Review: Forbidden Dreadnought

Aug 10, 2021 at 9:52
by Seb Stott  

The original Dreadnought was a battleship that changed the game of naval combat back in 1906. With bigger guns, longer range, and faster steam turbine engines, they had a clear advantage over what went before. This sparked an arms race between Britain and Germany, and between the USA and Japan, to build as many dreadnoughts as possible. Keen history scholars will know the rivalry this race helped to create didn't end especially well.

There's a similarly fierce arms race going on today in the mountain bike industry, this time to build idler-equipped bikes. With the rearward axle paths of high pivot designs and lack of pedal kickback, some see them as having a clear advantage over other designs. We've seen desperate attempts by World Cup racers to shoehorn idlers onto existing bikes, and now most companies are cranking out downhill and enduro bikes built around an idler. Perhaps the Forbidden Dreadnought's name is a nod to the game-changing OG battleship. Maybe it just sounds cool.

Forbidden Dreadnought Details

• High single pivot suspension
• Full 29er, but mullet-compatible with Ziggy Link
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 170mm front, 154mm rear
• 64-degree head angle
• 78-degree effective seat angle
• Size-specific chainstay length (422-464mm)
• Weight: 15.4kg/34.0lbs (XL, stock, no pedals)
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL (tested)
• Price: $7,399 USD / $8,999 CAD / £6,399
forbiddenbike.com


When Forbidden launched the 130mm-travel Druid way back in 2019 they were among the first to offer a high pivot trail bike. The Dreadnought first appeared on our radar in February 2021. With 154mm of rear travel and much more aggressive geometry, it's closer to the long-travel category where other high-pivot bikes are placed. While Mike Kazimer got a first impression back in February, I've been putting one through its paces for a few months now, so I'm ready to go deep into the details of how it works and how it rides.



bigquotesThere's tons of stability when battering through rocks at speed, and it's easy to trust the grip in loose turns. While the bike can be hard to pop off tiny lips, I had no complaints sailing off bigger takeoffs or pulling for natural gaps. More to the point, the suspension does a great job of smoothing out the small to mid-sized bumps. Wrist-sized roots are softened with very little feedback or loss of traction. Seb Stott




03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder

Frame Features

The single pivot design means there's only two main frame members: the mainframe and swingarm, both of which are made form carbon fiber. One of Forbidden's most interesting features is that the chainstay length is different for each frame size, but to save on expensive carbon molds, Forbidden use the same swingarm for all four sizes. To create the change in rear-center length, the main pivot moves back relative to the BB as the frame size increases, so all the change happens in the mainframe, which needs to change anyway. And thanks to the idler pulley, Forbidden can change the positioning of the main pivot relative to the BB without affecting the suspension kinematics. It's a pretty clever design.

The frame is tested to downhill standards and is dual-crown compatible. A 190mm-travel dual crown fork has a similar axle to crown measurement to the 170mm stock fork, so it's not an issue if you want to go there. But given the relatively short rear travel, I'm not convinced you need to.

There's plenty of room for a full-size water bottle, plus there's an accessory mount on the top tube for an inner tube, tool or whatever else. There's a little more storage space under the downtube with a two-bolt plastic cover which hides a space big enough for a tube or smuggled snacks. It also allows access to the internal cable routing for the dropper post.

03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder
A few treats could be hidden in the secret compartment, or it can be used to access the cabling.
03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder
The rear brake hose and derailleur cable pass through the top tube and into the swingarm.
03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder
The pull-link which drives the rocker which drives the shock can be replaced with Forbidden's Ziggy link, which reduces the BB drop for use with a 27.5" rear wheel.
03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder
Other details include robust rubber chain protection and a bespoke e*thirteen chain guide, both of which did their job throughout testing.





Geometry & Sizing

While many bikes have the same chainstay length in all sizes, and some brands change the rear-center by a few millimetres across the size range, the Dreadnought sees a whopping 40mm difference in rear-center between a small and an XL. Forbidden can claim to have genuinely proportionate sizing, because the ratio of the rear-center length to the wheelbase (which defines the weight distribution between the wheels) is 35% for all frame sizes.

But because of the high pivot, the rear-center gets longer as the suspension compresses: the XL has a 464mm chainstay at 0% travel, but this grows to around 480mm at sag and 495mm at bottom out. That makes it one of the longest rear-centers of any mountain bike. This means the ratio of rear-center to wheelbase increases throughout the travel, meaning more of the weight from your feet is loaded onto the front tire, helping it to grip.

The overall wheelbase of most bikes shrinks dramatically as the front and rear suspension compress together, as the axle path of the fork is highly rearward and the axle path of the rear is usually slightly forwards. But the wheelbase of the Dreadnought stays pretty consistent in this case. At bottom out, the wheelbase of the XL Dreadnought is longer than an XXL Geometron G1 at bottom out.

The reach is not overly long for an XL bike at 506mm, and the stack is on the shorter side too, at 639mm, making for a cockpit that's not the most stretched-out.

I measured all the major geometry figures on my XL test bike to check they match up with the above geometry table. The only discrepancies were that I measured the effective seat angle at my pedaling height at 75.6-degrees, the head angle at 63.2-degrees, and the bottom bracket height at 342mm from the ground.




03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder

Suspension Design

The main pivot sits high above the axle, creating an axle-path that moves up and back (never forward) in an arc that starts at 70-degrees from horizontal, and finishes up near vertical. This means large, square edge bumps, which impart a partially rearward force on the wheel, will have an easier time pushing the suspension through its travel compared to purely vertical loads, such as the reaction force when you push the bike into the ground. The larger the bump, the more rearward the force, because the force acts radially inward from the point where the bump contacts the wheel. So for example, a 5cm-high square bump creates a force at 60-degrees from horizontal with a 29" wheel, but for a 10cm bump, it's 45-degrees.

The rearward axle path means that some of this rearward force is handled by the suspension, so the horizontal deceleration you feel when you hit a bump may be less abrupt. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that it helps the bike to carry speed, because although the horizontal forces may be less, they act over a longer time because the wheel is in contact with the bump for longer. Another potential benefit of the rearward axle path is that, by increasing the time the wheel has to get over the bump, it reduces the peak vertical speed of the wheel, which may lead to a smoother ride. The theory on axle path is more complex than it's often made out, so the proof is in the riding.

The idler pulley is connected to the swingarm, but offset from the main pivot such that the chain passes through the pivot on its way from the idler to the chainring. This gives a small amount of upper chain growth and therefore pedal kickback as the suspension compresses, but much less than a conventional design with no idler. Another advantage of the high pivot & idler design is that it provides a generous amount of anti-squat while having very low levels of pedal kickback. That means if you land hard at low speed or hit a bump with the rear wheel locked up, you won't feel the cranks being rotated backward by the chain.

The Dreadnought's axle path is rearward throughout.
The rearward axle path and offset idler position create a generous amount of anti-squat. Because the idler is connected to the swingarm, the anti-squat graph is pretty much the same in all gears.

