The Explainer: What's the Deal with Linkage Forks?

Mar 5, 2019 at 21:30
by Mike Levy  


THE EXPLAINER

What's the Deal with Linkage Forks?




Trust might have broken the internet and divided opinions when they announced their Dave Weagle-developed Message linkage fork a few months back, but they're hardly the first to the weird fork party. In fact, linkage front-ends have been around much longer than the now-dialed telescoping forks we get to use today, with relatively primitive examples showing up as far back as the late 1800s.

From there, these funny looking contraptions have been used on the front of everything from folding bicycles to Grand Prix racing motorbikes and all that's between. But do you know where they haven't shown up? On the front of many people's mountain bikes. Despite a lot of attention and excitement, linkage forks have largely been a commercial flop, with only Girvin (aka Proflex) and AMP enjoying some brief success when the time was right and most things sucked anyway.

And then poof, aside from a few low-volume, boutique manufacturers that probably sell a couple of forks every year, the Erector Sets were mostly gone from the front of our bikes and we really only had telescoping models to choose from.
C.E. McGlinchey
Full-suspension with a linkage fork up front. It might not look safe, but this was state of the art back in 1891 when it was patented.

Not that that's a bad thing - when it comes to suspension, we've got it damn good these days - but it is a little... boring. I mean, isn't that freakshow below interesting?


Amp B2 1003
Eurobike 2018
AMP's minimalist design (left) was intended to be a lightweight cross-country fork that could compete against equally spindly 50-millimeter-stroke telescoping models from Manitou and RockShox. The Motion Ride fork (right) offers up to 170mm of travel via a carbon leaf spring.


That was a bike Whyte PRST-1
Structure Cycleworks
Whyte's PRST-1 (left) from the early 2000s used a linkage fork that offered consistent trail but its appearance was, er, challenging to say the least. Structure Cycleworks' prototype also integrates the fork into the front triangle, making it a package deal or nothing.


Interesting or not, I seriously doubt that many of us would be okay with an expensive, unproven linkage fork with a non-existent track record. Or would we? After many years of the Big Two (RockShox and Fox) practically owning the high-end front-suspension market, there was a promising shake-up when the latest linkage fork arrived back in October with a lot of carbon fiber, a fancy thru-shaft damper, and a Dave Weagle. It turns out that we're all still interested in linkage forks - that was one of the most-read articles of 2018, and it has nearly six-hundred comments, many of which seem to be upbeat about the new challenger's prospects. That said, I think that success for Trust would look like a good number of forks sold and to have them perform well and reliably. The OE sales numbers that the Big Two can boast about are essentially untouchable for the foreseeable future, of course.

So it seems like a good as time as any to take a look at how linkage forks work, as well as why they might make sense and why they might not. Oh, and if they're so damn good, why aren't they on the front of all our bikes?


349 Comments

  • + 87
 He stated "all telescoping forks slide on bushings". I thought the Cannondale's Lefty used needle bearings? I've never owned one but thought I read an article here on PB a few years ago.
  • + 50
 They do. I would like to see a company make a "normal" two legged fork with needle bearings to see how much stiction they reduce compared to a normal bushing fork.
  • + 112
 Yup, the Lefty rolls in and out on strips of needle bearings (four on the old version, three on the new Ocho). Ya got me there Smile
  • + 17
 @Joeshreds: as I understand it, the bearings in Lefty's are not there for stiction reasons but to allow lots of side loads without binding. Two legs with clamps top and bottom mean the bushings aren't really a significant adder to friction - it's dominated by the air seals. Happy to be corrected...
  • + 14
 @sourmix: But less binding = less stiction Smile
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict: for small bump compliance nothing comes even close to a lefty. That being said I never felt totally comfortable using it, one sided axle and all.
  • + 6
 I road a lot of versions of the Cannondale forks in the past. Before thru axles I jumped on QR rock shox form and it felt like I was completely out of control. The stiffness of the Cannondale forks is really nice. The only issue I ever had was the damping systems were a little behind the times a few years back but I am sure they have caught up by now.
  • + 14
 @vjunior21: Agreed. That older Lefty had a killer chassis that was let down by the damper. The new one is pretty damn impressive, though. Hoping they'll do a longer travel version.
  • - 1
 @mtbikeaddict: yarp, indeed, but you don't get the side loads and stiction on two legs like you do on one - hence the lefty totally needs bearings to work but most forks wouldn't really benefit AFAIK
  • + 7
 @sourmix: I think it was the other way around. Stiction was a huge issue, but switching to roller bearings caused way too much weight so they switched to one larger leg to get the weight more in line with the competition and the Lefty was born.
  • + 5
 Headshok used needle bearings too!
  • + 7
 All well and good... but what the hell are Timbits?? An obscure French confection? Austrian Easter treats? Inquiring minds want to know @mikelevy:
  • + 17
 @BambaClaat: Timbits are what the doughnut craps out...
  • - 17
flag H3RESQ (Mar 6, 2019 at 11:32) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: These are great, and I hope you keep doing more. I will offer the thought of a small change as currently your tone while explaining is very similar to that of a 1st grade teachers. Then again, maybe that is apropos for the audience?
  • + 2
 The last couple of Lefties use both their traditional needle bearings and a bushing. It's why they went to a round stanchion at the bottom, it let them use a normal wiper seal and get rid of rubber boot that needed to be on the older models. But with only 1 bushing vs at least 4 in a normal fork there is still far less binding.
  • + 10
 @H3RESQ: For sure, it'll depend on who's watching and the topic. In hindsight, I should have gotten dorkier in this first episode.
  • + 3
 @sourmix: the stanchion is not round in a lefty as per a twin telescope fork.
So you need a way to stop the upper rotating in the lower, this is the reason for the NRBs, its a square tube in tube. Or triangle.
  • + 5
 @Joeshreds: You are looking for the Cannondale Moto FR, 1998-99. vintagecannondale.com/cannondale/headshok/1998/1998-moto.jpg
  • + 2
 @Joeshreds: cannondale did this on their downhill fork that was a double lefty but it didn't work too well for some reason. Anyone remember?
  • + 1
 @raelx: exactly what I was thinking about. That design would be crazy today, back then - it was insane all out. I think it did crack open some doors and let other odd designs out to the world.
  • + 2
 @Joeshreds: Cannondale did that as well with the headshock moto.
  • + 3
 @sourmix: Lefty's needle bearings counteract torsional loads.
  • + 4
 @feeblesmith: The Super Moto Fork worked great, but it was also heavy and ludicrously expensive (one Lefty costs a lot of money, two Lefties and people are fainting). A little thing called the Boxxer was released the year before as well.
  • + 2
 whatever the science. Feel ill looking at those pics. half a bottle of remy xo not helping...
  • + 1
 @feeblesmith: it was extremely heavy
  • + 1
 @vjunior21: I think they have a 40mm stanchion and 'dual crown'... That's prolly why.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: The goofy parts and editing was great!
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: ive heard claims by bike shops that the lefty fork is stronger then a dual crown fork, if that's so then why haven't they made a long travel lefty fork yet do you know? guess it would be a question to ask cannondale
  • + 1
 @m1dg3t: REALLY REALLY Good Crap though....
  • + 2
 @nathanlikesbikes19: And they are right but because the axle has only one point of support you will reach limit loads much faster than on a standard fork.
  • + 1
 Also telescoping fork uses roller bearings PLUS BUSHINGS (twin tube through shaft damper in Trust fork) doesn't it @mikelevy ?
  • + 4
 @mikelevy: Did you eat a cat before filming?
You did..... you did eat a cat.
  • + 2
 @sourmix: You're partially correct however the flex on a conventional fork creates the friction (ie when cornering). This video should explain all.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WlRqcAQr2w
  • + 2
 @radrider: Do the wheels fall off car axles or airplanes? No need to worry. I’ve been running a lefty max 140mm for years. Front end cased gaps and all. Never a hint of the wheel coming loose.
  • + 2
 @BobbyLite: That’s right. And it was a surprisingly capable fork for its time. It would still be a very good XC type fork. It tracked amazingly well and in spite of its shorter travel had a somewhat bottomless feeling because of its progression rate. I learned to ride on one of those and was always amazed that I was riding stuff well above what should’ve been the pay grade for that fork. They were very good for the time.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: im sure there is another fork using needle bearings too, a more traditional 2 legged one. (possibly and upside down one though?)
  • + 2
 @Waldon83: Haha, I think I got a hair in my mouth just from watching that!
  • + 3
 @Waldon83: Just a small tabby.
  • + 1
 @OllyR: Sure, there are outliers.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: So was wondering whither or not rear suspension would need a different shock tune too work well with linkage fork?
  • + 1
 @Joeshreds: It does exist. CRConception in France if I'm right www.crconception.com
  • + 1
 @radrider: RS-1 equals the Lefty and older Headshok in small bump...just not in torsion stiffness.
  • + 60
 "It turns out that we're all still interested in linkage forks - that was one of the most-read articles of 2018, and it has nearly six-hundred comments, many of which seem to be upbeat about the new challenger's prospects."

