Video: Forbidden Announces All-Canadian Synthesis Team with Magnus Manson, Rhys Verner & Jack Menzies

Apr 21, 2021
by Sarah Moore  

In partnership with crankbrothers, Forbidden Bike Co. is announcing their entry into the world of Elite mountain bike racing with the formation of the Forbidden Synthesis team. Featuring an all-Canadian roster with a core focus on the Enduro World Series for 2021, the Canadian brand's trio of riders are no stranger to the podium.

Former Canadian National DH Champion, Magnus Manson, might not be a familiar name in the enduro ranks, but thankfully for this 22-year-old BC native, his two teammates live and breathe enduro and will be on hand to help him on his journey. The DH bike won’t be retired anytime soon either and Forbidden says that Magnus will be on double duty, mixing things up between select EWS and World Cup DH events while also supporting Forbidden’s R&D department...

bigquotesFor 2021 I'm super excited to be part of a new and growing brand and on a team like Forbidden Synthesis. After a few challenging years dealing with injuries, I'm thrilled to race again and on some pretty sweet-looking bikes, as well as helping with some of the R&D work that’s currently going on behind the scenes.

Coming from a DH background, I feel like I’m pretty good at getting bikes up to speed quickly, which I think will be really helpful when working on a new bike or design. Considering how well the current Forbidden bikes work, I can't wait to begin collaborating with Owen [Pemberton] and the R&D team; they have some exciting new projects in the works! I was lucky enough to get started with Forbidden aboard a Dreadnought late last fall and while I typically struggle to make enduro-style bikes enjoyable for the type of riding I like to do, I found myself riding that bike relentlessly within a few days!

I’m looking forward to competing in a number of different races this season and in a few disciplines including enduro, which will be a new one for me. Thankfully though, I have some pretty great teammates to help me learn the ropes! I can't wait to see what the summer brings and I'm super stoked to be aboard a Canadian brand who make some kick-ass bikes.
Magnus Manson

One of the most promising talents on the international enduro scene, 23-year-old Squamish local Rhys Verner, made his intentions known in 2020 with some stellar results. After making regular podium appearances throughout the Crankworx Summer Series, winning the Queen Stage at the Pietra Ligure EWS, arguably one of the most savage of the season, and rounding out the season with an eleventh place in the overall EWS standings...

bigquotesI can’t remember exactly when, but I do recall seeing the Forbidden Druid for the first time and thinking, “that’s a bike I would love to ride one day!” Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long for that opportunity, which eventually presented itself late last year and after a few months on Forbidden’s bikes, I can’t wait to see what we can do on them at the races this season.

The formation of the Forbidden Synthesis team has not only created the perfect opportunity to take Forbidden’s bikes onto the world stage, something I am ecstatic to be a part of, but the prospect of an all-BC team on a BC bike is a dream come true! With my first full winter of training behind me, having recently graduated from university, I’ve never felt so ready to go racing.
Rhys Verner

The rookie on the Forbidden Synthesis team, 20-year-old Jack Menzies, has shown the world he has the speed to win, taking the U21 crown at the EWS in Whistler, 2019. He recently relocated from Canmore, Alberta to Squamish, BC saying, “if you want to be good at enduro, you have to be in Squamish!” This will be Jack's last season in the U21 EWS category...

bigquotesI'm so stoked to be riding for the Forbidden Synthesis team this year and with such a rad crew of homies - I really couldn't be happier with my teammates and how it all came together.

From the first phone call, I just knew it was the right place for me to be - from the inviting attitude of everyone involved to the vision for the team and to the bikes, which have blown me away. There aren’t many [bikes] that you can just jump on and instantly feel like you can go and kill it at the races, making me all the keener to kick the season off and go racing!
Jack Menzies

Every race team needs someone to steer the ship when it departs on its journey and donning the captain’s hat this season is Thomas Doyle. Having been involved with Forbidden since its inception and featuring in both the Druid and Dreadnought launch videos. Thomas has also been spending the past few seasons on the World Cup circuit, documenting the activities of one of Canada’s most recognized downhill talents. He'll be applying his media skills to daily duties and keeping Forbidden’s social channels are buzzing with fresh team content over the course of every race weekend.

bigquotesIt’s been amazing to watch Forbidden grow these past few years - the hard work, passion and coming from such a small group of individuals, the rapid evolution within the brand has been something to behold. Entering Forbidden’s third year of operating and finding ourselves in the start gate for the 2021 EWS season, is pretty amazing and shows what hard work and determination can achieve.