The offset idler creates a little pedal kickback, but much less than a non-idler design.
The leverage ratio is very progressive, with a lot of the ramp-up happening towards the end of the stroke as the leverage drops off dramatically. The curve is much closer to linear in the middle of the stroke.

The swingarm pulls a link, which rotates a rocker just above the BB, which in turn drives the shock. All the pivots, including the shock mounts, run on bearings and there's very little friction in the system. The leverage ratio (the number of millimetres the axle moves for every millimetre the shock moves) starts fairly high, at 2.675, and ends very low, at 1.825. That gives it an overall progression of 32%, making it among the more progressive suspension designs. The shape of the leverage curve is a bit out of the ordinary too. The leverage ratio falls quickly to start with, then levels off a bit in the mid-stroke, then plummets downwards again towards the end of the travel. Especially when combined with an air shock, that makes the forces at the wheel build steeply towards the end of the travel.

The low final leverage ratio also amplifies the damping forces towards the end of the travel, which means the high-speed rebound should be run pretty light or the rebound from deep in the stroke will be slow.

Forbidden quotes the rear wheel travel at 154mm, but I measured the vertical rear wheel travel at 148mm by compressing the shock with a strap wrench and measuring the change in height of the rear axle. It turns out the 154mm figure is measured diagonally from top out to bottom out, including the rearward component (see the diagram opposite). Normally, rear suspension travel is measured in the vertical direction, and according to Forbidden, the Dreadnought should be producing 151mm of vertical travel. In my view, it's the vertical travel that matters for getting up and over bumps. The 3mm discrepancy between the vertical travel quoted by Forbidden and my measurement could be explained by the shock delivering about 1mm short on shock stroke, which is very common.
Axle path dimensions: 30.5mm of rearward travel, 151mm of vertical travel, 154mm of "diagonal" travel.

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The first video shows how the rear-center grows when only the rear suspension compresses, first with the brake off, then with it on so the wheel rotates with the swing-arm. The second video shows how the wheelbase is relatively constant under heave compression (where the fork and shock compress together).

The high single pivot design means that if the brake is locked on, the wheel rotates with the swingarm as the suspension compresses. The high pivot means it also moves backwards relative to the mainframe. The combination of these two factors means that when you pull the brake while riding, the rearwards and rotational forces from braking both act to cause the suspension to compress. This counters the suspension's tendency to "rise" due to the transfer of weight onto the front tire when you brake, so this effect is called anti-rise or brake squat. The Dreadnought has particularly high levels of anti-rise, which means the chassis is more stable under braking (less brake dive) but, in theory, the suspension may be harsher due to the fact that it sits deeper into its travel under braking. But personally, I have never noticed this supposed harshness under braking with the Dreadnought, or other high anti-rise bikes.



Specifications
Release Date 2020
Price $7399
Travel 155mm (R) / 170mm (F)
Rear Shock Fox Float X2, PE, 205x65mm
Fork Fox 38 PE, GRIP2, 170mm, 44mm offset
Headset Cane Creek HellBender 70
Cassette Shimano XT, 12s, 10-51t
Crankarms Shimano XT, 32T, 170mm
Chainguide e.13 TRS Plus with e.13 Custom Chainguide
Bottom Bracket Shimano Threaded, 73mm
Pedals N/A
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT, 12s
Chain Shimabo XT- 12s
Front Derailleur N/A
Shifter Pods Shimano XT, 12s
Handlebar e*thirteen Plus, 800mmx20mm rise
Stem e*thirteen Plus, 40mm, 35mm clamp
Grips Forbidden Tapered, single-lock
Brakes Shimano XT four-pot, 200mm/180mm rotors
Hubs DT Swiss 350, 18T ratchet, 6-bolt (R)/Center-lock (F), Boost, Microspline
Spokes 32, Double Butted, J-bend, brass nipples
Rim e*thirteen LG1 EN Plus, 30mm
Tires Maxxis Assegai 29"x2.5", EXO+ MaxTerra (F)/Maxxis DHR2, 29x2.4", DoubleDown, MaxTerra (R)
Seat SDG Radar Chromo
Seatpost BikeYoke Revive, S: 125mm, M: 160mm, L/XL:185mm



03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder
The e*Thirteen LG1 roller increases chain wrap and reduces the chain growth of the lower chain span - the higher the roller, the less the derailleur cage has to move as the suspension compresses. The bash guard was well-used.

03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder
The stock 20mm-rise bar was too low for my height, so I fitted a 50mm-rise bar for the majority of testing.






Test Bike Setup

Due to the progressive linkage, the Dreadnought ships without volume spacers in the shock, and they recommend around 32-38% sag. I felt no need to add volume spacers but found the shock too soft with much more than 32% seated sag. My final settings were 175psi (32% seated sag), no volume spacers, LSC 7, HSC 5, LSR 11, HSR 6 (all from closed). The fork was set up with two volume spacers and 96psi, HSR 2, LSR 14, compression varies depending on the terrain.

The main setup tweak was to ditch the 20mm-rise handlebar in favor of a 40mm, then 50mm rise bar to suit my 190cm height and make it easier to transfer weight fore and aft on the bike while keeping my elbows nicely bent. The stock bar made it too hard for me to get my weight back on steep descents or to manual. I also fitted a Rimpact tire insert in the front to give the EXO+ front tire more sidewall support and damping.



Seb Stott
Location: Moumouthshire, UK
Age: 29
Height: 6'3" / 191cm
Inseam: 37" / 93cm
Weight: 189 lbs / 86 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: Seb Stott On Bikes


03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder

Climbing

The Dreadnought climbs well enough for an enduro/park bike, but not so well for a 150mm-travel, full-carbon 29er.

The progressive rear suspension needs to be set up with pretty generous sag in order to use its travel effectively on the descents (I'm running 32% which is the minimum recommended). This has an effect on the climbing performance. A 76-degree effective seat angle is not to be sniffed at, but once riding up hill with over 30% sag, the seated position is a little off the back by modern standards. I slammed the saddle all the way forwards, but I'd still prefer a more upright position especially when tackling steeper climbs. It's not that the front wheel was lifting - the long chainstay sees to that - but in my view a more upright position feels more comfortable and efficient, making the same climbs feel less of a chore.

The relatively high and consistent anti-squat figures mean there's not much bob under power, and if anything the bike lifts slightly when you pedal hard. But there's not much mid-stroke support from the shock itself, so when set up with light damping, it's quite active, moving around under weight shifts and oscillating slightly at high cadences with the movement of my legs. Fortunately, I found the suspension worked better for descending with relatively firm low- and high-speed compression damping, which was enough to cut this chassis movement considerably while climbing. Just goes to show that anti-squat isn't the only thing that matters for climbing performance and stability.

