

Your Fugitive comments echo my own experience. Is it possible that the Druid can ride better than a Fugitive? I plan to find out soon. It would be a bit lighter and I love the space in the main triangle. Carbon I can take or leave, it does not excite me.
  • 2 0
 @Legbacon: Ya, I'm not sure, I'd need a demo of the Druid to find out. But especially reading the NSMB review, I'd swear they're talking about a Fugitive, haha. Anyway, ya I'm still a bit of a carbon-o-phobe as well. I ride and race my bikes hard and still prefer a frame that will dent when it bounces down bunch or rocks vs break or develop undetectable issues within the frame. Also warranty... Knolly warranty is lifetime and they offer crash replacement support. Druid warranty = 5 years and so far no news on crash replacement support (though in fairness I'm sure that's coming).
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: Talk to me about the Fugitive LT! I have been enamored with the Druid, but between the price, my carbon apprehension, and worried about increased maintenance, I am looking at alternatives. One of the main downsides you read about Knolly's rigs is the lack of an anti-squat pedaling platform. I have also read that the shorter travel Knolly bikes pedal well, even in the absence of a platform. Shine some light on me, please!
  • 2 0
 @hereticskeptic: previous gen Knolly’s prioritized an active suspension above all else. New gen is quite a bit different, they spent a lot of time re-tuning 4x4 and that Fugi LT pedaled really well... that bike was so fast up and down. I’m now on the new gen Warden and am blown away at how well this 160/170 bikes pedals while still being so supple on the way down and staying active during heavy braking.... same was true of the Fugi. Let me know if you have any other questions.
  • 9 0
 Canfield Brothers has been doing this for years on the Jedi. The rearward axle path excels in the rough like nothing else I've ridden. Commencal, GT and other have borrowed the design recently on downhill bikes, but it is interesting to see on a short-travel trail bike. Good looking rig.
  • 11 0
 Love the Hugo Harrison reference... So this bike is fast and strong!!
  • 7 0
 Wow, looks like an ideal daily driver for those who want to shred.

I'm really wanting to build one with a Trust linkage fork. Just seems so fitting and I have a hunch the performance would be outstanding.

Ditch the SB150 build and do the above or ditch the Stumpy EVO? hmmm.

True first world problems.
  • 4 0
 You only live once. I'd keep all three!
  • 5 1
 I'd ditch the Stumpy Evo if it were me! SB150 is a big bike that could punch above this bike's abilities, in my mind. It would give you a bit more variance between bikes too.
  • 8 0
 Nice industrial design stance and surfacing, and complementary understated graphics.
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer

How is tire clearance and rear triangle stiffness? Does not appear to be a single piece rear triangle from the photos. Couldn't tell to be sure though.

I'm a 100kg person, who would buy a bike and use it for 10-15 years until it is thoroughly outdated. And probably bikepack it across a few countries even though it isn't made for it between the regular gnarly riding.

Thanks.
  • 8 0
 it has the same top tube tattoos that all the coffee shop workers have here in Boulder
  • 4 0
 Worth noting is the lower linkage which drives the shock also adds a lot of stiffness to the rear end. The design looks solid.

Wonder what the idea is with the massive seat tower all the way up to the seat clamp, prepared for future ovalized dropper posts or what?
  • 7 0
 Feral druid looking for party.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer can you elaborate on:

"The XTR brakes were a little finicky early on in the testing period when temperatures hovered around freezing, but once the mercury rose the lever feel improved"

Is this the typical shimano "wandering bite point"?
  • 17 1
 Yes, the typical Shimano brake problem that fanbois completely ignore.
  • 6 0
 When Forbidden has a race-only endure bike, will they dare call it the Fruit?
  • 1 1
 I love a loud hub. If it was in my budget, I'd be running Profile Elite MTB hubs and out-buzz everyone in the land. Ha ha.
  • 1 0
 I'm running a Hydra rear hub now, and I swear mine isn't that loud. I'm wondering if that one's got less freehub oil in it?
  • 2 0
 Loud hubs save lives.
  • 1 0
 Check out the Onyx Racing USA silent hub. All you hear is screaming tire knobs
  • 1 0
 The hydra might be louder.....@saskskier:
  • 2 0
 I love the look of this bike and the company seems awesome. I've been eagerly awaiting reviews for a while.

