The Shout is the second entry into Trust's linkage fork lineup, a longer travel version of the Message fork that debuted back in 2018
. Like its shorter sibling, it's constructed almost entirely from carbon fiber, including the one-piece upper legs and steerer tube assembly.
The Shout is air-sprung, with 178mm of 'contour travel', and Trust says that the fork can replace a 160 – 180mm telescoping fork. Contour travel refers to the path the front wheel takes as the fork is compressed; with this design there's a curved axle path, as opposed to the linear path of a telescoping fork.
The fact that there's no brake arch to get in the way of a tire means that the Shout can work with both 27.5” and 29” wheels, but keep in mind that it has a 580mm axle to crown measurement, a number that's typically seen on a 160mm 29” fork.
Shout Fork Details
• 178mm contour travel
• Carbon chassis, aluminum pivots
• Externally adjustable rebound, low-speed compression
• Axle-to-crown: 580mm
• 250-hour service interval
• 15 x 110mm Boost spacing
• Lifetime bearing warranty
• Weight: 2,160-grams (actual)
• MSRP: $1,975 USD
The actual weight for our test fork was 2160 grams with an uncut steerer tube. The price? $1,975 USD. Where do those numbers place it compared to other options in this category? Well, a 29" RockShox Lyrik Ultimate weighs in at 2000 grams and costs $999 USD, while a Fox 36 Factory weighs 2020 grams and goes for $1,065 USD. Chassis Details
Installing the Shout on a bike is a guaranteed method of attracting loads of questions and curious glances. Its appearance can be visually jarring, partially due to the fact that the positioning of the Shout's oversized carbon fiber legs makes it looks as if the bike it's installed on has an incredible slack head tube angle. That's just an illusion, though; take a look at where the front axle is in relation to the head tube and you'll see that it's in roughly the same place it would be on a telescoping fork.
The left leg holds an air spring, which is accessed by flipping open a rubber plug on the side of the leg and then removing the air cap with a 4mm hex wrench, a step I wish wasn't required. Sure, air pressure adjustments are going to be more common during the initial set up period, but it's still more of a hassle than having an air valve at the top of the fork.
Another air spring is located in the right leg, along with a twin-tube damper. Just like on the left leg, there's a rubber plug that covers the air valve, except that there's also a second rubber plug that provides access to the compression adjustments. There are 20 clicks of open-mode compression, and 5 clicks of medium-mode compression. Those modes are selected via the silver lever at the top of the fork. There's also a third mode, firm, but the amount of compression for that setting is not adjustable. Rebound damping is adjusted by turning the red dial at the bottom of the right leg.
Along with the compression and rebound adjustments, it's also possible to adjust the amount of end-stroke ramp up by adding or subtracting 'Huck Pucks' to each leg. It's a similar concept to what most telescoping forks use these days, although the process is more involved than just opening up a top cap and adding a spacer or two. The air spring and damper need to be removed from each leg to accomplish this task - you're looking at closer to a 20-minute job instead of two minutes, and it's not something that can easily be done trailside. The Shout comes with three Huck Pucks already installed, and it can accommodate up to two more, for a total of five.Suspension Design
What exactly happens when the Shout is compressed? Well, it's a little different than what happens with a telescoping fork. Rather than traveling in a linear manner, the wheel moves up and back, away from the impact. This motion effectively changes the offset, the distance between the axle and the steering axis. A change in offset also alters the amount of trail, the distance between the tire's contact patch and the steering axis. In theory, the result of the increasing trail number as the fork compresses should result in more stability, by helping to balance out the steepening head angle as the fork goes into its travel. Maintenance
Trust says that the Shout shouldn't need any servicing until 250 hours of ride time is reached. For reference, that number is double the recommended interval for a Fox 36. There's also a lifetime warranty on the fork's cartridge bearings. After 4 months of use the bearings in our test fork are still smooth, and the carbon legs have survived countless rough trails without any damage.Set Up
Trust's set up materials are outstanding – the illustrations and instructions in the included booklet are clear and easy to understand, no matter your level of mechanical know-how. Once the fork is installed, the next step is to set the air pressure in each leg and then the low-speed compression and rebound.