But still, I ended up reaching for the climb switch pretty regularly on this bike, not just to stabilize the suspension movement, but also to make the bike sit up a bit higher. The X2's climb switch isn't a particularly firm platform so the suspension can still move over bumps but it will still bob when sprinting. The Dreadnought doesn't feel as dynamic and responsive on the climbs as a lot of other bikes in the enduro category, even among those with ten or twenty millimeters more rear wheel travel.

The flip side is that the position is nice and roomy on flatter pedaling sections and the suspension is superb at soaking up undulations in the trail under power. During technical climbing, the traction is superb and pedaling over bumpy terrain is smoother and more consistent than with conventional bikes, even with the climb switch on. Just keep spinning and it will get to the top of tricky sections more easily than most bikes.

How much drag does the idler create?

I've done quite a lot of testing to find out if the Dreadnought is less efficient than non-idler bikes when climbing. There's a whole feature on this project on the way, but the bottom line is that in my tests the Dreadnought was six Watts, or about 2%, less efficient at delivering power to the rear wheel than a non-idler bike with the same chain at a 250W power output. That's too small a difference to justify anyone claiming that they can "feel" the extra drag, even if the slight noise of the idler gives a psychological sense of inefficiency. But on the other hand, if someone could make me go 2% faster up hill for the same effort, I wouldn't say no to that. I'm sure for some riders a 2% drop in efficiency will seem like nothing, but to others it's worth consideration.


03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder

Descending


The long 464mm chainstay length in the XL bike - which grows to around 480mm at sag and gets even longer as you push into the travel - is something you can feel straight away. Initiating a manual or a bunny-hop takes a bit of re-calibration; it requires slower timing and a more forceful, exaggerated style. The same's true on short-sharp jump faces where it's harder to pop off the lip at first. It's not like trying to hop an e-bike though, and once you get used to it it's less of an issue.

The flip side of this long back end is that it puts a bit more weight on the front wheel with a neutral riding position. That makes it easy to carry speed through fast, flat corners without fear of the front wheel washing out. It's possible to overstate this - it still pays to put a bit of pressure through the grips to get closer to a 50:50 weight distribution and keep the front wheel gripping, but if you're riding tired and you're not proactively weighting the front wheel the balance is better than other bikes. It's one of the easiest bikes to rip fast, flat or off-camber corners without the front end washing out.

Cornering the Dreadnought has its quirks too. Because the Dreadnought's chainstay gets longer as you push into a berm, it's a bit harder when you actually want to transfer weight to the rear wheel when slapping into a short, sharp catch-turn. I notice the dependable front-end traction more often than I notice this cornering quirk, however, and overall I'd say the Dreadnought is one of the best cornering bikes once you're used to it. It makes me want to try longer chainstays (460mm plus) on more bikes.

03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder

Another area where the long rear center was an occasional hindrance was on steep and awkward technical descents. The long dynamic chainstay reduces the breakover angle - the angle from the rear contact patch to the bash guard - so it grounds out more easily than you'd expect given the BB height. This meant that on one familiar track with a few steep knuckles, I had to consciously unweight the bike (a bit like dropping into a quarter pipe on a BMX) where other bikes can just roll through. Like with the manuals, this is something you can adapt to by learning where you need to go light to avoid grounding out, but it's not ideal if you ride a lot of awkward, technical terrain. It's worth remembering that the chainstay length grows with larger sizes while the BB height stays the same, so the breakover angle will be steeper on smaller sizes. I can only report on how the XL rides.

On the plus side, when tackling steep trails I like how the high-single-pivot responds to braking. I didn't notice any real harshness under braking despite the high anti-rise suspension, which could be down to my fast rebound settings preventing it from packing down despite the brake squat. Better still, the anti-rise causes the bike to hunker down at the rear like a Sumo wrestler when hard on the brakes, which means there's less brake dive and a more stable platform on steep descents. This could help explain why Fabien Barel and Connor Fearon used braking arms designed to increase anti-rise.

03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder

I rode the Dreadnought a few times at Bike Park Wales and Innerleithen DH trails, where there's a lot of fast and rough terrain. As expected, the Dreadnought really starts to come into its own here. There's tons of stability when battering through rocks at speed, and it's easy to trust the grip in loose turns. While the bike can be hard to pop off tiny lips, I had no complaints sailing off bigger takeoffs or pulling for natural gaps. More to the point, the suspension does a great job of smoothing out the small to mid-sized bumps. Wrist-sized roots are softened with very little feedback or loss of traction. Holding rooty off-camber high lines is more about technique and commitment than anything, but I felt able to commit and make them stick more often than I'd expect.

But when the terrain gets really chunky - big rocks or heavy landings - there's no hiding the fact this bike only has about 150mm of vertical travel. It's not that that it bottoms out much, in fact I only used full travel occasionally, but that you can feel the very progressive final 25% of the travel quite regularly on chunky terrain, which sends a lot of feedback through to your feet. I tried increasing the compression damping (low- and high-speed) until almost closed in order to absorb more energy earlier in the travel and avoid the firm ramp at the end, but at a certain point this increases harshness on smaller impacts and robs speed over repeated bumps. A coil spring would increase the mid-stroke support further, possibly meaning less of a sudden ramp towards the end. But the fundamental problem is the rear wheel can only move upwards by 150mm. It's not the always-forgiving ride you might expect from the high pivot design and the enduro/park bike designation.

That's not to say the high pivot design doesn't deliver - the rearward axle path definitely seems to reduce harshness over small-to-medium bumps, especially when compared to other 150mm travel bikes. But on big impacts it can only absorb so much. It's not that the suspension is harsh, but given the idler design has a few drawbacks I'd like a little more travel to fully unlock the benefits on the roughest descents.



Reliability

I've been riding this bike a lot over the last few months. In that time I've had two main issues:

Firstly, the rear shock eyelet bolt kept working loose even when torqued up to the recommended torque spec (or tighter). On one of the first rides, it worked loose to the point that it started rubbing on the carbon shock tunnel, where it caused some damage to the frame. This didn't cause any dramatic play, so I only noticed this when the suspension started to feel sticky and harsh. Loctite on the threads and regular checking of the bolt has solved the issue for now, but it's something to keep on top of.

Secondly, on two occasions the derailleur has gone into the spokes and ripped off, taking out several spokes with it and destroying the wheel, hanger and chain. Both times I was riding in the smaller end of the cassette, without pedaling or shifting, and without hitting anything obvious. On the second occasion, it happened in the middle of a smooth berm, so I'm sure I didn't hit the derailleur on anything. The second time, the derailleur hanger rotated such that it damaged the carbon swingarm too.

The question is, was this just a fluke or does the high pivot design, with a large amount of chain growth in the lower span, make this more likely? That's tough to answer - I've deflated the shock and compressed the suspension fully in all the gears, and I can't see any obvious problems: the cage has plenty of scope to extend and spool out enough chain. On the other hand, it's very rare to see two derailleurs break in the space of a few months, but broken derailleurs are a fact of life and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that two freak accidents could occur in the amount of riding I've done.