@mikekazimer: That being said, what would be the advantages of the Druid something like the Ripmo which is both longer travel and livelier feeling?
  • 8 0
 Having ridden the Troy Ripmo and the SB130. I can give you my take on those three. The Ripmo and SB both climb really well. I’d give the SB the win on the climbs. The Troy wonders a bit on steeper climbs. The Troy and Ripmo are both noticeably more playful and nimble than the SB130. The Troy and SB 130 are slightly more stable at speed than the Ripmo. I’d give the Troy the win on the downs.
I’m splitting hairs here. All of these bike are fantastic no question. Riding them is the only way to know which one is for you.
  • 7 0
 A lot of it comes down to what type of ride feel you prefer - both bikes are excellent. The Ripmo is livelier, but the Druid has a way of carrying speed and taking care of larger obstacles that make it super fun to ride.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Thanks! So would you say that despite it's shorter amount of suspension travel, the Druid actually handles rough terrain better? That would be impressive (and a reason in its favor).
  • 7 0
 @MarcusBrody: Not to mention the far better build quality, a leverage rate isn't regressive past 50%, it doesn't use bushings, etc.
  • 4 0
 @jclnv: upvoted for the regressive part, especially
  • 1 0
 Good question. I’d think the Druid leverage rate ramps up more and I didn’t find that the Ripmo really devoured bumps that well, though it was fine. Agree it feels lively and responsive.
  • 3 1
 The druid will outshine the ripmo on steep, difficult trails. It has a DH style bias with the capability of doing everything. The ripmo is good at everything, more of a true all rounder that is slightly more effficient. personally i find the druid is cooler, and i like the low centre of gravity look
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: how does this compare to the Norco Sight 29er?
  • 2 0
 @Bikethrasher: Thanks for the insight, these 3 are on my list of what to buy next
  • 3 1
 I'd be tempted to call it the White Witch... Interesting that the NSMB review didn't mention it not being as lively, but this review seems to compare it to a broader range of bikes. One of the more unique & clean looking designs out there.
  • 3 1
 f*ck me! Look at all the space in the front triangle too! Talk about quiver killer! You know why aa Kona Process 153 29 isn't the perfect bike for fun? You can't bike-pack with it, even if it shreds both up and downhills. But this? Jeesh. I'd go do Tour Aotearoa again on something like this!
  • 4 2
 Really nice looking bike. I don't think having extra chain, extra pulley's, extra bearings, and an extra moving section of chain between your ankle and frame , is worth all the hassle of what its supposed to fix. Slick looking bike tjough.
  • 1 1
 @jason475: This is the comment I came here to make. It looks like an absolutely beautiful bike, and I am sure it rides sweet, but I am surprised a few comments have been made about it being "an ideal all-rounder". I guess that just shows what the PB audience considers "all around" riding to be these days. For me, to put up with all the extra complexity, potential maintenance, and weight especially, the suspension would have to be leagues better than anything else out there. It sounds like it's very good, but on par with a modern 4-bar design. Seems like too much penalty for a 130 bike.
  • 2 0
 @Climbtech: Complains about added complexity, yet criticises a single pivot compared to a 4 bar suspension system. Yeah...

1 extra jockey wheel that sits on a massive bearing, which will likely outlive most derailleurs, and the addition of a few extra chain links, which is a job so simple anyone can handle it, is hardly complex.

This bike actually looks surprisingly straight forward compared to most other bikes on the market these days.
  • 2 0
 @riderseventy7: Fair points, and I agree the look is sleek and stunning. They also have their geometry sorted and kinematics dialed, and seem to have put a lot more thought and effort into the latter than others (or are just telling us more about the features/design process).