It's always fun to read and talk about a freak show, but when it comes time to drop $1K on a new fork it'll be a standard telescoping unit.

People can't stop looking at or talking about a train wreck either, but that doesn't mean anyone wants to pay to be involved in one.
  • + 87
 "but when it comes time to drop $1K on a new fork "

Yeah, but if you want to drop $3K on new fork, where are you going to turn?
  • + 0
 Here it comes, a new Standard
  • + 3
 The deal is that they are the spot on a mountain bike where an instant center can actually be used to counter the acceleration of a riders mass, as desired seams to have discovered, but is keeping quiet about this time around for some reason. Intant centers never really had any real noticable effect on rear suspension, dw link pedals well because of anti-squat.
  • + 2
 Oops dw = desired apparently. Stupid autocorrect.
  • - 1
 Effective use of low speed damping in forks can theoretically accomplish the same affect though.
  • + 9
 I say bring on new innovative designs that work as they may become the standard if they work better and costs can be brought down over time. Just don't keep increasing the rear hub size and call that innovative. That's just obsolescence.
  • + 12
 Well I'm sure having fun on mine! Here's some footage
youtu.be/dalydWD30_I
  • + 3
 @cpeper21: Wow that was a gnarly trail for a 130mm carbon fork. How did it feel?
  • + 4
 Plenty of people would be willing to try one out if it was the same price as a normal fork
  • + 1
 @trails801: Most DJ forks are only 100mm? Very cool trail though!!
  • + 2
 @chize: DEFINITLY! Price just seems excessive. Just doesn't seem like it could really be 3 times better than the competition....

Course how long did ENVE pull off the same trick? Smile
  • + 1
 @stiingya: Customer service/warranty is no trick, and if Trust can come close to Enve then it will be ok.
  • + 2
 @H3RESQ: except, even if DT customer support virtually doesn’t exist, you are still better off since you don’t need to use it, which cannot be said about enve... enve is good at it because they practice a lot and the replacement is counted into the price.
  • + 48
 They're a great idea for people who like Spengle wheels.
  • + 11
 And 0% eyesight.
  • + 52
 If you missed this one:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/16931508
  • + 17
 @acali: somebody needs to make this a thing....that is beautifully horrendous
  • + 7
 @acali Shut up and take my money!
  • + 13
 @acali: with the carbon flat pedals hahah
  • + 1
 @acali: come on, you didn't make the frame tubes curvy to match...??? Smile
  • + 2
 @acali: Finally! The monster alien from The Bird Box unveiled!
  • + 37
 Get this man a lint roller
  • + 35
 Three dogs and a cat's that's missing a leg and a tail. The Hair. Is. Everywhere.
  • + 33
 @mikelevy: At least you're saved from the cat's leg and tail hair.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: I think you need hit up Scotch-Brite as an ad sponsor for the video series.
  • + 22
 If I walked into a Local Bike Shop and had to pick between a $1000 Fox 36 or a $2700 Trust Fork...

I'd pick up a:

Fox 36: $1000

ANNNDDDDDDDDDD.....
Front & rear Maxxis tires: $130
Enve Handlebars: $170
Fox X2: $650
New Helmet: $150
Local bike park pass: $400
Lunch for everyone at the bike shop: $100
____________
$2600.00
  • + 7
 Oh stop it. With your MATH and your LOGIC. Lunch for everyone at the shop goes a crazy long way down here. Just saying.
  • + 1
 lmaooooo
  • + 1
 Whys it always gotta be a 36? So many options out there that are just as good or better but everyone always follows trend. Give me a ribbon, diamond or mattoc.
  • + 25
 If it ain't broke... make it more complicated.
  • + 1
 l0l0ll0
  • + 0
 It is actually kind of broke. That's why designers and engineers keep chipping away at the limitations. No one is saying that telescoping forks don't get the job done...but almost everyone IS saying that there are compromises involved. Most of us know what it's like to judder through braking bumps on a descent because the front suspension is bottomed or bound up on its bushings. Most of us have at some point grabbed a bit too much front brake, dived the suspension, and taken a header. We ride around those compromises and learn body English that gets us down safely or wins a race, but that doesn't equate to "telescoping forks do everything perfectly."
  • + 1
 @Magellan35: Agree 99% - I'm all for pushing the boundaries of design...efficiency...and fun.., but if my 'new for now' fork has more pivots/ bushings/ moving parts/ pieces susceptible to failure (that will require eventual replacement) than the rest of my bike AND looks like that, I'll rock what I got. No sense in replacing something that "gets the job done" and well IMO (if setup correctly). It's easier to find speed and efficiency elsewhere on a bike or in the mirror if you're really wanting to get after it on the trail.
  • + 2
 @Slo5280: Likewise agree 99%. As a rule, if you want to improve function, start with the machine in the mirror. Then ride the best machine you can lay your hands on. In that regard, we didn't design an alternative because we weren't having fun on "regular bikes", but because there really was room for improvement in function. As far as maintenance goes, we gave all the main pivots industry-standard 30mm bearings, made them easy to knock out from the opposite side of the frame and offer a lifetime warranty on frame and bearings. And hey, no more fork bushing and seal service ever.

Come for a ride with us to see what all the fuss is about?
  • + 6
 Last review requires a subscription. Can you give us the condenmation?
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: Judging by the comments, it was a negative review.
  • + 19
 seems the majority of PB resistance is because of the looks. which quite frankly is a poor excuse to not try it. we have been conditioned over the years to develop a taste for what all bikes look like. they all share the same silhouette. and when something else comes along that doesnt fit, everyone thinks its ugly and would never be caught dead with that ugly thing strapped to the front of their bike. IMO, ride quality and comfort far outweigh looks. others feel if they drop $8000 on a bike, it should look like the Ferrari equivalent and not a tired old Model T. but, until these things are proved in races and under the most abuse a fork can take, there will still be skepticism ,and rightfully so.
  • + 18
 @cherbein03 I don't believe this to be the case I think the fact that its twice the price of a normal fork and does pretty much the same thing is what turns me off of them. Same reason I won't buy a 10000 dollar carbon bike when a 4000 dollar aluminum bike does the exact same thing.
  • + 3
 @mhoshal: guess we will have to wait and see once a $900 linkage fork is available. and in reality, you are correct, both style forks do the same thing. i'm guessing only 1-2% of the MTB world will be able to feel a real difference. but that never stopped people from wanting a fox 36 over a rs lyrik or vice versa.
  • + 1
 The problem is that they won't be even close to race worthy, and you don't need to ride them to find out.

People seem to forget Newtons third law = for every action, there is an equal an opposite reaction. Just like with the rear anti squat setups, the more anti-squat you run, the less the bike bobs and more of your power gets put into the pedals. At the same time, it also stiffens the suspension when you are pedaling (because its actively forcing the wheel down which opposes its tendency to travel up in response to a bump) and creates pedal kickback, which when opposed by your legs also stiffens the suspension.