For my 160 pound weight I settled on 155 psi in each leg, 14 – 18 clicks out on compression depending on conditions, and 17 clicks out on rebound. Those settings are all within 4 clicks of what Trust recommends – I ended up running slightly less compression and faster rebound than their suggested base settings.
Keep in mind that the ol' parking lot squish test isn't always the best indicator of how things will feel out on the trail, and that's especially true with the Shout. It's best to find a short section of trail and take repeated runs to figure out your preferred set up.Performance Report
I've been testing the Shout for the last four months on a wide range of terrain, everything from smooth flow trails to chunky, steep, and natural tracks. I wasn't the only one that spent time on this fork, either; two other testers were involved in order to get a wider range of opinions on its strengths and weaknesses.Smooth Jumps & Flowy Bermed Trails
This is where the Shout felt best. On bermed corners, the fork stayed nice and high in its travel, which made it easy to really trust the front-end (no pun intended) and push even harder through the turn. That trait was also helpful on bigger jumps, where the lack of dive made it possible to get a little more loft off the lip. In these instances the fact that it didn't feel like a typical 160mm fork was a benefit – there wasn't any excessive movement, and it was very responsive to quick direction changes.
Its takeoff performance was admirable, but landings didn't always feel as good as I'd hoped. There were times when the fork felt buttery smooth, typically while touching down onto a steeper transition, and then there were other moments when it felt as if there was barely any travel at all. One of those instances occurred when I came in for a landing from a decent-sized stepdown. I landed a little rear-wheel heavy, and when the front end came down it sent an unexpected jolt through my arms, with more of a 'thwang' than the 'squoosh' that I was expecting, to use some super-scientific terminology.
That happened on smaller drops and jumps as well – at times it didn't mute impacts nearly as much as I'd anticipated. This wasn't due to air pressure or lack of volume spacers either – the amount of travel I was using was in line with the size of the impacts, and I still had a little left over on all but the biggest hits. Steep Terrain
The Shout's performance in steep terrain was a mixed bag. On smoother steeps – picture a twisty dirt chute without too many obstacles in it – it performed quite well, with a noticeable lack of dive compared to a telescoping fork. Even though the wheel was contouring to the ground, my weight wasn't getting pulled towards the front of the bike, making it easier to remain in a centered, neutral position. That feeling of calm control is addictive, and some of my favorite moments aboard the Shout occurred while navigating steep, twisty sections of trail.
However, add in some chunkiness to that steep chute and the story begins to change. The lightly damped initial portion of the Shout's travel usually isn't that noticeable when the fork is weighted, since the fork sags past that point, but when riding stair-step like sections of trail, which involve moments when the fork was repeatedly weighted and then unweighted, that initial free play could make it feel like something was loose. I stopped more than once to confirm that yes, my headset was tight. I wasn't the only one that encountered this – other testers noticed the same sensation. In the Rough
The Shout tracks very well through rough terrain, with an impressive ability to plow straight through obstacles without getting knocked off line. However, it never felt as comfortable as a RockShox Lyrik or Fox 36 when dealing with repeated sharp impacts. It's tough to say whether it was the oversized carbon legs or the compression tune that was making me notice more feedback in my hands and forearms, but either way, in really rough terrain it wasn't the plushest ride.
There's also the fact that with a telescoping for it's relatively easy to anticipate what the front wheel will do when an obstacle is encountered. Hit a rock and it'll move in a predictable, linear fashion. With the Shout, this isn't the case, and different impact angles and speeds can cause it to react quite differently. Not being able to accurately predict what the fork will do can be challenging; there were moments when the Shout would go deeper into its travel than I expected, and others when it felt like it barely moved. This meant I ended up paying more attention to what the fork was doing, rather than being able to put it to the back of my mind and concentrate on the ride itself.Trust Performance's Response
Excellent cornering performance+
Very composed on steep, smooth trails
Not the most comfortable ride feel-
Heavier than its direct competition