It does have a similar number of bearings/pivot points to a 4-bar though, due to the linkage that drives the shock. (Five pivots plus the idler bearing, but some appear to be bushings on their website.) However, I agree with your correction -- it's no more complex than any other FS design out there, and should be more reliable due to the large main pivot.
  • 3 1
 “and would make an ideal all-rounder for riders whose preferred trails are more technical than tame but don't want (or need) a long travel enduro sled” - definition of a Down Countrist right there. @mikelevy you boiled another frog
  • 2 0
 being heavy ~230# my best friend is the climb switch on my nomad 3 i know it well. Anytime the inline is more then .5 degree i use it. Druids leverage curve looks usable for my size . I am looking for a new bike so it should be interesting ,
  • 3 1
 "A little extra friction" You mad bruv ? You sprint a high pivot idler back to back with a normal bike and tell me that after two goes if you can catch your breath ? Why a bike all turning into trail ploughs? does everybody hate corners for 2019 ?
  • 2 1
 these are the sort of 'real' comments i like reading. i just don't think we get the actual scoop from bike journos. soon it'll be 'hate speech' to say anything bad about a product.
  • 3 1
 So many things I like on this frame.
Rear centre grows with each frame size.
STA gets more steep with the increase in frame size.
Decent, not extreme geometry.
Looks great.
Interestingly different suspension design.
Linkage / shock protected from dirt etc.

I'd love to know if it'll come to Australia. It certainly deserves to do well regardless.
  • 4 0
 I love my norco sight. I know Owen was involved in its development, how do the two bikes compare?
  • 3 0
 I wonder if the swingarms are the same length and they get the different rear centers from pivot placement on the main frame? I'd like a medium with the 414 rc
  • 2 0
 The static RC length is barely worth mentioning on a bike with this much of a rearward axlepath.
  • 2 0
 Owen Pemberton used to work for Norco which also features size-scaled RC and if I remember correctly, he achieved that on the Sight, Range, etc by changing the position of the BB on the main triangle.
  • 1 0
 usually swingarms are the same, but I'm assuming
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: it was nice that they listed the rearward travel(26mm). That helps decide if it's right for the particular person
  • 1 0
 @housem8d: that's what I figured as well. Thought I'd ask in case it's not. Great that companies do change the rc's for different sizes. For some of us with different inseam/height ratio its be even better with 2 main frame sizes with adjustments at the headset cups to cover a bigger size range and two different swing arm lengths to mix and match for short/long I seams relative to heights
  • 5 1
 Looks absolutely SICK!!! A comparisson to the Yeti SB 130 would have been nice.
  • 3 1
 Probably one of the better comparisons to this bike, since they're both 130mm bikes that hit bigger than their numbers suggest.
  • 3 0
 @tgent: agreed 100%. Same niche. Both look deadly!
  • 6 1
 Just needs a build with a 27.5 rear wheel and it's sorted Smile
  • 3 0
 How is the bunnyhop/manual-ability of the bike? High pivot bikes can be a lot trickier to get on the back wheel compared to normies Smile
  • 1 0
 Forgive my limited knowledge, but is this because when the bike squats it gets longer?
  • 3 1
 and the XL chainstay is a little long which could affect manualability for us hacks.

@forbiddenbike - would you bolt a L rear to an XL front for a customer?
  • 3 0
 They should partner with Camelbak to fit a pump on the idler to supply water. Could call it Forced Hydration, or Fluid Druid....or....um...that’s all I got
  • 5 0
 Fuck me I think I just found my next bike
  • 2 1
 I have been a life long Norco guy, and have refused to ride anything other than Norco until today (given that Owen has been involved in designing some of my favorite bikes, I had to make an exception). I had an opportunity to pedal one, albeit just around a parking lot. Would love to get one on the trails, I can tell you first hand that it looks amazing!
  • 3 1
 To day this bike has "more resistance when pedaling" is literally a deal breaker for this bike. You should test to see whether that's actually true, rather than a feeling attributed to tires/tire pressure/worn chain etc
  • 2 1
 Something that hasn’t been mentioned, is the chainstay length changes by moving the bottom bracket location on the downtube triangle - and the only reason you can move it so much without affecting the suspension behaviour is that idler pulley.
  • 3 2
 Something I've noticed about these HPP bikes, if you watch the slow-mo shock compression videos, you see how much the brake caliper rotates around the disc during compression, which indicates that the suspension will be significantly less active during braking, as the wheel under braking will resist this rotation.