These linkage forks are no different. Sure, there is no brake dive. When you hit your front brake, you bracing against the handlebars to avoid flying forward causes your inertia to translate into a forward pitch moment, which would normally compress the traditional telescopic front fork. With these linkage forks, the linkage opposes that motion, which necessarily and absolutely stiffens the fork. So now, when you hit the front brake, your wheel just skips over rocks with less absorption and translates that force into your arms.
  • + 5
 No way, it's because it costs about 3x more than the most expensive option for a fork out there. Even carbon frames are what 50%-100% more than aluminum frames, that's a far cry from 300%.
  • + 4
 @phops: You're spot on, which is why at Structure we went for a significant reduction in brake dive without a target of 100% anti-dive. Rotating the links on bearings offers unreal small bump compliance vs telescoping forks though, which gives us headroom to look at a useful reduction in brake dive, more parallel front-rear axle paths, a head angle that slackens throughout suspension heave, and the ability to set the ratio of compliance:antidive with an eccentric on our upper front link. Speaking frankly, we would have given up and walked away if the advantages weren't profound and immediately obvious on a two minute demo ride. Linkage is worth doing.
  • + 4
 @Magellan35: it may be worth doing to manufactures but the vast majority doesn't see it that way we see a stiff price tag for very little gain. If you brought the rediculous astronomical price down to within a couple hundred dollars of a comparable telescopic fork you might start getting more customer's. I haven't seen one review where a person actually paid for thier linkage fork of course people will praise free products hell I would too. Let me see some real reviews from people who paid top dollar and see if they think its worth the upgrade I bet the vast majority say it isn't.
  • - 2
 @mhoshal: we're doing everything possible to keep the price in check, and the more bikes we sell the more that becomes a possibility. In the meantime, we offer a much larger increase in performance than electronic shifting / dampers or other bolt-on accessories for a typical frameset.
  • + 2
 @Magellan35: one thing I don't understand about linkage forks that claim to maintain head angle throughout compression is, how is that possible?

I'm not saying it's not possible by the way, just asking how.

In my mind, the distance between the axle and the bottom of the head tube affects the head angle. Shorten the distance and the head angle necessarily steepens. Since linkage forks or indeed any suspension forks get shorter when they compress, how can it be possible to not affect steering geometry?
  • + 0
 @jaame: Probably the best way to see it visually is to watch the GIF clip on our site at structure.bike. Suffice it to say that hundreds and hundreds of calculations, simulations, and physical mock-ups led to the combination of axle path, starting and finishing head angle, trail, offset, reach, front center, anti-dive, and steering effort that gave us the ride we wanted. Because head angle = steering angle, as the suspension links rock back in their arcs, trail is maintained or even lengthened and the fork steering angle is maintained under pitch (compression of front suspension only) while slackening quite a bit under heave (compression of both front and rear), The net effect is that the bike becomes more stable as it goes deeper into its travel. **Note that I can only speak for our bike and not for other linkage forks**
  • + 1
 @jaame: One point of clarification: On our bike the fork steering head and the handlebar steering head are de-coupled. That's why we're able to do the things described above.
  • + 2
 @Magellan35: Thanks for that, it's an interesting GIF.
  • + 13
 Lauf and Trust are breaking old ground with new plows. Cool factor seems to negate costs. If either brand built equally functional forks with lower-cost aluminum or steel, we might see these products on bikes more available to the general public. But, although my unobtainium bike would be the DW-designed Esker with Trust forks, eWing cranks, and XTR 12-speed floating on the quiet and unicorn-Scylence wheels, I'll stay conventional until the bugs are worked out and cost drops.
  • + 14
 "Breaking old ground with new plows" is a great way to put it.
  • + 5
 @Geochemistry Bikes will soon break ground on the $20K mark.
  • + 2
 @rivercitycycles: Great! Back to MX!!!!
  • + 0
 @TDMAN: You can still buy cheaper bikes, dog. Motocross has $5000 forks available but I don't see anyone complaining about them. My stock stuff works great and if it doesn't, I revalve it. Riding an 07 KTM 200 still.
  • + 11
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't these linkage forks still require a damper/spring inside the legs that, although as a bunch of bearings around the axle, still use bushings?

So, that still leaves you with however many bearings there are left to fail, on top of the bushings, no?

I'm not anti linkage by any means, I'm just struggling to understand how they can be better apart from being able to adjust compression ratios.
  • + 11
 The remaining shock is isolated from the lateral forces coming from the wheel. So less radial forces. Just like a rear shock works well with tiny bushings, because the frame pivots are eating all the loads.
  • + 8
 In a telescoping fork the bushings allow the fork to slide smoothly along the length of the fork, but also have to resist bending loads (which can significantly increase friction at the bushings).

If the linkage fork is designed correctly, the spring/damper will have pivots at either end of it that prevent it from experiencing those bending loads (can't transmit torque through a bearing that spins) and only expose it to linear compression/tension. So yeah that spring/damper will still have bushings, just like the shock in a linkage rear suspension, but they will be much less likely to fail and wear out due to off-axis loads.
  • + 6
 They're also at a 3:1 ratio, (or whatever the actual ratio is), so the bushings and/or seals in the linkage fork have 1/3 the friction, even before bending and side loading are factored in.

I hope they make this product work, and can carve out a market for these that sticks around. Options are cool to have.
  • + 3
 +Imagine when you are braking with your front brake, the bushings in a telescopic fork must transfer the huge moment especially on the side of the brake calliper. This adds a lot of friction and that's why your suspension performance when breaking is heavily compromised. By the way in upside-down inverted forks this it is much less of a problem because the moment arm is much shorter. This problem is completely eliminated in linkage forks.
  • + 2
 It's also worth considering the extra leverage on seals and interface mechanisms in the current generation of telescoping forks delivered by new super slack bikes. At some point of head tube slackness telescoping forks just don't makes sense.
  • + 8
 The biggest reason they won't take off is price. The Trust fork costs the same amount as a moderately to well spec bike. Too much $$ regardless of what ever performance benefits. Not to mention, if something breaks on it, how long until you can get it serviced or fixed.
  • + 0
 It looks like the best linkage fork so far, I'd love to try it. I agree that the price will have to come down drastically before more people get on board, the price is almost insulting.
  • + 2
 Also, it will be interesting if they make a DH version and see how it compares in the World Cup, I have a feeling it would be a very serious contender. Which teams would get it first?
  • + 2
 @RollinFoSho: why would DH racers use it, if enduro racers aren’t?
  • + 1
 It would be interesting to see Trust Message in EWS. I guess there could be a conflict of interest getting sponsorship from Fox and Rockshox as well...
  • + 1
 @skelldify: give them ma minute, it's only been a few months (since release), the message is quite short travel really at 130mm, let them make a longer fork and I bet a few EWS racers will be on it.

Side note: the overall second place finishers of both the men's masters and women's masters EWS series are on the Message this year and appear to like it quite a bit.
  • + 10
 I can’t get over how he pronounces ‘stancion’ like ‘stank-shun’ lol
  • + 14
 783 takes and that's as good as it gets, too.
  • + 3
 People that say stank-shun also say dampening.
  • + 7
 These are great Levy......keep it up! My productivity at work is now going to an even lower level than I ever thought possible. Oh, I'd still go telescoping for my fork.........
  • + 5
 First off. Great vid. Informative and funny.

I personally don't get the push back on all things new. I'm typically an early adopter of everything whether it be a new sport or new gear. I think it's sweet to have something odd and that the rest of the herd doesn't and I don't care at all if it's not considered "cool".
The trust fork is out of my budget but if all things were equal and it works as described I'd love to have one on one of my bikes.
  • + 8
 Explainer s1e2: Levy explains how many 10-packs of Timbits it takes to make a ghetto Cushcore.
  • + 11
 This might be an innovative way around @yoannbarelli and his Baguette patents.
  • + 5
 Can we have some explanation on the pros and con's of a rearward fork axle path? Wheelbase shortening under compression / breakaway on rocks / why 130mm of trust is said to be = to 160mm telescopic etc ?