I've since rotated the chain guide clockwise so the lower chainline is more taut and has less growth. I've had no issues in the dozen or so rides since doing this, but whether that has anything to do with adjusting the guide, I don't know. Forbidden say this isn't a problem they've heard customers complaining of.



Forbidden Dreadnought
Pole Machine review
Scott Ransom

How does it compare?

One of the main questions I wanted to answer in this test was this: does high pivot suspension make up for the lack of travel compared to other bikes in the enduro/park bike category? The answer is a resounding ... sort of.

If you compare it to other 150mm-travel bikes like the Orbea Rallon then yes, I would definitely say the Dreadnought's suspension does a better job of taking the sting out of trail chatter. Not only have you got the rearward component of the travel helping to take the edge off the bumps, but the more progressive linkage makes it suppler on the small-to-midsize bumps without bottoming out. But the Rallon is more of a trail bike than an enduro bike in the modern sense of the word. It's lighter, more upright and has less chassis movement when pedaling than the Dreadnought, so when going uphill there's no contest. This is why judging bikes relative to their travel makes little sense.

Instead, it makes more sense to compare it to bikes with similar (or better) climbing abilities. If I compare it to something with a bit more travel like a Privater 161 (which I've been using as a control bike to test various forks, tires and other components, so I have a lot of miles on it) it's less clear-cut whether the Dreadnought's suspension still has the edge. On the one hand, the Forbidden flutters over roots and mid-sized rocks better, but on the other hand, the extra 10mm or so of squish is noticeable when hitting bigger hits. The Privateer's suspension is more linear, with more mid-travel support; this makes it more predictable and keeps more travel in reserve to absorb those bigger impacts. And despite being a weighty beast, the Privateer also climbs better, both subjectively and against the clock with a power meter.

These days, in the Dreadnought's price range there are plenty of bikes with 170 or 180mm of rear wheel travel that are not only lighter but more pedal-efficient than the Dreadnought, such as the Specialized Enduro or Nukeproof Giga. The 170mm-travel Scott Ransom stands out as an example of a bike with very supple suspension that's still ridiculously light and efficient on the climbs. Does the Dreadnought's high-pivot suspension allow it to catch up to these longer-travel machines on the descents? I don't think it does.



03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder
Shimano XT four-pot brakes
03.06.21. Pinkbike BikePark Wales Rider Seb Stott. PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder
Fox 38 Performance Elite fork

Technical Report


Shimano XT four-pot brakes: You probably know what I'm going to say here. While bite point consistency was better than many Shimano brakes, the lever would occasionally pull heart-stoppingly further than expected, especially when hauling on the brakes after long rough straights . Also, the brake pads rattled until I splayed-out the pad retaining springs to hold the pads still.

Fox 38 Performance Elite fork: The 38 is still the best performing single crown fork I've tested, and I've tested most of them. If there is a difference relative to the Kashima-coated Factory version, I can't feel it, although a data-logging comparison test is something I'd like to do in future.





Pros

+ Superb suspension tracking over small and mid-sized bumps.
+ Balanced weight distribution provides excellent cornering composure in flat, loose turns.
+ Stable and confident on fast, bike-park style terrain.
+ Comfortable and easy to manage traction on technical climbs.

Cons

- The XL's long chainstay (which grows through the travel) makes manuals, hops, or steep and tight trails trickier.
- Though supple for the travel, suspension isn't as forgiving as longer travel bikes in the same intended use category.
- Though idler drag is minimal, it's not the sprightliest climber even compared to longer travel bikes.
- Our bike had a shock bolt repeatedly work loose and two hard-to-explain snapped derailleurs.




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotes The Dreadnought is a hard one to place. It's a 150mm-travel bike with an idler pulley and dual-crown compatibility. It wouldn't be my first choice if I wanted to do a lot of pedaling in a day, because although the drag from the idler is minimal, it's still not particularly responsive or engaging when climbing, even by enduro bike standards. But it's hard to call it a park bike either, because even though the suspension is far more sensitive and impressive than most 150mm-travel bikes, there are situations where there's no hiding the fact it has significantly less travel than many bikes in that category.

The sprawling chainstay length sometimes makes it trickier to negotiate tight and awkward sections too. But on the right trail, it's the perfect tool for the job. The high pivot suspension boosts stability at speed, takes the edge off roots and rocks, and makes it easier to manage grip and avoid under-steer in loose turns. The Dreadnought does some things extremely well and other things less so. I just think it would make a lot more sense with a little more travel.
Seb Stott



350 Comments

  • 334 4
 Genuinely fantastic review. Excellent work.
  • 32 1
 I'm most excited for his idler pedal efficiency piece he hinted at. I've been begging reviewers for some concrete data on that ever since the Commencal started dominating the WC.
  • 13 0
 @hamncheez: agreed, especially if they can throw some mud into the mix as that’s been the main efficiency grumble I’ve seen
  • 60 2
 Seriously, Seb seems to always have very solid reviews. Felt like he really went over everything and explained both the negatives and positives, unlike some "reviews" which feel more like ads.
  • 11 0
 @mashrv1: +100 on this. @seb-stott please please include both clean and filthy chains your test! My limited experience has been that I can live with the additional noise of an idler when it's clean and pristine but that it gets MUCH worse than a standard drivetrain when muddy.
  • 3 3
 @Drew-O: FWIW, I’ve found that the type of lube you use makes a huge difference. I switched SSC Slick and I can get 100 miles between lubes regardless of whether I’m riding in mud, desert, or kitty litter.
  • 3 0
 @DylanH93: I've seen some of his previous articles on other sites, I think it was him, he seems to be quite a bike nerd :p

I wonder if the ease of rolling over obstacles can make up for these 2% loss.
And if some moderately high pivot could be useful in XC (maybe a big idler could limit drag ?).
  • 5 0
 Great review. Also agree about the lack of travel for intended use. These guys make beautiful bike but seem to be fighting the hunger for more travel, especially here in BC where the bike is conceived. I was very close to purchasing this bike but when Norco dropped the new Range, I went with that instead almost solely based on the travel. Hope to see these guys come out with a longer travel bike with a more durable rear triangle. I’ve heard Cascade Components might be working on a link for this thing and maybe that’ll make it sing.
  • 2 1
 @theedon:

Got a dreadnought on order and am definitely licking at the chops for a cascade link w/ travel bump.
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: I think the pedaling efficiency is less of a concern on a DH bike as it is in this enduro/park category. The overall benefits in suspension performance on a DH rig are more important than pedaling efficiency where as I think there needs to be a bit more balance of climbing and descending capability on an enduro rig.
  • 6 0
 @mashrv1: if you throw some small pebbles into the mix, particularly between the rear triangle and the idler pulley it will destroy the former, which happened on a friends frame this weekend.
  • 5 0
 @Murfdog: I am experiencing the same issues with rocks getting between the rear and front triangle. There are significant gouges in the front triangle after 3 rides and the rear triangle bridge looks like a dog chewed on it. Did they warranty your friends bike? There is an aftermarket foam blocker you can buy to protect the area, wish I knew about it from the beginning.
  • 5 1
 This review is almost word for word my experience with high pivot bikes and the first time I've ever read them in a review
  • 3 1
 Check out
zerofrictioncycling.com.au

Using a ultrasonic cleaner and a hot melt wax like Silca ( not wend wax!!) extends the like of your drive-chain by at least 2x. Halving the cost of ownership. The ultrasonic cleaner and wax pays for itself in one cassette lifetime.
@fullendurbro:
  • 1 0
 Getting Ziggy with it!
  • 7 0
 @fullendurbro Thanks, I appreciate that.. Glad you liked it.
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: thank you for providing such great insight, it's truly fantastic!
  • 2 0
 It truly was an excellent review of a bike with some very interesting design elements.
  • 2 0
 @Will-narayan:

6 watts isn’t anything when it comes to just riding in the woods.