This also explains why often when watching the RAW videos I noticed when these bikes (Specifically the Commencal) take a big landing, you hear a brake squeak as the wheel (that presumably is locked by the brakes in the air) is forced to turn through the clamped brakes on landing as the suspension compresses.

I guess this is a trait of the HPP/single pivot design that can't much be helped but it does seem more noticeable on the HPP vs a 4 bar type single pivot design.
  • 4 0
 Big ups to this team for delivering a quiver killer of a rig
  • 4 0
 My next perhaps? Definitely in the running.
  • 3 0
 Damn, that is a good looking bike.

I reckon this could be my first 29er! Assuming I can buy in the UK?!
  • 7 0
 Druids will be available in the UK directly through our website and shipped through our European distribution warehouse, or in select retail locations.
  • 6 2
 I am hoping they'll do a future model called the Lambada.
  • 4 4
 When are shimano going to release a new brake system? All they’ve done is used all the Saint levers and calipers and turned all their brakes into saints with new paint. Except xtr where they appear to have machined the caliper down. I’m hoping they’re getting rid of old stock as they have a new design coming. Sick of returning brakes for warranty
  • 1 1
 What? Pretty sure all the levers/calipers are different across the lines? Not super familiar with Shimanos lineup though, so maybe I'm wrong.
  • 3 1
 whats wrong with saint? if it aint broke dont fix it

i mean they dont have the best modulation and the pads rattle but i can live with that lol
  • 3 1
 @housem8d: All shimano Brake’s fail and this causes the wandering bite point,leaking pistons. It’s insulting that they still sell them with this known issue and freely replace the brakes every time no questions asked. Then a month or so later it all starts again. When their brakes work they’re the best available but they don’t last long.
  • 2 0
 @mikelee: There’s this little company in Barnoldswick. Right in your country. They make amazing brakes that just friggin work. Hope this helps. JK. But you should be proud that such amazing bike components are made in your country. Hope stuff really is magnificent.
  • 2 0
 @fattyheadshok: I have hope v4 currently and they don’t have enough power. Brilliant brakes in all aspects with not enough power. I suppose the fact they have pistons the same size as sram guides could be the reason. I’m thinking of putting a sram code piston on the front with the hope lever! Hopes always have made weak brakes compared to the rest. Maybe that’s why they’re so reliable. Shame really
  • 1 0
 @tgent: no pretty much all are now using the same master cylinder and xt,xtr,Saint and zee are all on the 4 pot caliper. So I’m hoping they’re just getting rid of all the duff parts already made. But I doubt it as people still buy their brakes even though it’s well known they all fail from top of the range to the bottom.
  • 2 0
 Finally, a size small bike where the chainstay is shorter than the reach. Thank you Forbidden! I'd love to try this bike out, it sounds like a blast.
  • 3 0
 So is it $2999 or actually $3099 as quoted by FANATIK? I guess the former simply looked better on paper?
  • 3 0
 PB comments section can be a cruel place. PROPS to Forbidden for coming on here and answering questions!
  • 3 2
 actual seat angle matters, you say? interesting stuff... steeper seat angles are better for taller riders, you say? interesting... I guess only on this bike though, and not on any other? interesting...
  • 3 0
 This is a beautiful bike. I love to see small batch companies taking a swing at the market.
  • 1 0
 I like it, but can't justify the price. @ForbiddenBike Owen, is there any plans to sell a complete bike in the future? Off topic, but you designed the first Aurum HSP right? (we met through Norco colleagues)
  • 1 0
 www.forbiddenbike.com/products/druid-xt-complete is apparently nearly ready to order.
  • 1 0
 Being a Owner of a HPP bike (@77designz) I'm Stoked that hpp bikes gain more traction but would have been keen to read more about the behaviour of the rear brake on the Druid.
  • 5 2
 The Commencal Supreme of trail bikes
  • 14 13
 Cool bike. I dunno why you guys talk about components you chose to install on a frame-only offering... has nothing to do with the bike.
  • 11 0
 The component choice is going to affect the ride experience though, so we want to know what they chose. And some frames are just much more sensitive to shock pressure so shock set up makes sense to discuss too. I agree with bars and fork setup, though I don't really mind.
  • 38 2
 Because it's interesting? It's simply a way to include a little more information that's hopefully helpful for a potential buyer.
  • 14 0
 If only there was a way to not read it.
  • 3 0
 Also good to know since they review the whole bike. Some things like weight, shifting, braking, wheels, can be modified with component choice and it's good to know what they were riding for the review.
  • 1 0
 @MarcusBrody: Agreed, that would make sense. And when the reviewers comment on the component selection and how it affected frame performance, comfort, fitment issues, etc that's totally valid and interesting. But above comments are specific to the actual component with nothing relating it back to whether it was a good fit for the bike, etc. The component comments just seem standalone and not in context of this frame's review. How did it ride with a 34 instead of a 36? Sometimes a stiff frame rides better with more compliant wheels, stuff that helps a buyer understand if there are any limitations/tips related to component selection.
  • 1 0
 Ever tried riding a frame only setup? Bottom outs are harsh, pedaling efficiency is reduced dramatically and the overall balance of the bike just seems off. I think getting things setup really improve the overall ride quality and makes for a fair comparison to the majority of other bikes out there. Frame only vs frame only reviews would really be the only fair way, and I just don't think that they'd have a pile of real world relevance.....
  • 1 0
 @adriemel83: You completely missed my point.
  • 1 0
 @robwhynot: naw... I think you completely missed MY point Smile
  • 1 0
 @adriemel83: Oh I got the sarcasm.
  • 4 1
 So nice, great job Forbidden!
  • 4 1
 DHF on the front, DHR on the rear. The world can rest easy tonight.
  • 5 5
 So basically the new i9 hubs are annoying and the only way to "fix" them is to suffocate the freehub in grease? Sounds like a poor product that should never had made its way onto the bike
  • 10 1
 some ppl want loud hubs. It has nothing to do with the quality of the bike. I like loud hubs for an idea of speed, and letting animals and hikers know im there.
  • 2 0
 Interesting and good looking bike. Forbidden should think about adding a size XXL frame down the road.
  • 1 0
 This thing is rad ????
Now make it a 79er, offer it in complete options with competitive pricing and corner the Pinkbike reader market ????
  • 3 0
 @forbiddenbike what’s the max sestpost insertion on a large?
  • 1 0
 Beautiful frame, highly tempted to pick one up!

