Trust Performance has announced that all operations are being suspended, effective immediately, due to a lack of capital brought on in part by the economic situation caused by the coronavirus.
Trust Performance made their entrance into the mountain bike world in 2018 with the launch of the Message
, a linkage fork that turned heads and sent commenters scurrying to their keyboards the moment it was revealed. The concept of a linkage fork wasn't new, but the Message's full carbon construction and wild looks set Trust apart from the crowd. There was also the fact that the company was founded by Dave Weagle, Jason Schiers, and Hap Seliga, industry veterans with decades of experience in developing and bringing innovative products to market.
The longer travel Shout fork
was the follow up act, which launched in the fall of 2019. Trust finished off the year on a high note, and looked to be on track to continue the growth into 2020. Unfortunately, supply delays caused by shutdowns in China combined with a reduced demand due to an economic downturn created what Trust say was “a perfect storm” that led to the decision to cease operations. Current Trust owners will still be able to get their forks serviced by Suspension Syndicate in Salt Lake City, Utah, but otherwise this signals the end of Trust Performance's attempt to shake up the mountain bike suspension market.
Trust Performance Public Statement:
We started Trust Performance in 2015 with a vision of building products that bring spirited outdoor athletes more fun and camaraderie. Our core focus from the outset was on reimagining and re-defining suspension technology; at first in mountain bikes with other industries thereafter. As you might imagine, our plans hinged on raising multiple rounds of capital to fuel our ambitions for incredible design, engineering, manufacturing and customer/dealer support.
2019 was a breakthrough year for Trust. We surpassed 1,000 units sold, we saw steep growth in dealer and distributor sales, and we saw four of our best-ever sales months at the end of the year. We had great momentum based on key demand metrics, brand awareness, and community enthusiasm.
But 2020 brought a number of unexpected factors, starting with the shut-down of key parts of our Asian supply chain following Chinese New Year due to coronavirus. In February, demand slowed considerably as macro fears about the economy started to rise. Then, finally, severe negativity in the investment markets shut down our ability to gain access to capital. This was at a point where we needed increased liquidity to carry us through a critical moment in our business. It all added up to a perfect storm that slammed right into us.
As a result of the overwhelming effects of the coronavirus and evaporated capital markets, it's with incredible disappointment and a heavy heart that, effective immediately, Trust Performance is taking a pause and suspending operations until we address our capital needs. We are utterly and completely gutted. We have given every waking hour over the past few months to find a path forward, but to no avail. Trust Performance, like the rest of the world, will be a different company when life is back to normal.
For those who own a Trust fork and need service going forward, please contact Suspension Syndicate in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are trained and certified as a Trust Performance authorized service center.
We're grateful for the community of people who encouraged and supported our unique design and innovative technology. In stepping away, we wish everyone health and safety. These trying times are a great reminder to make the most of the moment with those you enjoy most.