Whether you're a fan or not, there's no arguing that Trust's wild-looking Message and Shout linkage forks were some of the most interesting news on the tech front during the last few years. While traditional suspension companies send out press releases when they shave double-digits worth of grams or up the rigidity of their telescoping forks by single-digit percentages, Trust has carbon fiber linkage forks that are part praying mantis, part robot, and a whole lot of strange.
Yes, their performance is divisive, to say the least, with both Kazimer and myself finding some notable drawbacks when we reviewed the new, long-travel Shout
and the original Message
. That said, the handling benefits, and especially the calmness and consistency, that come from how the linkage increases the trail (the distance between the tire's contact patch on the ground and the steering axis) as the fork goes into its travel, are proven to me.
More trail will generally mean more straight-line stability, which helps when you're going really fast. And do you know what goes really fast? Dirtbikes.
Dave Weagle, the guy behind a bunch of successful full-suspension designs and Trust's linkage forks, recently posted a Cake electric off-road dirtbike to his Instagram that has a 213mm-travel version of their mountain bike fork on the front of it. It appears to be aluminum, and it uses a similar looking linkage to what we're familiar with, although it's probably even beefier given the motorized intentions. ''The prototype Trust front end has 213mm travel and with the weight and speed of the bike, it's capable of some pretty impressive moves,
'' Weagle said of the silver fork. ''The level of commitment you can get with the front tire is crazy. And that's considering it's using about the lowest traction front tire one could imagine.
Could this be Trust testing a new downhill fork, or will we see their linkage suspension on the front of dirtbikes, electric and gas?