@ForbiddenBike I haven't been able to find it anywhere yet, I'm curious what the shock size is?
  • 4 0
 210mm x 55mm We'll have a tech specs PDF available with all of that info on the tech page of our website shortly.
  • 3 0
 Why yes I am trying to have the loudest hubs possible.
  • 4 0
 I want one!
  • 2 0
 I know it’s cost prohibitive this early in the business, but if you guys made a size XXL I’d be a customer. Cheers.
  • 3 0
 WOW Drool They did an incredibly great job at designing this !!!!
  • 3 0
 When’s the Forbidden Fruit coming out!?!?!?!?
  • 1 0
 Are you running a lower guide because of the increase chain growth on the lower run of chain? Seems like this bike will give your RD clutch a workout.
  • 2 0
 i feel the idler pulley should have a few gears on it, maybe a 3 speed gearbox. what would that do?
  • 3 0
 Get We Are One to build it in Canada.
  • 1 1
 When you think that linkage anything involves the wheel moving to get out of the way of the bump it just makes sense. Paired with a linkage fork, it might be the magic carpet ride some have been looking for.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Do I see clipless pedals?? This can only mean one thing, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE REAL KEWL-KAZ???
  • 3 0
 Rad Guys!
  • 3 0
 it is beautiful
  • 7 5
 Should have called it two chains.
  • 2 0
 Umm... Why?
  • 2 0
 Great brand and model names!!! \m/
  • 1 0
 Price for the frame is $3,999 CAD including one t-shirt, right? If not then no deal, sorry.
  • 2 1
 Don't be Druish about it.
  • 3 0
 I would buy one.
  • 3 1
 650b, 160mm travel and take my money!
  • 2 0
 High pivot would lend to a Pinion drivetrain right?
  • 2 0
 Only if the output of the gearbox could be moved to not be concentric with the crank spindle or if a second chain drive from the cranks to the gearbox could be implemented. But that would mean you'd mount the gearbox high up. Or look at what Deviate cycles is doing.
  • 1 0
 Earlier Zerode's did this by using the Alfine gearbox at the pivot.
  • 2 0
 @heinous: That was the DH and proto trail stuff, but the Alfine doesn't have enough range. The first Pinion protos were similar to Deviate bikes, but Rob didn't like the noise and inefficiency of the idler, so moved to a more classic suspension layout.
  • 2 0
 Good call on comparing it to the Troy.
  • 3 1
 @ForbiddenBike Do you have any Canadian retailers?
  • 2 1
 The shop I work at, Black's Cycle in Comox is, and I know that there are others as well.
  • 3 1
 Sexiest bike on the market now... hands down. For me anyhow!
  • 2 1
 Excuse me... I need to go change my undies, I’ve made a mess... I’ll brb!
  • 2 1
 Reminds me of my old Balfa BB7! Would it be available to ship to Australia?
  • 3 1
 not sure i missed it but what is the warranty on the frame?
  • 1 1
 5 years.
  • 1 0
 @forbiddenbike are you guys direct sale only in canada or will you be going the traditional shop route?
  • 1 0
 What is hot-tubbing a landing?
  • 3 0
 Imagine jumping into a hot tub ass-first, already in a seated position. Now imagine doing that off a cliff, into pow, on a pair of skis...
  • 1 0
 @ForbiddenBike why a 32t max chainring?
  • 5 0
 Where is that stated?