I’m stoked to be a part of a new brand that represents what we at Forbidden love about mountain biking, and that is gelled by a plain and simple passion for the sport. The challenges of the year ahead are exciting and with such a diverse group of ‘characters’ in the mix, we’ll be in for some fun times on the road for sure! From chasing results to exciting film projects and riding new spots and old ones, I’m stoked to show everyone what we’ve put together and have planned for the future, and travelling with the team this summer is going to be amazing - June just can’t come soon enough!
Thomas Doyle, Forbidden Synthesis Team and Content Manager

bigquotesIt took a minute to say yes to Owen [Pemberton] and Olly when they initially proposed the idea of building an EWS race team together, but here we are, a few months later and the Forbidden Synthesis team is a reality and ready to go. It’s really exciting to build a brand new team and with a group of people that we like for their human values and for their creativity; we will support and nurture some great Canadian talent, chase some podiums and have some good times along the way!Gaspare Licata, crankbrothers CEO

bigquotesCreating a factory race team from scratch was the opportunity of a lifetime for all of us at Forbidden, but in the midst of a global pandemic, it was never going to be a walk in the park. With so much uncertainty in the world, not least with regards to racing and overseas travel, but the impact of strained supply chains and a universal lack of product, the odds were certainly stacked against us.

Thankfully though, we weren’t the only brand determined to go racing this season and over the past seven months, began a long and often arduous process that has ultimately delivered a team that we at Forbidden are all immensely proud of. Encompassing who we are as a bike company, be it the riders, the support crew or the amazing brands we have partnered with and the truly passionate individuals who work there. Without them and others in the racing community, this sport wouldn’t be what it is today.

And what a roster of partners at that! Sharing our vision from the get-go, crankbrothers will be supplying the team with their front and rear-specific Synthesis wheels, shoes, pedals and range of tools. We are also privileged to have both SRAM and RockShox by our side, ensuring our riders have the best braking and transmission systems, seatposts and suspension platforms available.

Fizik, whose legacy in mountain bike racing is hard to fault, will be supplying saddles while bars, stems, grips and headsets will be provided by Burgtec and Chris King respectively; the coolest cockpit combo out there for sure. The team will be rolling on Maxxis rubber with CushCore inserts, wearing 7Mesh apparel, Oakley helmets and eyewear, and fending off those falls with protection from 7iDP. Muc-Off will be supplying the team’s bike care ingredients and ensuring the bikes are spick and span all season. With three fast and entertaining riders, Thomas and Alex Presant (our Aussie team mechanic), I can’t wait to get the season started and get the Forbidden Synthesis team to Europe for plenty of racing and fun times, both inside and outside the tape!
Olly Forster, Global Marketing Manager and Team Director

Alongside the Forbidden factory team, the brand has assembled a diverse group of riders who "embody our core values and passion for all things mountain biking." They started with riders close to their bases in Cumberland, BC and southwest England, UK, and have now expanded things further, similarly supporting riders in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico with plans to expand things further in 2022.