Wouldn't have to be tested I just want levy's internal rational and or logic (preferably about 2 beers and 10 donuts in)
  • + 4
 On a conventional fork when you hit the face of a bump, your fork flexes backwards (the bushings aren't sliding they're sticking) as it absorbs the bump force. The slacker your head angle the less backwards flex you get for a given stiffness of fork and for a given bump size/force.

With a linkage fork that has a backwards axle path means that the fork is moving backwards and up instead of flexing and binding as it moves out of the way of the bump.

All telescopic forks shorten the wheel base under braking and bump forces also. They also change the Trail as they compress. Which affects handling. Linkage forks can tune that out - be constant Trail.

I'm not an engineer.
  • - 6
flag phops (Mar 6, 2019 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 Its marketing. There is no way a 130mm fork can replace a 160mm fork. They are just hoping clueless people with money will buy this to impress their friends.
  • + 1
 @nouseforaname: Thanks, I understand the workings of both telescopic and a few linkage forks, I was interested in the benefits people attribute to the trust vs a conventional fork.

So yes a conventional fork does shorten wheelbase when compressed but even at a 60 degree head angle (to take an extreme case) and a 160mm fork you will only get about 92mm reduction in wheelbase, and only 75 for 130mm travel where as the trust fork due to its proportionally larger rearward travel looks like it might have far more than that ?

Interesting point on the trail being maintained, on the one hand something remaining constant is easier to predict and control when your mind is busy g-ing out, but at the same time a larger trail slows down steering, which I like as a quality for when you are at full compression as generally at that point i would like me bike to be super stable and slow steering.

I am only a student, so can't claim to be an engineer either.

P.s what are your thoughts on the effect on braking?
  • + 2
 @Kustomango: IIRC Leading link forks control dive with braking effects, trailing link forks control trail.

Honestly the summary of linkage forks in the video is spot on. yeah they may be 5% 'better' in one given sphere, but they are 10% 'worse' in others. Stiction reduction Vs complexity of manufacture/maintenance. Anti Dive Vs additional cost.

They're an evolutionary dead end. Neanderthal man might have been better at cave painting than Homo Erectus, but that wasn't enough to ensure survival of the race.
  • + 4
 @phops: The reason Trust can claim that their fork *feels* like a 160 is that braking does use up suspension travel, so there's more travel available for bumps under braking than on a tele fork that dives through a large portion of its travel, and worse, binds on bushings and seals. We can argue about available /compliance/ under braking, but it's fair to say that a linkage bike can reduce dive and still offer compliance that absolutely blows telescoping forks away. Please come demo our bikes and see for yourself.
  • + 5
 it's like the time big wheels compensated for suspension travel...................
  • + 4
 Same price?

I’d try the Trust fork.

At three to four times the price of a comparable telescoping fork?

I’ll stick with a telescoping fork.

Honestly, I get that the Trust fork is special, lots of engineering and design went into the fork, just like a suspension frame, but quite frankly I’m not gonna spend 25-35% more on a mountain bike to get that fork.

Bring the price down to $1500 and set up some demos, then I’d consider it.
  • + 4
 Interesting how the collective can argue about squat (in every sense of the word) for 15 years on rear suspension design. When the same rules are applied to the front of the bike nearly everyone freaks out. Linkage forks make a ton of sense if the travels are kept in the range where the levers can produce an axle path that works. As long as you try to adapt to a frame designed around the head tube for a telly you will struggle. The guys doing the chassis approach will fare better.
  • + 8
 How is this thing not called the spork?
  • + 6
 I look at that trust fork and think no way its so ugly BUT this weekend I crashed in a rockgarden and scratched my stanchion!!!!!!! now im thinking they dont look so bad! lol
  • + 3
 The Trust fork may right now be the most promising design in this category but I am willing to bet that the reviews for this fork are going to be all over the map in the coming months, including its Long Term reviews. I know of two people who got to ride that Trust fork for a few weeks and both reported back that in certain situations the fork worked amazingly well but would just absolutely shit the bed in other situations and that was enough for it not to be something they would ride again unless those issues could be resolved. Im really looking forward to some more in depth reviews coming out for this fork as I am really curious to see if there is a similar findings with other reviewers.
  • + 2
 I know of two reviews already that say it feels harsh and terrible. The singletrackworld one requires a membership to read it all, but they said the same thing as the first one below:

lacemine29.blogspot.com/2018/12/trust-message-fork-review.html

singletrackworld.com/2019/03/review-judgement-day-trust-message-multi-link-suspension-fork
  • + 1
 Let me guess your friends didnt like it on fast gnarly stuff with a lot of ruckus? I dont see how such small damper and short linkages can cope with forces that comes on high speed enduro/dh tracks.
  • + 3
 To answer Mike's question at the end of the video...
Path of least resistance please - That means telescoping, because:
1. Technology is pretty dialed and seems to keep advancing (incrementally)
2. Widely available
3. Parts and service are widely available
4. Cost/benefit ratio
5. Likely easier to resell if that comes into play
  • + 6
 I'd love to pick weird - for at least *close* to the same price. $2800 should buy me a bike, not a fork.
  • + 3
 The telescopic fork design has little room for improvement from where we are presently, linkage designs will offer the best performance especially if and/or when a bicycle frame is designed for this fork.

The higher end of the line Honda Gold Wing line eliminated telescoping forks in 2018
  • + 3
 Trust fork can actually make it much better than the other ones because it just looks solid. The moving parts are close the axle and you don’t get an impression that it will fold on itself like that AMP thing. I hope they make it, If money were no object I’d totally have one.
  • + 2
 Many of the more independent reviews paint a pretty dim picture of the trust fork, citing a number of issues.

Out of interest, why would you like one if money were no object? On looks alone or do you 'trust' that the performance will be there because DW has is name on it?
  • + 1
 @justanotherusername: because it makes sense for bring a different thing. Make no mistake though, in my world the CC Helm Coil the best fork that I have never ridden. I am having a first world problem, that is I am stuck with 2016 Lyrik for a two years to come.
  • - 2
 This is where I recall the first posting of this fork on pinkbike waki. Funny how many of the incarnations are listed that I listed . Your statement on looks is curious at best. Race up and man up or silence.
  • + 1
 @Keit: I like the Trust fork a lot, I am sorry. You forgot to introduce yourself. How's your search for my telephone number?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Prolly going as well as my search for the winning lotto numbers!
  • - 2
 @WAKIdesigns: your better half was very resourceful. So you up for a race or still all mouth and no teeth?
  • + 1
 @Keit: 'all mouth and no teeth? Just like your better half. Ha. Ha. Ha.

See what I did there? Dingus.
  • + 1
 and things will only get better?, "decent" first to the table, always brings progression and refinement
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: for once I am going to be critical; "the need to ensure before every ride that the axel is secured at 17nm" raises the question of the design structure being sound.
  • + 1
 @Keit: my better half? I doubt it and even if it were true it would only confirm my idea of mysterious you. Please by all means... free me. I have more options than I would ever imagine. I just need an excuse.
  • + 1
 @Keit: I ride the short bus. Got a problem?