6 watts will be greeted with a giant negatory from every high end XC racer.
  • 4 2
 @hllclmbr: Back when the industry was trying to shove 27.5+ on us, the cited energy cost was 3 watts over a 29er 2.3 . As a non XC rider, I could 100% feel that theoretical 3 watts (guessing it was more). 6 watts is more than the difference between a lightweight trail tire and DD minions. Does the idler really give you a DH performance enhancement greater than the jump from swapping Ardents for Minions?
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez:

I have a Trek Stache with 29x3 tires. It’s a super fun bike to ride as a diversion from the norm, and can climb ridiculously loose steep stuff, but how slow it rolls is just unbelievable.
  • 1 0
 @hllclmbr: I demoed one with I think 2.8 tires on it. Ya, it was really fun, and I want one in the stable, but not for KOMing climbs hahaha.
  • 3 1
 @hamncheez: In my experience yes. Over chatter and and through fields of rocks the High Single Pivot is silky. I've run it with an aggressor, minions, and dissector. It's quite a difference. Its just different. I think it depends on the rider whether it's a good different or they prefer the feel of non high pivot suspension.
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: do you typically measure travel on all bikes in this manner? I've not seen it in other Pinkbike reviews and would be interested to see if, say, a VPP bike, or Horst link bike travel matches the nameplate.
  • 3 0
 @Talbott1983: Compare it to a 170mm bike like the new Enduro or Scott (like the reviewier did in this article). Both those bikes climb better. Does the Forbidden really outshine those other two on descents?
  • 3 1
 @hamncheez: I wrote this comment lower down, but shall paste it here:

"The 170mm-travel Scott Ransom stands out as an example of a bike with very supple suspension that's still ridiculously light and efficient on the climbs. Does the Dreadnought's high-pivot suspension allow it to catch up to these longer-travel machines on the descents? I don't think it does."

Having owned a Ransom, and now a Dreadnought, I find the above statement the complete opposite for myself on both climbing and descending. I will note that part of this could be attributed to myself being 6'4", so 'outdated' geometry can be multiplied. I am not a 'bike reviewer' and I have not been sponsored to say this or anything. I respect that everyone has an opinion, so here's mine:

Yes the Ransom is a lighter frame, but the geometry and seated position of the Dreadnought make it climb so much easier. I don't have to slam my seat forward and slide even further forward myself, which over time takes it out of your core/legs/arms and hinders you from putting down power efficiently or effectively when needed. The anti-squat on the Dreadnought is amazing, granted I've never had a bike with 'firmer' anti-squat but you do not rely on the shock lock-out to support yourself, which allows the suspension to remain active and work on technical roots/rocks etc providing so much more grip and transfer of power. Firm up the shock for fire roads and non-technical climbs if you'd like. I have only been out on a couple of rides but the climbing is night and day better than the Ransom. A couple of evening's ago I made sections of Technical climbs in Pemberton in the wet (yes it finally rained!) with ease, that were hit and miss on my Ransom in the dry. I was honestly amazed at how well it climbs for it's intended use (going downhill fast). Sure there is a decrease in wattage or whatever with a high pivot and idler pulley, however it's geometry, seated position and anti-squat make up for a little decrease in efficiency by being way more efficient elsewhere.

Then when you go downhill this thing comes alive - We've all heard about it's character here, so I won't go on about the amazingly supple yet supportive suspension, weight distribution etc. etc. It likes to go fast and I find it wants to generate speed even on mellow sections of trail. Yes it is harder to manual, but that's a given and a trade off for the stability. I have no issue manualling through terrain, bike park rollers etc. It felt like going from and 'older' style 26" downhill bike to more current geometry and 27.5" wheels in 2016 or so - More stability, grip etc. with a loss in playfulness. Then you get used to it and make it playful again. Those older 26" downhill bikes would now feel real twitchy nowadays whereas before they were the norm.

Yes there are a couple of issues with rocks between front and rear triangles. It's good to hear about issues with cable entry ports, something I shall make sure to address! Hardware coming loose - Unless it's happening every single ride, this is not uncommon with any new bike that I have had. If you're not doing a solid bolt check and torque spec, wheel check and tension etc. etc. after your first few rides, and then frequently as regular maintenance, then you're doing it wrong I'm afraid.

In summary - This bike descends as good as people say and feels very well balanced and comfortable. What surprised me is how well it climbs too, which is an additional plus!
  • 1 1
 @JonCon: Ok, now compare with the Enduro. Or a hypothetical 2022 Scott Ransom with a steeper STA. I don't doubt that the 150mm-ish of travel + idler can outperform any other 150mm rear end on descents, but I'm skeptical that it can outperform a good modern 170mm bike, like the Enduro.

Now this is my personal thinking, but I suspect pedal bob has a smaller effect on climbing efficiency than other things, like lateral stiffness, weight and as you pointed out good body position. An idler adds drag and weight.
  • 1 2
 @JonCon: Whilst its good to hear your experience is great, you are in the most biased group of people to say exactly that. Having just moved from a Ransom to a Dreadnought, saying anything other than your recent purchase is a big upgrade would indicate you may have made a very expensive mistake - which is really unlikely at a subconcious level.

Im not saying you arent correct, just that you are massively biased.

FWIW, I had a few high pivot bikes a few years ago and moved away from them. At first I also loved them (maybe bias?) but the compromises always got me in the end. Technology and trails have changed since then so Im interested in trying one again - but only on a DH.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I’m jumping on this late as I don't check PB comments too much.

There are many great bikes out there to compare. Yes a 'hypothetical' revised 2022 Scott Ransom with a steeper STA would be better and remove that flaw that I mentioned... So now imagine a revised high pivot frame with ‘a more efficient' idler pulley, therefore no 'added weight or drag'... Apples for apples.