Photography: Liam Wallace / Video: Thomas Doyle / Location: Squamish, BC


  • 101 0
 Team kit without branding all over it? I thought that was Forbidden.
  • 8 2
 gotta agree I dislike human billboarding. It is one thing to fly the Fox, Dakine or any other logo we cherish but forced into an ugly kit is a drawback.
  • 3 0
 @madmon: It may be billboarding to us but for them it could be like the name on the front of your jersey is in other sports (team name). Maybe they have pride in the sponsors that got them there
  • 1 0
 @bhuck12: on every inch of surface some kits look like a clown outfit.
Hats off to Forbidden for taking one bold step after another
  • 39 0
 Squamish so hot right now. I bet it's busy on weekends.
  • 21 3
 Squamish is WAAAAY better than, say Nelson for instance. Definitely go to Squamish....
  • 3 0
 Yeh but the forecast is calling for rain next week.
  • 8 2
 Squamish, Squamish, Squamish...everyone pack up and head to Squamish.
  • 3 1
 Parking bylaws are working after 5pm and weekends now!
Squamish sucks don't come Smile
  • 5 3
 @juanny: free rock slab tours by Remy every Sat and Sun. Dr. Bonnie says it's considered essential so all city folk can travel.
  • 2 0
 Squamish sucks don't go!
  • 5 1
 @fredgrillet: The forecast is calling for rain every week. Its the second rainiest place in the country !
  • 18 0
 Smoko is the most acceptable song to listen to when getting ready to ride.
  • 4 0
 Surly that’s forbidden in your neck of the woods.
  • 2 0
 Canadian team, Ozzie music, love it
  • 1 1
 @ridestuff: woah forgot all about the chats after their last album licked dix.
  • 3 0
 Forbidden content manager-approved
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: lol thomas is a classy guy.
  • 9 1
 Congrats on the team! Kind of a missed opportunity to get some Canadian brands for support, but I guess it boils down to who provides the most $. One Up or RF cockpit would have been nice to see instead of Burgtec for sure...At least the talent is Canadian!
  • 6 0
 Sometimes budget is allocated and that's that... The sponsors they do have seem like a solid group. And 7mesh is some good Canadian content..
  • 7 0
 RF probably wouldnt go with these sponsors ( Sram / Rockshox ) cause their owned by Fox.
  • 3 0
 Race Face already has a large stake/sponsorship in the Rocky Mountain Race Face EWS Enduro team.
  • 2 0
 And OneUp just laced up a team with Yeti!
  • 1 5
flag DGWW (Apr 21, 2021 at 18:05) (Below Threshold)
 Forbidden isn't actually Canadian AFAIK. GBP's baby.
  • 1 0
 @DGWW: Canadian company based in a small town a couple hours up the Island from me.
  • 3 1
 @islandforlife: "Alongside our base in Canada, we also have a growing team on the other side of the Atlantic in another highly influential corner of the mountain bike world; the UK."
I believe they aren't actually registered in Canada, but rather in the UK. I can't find any forbidden bike co registered in Canada. I'd love for Forbidden to clear this up as I always aim to support Canadian companies.
  • 2 0
 @DGWW: I don't know if Canadian companies have a registration database that is accessible to the public like the UK does, but there is a Dun and Bradstreet listing for their Canadian office, so they must be registered in Canada. Plus they themselves claim their base to be in Canada, and this team is Canadian...
  • 1 4
 @shredddr: I'll believe it when I can look them up. I have a sneaking suspicion that the $$ is leaving Canada , headed for conversion to ££
  • 4 0
 @DGWW: I can assure you we are a BC registered company, based in Cumberland, we have nine employees here. The UK based entity is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian company, we have a staff of two there handling our UK operations.

Hopefully that should quell your concerns.
  • 3 0
 @DGWW: If you're ever on the island, come by HQ and say hi!
  • 1 0
 @ForbiddenBike: thank you for clearing that up ! I stand corrected and am happy to hear this Smile sealing the deal on a future purchase Smile
  • 10 1
 All Canadian team and then plays an aussie punk song. Love it
  • 28 0
 Commonwealth Brother!
  • 1 0
 Whats the band called?
  • 7 0
 Good Canadian kids, a bunch of winners, nice job Forbidden. Good luck on your upcoming season.
  • 8 0
 Forbidden, CrankBros Synthesis, Chris King. Say no more, hot damn!
  • 6 0
 Nice to see Rhys find a factory support - well deserved
  • 4 0
 Australian National Anthem heh
  • 4 0
 Rocky Mountain Race Face vs Forbidden Synthesis - FIGHT!
  • 2 0
 Or be friends, cuz that would be nice. Rhys will certainly join Jesse and Remy again for some team Canada enduro.
  • 3 0
 Great to see made in Canada racing taking on the world stage
  • 3 0
 Forbidden Love! I still suggest they have a model named the 403.
  • 3 0
 Nicely done. Great move by Forbidden, good luck to all the guys !
  • 3 0
 Add 1 to the tally of mtb edits to use Smoko for a sound track.
  • 1 0
 I want one of those Dreadnought bikes so badly! Wish I could afford one.
And yes, I do work. Dreadnought, however, is not in the cards atm.
  • 1 0
 I tried to get one for my wife, can’t get one even if you’ve got the money these days.
  • 1 0

I just reserved one from fanatik, they are taking backorder for July Smile
  • 2 0
 8 guess they left me out Frown
  • 2 0
 Team looks fast! Bikes look great! I’m stoked too se how they do
  • 3 0
 Sweet kit.

  • 2 0
 Lets get some bike checks!
  • 2 0
 Finns friends started a race team without him lolllllll
  • 1 0
 @ForbiddenBike, got on details on running a Super Deluxe on the Druid?
  • 7 0
 Super Deluxe on the Druid works great! Just needs a light rebound and compression tune
  • 1 0
 Way to go Jack! Proud of you boy!
  • 1 0
 I guess they couldn't afford me
  • 1 0
 Lucky guys! They have their damn frame ! haha
  • 1 0
 No expense spared with the team kit was there
  • 1 0
 Yes!! That is awesome!
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