Chassis and internals
Not surprisingly, The Message is largely made from carbon fiber, with the legs, crown, tapered steerer, and linkage pieces all being the expensive black stuff. The pivot hardware is aluminum because, rather than saving some grams by using bushings, you'll find sealed bearings at all eight pivot points. There's a 180mm post mount on the brake side, but you can jump up to 203mm by bolting on an adapter. I think that also underlines the fact that Trust really does intend this thing to be used in any setting where you'd put a 150mm-travel fork into action.
On the front of the white Salsa is an early proof-of-concept prototype using Fox dampers. On the right is an early carbon prototype.
I expected the axle to be keyed on the ends so as to tie the left and right clamps together, but Weagle says that they've gone with a standard 15 x 110mm Boost thru-axle that's also Torque Cap compatible. He was originally expecting to have to use pinch clamps (they're on the older prototypes), but the chassis proved to be impressively rigid and they weren't needed.
If you're thinking that the fork legs are a little bit fat, it's because they're hiding two air springs and single twin-tube, thru-shaft damper. Weagle wasn't too keen to jump into what's going on inside The Message's damper, but he did let on that it uses a nitrogen-charged IFP that runs at very low pressures, and also that it can pretty much be rebuilt anywhere with a bucket of oil and a few tools. That means the those who know what they're doing can get inside to tinker with things, and those who don't know what they're doing might take it to someone who does.
This may take some time to get used to...
As far as adjustments go, the silver lever at the top of the right fork leg toggles between your open, medium, and firm low-speed compression settings, while an anodized red clicker tweaks the low-speed rebound at the opposite end. Pretty straightforward stuff damping-wise, but the guys at Trust sounded a bit coy when I wanted to get into it, so I suspect there's still more to learn.
While looking nothing like the production fork, prototypes like this one let Weagle test pivot locations and suspension setup.
When was the last time you saw an air-sprung fork with valves on both legs? These days, essentially everything uses a single air spring in one leg, but remember what I said about normal and Trust not doing that? The Message has an air spring in each leg, both with self-adjusting negative springs via a dimple on the air rod. Weagle did the math to have the volume of the two chambers call for the rider's body weight in PSI, at least as a close starting point. So, at 165lb, I'd put 165 PSI in each leg. They'll also have volume-reducing tokens to put in there if you need more ramp-up, but Trust did say that they went pretty aggressive with the spring curve. There are some pretty skookum-looking bottom-out bumpers, too.