Maybe you should catch up Smile
  • + 2
 I still don't understand why no one wants upside down forks. ALL moto bikes have upside down forks... they're laterally stiffer than a right side up fork... at a time where we'll all watching the forks flop in a bottom out test on pinkbike I'm always surprised not to see more upside down forks
  • + 2
 Ok, I think the linkage fork is cool and I would love to try one, BUT! Over a hundred plus years, how many successful telescoping forks have we seen? How many linkage? Why don't more motos use them? When is more complicated ever better than simplicity?
  • + 3
 I had an AMP fork as well as the old Proflex fork. They were pretty cool at the time. Watched a YouTube video recently with Jeff Kendall-Weed and he was riding the Trust fork. Didn't seem to hold him back at all.
  • + 5
 No fork can hold JKW back! He is always in a wheelie or manual Smile
  • + 2
 I want a bike that can store preload and give boost on demand, has buzzsaws to cut trees when I get off line and can go submarine when necessary, you know- like the mach 5. And I want a monkey to help me work on it - Chim Chim is awesome at finding tools. Ive already been calling my wife trixie, so thats good - and when I get tense in a race it looks like I need to take a shit, but the grunts and moans need work. One day it will all come together. Oh, yeah, and I rode a lawill leader on my LTS, fer real. You can trust me. Linkage forks are like a fried oreo. Neat, but no need to Experience it more than once.
  • + 2
 Front of the bike: "non telescoping fork? madness and witchcraft"

Rear of the bike: "telescoping chain stays, or simple single pivot? luddites"

Of course front and rear at totally different situations with regards to wheel motion, but I have often wondered why, with all the investment and development of linkages at the back end, why no one really seems interested in chasing better kinematics up front.
  • + 2
 Because MX has established telescopic forks, and MTB tech for the most part is slowly following the evolutionary paths that MX went through in the 80s.
  • + 1
 Check out Structure Cycleworks.
  • + 2
 Thanks Mike, I enjoyed that and look forward to the rest of the series.

I disagree about your comment about Fox/SRAM never making a linkage fork though, if it ever happens to gain momentum and the pricing comes down, they will be all over it. If there is a market for it and $ to be made, they would be silly not to.
  • + 2
 Would love to try one for all the reasons Trust built it. I ride a Wolf Ridge and love it - it suits my riding style. And yes, it is somewhat polarizing. Riding is believing.

The Trust is expensive...but look at the price of a carbon wheel set compared to aluminum ... 2x - 2.5x higher. If you are just buying hoops it's 3x - 4x the price of aluminum. There's no shortage of carbon wheels in most any riding environment with high praise being heaped on them...and over the years the "Dentists on Yeti's" bias has pretty much left us with respect to just about any carbon component.
So if value is perceived, they will show up.

I'd like to see them offered as an OEM option where the wholesale price can be reflected.

How close is the 29 160+ version?

PS The photoshop post of the Trust on the new Mount Vision is Awesome. Weagle Voss El Solitario Beast Mode -
WVESBM....way too kickass to be some sort of mundane TLA (three letter acronym). WVESLM is the Ludicrus Mode...Electric natch.
  • + 3
 "I'm going to have to ask RC what those early forks were like to ride".

That's cold man, real cold Big Grin

Made me do a proper office LOL!

Loving this new format, @mikelevy you're a natural at this.
  • + 1
 Thanks Smile
  • + 2
 "great to fix your shitty line choices" lol. Mike I don't have any clues what you're talking about...but seriously to answer the question. No I wouldn't go for a linkage fork, beside their unusual look which I could live with, I think there is just too many moving parts and from my point of view they dont seem "sturdy" or reliable.
  • + 2
 This kind of front linkage was used on motocross in the late 80's... debut 90's. I remember a Mugen Honda factory bike in Japan at the time. It didn't last long and I've never seen one after on the track.
  • + 1
 Ribi
  • + 2
 if bump compliance was the pinnacle of suspension, all forks would be Coil Sprung (less stiction due to fewer seals).
Telescopic forks can have higher stiction, but it is a 1:1 system
  • + 1
 If motor bikes on are whole have not needed this, then I don't think we do. Over engineering is really starting to become the norm, its starting to get like talking to a roadie at company event, I just hope we as a community are harder to convince we need all this daft 'tech'. Well, that and we don't start looking forward to climbs and shaving our legs Wink
  • + 1
 @Radley-Shreddington 'Well, that and we don't start looking forward to climbs and shaving our legs' You telling me you stop at the nuts? LoL
  • + 8
 Can you imagine if those that wanted to push the design envelope never did anything about it? You'd still have your horses hauling you around everywhere. New hub widths, wheel sizes, etc, are not innovative. You may not like this, it may not perform well NOW, but the only way to progress is paradigm shifts. Kudos to those pushing the envelope and challenging the norm!
  • + 1
 @m1dg3t: There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it. LOL
  • + 2
 @Radley-Shreddington: I may not be a porn star, but I trim like one!

When you trim the hedges the tree looks bigger Wink LoL
  • + 3
 A bit of misinformation at 4:00 mark. Spring's job is to support weight, not absorb bumps. An ideal spring will never stop bouncing. It's the damper that absorb's the bumps.
  • + 4
 We need to start a gofundme for a lint roller to get the half pound of cat hair off of @mikelevy .
  • + 4
 I would appreciate that.
  • + 1
 unnecessarily complicated, unless there is a distinct performance advantage why take more weight and the possibility of bearing/linkage issues being a new issue in the performance/maintenance cycle. Like in the Dragon's Den, I'm out.
  • + 1
 What Levy missed is that Weagle's prime design motivation was to create a fork where the geometry was preserved during compression, which I interpret as the trail remaining close to the same as the fork compresses. As a conventional fork compresses the head angle steepens and the trail is reduced. With the message the axle moves closer to the fork legs as the fork compresses which will reduce the reduction in trail.
  • + 7
 Not really - that was covered in-depth in the article about the Trust fork. That's not something that all linkage forks do.
  • + 1
 I was on the verge of putting down cash for that adroit subframe linkage fork. Marked for 999 dorra on their website. Serviceable bushings. Reasonable weight. Okay ish axle path. Long travel long time. Serviceable standard rear shock at the core of the works... Only to find the site is but a husk of a dodo project. I wish they would revive.
  • + 1
 As always I'll stick to the tail end of technological progress. By all means go ahead and be bleeding edge, be dick about it, invest in the latest and greatest. Once the whole thing has settled down, technology has trickled down the "lower end groupsets" and I really need something new, I'll just cherry pick what suits me best Smile .
  • + 3
 If the linkage fork is that good why don’t we see them in motoX ? If any tech is truly that good it would be adopted into moto sports but we don’t see it happen.
  • + 1
 We have some theories about that at Structure Cycleworks, but it has nothing to do with the ability to build a linkage front for motoX that performs better than a telescoping fork kinematically. Best guess is that some experiments have probably been done but we are only now getting all of the materials, processes, and designs together that would make a system better, cost-effective, and just as reliable as the new Goldwing's linkage. Composites manufacture and linkage design have matured tremendously in just the past few years, so don't rule linkage out entirely...
  • + 5
 If you have pets, don't wear black.
  • + 3
 I need a lint roller sponsor.
  • + 1
 If you don't like pet fur, don't look at people wearing black.
  • + 1
 What an awesome job for tech bites Mike. Linkage forks needs to prove itself like the " standard forks" now. Technology is pre-mature. I know. It's the same pivot on the frame but that's the WHOLE bike. This is only on the fork. It's like putting a 10 lb poop ina 5 lb bag. And I'm absolutely sure you heard that phrase before. I feel that this fork needs more R&D(ride) besides a couple of months or so. It probably looks good and ready on simulation software but needs a good amount of time for expert riders like Mike to comment for the more than average riders.
In addition, the video clip shows flexion on the bottom of the steer tube(not the head tube). Makes me think how much of the flex it can take before it gives. My .5 cents. Thank you.
  • + 1
 To me @mikelevy left out one of the biggest design advantages from the linkage fork. Telescopic forks are only able to move in a straight axle path initiated by force coming threw the bottom of the wheel. Linkage forks allow the travel to be activated when something hits the front of the wheel and allows for a more adaptive axle path. Ive seen a bunch of sweet videos of people running into curbs with no hands on the linkage fork.
  • + 1
 Pretty sure I mention that in the video, too Smile
  • + 2
 I would go with Linkage forks. You have to progress and look outside of the box. You are, to a point, only limited to your own self imposed limits. You have to keep innovating to move things forward.
  • + 1
 The article ends with this, right?

''So it seems like a good as time as any to take a look at how linkage forks work, as well as why they might make sense and why they might not. Oh, and if they're so damn good, why aren't they on the front of all our bikes?''

