After ten years riding for Kona
, Connor Fearon has found a new home on the newly formed Forbidden downhill team.
The team is Forbidden's first foray into World Cup downhill after it launched its enduro team at the start of last season
. Forbidden said, "For a brand known for developing bikes with a gravity performance bias, it was merely a matter of when, not if, we would develop a bike and enter the World Cup scene."
Connor will be the flagship rider on the team but he'll be joined by Magnus Manson who is working his way back to recovery from Hodgkins Lymphoma
. Also joining the team from Kona will be manager Matt Dupelle who has over two decades' worth of experience on the circuit and will no doubt allow Forbidden to get off to a running start in its first season.
Of course, there's one snag here and it's that Forbidden doesn't currently produce a downhill bike. We've spoken to Forbidden and they're expecting to start the season on a Dreadnought with custom links
but there is apparently a dedicated downhill bike in the works too. Keep an eye out for that breaking cover soon.
|After ten years, 2022 marks the first year on a new bike brand for me and I can hardly put it into words how excited I am to be flying the Forbidden flag and riding their bikes. I've wanted to ride a Forbidden ever since seeing the Druid for the first time and I believe that their bikes are going to help me ride and race faster than ever. My goals for the next few years are to refocus on World Cup Downhill racing, be a regular top 10 finisher and a podium contender, like I know I can be. Signing with Forbidden has given me a huge kick in motivation and I cannot wait to put more time in on the bikes and start ticking off my goals!—Connor Fearon|
|Excited is an understatement for this new partnership, even with this being the 20th race season I will be going into, my ambition is strong with our new team, brim-full of talent. Having worked with three of the athletes already (Magnus, Rhys, and Connor), I’m very excited to see the progression of Alex Storr and help other Forbidden athletes, like Dillon Butcher, to reach their full potential. After a couple of ‘Covid years’, everyone is eager to go to the races and I can’t wait for the team to showcase how great Forbidden’s bikes are.—Matt Dupelle|
Also joining Forbidden's ranks is young British enduro racer Alex Storr. Storr was on Forbidden's ambassador program last year but went on to win the British U21 enduro national championship’s title and round six of the U21 EWS (the third rider to ever win an EWS on flat pedals). This year he steps up to the full team alongside returning rider Rhys Verner.
|What can I say? We’ve assembled a ‘dream team’ here and it’s crazy to think, that only three years ago, Forbidden didn’t even exist and this year, we’ll see Forbidden bikes on the World Cup DH stage and that’s pretty unreal! Like all of us at Forbidden, I’ve been a fan of Connor Fearon’s for a long time, so when we realized this was an opportunity that we could make work, we made sure it had to happen. Connor is a rider's rider - he’s fast as hell and always looks like he’s just having the most fun, no matter what - I can’t wait to see what he and Magnus can achieve this season. I’m also beyond excited to welcome Alex Storr into the Forbidden Synthesis fold as he moves up to the Elite EWS ranks, where he can learn the ropes from our resident enduro-machine, Rhys Verner.—Owen Pemberton, Forbidden Founder|
Easily one of my favorite comic runs as a youth
-really love this comment from Forbidden. Unlike Yeti who avoids the WC DH scene now, Forbidden is gunning for it... might influence me to buy one of their bikes
I just want to know if the bike in the iteration I would buy performs well, is durable, and fits me and my riding style. Very little of that would be relevant on a DH race team, which has resources I don't. Am I off here?
Yep! Bikes that have been raced at the highest levels are a great starting point in figuring out what you want to demo ride and purchase. Especially with smaller brands that you might not be able to demo ride locally.
@hirvi You're correct, companies will hopefully learn how to engineer their frames better when failures occur. But that only helps me, the purchaser, if I were to buy their DH model AFTER they address those issues.
But now im curious where you get your information and how you pick a bike, i know you mentioned the fit and riding style and thats valid for everyone here and we all just look at geo charts. But if you go to buy a DH bike where do you get your information for durability and performance?
I choose a bike by first matching the bike with my riding style. Then I check reviews (as many as possible), and then comment sections for real world users. At that point I narrow down my selection and go demo.
Currently, I'm on a 2019 Norco Sight. If I were to go out and buy a bike today I would demo the new Sight, the Rocky Instinct, or the Transition Sentinel.
I think we are on the exact same page except step 1.