Pedal bob is multiplied the further back your centre of mass is as it acts as a bigger ‘lever’. In my opinion, pedal bob has a bigger effect when on steeper and more technical climbs. Yes the Dreadnought is heavier, and there is some 'inherent drag’ from the idler, but I am telling you from back to back real life experience on both bikes that the Dreadnought climbs better. No doubt about that. And it descends much better too.

This frame does a lot different, and with it having chainstay length proportionate to each frame size is amazing. The Scott for example, has the same size chain stay on a S and XL - So easy to manual for myself on an XL, but felt like I was hanging off the back in the steeps, in chunky terrain and when at higher speeds. The Dreadnought is so, so much more comfortable in these instances. And that’s the kind of stuff that I like to ride. I know a few other tall riders have mentioned the same on similar XL bikes with non-proportionate chain stays.

So you have found that your high pivot/idler bike adds much drag? Or just what you’ve heard on the internet? I would agree that there must be an increase in drag. Do I feel it? - Hard to say. Does it climb worse overall? - No, in my experience it climbs better. Does the geometry and seated position make the bike climb better and outweigh the ‘increased drag’? - Yes.

-------------

@russthedog: What makes my view biased?

Technology, company’s investment in R&D etc. sure has changed since the first high pivots were realized years ago. It’s like when 29’ers were first introduced, the first generations were not fun on anything slightly steep and technical when you needed to move the bike around.

Also, I managed to build my Dreadnought for not much more than I sold my 2 y/o Scott Ransom for, of similar spec. Previously I had a DH bike, but I sold that and run my Dreadnought in the bike park. For what I am after, the Dreadnought is better in every area, so I’m stoked!

Maybe I'm biased because I found a bike that climbs better than my previous trail bike, and descends almost as comfortably as my previous DH bike?

--------------

At the end of the day, the Dreadnought is a burly trail bike designed for chunky terrain and gnarly trails, while also built to DH standards. For myself living in Pemberton/Whistler BC, this is perfect.

This bike would not be my first choice if I didn't live/ride somewhere with steep, technical trails.
  • 2 0
 @JonCon: "So now imagine a revised high pivot frame with ‘a more efficient' idler pulley"

I'm a pretty bad engineer, but I suspect changing the STA is going to be easier to do than somehow creating a more efficient idler pulley than anyone else has created.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Indeed... I was being hypothetical.
  • 1 1
 @JonCon: just read up on cognitive dissonance and the bias attached to a purchase.
  • 2 0
 @russthedog: Hahaha, turning into a bit of psychology now eh. To be honest I would agree that there is some positive bias attached to a purchase. Yet at the same time, If I replaced my Scott Ransom with something similar, say a Trek Slash, I feel that my opinion would be fairly neutral and therefore no cognitive dissonance.

My initial comment was purely my first hand experience riding the Dreadnought coming from the Ransom, same as the reviewer compared. I personally found his review biased, as much of what he wrote was the opposite to the experience I have had from riding both bikes, but I would potentially attribute that to where these bikes were ridden. Would a 120mm trail bike get a great review on steep and technical terrain, probably not.

Had you also moved from a Ransom to a Dreadnought?
  • 1 1
 @JonCon: no i haven't, never owned either but I think they're both pretty cool bikes. I thought about a forbidden before I bought my last bike but didn't go that way
  • 152 3
 Interesting to hear you also had issues with the rear shock bolt coming loose. Mine did that too - sadly I only noticed when I landed a drop and heard a loud cracking/ crunching sound as the bolt made contact with the frame and took a large chunk of carbon out of it. They declined to warranty, so in the end I had to get a crash replacement front triangle.
  • 96 0
 The exact same thing happened to me. This is ridiculous and I'm gonna reach back out to them.
  • 52 1
 Damn surprised to hear they refused warranty. Sounds like they really don't want to recognize this issue. With premium bikes like this, customer service is so important. Hopefully crash replacement wasn't too bad?
  • 23 0
 @DylanH93: It wasn't bad - $775 CAD for the front triangle. Less than I was expecting anyways.
  • 46 0
 @beestrangler: it wasn't bad, but we also shouldn't have had to pay it if this is clearly an issue on their end.
  • 7 0
 @beestrangler: Ok that is not that bad for the front triangle, just looking at the cost in isolation. Considering what happened though, it's kinda shitty. I'll be checking the bolts on my druid regularly and probably putting an extra dab of blue loctite on all of them.
  • 17 0
 @PTyliszczak: In their Druid exploded view docs (under tech support), they actually say to have the shock bolts greased, with a little arrow pointing to the threads. I pointed this out to them, and they said "oh, use blue loctite." They also suggested greasing the seatpost (rather than carbon prep), which not surprisingly did not work, either. Strange. Other than that, tech support has been pretty good.
  • 5 1
 @muumuu: Hah. I never even noticed... because that sounds nuts! Grease on such an important bolt?
  • 14 1
 @LAM: very easy to argue that bolts coming loose is a service and maintenance issue, not that makes it any less bitter of a pill to swallow.
  • 9 0
 @netracer-enduro: still, bolts are expected to remain tight for a reasonable amount of time on any mechanical assembly that is not messed up with. You as a manufacturer have to do your due diligence to make ensure your main structural assemblies stay put for a reasonable amount of use
  • 12 2
 I would have told them no, you're sending me a brand new frame for free. That is ridiculous they refused that. I cracked my 2019 Ransom and they sent me a brand new 2021 frame at no cost, for a frame costing the same price as an entry level bike I'd expect a better warranty for such a boutique brand.
  • 4 0
 JFC this literally just happened to me too. I am about to get in touch with forbidden, so this is great info to have. Disappointed to say greasy, as otherwise I fckn love thus bike
  • 1 1
 Mine had similar issue with bolts working loose, but a bit if loctite and problem solved. I did check the bolts in the first few rides though so no damage to the frame. The linkage comes well greased just not well loctited!
  • 2 1
 Thankfully I have noticed every time and now it's routine to check but the rear shock bolt and rear-wheel bolt do routinely come loose on my Druid - other than every issue is related to abuse or neglect and no bike-related ones - extremely happy with my bike
  • 5 0
 Wow, that is low of them to not warranty a shock bolt that they installed!
  • 4 1
 @muumuu: they sound out to lunch.
  • 2 0
 @muumuu: yeah I just checked this too. You’re right, it says to grease these shock bolts. Pulling the rear bolt out, I’m shocked to discover it has no loctite on it at all. There is no instruction to loctite these bolts yourself either
  • 25 1
 Between the review and these couple comments, forbidden lost more sales than those warranties would have cost...
  • 8 0
 That's absolute bullshit they didn't replace it for free. The shock bolt came loose on my commencal supreme about 6 months after buying it. I broke/twisted the entire linkage. Went into the commencal store expecting to buy parts and pay for labour. Guy said come back in an hour and leave the bike. The bike was fixed and no charge.
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: what is considered a reasonable amount of time?
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: yes, good question. But time between major service interventions is not a bad guess
  • 13 0
 @beestrangler That's interesting. Sorry to hear that, although it makes me glad I included it in the review given I'm not the only one. In my experience it's fixable with Loctite, but that's something which should be done at the factory.
  • 7 8
 Pretty much rider responsibility to check each fastener before every ride.