I'm new so maybe I'm missing something obvious, but doesn't that last paragraph lead one to believe we're about to be treated to an exploration of linkage forks? Where's the rest of the article?
  • + 1
 In the video Wink
  • + 2
 Great video about the technical details, but it doesn't really explain the difference in how it rides and why I might sacrifice how cool my 36 looks for one of these
  • + 1
 since you're testing that linkage fork could you do me a favor and shoot that lyrik down to me, also would be super appreciated if you could throw some of those timbits in the box. thanks love the new series btw
  • + 0
 I didn't realize that the forks of today needed so much help to perform better. Soon we'll have bikes that ride themselves with suspension that makes it feel like a magic carpet! Oh, but great engineering though! lol Facepalm
  • + 1
 You forgot , on trails that as no bumb roots or rock.
  • + 1
 If you listen to the Cushcore guy, this help comes in foam form. He's actually pretty convincing.
  • + 1
 My first thought is that until now, my best suspension system is and keeps being both my arms and legs.... for the rest: the simplest is the best. An agressive hardtail with a good telescopic fork will always do the job ;-)
  • + 1
 I’m in. I’ve ridden Manitou, Rock Shox, and Fox, not to mention my Surlys and various other rigids from the early 90’s I’m completely willing to try the Trust linkage.
  • + 2
 Compared to the initial development cost of link method and telescopic method, link method is cheaper. That's why small businesses are good to approachable
  • + 0
 Seems like the riders weight would sit forward of the axle, and when the fork moves through its range, the contact point where the riders weight transfers through the tire into the ground would shift slightly, causing a deviation in traction.
  • + 1
 I'm sticking with telescoping forks. I'm old enough to have ridden the AMP and ProFlex stuff as well as leading link style forks on dirt bikes (I'm a kid of the late 1960's / 1970s) ~ I don't want a linkage fork that you.
  • + 3
 Levy is the best. Funny, humble, filled to the brim with info. Looking forward to the next one, Mike!!
  • + 1
 The guys at Vorsprung Suspension did a more technical, but arguably much better explanation of the differences between telescopic and linkage forks:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUsl-qb138A
  • + 2
 Are there any plans to review the Motion Ride? Significantly cheaper than the Trust, and from what I've read it seems a better performer too.
  • + 2
 Here : www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fov7XPtuesc

The reviewer is pretty honest imo.
  • + 1
 @AAAAAHHH: wow that thing looks like it really works
  • + 1
 There's a review here.
singletrackworld.com/2018/07/review-motion-ride-e18-anti-dive-linkage-fork-first-ride

They seem to be impressed with it too.
  • + 1
 In the past I recall engineers designing linkage forks to achieve a rearward axle path. With the slack head angles that have become the norm these days, I wonder if it is as big of an advantage any more.
  • + 2
 In a modern, quality, well maintained telescopic fork, how big of an issue is stiction REALLY? I think the biggest factor is “well maintained”...
  • + 1
 I'd be more excited if these companies made removeable / replaceable bushings like dirt bike forks. Linkage is great, but I just figured motorcycles went away from it due to cost of manufacturing.
  • + 2
 I would give it a try if they were more competitively priced. Although the thought of replacing a dozen pivots and rebuilding 2 dampers would give me nightmares.
  • + 1
 No way am I going to try one of these piles of bearings after moving from FS to HT bike due to ever worn bearings. One day i will replace my DH Bike with an Orange. Less bearings, less hassle.
  • + 2
 The Trust fork got slammed by Singletrack today, same comments as PB's review. Looks like they need to work on the damper big time.
  • + 2
 Dampers can be improved at relatively low cost. If money was no object, I would buy a Trust fork tomorrow. Some real innovation at last, and I personally love the way it looks ( prob. In the minority though). Wonder how much a cheaper aluminium version would weigh.
  • + 2
 @tremeer023: Considering how long it took for the dampers in telescopic forks to get good, i wouldn't hold my breath for a Trust fork with good damping anytime soon.
Plus, one of the main drawbacks of linkage forks is size + weight for a given amount of travel (one of the reasons they are not used in motocross). Putting a better (=bigger) damper in would increase size and weight even more.
  • + 1
 If money were no object, I'd give that fork a try. It would get some looks but it'd be interesting to check how the fork responds on my "uh-oh" braking that sends me diving.
  • + 1
 I'm genuinely surprised manufacturer's haven't gone after this more. More things you can control, the better you can control your costs.
  • + 2
 BMW made it work by hiding their linkage fork behind fairings. Maybe we need the same in MTB?
  • + 2
 All these people talking about linkage forks while I’m still waiting for telescoping rear suspension...
  • + 2
 And Manitou's thing of beauty from 20 years ago.
  • + 1
 Think maybe Maverick used to have some models?
  • - 1
 They're ugly, that's why aren't we all using them.
It'she same reason round headlights look better than rectangular ones, and why we cringe when we see spiders and think bunnies are cute; one looks better than the other.
Plus, with all the technology put into telescoping forks, they actually work pretty good.
  • + 1
 Yes. Everyone wants to say they're so enlightened and above it all, and they choose function over form. No, they don't. They might have fooled themselves into believing that, but no, they don't. We are not the rational creatures we think we are. I will say that's only to a certain extent -- we will choose function over form if it's the only thing that works. If the linkage forks worked and telescoping forks did not, everyone would choose the linkage forks.

Another thing that keeps us from buying the linkage forks is cost. Why spend $3k, when the $1k forks work -- not just fine -- but excellently, and look better, to boot. Linkage forks are kind of like the answer to a question no one asked. That said, I think the Trust forks look solid. But yeah, the price is a little steep.
  • - 1
 @TheR: OK, so as a thought experiment: what if you had the choice of two girls and had to pick one to be with you forever; one is incredibly beautiful, with all the right curves and the other is a bit of a minger.

However girl number one, the pretty one, is just not interested in sex and every time she tries it's shit, but girl two shags like a porn star, is up for trying anything and gives you the best mind blowing sex you can imagine.

Which do you go for? Form or function?
  • + 3
 @dicky1080: Did you not see the part where I said “we will choose function over form if it’s the only thing that works?” In your scenario, the pretty girl doesn’t work, so you go with function over form.

Furthermore, your thought exercise is a poor analogy. In the real world, the hot girl (telescoping forks) not only meets your needs, she meets them well. In the meantime, the jury’s still out on the ugly girl (linkage forks), and the investment in her is two and a half times that of the hot girl.

Stop fooling yourself. You couldn’t convince 99.5 percent of us to put that Motion Ride contraption on our bikes. And if you’re honest with yourself, you know damn well the reason why.
  • + 3
 Or to put it another way — all things being equal, we will go for the better looking option.
  • + 2
 @dicky1080: Sure, but what we have is a situation where both girls (or guys) are equally capable in the the bedroom, both make you laugh and want to go on mountain bike trips with you, but girl A is intent on only eating in fancy restaurants, driving a flashy car and staying in the finest hotels, whereas girl B is totally happy cooking in your truck camper while camping in a beautiful deserted area and waking up to coffee in a sleeping bag.
Girl B is quite attractive as well. Moreso than girl A.
Girl B is telescopic forks and A is Linkage forks.
Pretty easy choice, no?
  • + 0
 @TheR: I'm not trying to pick holes in your argument, I'm genuinely interested in this idea. I'm a product designer, so this is something that comes up a lot.

One could argue that looking good is part of the function of a product, why shouldn't all our stuff be pleasing on the eye? And if its not, then the product isn't "functioning" properly.

What I wanted to do with the thought experiment was to try and open a conversation to see if we could find the point at which function beats form: if the new fork could shave 5 seconds off a 2 minute run, would that override the "ugliness"? I guess this depends on the person; a racer would say yes for sure.

You say that the good looking option would have to not function properly to consider using the ugly option, but modern telescoping forks work just great so no need for the ugly. What if this new fork is a bit better? Not loads better, but definetly better.