Sounds like a lot of us watch world cup DH races and go "holy shit that bike looks like its working SO good" and thats first step into reading a bunch of reviews, watching slow and fast mo videos of guys plowing rocks and seeing what bikes look good and planted vs twitchy and sketchy, savings pennys, checking geo charts, and then hopefully getting to race it at my local races. So, same same, but different haha
Like Motoracer31 said in original comment, downhill is like the F1 of MTB. Or maybe more like world rally champs, but whatever. It’s a proving ground that pushes the technology and tests the limits of what bikes and riders can do. Nobody is looking at F1 thinking “that’s the car I want to buy next“. Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem to have done Ferrari or Mercedes or Red Bull any harm financially. It’s about generating excitement in the brand and, collectively, the sport in general. And some of us do buy downhill bikes, so there’s that.
Let's face it, XC was having a technological renaissance 20 years ago while DH was still muddling in building tanks, as they've always lacked behind their lyrcra peers. History is on my side of the argument, and that is a factual inconvenient truth.
The 2003 Specialized Epic ( XC race bike) had disc brakes… that’s almost twenty years of disc brakes, not ten.
I am so confused, didn’t XC adopt carbon frames first, back in the 90’s?
Also XC was first to adopt the big, 29”, wheels?
Also, go watch videos of Nino riding with downhill/ enduro guys. His standard of riding is top notch, on and off the XC course.
I saw him getting farmed by a jump a group of teenagers built at the Olympics pretty much proves my point when he’s the guy everyone uses as an example of someone who races XC that isn’t completely useless behind a set of bars. Best of a bad bunch.
@jaame: exactly mate absolutely clueless. XC has contributed nothing to mtb the just adopt from other disciplines decades later.
I think with the prevalence of bike parks, there's never been a better time to actually own a DH instead of just rent for a day. but it's always gonna come down to a company's priorities. Kona still has a DJ bike, but their enduro rigs are pretty overpriced. You have to pay 5k+ for a 170mm type rig. No 180 stuff. Def a far cry from the STINKY/STAB days.
Similar thing with Giant. Actually really rad DJ options on the cheap, enduro starts at 3500. But no DH or 180mm rigs. But way better values than Kona.
I really think they should go mullet with the Reign and add some more travel in the back.
For as expensive as any new DH bike is gonna be these days, given just the cost of good suspension, they're really gonna need something special to compete with Commencal, Spesh, and SC.. and Canyon/ YT really stole their thunder in the price-point market lately.
Another thing: just for fun, let's assume your local track day organisers let you show up with your F1 car. While a DH bike makes riding a DH track safer and easier, the F1 car will make your (and everyone else's around you) track day experience terrifying and exponentially more dangerous than a modded Miata. So not really the same thing.
I agree that the market must be pretty small though. Probably as you say, too small to have every other brand offer a DH rig. Especially nowadays when you can put a dual crown on something like a Norco Range and be this close to a DH bike without having to own multiple bikes for lift vs pedal days. I mean, a Yeti SB165 was ridden at Rampage, so...
Actually... Not too much more for absolute top of line dirt bikes ready to race. I think that's a better comparison than a car.
You really got some nerve to say Something like a process x could be A stand in for a dh rig.
I actually like a lot about the x and thought of getting one. But ive read and seen too many stories of unduely cracked konas, Without being replacedread thier crap warranty policy
Say it cost $300,000 - and even if Forbidden are putting up $200 of that (including media production costs), it might not be a bad investment.
Can anyone critique my made-up costs?
Funding a racing team might just be something you include in your business plan when you pith the enterprise to investors, who might agree with it in the expectation of it to generate future cashflows
@chakaping, @Afterschoolsports, and @JamesKROZ, my thought, and this is pure speculation, was that even if the other team sponsors are kicking in real money, for Forbidden to be doing the press release suggests they are shouldering the lion's share of the cost. I could be wrong, but if I were Crank Brothers and contributing, say, 50% of the cost, I would want the press release to be more like "Crank Brothers' new DH team is pleased to announce Forbidden Bike Co. as the frame sponsor." I suspect the focus on Forbidden means it's their team, and largely their financial burden. From what I have seen with sponsorship (not bike related), even small contributions are expected to garner fairly large returns in recognition. Sponsorship is marketing, and the sponsors need to weigh the value of supporting a team against other forms of more traditional marketing.
random - saw an IG post of (what appeared to be) a full shipping container of forbidden frames getting offloaded at their HQ; if that's any indication, they appear to be moving some decent volume of units & (perhaps) have deeper pockets than one would assume for a small startup.
Pretty stoked for this. Connor is badass and the right guy to help develop the bike.
Thoughts on the new name?
Genuinely asking by the way
Not to my knowledge....
Side note: The blue x purple fade frame looks sweet.
And don't call me anything related to bro please
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