Also is the bolt everyone has coming loose the one that bolts to the shock body?
  • 11 2
 @gonecoastal: Does that sound like a realistic proposition to you?
Warranties must be done in a way that is compatible with a normal use case. If your warranty terms are completely different from a regular use case then either A) you have a problem with your product or B) you are just using it to bail yourself out in case of failures.
Just imagine: "Seized engine at 1000 miles? Hey, our warranty doc states that user must check engine fluids before each start."
Yes, plenty of companies in different fields do this, but is nonetheless a crappy way to do business.

Honestly, if these reports are indeed correct, both in regard to the issues and Forbidden's response, I unfortunately can't see them to last very long. Up and coming companies can achieve success and growth with quirky products (as the Dreadnought seems to be), as there is always a market for the product concept or indeed a niche of consumers who indeed gain with the characteristics. But bad reliability or worse, service, that's a nail in the coffin.
  • 4 1
 @gonecoastal: I’ve owned my Druid frame for a month, am meticulous about maintenance and have been so for over 20 years of riding Mtb. Shock bolts shouldn’t wriggle out, not over 5 short rides.

The bolt in question sits within the frame as part of the linkage, connecting the shock to the linkage. . It’s definitely not one you’d check every time you rode.
  • 6 5
 Bolts coming loose and causing damage is a maintenance issue. Sucks it seems like a common problem, but their warranty specifically says it doesn’t cover improper assembly or improper maintenance. I do hope they're taking not and ensuring proper greasing/loctite and torque out of the factory. But in these cases, id talk to your shop, why wasn’t this checked during a build or a tune up? thats the shops liability.
  • 4 1
 @lognar: Shocks come installed from the factory, people throw their completes together and expect to be able to ride. It should stay in for a few months.
  • 8 2
 @Arierep: "...must check engine fluids before each start." Ha, I mean, yea. I guarantee there is not a singe vehicle warranty out there that says you get free engines at 1000 miles if your dash is lit up like a christmas tree because coolant or oil or blinker fluid are low and you decide to drive it anyway. Especially blinker fluid, most important.

Friggin A, bike companies should 242 the threads on shock hardware, totally agree, I think teams of enginerds deem it unnecessary weighing the benefits against the cost of an added step at assembly. It sucks people have to deal with that. Also, it is for sure on the owner to be on top of stuff, especially right after you get something new and stuff is working itself out in the first few rides. Also, I get peoples frustration but unfortunately, yelling about what you think warranties should cover after poo hits the fan doesnt get you anywhere. And saying stuff like " I would have told them no, you're sending me a brand new frame for free." @charvey17 is just uninformed, and most companies would find the nicest way of ignoring your rudeness.
  • 7 8
 Things bed in when riding a new bike. If you don't torque your fasteners after the first ride on a new bike you're a moron. A bike is a horrific place for bolt loosening; constant vibration and fasteners that thread into soft materials.
Warranty is for manufacturing defects, not your lack of maintenance.

The bolt in question on the druid is completely accessable on a bike stand.
Loctite is a bandaid solution; more torque is usually the answer. Personally I would like to see stainless thread inserts to allow more torque.
The amount of bolts I found loose at a bike shop was insane, this one is just very important.

Yes you should check your bike over before every other ride at the least.
  • 4 0
 @PTyliszczak:
You'll not find a drop of loctite on an aircraft.
Grease reduces friction, allowing increased clamping pressure for the same torque.
Do your lug nuts have loctite?

I was a serial over user of loctite, but it's really not the right solution.
  • 1 1
 @Arierep: considering the shock requires service every 50 hours, is that reasonable?

But, every suspension bike I've owned has required me to tighten pivots or shocks between service intervals.
  • 3 0
 I picked up my Dreadnought SLX last week and immediately checked the rear shock bolt after reading this review. It seems they are loctiting these from the factory or the HQ now.
  • 6 0
 @Arierep: I have a druid and it's a fantastic bike. Like it's really the only bike after which no other bikes make me lust for (other than for more travel). It's not without quirks, but they're totally worth it to me for the ride quality of the bike as it suits my trails and style. However, they have other warranty issues I've seen that seem clearly due to manufacturing defects. I even had my rear derailleur blow up and go into the spokes. It cracked the rear dropout slightly. No apparent damage to the derailleur. It was just pedaling along slowly. Nothing I did made sense as a cause and according to Fanatik (through who I bought the bike) said they couldn't tell me my a warranty claim was denied. I'm the typical druid rider: low talent 37 year old software engineer with means so it's not a huge burden to buy the crash replacement (which was reasonably priced). But for other folks with a similar issue it's unfortunate if they have less fortunate financial circumstances. I love this bike and want to see them succeed. I would even buy a v2 druid if they had some improvements on the design. The technical support from Lou has been Fantastik. But I'd really like to see them sort out this warranty crap. And sure they haven't heard of a derailleur going into the spokes from a Dreadnaught but they sure have from a Druid. But unless they provide decent justification or clear remediation for issues they put themselves at risk for missing out on a lot of customers when they read these comments and such. To be clear the Druid rips. The idler takes some extra attention but not crazily so. It does have a rock crunch zone but so did every dw-link bike I've owned and the new santa cruz's even have it a bit (watch van girl yuka's latest). The moto foam remedy is easy peazy. I believe they will release a solution themselves.
  • 6 0
 @Talbott1983: I'm in agreement with most of this. I really, really like my Druid's ride, and its fit and finish. There are a few design things that could use sorting to require less attention, but it's ultimately not a huge deal.