The other interesting part is the idea of beauty: I remember when 29 wheels were a new thing; for me they looked just far too big and made bikes look bad, now a few years down the line, they look kinda normal and 26 looks too small! Our concept of good looking changes all the time.

I think in most cases, "good looking" is more about what we are used to seeing. How long would it take for us to become used to seeing linkage forks, to see them as normal and then "good looking"? Would it not be an error to write them off immediately cause they look bad, when in perhaps 5 years time we might think they look good?

I have no illusions about the power of beauty in our decision making process, I want all my stuff to look great (to me), but also want my bike to be the best functioning it can be, where do I draw the line?
  • + 2
 @dicky1080: The points where function beats form, using your lady analogy:

* When the beautiful lady does not function, but the ugly one does, as I mentioned.

* When you do not have the resources/good looks to attract the nice looking lady, you have to make a trade-off for something a little more your speed. See, some of us can get the nice looking lady who's everything we're looking for. The rest of you have to settle for what you can get. At a certain point down the line, no amount of "personality" is going to make me desire an ugly fork.

* When the function is significantly -- not marginally -- better for your purposes, but the form is only marginally worse. Most dudes here would rather be with a 10 who performs like 6 than a 1 who performs like a 10. The reason? Most know they can do better. But a 7 who performs like a 10? Well, maybe we have something here. But don't be fooled -- there are dudes who will only settle for 10/10, because they have that juice. Some dudes can only have a 1/3.
  • + 2
 @dicky1080: So I guess in order for the whole linkage thing to work:

1. Telescopic forks would have to not function at all. Go ahead and throw this one out.

2. They would have to have at least an inverted looks to function ratio. In other words, if telescoping forks are 10 looks and 6 or 7 function, then linkage forks would have to be 6 or 7 in looks and a 10 function. I will say, the Trust fork comes close -- I would not rule these out on looks alone. They look OK. The function is the question. From what I'm reading, they do well, but mostly you're trading one set of shortcomings for another. And they are also expensive! They would need to bring the price down -- I'm not seeing that they perform 250% better, but that is the cost.

3. They would have to be so cheap that a guy who doesn't have the resources for a 10-looking fork with a 7 function would go with a 1 look with a 6-7 function. That doesn't seem to be what's happening here -- the cost of these forks are astronomical.
  • + 2
 @dicky1080:I'd rather not a flame war either.
I am not a product designer but I can appreciate good design (I design/build furniture.)
I tend to think that form follows function, and that form is a close second to function, but not a function itself. Great design has both. That's what makes it great. (Most times, sometimes it's simply because it broke from tradition.)
Function trumps form, IMHO, but given two products that are similar in function, I will choose the better looking product, even if it is marginally poorer function wise. Key word is marginal. I will not choose something if it under performs.
I think there are some universal truths, similar to the Golden Rule, regarding form, that we as humans are drawn to.
Sophia Loren circa. 1962 encapsulates most of them, as do certain automotive designs (E-type Jags, Datsun 240Z, Toyota 2000 GT, etc), some motorcycles and certain architecture.
Rectangular headlights rarely look good. Hard, angular shapes of the early 80's are sometimes neither functional, nor beautiful, but were introduced because they were new. I remember my mom buying expensive designer square mugs; they were impossible to clean because of the number of corners.
I don't think Pontiac Aztecs are good looking after 15 years either.
I think one can forgive certain cosmetic aberrations if a product performs exceedingly well, but there will always be the lingering taste of ugliness that hangs over a product.
In this case, the function of these forks isn't that much better than telescopic forks, they don't look as good, and the price is more.
I appreciate that part of this is because SO much money has been put into refining telescopic forks.
I actually don't think the Trust fork is bad looking at all.
  • + 1
 I like the cat hair look @mikelevy. Makes the video more personable. Great site and thanks for helping build a great place for the mountain bike community.
  • + 2
 They could perform 10x what my 36 does. But as long as they look like that, i'll pass
  • + 2
 i go to bed at night asking to be saved from the very industry that makes my life awesome...
  • + 0
 I KNOW what kinda issues I'm gonna have with my telescopic forks, and I understand the fixes for them. Linkage fork issues are like transmission work on a flying saucer. I do not have a clue.
  • + 1
 On the Structure Cycleworks SCW 1 we can knock all the bearings out of the opposite side of the frame and they're all available at your LBS. The front shock is the same highly tunable DVO Topaz as the rear. Same stroke, same eye-to-eye, same leverage ratio. No fork seals or bushings to replace. We only use the flying saucer to get to really out of the way trailheads.
  • + 1
 Do you have rear suspension? Never worked on a linkage fork but I'd imagine it's not a million miles away.
  • + 2
 I'd go full weird, but I see and am experiencing the benefits first hand: www.instagram.com/p/BuEX0eUA165
  • - 1
 Would a linkage for not put substantially more stress on the headtube than a conventional suspension fork? Though the rake from a geo perspective may be the same, the main "arm" of the fork is at a far lower angle, especially under load.
  • + 3
 Only if the fork is actually stiffer. The shape of the fork does not affect the stress on the head tube, all that matters is the position of the front wheel relative to the head tube.
  • + 1
 The trust forks angle is only an illusion. While it looks more slack, the force to the axle is still coming into the bike in basically the same place. So there shouldn’t be any drastically different torques or forces coming into the head tube.
  • + 3
 Make it the same price as a good telescopic fork and I will consider it.
  • + 3
 In conclusion, get off your brakes!
  • + 1
 I'll just leave this here. lacemine29.blogspot.com/2018/12/trust-message-fork-review.html

Really looking forward to hearing the review on this one.
  • + 3
 Iam missing the explanation what's the deal
  • - 1
 Telefork as a product is finished, in motos, and bicycles as well. There's no big change waiting for them in the near future. MTB industry wont develop new supermaterials, wont develop new production techniques. Telefork is extremenly dependent on used high-end materials that are available and viable ONLY thanks to huge mass production facilities, mainly for the low-end models. And airsprung telies are even more demanding to the production qualities and QA, otherwise they always svck.
Instead of FOX and RockBox developing new air-spring units, two super small brands developed air-springs for fork and shock that outperform those of big manufacturers. If bike geometry isnt changing constantly, telefork damper requirements would settle down. And it's the damper that makes the biggest difference (if we ignore wrong air-spring curve, ireperable bushings play, ...).
And what will be there to develop? New insane axle nonstandard or re-introduce 20x110mm dimensions? Will they add another pair of bushings? They dont even develope fork crown-and-steerer monobody unit out of carbon or 3D printed steel.
.
IMO, the ONLY advantage of telescopic fork is that it is the most optimal solution to a given problem. And as we know, the most optimal is the most svcker because it cannot do everything to its best.
.
  • + 1
 cost - weight - performance ... always a tradeoff
Like your insight and potential for linkage systems for clever rate curves is great but most mortals will never notice.
IMO best advantage of tele is price+performance (+simplicity).
(and I need to ask ... does sucker = compromise?)
  • + 2
 What's going on with the bling in Levy's mouth? Working on a full grill or getting dental work done in Russia?
  • + 2
 Both
  • + 0
 If things dont change they will stay the same!! Great to see some innovative work going on in this area. Its about time we had some innovation rather than the endless years we have had of just improving old tech.
  • + 3
 To be fair telescopic forks came after linkage designs in motorcycles, this is another spin on old tech, not much in the way of real out of the box innovation.
  • + 1
 @Matt76 'Without deviation from the norm progress is not possible' Frank Zappa.
  • + 1
 @m1dg3t: 'The mind is like a parachute, it only works when it's open.' Also Zappa.
  • + 3
 @metaam: I read "the midget is like a parachute...". Seems my parachute has a hole in it.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: I think the parachute is a midget. Full of holes! LoL
  • + 2
 I can go over the bars on own just fine thank you, dont need a fancy fork to help me.
  • + 2
 Throw them on E-bikes! Do you see any Motorcross or Enduro Motorcycles with linkage forks?
  • + 1
 Get some pros on these, the price down and people will be interested. But if pros aren’t interested in even reviewing it, it probably ain’t that great.
  • + 1
 i heard a rumour they only come in 26" and don't have space for a drink bottle... if that's true I'm in - or out - can't decide.
  • + 1
 dentist friend just called - he wants two!
  • + 1
 It looks like @mikelevy is slowly getting a grill. Pair that with all the busted tattoos and he's well on the way to becoming a Soundcloud rapper.
  • + 2
 It’s a Kashima coating - donuts can be sticky.
  • + 4
 That wouldn't be a terrible life tbh. Maybe I should put a rap video together.
  • + 2
 Race it. Start racking up EWS wins and XC wins and people will be a whole lot more willing to shell out for them.
  • + 1
 If there was a more affordable version of the trust I would be willing to try it. Only 1 of my whole bikes cost more than that fork, and not by much.
  • + 1
 We want gearboxes and we want Linkage Forks....