It varies by size due to clearance at the swing arm. S: 32T M: 34T L: 36T XL: 38T
  • 1 0
 @ForbiddenBike: ok thanks. Says max is 32t on fanatik’s site
  • 1 1
 Mike Kazimer, article claims 65.6 degree head angle, website indicates 66 degree head angle, which is it?
  • 6 0
 66 degrees with a 140mm fork. 65.6 degrees with a 150mm fork. Hope that clears things up.
  • 3 0
 And about 105 degrees with no fork.
  • 1 0
 @acali: I lol'd reading this. Thanks
  • 3 2
 A steel version with 77° sta would be insanely tracky
  • 2 2
 Says hydra hubs are too loud, then tells you how easy it is to make them quiet...
  • 1 1
 great but when you buy an new chain you'll now need to buy two as you need so many links
  • 3 0
 Or just buy 2 the first time and then have enough of the second chain left over for 30 chain changes.
  • 2 1
 Any comparison to an yeti sb130?? Why the Troy?
  • 1 0
 how does $3099US = £3149?
  • 1 0
 @ForbiddenBike: What is the max post insertion depth for each frame size?
  • 1 0
 Any update about the compatibility issue with oval rings?
  • 1 1
 Great, but unnecessarily complicated. Even more stuff that can wear out or break...
  • 3 3
 Who the eff uses their climb switch? That's like having an appendix!
  • 1 0
 I do. placebo effect.
  • 1 0
 It actually works on a DHX2
  • 2 1
 Game changeeerrrr
  • 1 1
 we need 27,5 at the rear for FUN!
  • 1 0
 Is it 29+ compatible?
  • 1 1
 Looks awesome guys. Nicely done.
  • 1 1
 I still prefer my craft works.
  • 1 2
 So xc racing? And bike park laps?
  • 2 3
 Really like the look of this thing, but the geo is not for me.
  • 1 1
 me like
  • 1 1
 Looks really nice Wink
  • 1 1
 Stunning! What a beauty!
  • 1 3
 It needs the usual: more travel and slacker. Nice looking bike.
  • 2 0
 Well, they'll need another bike(enduro)..insane start to the line up with this one.
  • 1 0
 You mean like the older discontinued Commencal Meta SX that used the HPP design of the DH bike to create a 180mm freeride monster!
  • 2 0
 @SonofBovril: It was actually also a Supreme, not a Meta.
  • 8 11
 I'd love to make a pun but I think it would be forbidden
  • 1 4
 son of nomad with aurum
  • 1 2
 Son of a Giant with Nomad
  • 1 0
 @brians20: How so? Giant was second to this party.
  • 1 4
 No gearbox? No thanks!
  • 11 0
 Do you enjoy living a life of disappointment?
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