What about linkage forks that don't have hairsprings, and have some short of elastomers?
  • + 2
 Still wanna see the Trust fork on a skinny tubed ChroMo HT
  • + 2
 I actually think that linkage fork looks neat. I'd try it.
  • + 1
 I'd buy a Fox 36 Grip2 and take off into the sunset, having a blast on my bike and never even thinking about the fork.
  • + 1
 Owned a Girvin in the day..dead end...didnt perform like my RockShox Mag 21...would still stick to proven product Smile
  • + 1
 Like the video. When talking about those kind of forks do not forget the "hurrycat vorace"...
  • + 1
 What about the lawwill leader forks? They where awesome back when I had them in the early 90’s...
  • + 1
 that was an awfully long video for very little actual information communicated. sheesh.
  • + 1
 I hope these things disappear and don't become yet another 'industry standard'. throw the whole industry away if they do
  • + 1
 When is a review on the Imotion coming out, heard many good things about that fork?
  • + 2
 Hey Mike, have your ENVE'S exploded yet? Wink
  • + 3
 One word kids Lawill
  • + 2
 hey mike-what's a stangtion?
  • + 1
 exactly what I came here to ask! STANG-SHUN...or STAN-SHUN Smile
  • + 1
 I know one safe bet. Giant is not going to copy Trust(Dave W) suspension this time.
  • + 1
 FEIO DE MAIS SE TA DOIDO , PODE ATE SER UMA COISA PRO FUTURO , MESMO SENDO "EFICIENTE " NÃO É ATRAENTE PELOS MEUS OLHOS .
  • + 2
 U. G. L. Y.. You ain't got no alibi...
  • + 2
 I miss my old AMP fork. The dampers were held on with cir-clips!
  • + 2
 Is it pronounced STANK-shun, or Stan-shun?
  • + 3
 Def the first one
  • + 10
 Stank-Shun is Korean for Down Country
  • + 1
 Do you have a geometry chart on that velocipede? Seat angle looks nice and steep. Thanks
  • + 1
 I didn't realise I should be removing rotor bolts to save weight. Thanks for the tip Mike!
  • + 7
 No problem. Remember, one rotor bolt is lighter than six rotor bolts.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: I use adhesive to keep my rotors on. Apply instant adhesive and bolt them on. After 15 minutes remove the bolts. Super light Wink
  • + 2
 But, uh... I think Lefty's too.
  • + 2
 yep....file this under no way in hell!
  • + 2
 Love the bottle opener in the background!
  • + 1
 Took me a minute or so to spot it.
  • + 1
 GOOD HEAVENS @mikelevy what have you done?! Putting the Message on that Unno… Cry #sacrilege
  • + 1
 I think the decision has been made. We all want a demo of this fork for ourselves.
  • + 1
 I don't g.a.f about weight so I would be delighted to try Daves linkage forks. And only Daves.
  • + 2
 @EnduroriderPL, are you sure? We'd love to offer you a demo ride on the Structure SCW 1. I'll buy you a beer afterward if you don't come away seriously impressed.
  • + 2
 @Magellan35: send it to Poland please and I'll test it.
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL: As soon as possible ????
  • + 2
 @Magellan35: yes please.
  • + 1
 2008 Giant Trance X2, all the parts were great, even the Hayes Brakes and non-kashima fox fork
  • + 2
 This was completely interesting. And easy to understand. Nice work, Mike.
  • + 1
 Seems like @mikelevy is getting along with his Trust fork. I'm undoubtedly getting along with my Lauf SL on my gravel bike.
  • + 1
 @Geochemistry "breaking old ground with new plows" Like that. Smile
  • + 1
 Do a front flip with that thing
  • + 1
 Would look cool on a hardtail
  • + 2
 Stank shins
  • + 1
 Tim Hortons buying up ad space on Pinkbike now?
  • + 1
 These forks must be perfect for polygon xquare or marin
  • - 1
 Great until 5 miles in, when the bushings go sloppy and the front wheel is only vaguely connected to the direction you're pointing the bars.
  • + 11
 Bearings are used at the back of our bike and often last for many seasons, so why can't they last a long time on a fork?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Agreed. We wouldn't be doing linkage if composites and bearing longevity hadn't come as far as they have. Lifetime warranty on frame and bearings is not uncommon now.
  • + 1
 Anyone remember the Sherpa fork?
  • + 1
 They look pretty cool to be honest. The price though.. meh.
  • + 1
 I'd demo both and then have an opinion
  • + 1
 oh wait, trust forks are 2700 dollars, never mind I have an opinion already.
  • + 1
 does this dude have a few gold teeth?
  • + 1
 Only one.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy "STANKtions."
  • + 2
 My thick BC accent
  • + 1
 @mikelevy ... "Stank_shun" or "stan_shun"? I'm never sure either...
  • + 3
 Always pick the one that sounds the most awkward.
  • + 1
 for me, the deal is no deal!!!
  • + 1
 I wanted an AMP soooooooo bad!!
  • + 1
 They're actually pretty good for what they were. I had some in 1996. I rode my AMP equipped bike once on the North Shore and got rid of it. I gave that bike to a friend and actually rode it last month. The rebound damping is awful, but for xc riding its still not a bad fork.
  • + 2
 Just... no
  • + 1
 I guess he was wrestling a cat before he shot this video...
  • + 1
 So their drug of choice must be LSD?
  • + 1
 You should open it up and show the internals! That would be cool
  • + 1
 Mike, I'd go linkage if price were in the ball park.
  • + 1
 Nice job Levy, your doing some good work lately. No linkage fork for me...
  • + 1
 Is he saying "stanction" instead of "stanchion"?
  • + 3
 Yeah
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: ...you're fired.
  • + 1
 Why are there fulleren atoms between your fingers? Big Grin Big Grin
  • + 1
 Why isn't there any footage of you riding this out on the trail?
  • + 1
 Snow Frown But it's coming.
  • + 1
 Haven't had a fork wall like that since I was at SRAM CS. ha
  • + 1
 DIAF
  • + 1
 Fuckin stupid
  • + 1
 This was good work boys.
  • + 0
 Trust forks. Coming to a rich dentist's Yeti near you!
  • + 1
 Next
  • + 1
 im just all set.
  • + 1
 Ride rigid single speed?
  • + 1
 WTF is a stanktion? LOL
  • - 1
 Any update on the Structure Cycleworks stuff? I remember a while back there was a very positive review here on PB.
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict, we have been hard at work bringing bikes to market. We have assurance that the first SCW 1 production sample bikes will be coming back from Taiwan with us on April 6, after which we will be starting a demo and press tour to get everyone up to speed on what linkage can really do when front and rear are designed from scratch to work together. We'll have to get @mikelevy to do a long-term test and decide whether he's a linkage convert after all.

At Structure we'll never argue that bikes with telescoping forks can't be great. Our argument is that linkage system offer advantages that are too great to ignore. A two-minute ride is all it takes to notice a big difference. Check us out at structure.bike and get on a demo this summer if we get out your way.
  • + 1
 Hmmmmmm
  • + 0
 Lol....perfect forks for all the e-bikers!
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