Despite being a small company, they've come out with fixes for bits that weren't so well designed (dust covers on bearings), and have made optional parts like the stainless idler. I'm far from a business person, but it feels like they're really trying to scale up their support, and unfortunately can miss problems like folks described above in the process (In my opinion they should just warranty replace more). I think their issues/problem reporting database needs work so they can catch emerging problems sooner.
  • 5 0
 @muumuu: Yeah, I genuinely want to see them succeed. I love the bike. I'd buy another one. I say this as constructive criticism (with a tinge of bitterness and a people ought to know if there are issues but it's all good) and not sure what goes on behind the scenes. I believe Owen P is passionate about this bike and wants it to be the best it can be. There's not another bike I want. Every bike has issues. I'm sure there's some weird legal oddity with the fanatik to forbidden warranty. I dunno. They could handle that better pretty easily though. I'd still be happy to pay for the crash replacement cuz I can but hopefully at least they acknowledge it was a defect in either design or manufacturing and they take steps to sort it. Perhaps i am out of line that they didn't know about the derailleur thing. But it would've been nice to just know their reasoning *sad face*. Maybe it really was my fault and I could do something to prevent it in the future. But I have no idea because I received no info. But the fanatik warranty person was also having some issues. So who knows. Maybe it wasn't even on them. Again, stoked on the bike. I was super sad when BCPov and van girl yuka stopped riding them Frown ... The druid is a dream to ride. I've not ridden teh dread... it is also sorted in a lot of ways in terms of its easy to work on, and about as quiet as it gets (other than idler rumble which doesn't bother me). Also the Druid leverage curve is a thing a beauty with all shocks I've tried. Just works. My buddy had a year one druid and it rode flawless and took a beating... Just for fairness sake, I had a ripmo v1 and it blew apart the lower link once (they warrantied it but the bushings aren't as maintainence free it seems). Also I saw people with issues on the forum where cable routing would get basically stuck in place due to the tight tube in tube routing and ruin the triangle effectively. Also it had a crunch zone. All bikes have quirks and there will always be a certain number that break and need a warranty (except maybe tank AF geometron bikes). It's not limited to forbidden to have warranty claims that aren't necessarily addressed always well. Most people I've seen on the forum have had a very good experience with warranty issues. So I should be more fair and say I'm probably a minority of claims. We don't have hard numbers to compare satisfaction across brands so everyone should recall it's anecdote only. But still slightly mad Wink
  • 4 0
 @mackg: Looking on their site (if this is the bolt in question), the replacements bolts also now come with loctite pre-applied.

www.forbiddenbike.com/collections/small-parts/products/forbidden-shock-bolt

M
  • 2 0
 @Planetx888: You'd be surprised what stubbornness will get you with things like that. I'm just giving my 2 cents. If the same thing had happened to my bike all I know is that I would not be paying for a new frame, they would. If they have decent sense it would be a full new frame not the BS of just the front triangle. Giant has their "carbon confidence" program and if there is the slightest damage or defect in the frame they'll send you a new frame with little to no hassle. I think more companies should honestly adopt things like this.
  • 1 1
 @charvey17: What do you do when they say no? It's not like you're going to force them to hand over a new frame.
  • 2 1
 @PTyliszczak: Buy a frame from a different manufacturer
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: Hey Seb, just built up my Dreadnought. What type of Loctite did you use? I want to make sure to avoid this issue. Thanks!
  • 6 0
 @seb-stott: So in a happy resolution to this, I mentioned to my bike shop that you had the same issue as I did and they reached out to Forbidden again. Shortly afterwards I got an email from Forbidden saying they will be refunding me the price of the crash replacement front triangle! Not sure if this review was the tipping point, but thank you for including that detail in the review.
They also provided this information:
"For your future reference: We are of the view that the current torque recommendation of 10Nm, when combined with the factory applied thread locking compound, is sufficient to hold the screw tight. However, we have now since validated that there are no undue affects caused by increasing the recommended torque value to 14Nm and shall be recommending that value moving forwards. We recommend regular inspection of the screw torque as well as periodic inspection of the factory applied thread locking compound This compound may become damaged or worn with use, and if this is found to be the case we recommend reapplication using Loctite 243 (blue - medium strength), applied directly to the screw thread. During installation we do recommend the application of a good quality lithium grease to the shaft of the screw, however, it is critical that the grease be kept from the screw thread! Through our technical documentation we continue to promote proper bike maintenance with the correct tools, as such we outline daily, monthly and yearly service recommendations."
  • 2 0
 @beestrangler: I guarantee this review was the tipping point. It would be naive to think they weren't reading these comments and plenty of bikes over the years have been brought down by negative anecdotes and they know it.
  • 3 0
 @beestrangler: holy sh!t, good result. Hopefully they replace the rest of ours as well
  • 2 0
 @beestrangler: glad they refunded your money. However their reasoning doesn't sit well with me. They're saying they were wrong about their 10nm torque spec without actually admitting they were wrong or accepting fault. I'd have much more respect for them if they admitted fault. But then I suppose that would result in a possible recall or other legal matters, I'm not sure. Anyways it's great they recognize it's a problem and you got your money back.
  • 2 3
 LOL at the "Preventative Maintenance isn't my responsibility" crowd. Thanks for the lolz. Also if you buy a bike and don't check it over that's on you.

I literally pop the side panel off my sled and check the oil tank level and the ground underneath it for fluid before pull starting it. I also test squeeze the throttle and brake before starting. BRP isn't giving me a new engine if I decide to run it without motor oil.

I've had various fasteners loosen on bikes over the years. A torque wrench, proper torque settings, thread dressing all are key to success.

Also it appears it's the Trunnion shock bolt that is loosening up. So... yeah about that... Enjoy Trunnion as your new rear shock standard overlords.
  • 2 0
 @beestrangler: Good to hear! The fact that the bolts come with locktite on them now 100% shows them at fault IMO. Pretty shitty of them to have get bad press to do the right thing
  • 3 0
 Well, good news here. I just heard from the forbidden, and they’re replacing the front triangle. They’ve let me know that the torque setting on the bolt in question should be 14nm, and that its threads must have blue loctite applied.

Any Druid & Dreadnaught owners should break out their torque wrenches now and dial it up by 4nm. Anyway kudos to Forbidden for taking care of this
  • 2 0
 @short-but-sweet: I'd rather say kudos to @seb-stott for bringing this thing up to public
  • 74 6
 Suspension squish videos were the only part I stopped for on the way to the comments section
  • 37 0
 There are Pros and Cons to that strategy.
  • 16 0
 I really like the front-and-rear squish shot. Gives you a better sense of what's happening to your bike and wheelbase when landing or compressing into turns.
  • 7 0
 @big-red: Definitely. I wish that was included on more of the reviews.
  • 8 1
 @danielfloyd: Whatever happened to the good old huck-to-flat videos? I always found them informative AND entertaining.
  • 1 0
 And then we complain not enough text
  • 3 2
 @Kmccann137: I loved it when Paul Aston's videos featured him lifting the back wheel as high as he could and throwing it at the ground with full force. Much better than these!
  • 2 0
 @RayDolor: they were a crackin good time for sure
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: Well, certainly ups and downs...
  • 50 0
 It won't be much longer before the head and seat tubes are pointing at each other.
  • 52 0
 Those will be grim times, do nut start wishing for that please!
  • 6 1
 I'll have a donut and think about these comments. Oh wait...
  • 1 0
 This bike is definitely the Grim Donut lite
  • 41 0
 Am I the only one who thinks of the peg-leg pirate guy from family guy when i see that seat tube/seat post??
  • 2 1
 I peg it for a mast, or forestock with post for a barrel. Your absolute weapon will need extra thread-locking fluid
  • 4 0
 Seamus? The one with peg-legs and arms? LOL
  • 12 24
flag stubs179 (Aug 16, 2021 at 10:49) (Below Threshold)
 It’s so ugly. It’s got to be one of the ugliest bikes ever made.
  • 3 0
 I didn't think of that necessarily but I do think it really taints the aesthetic of this bike and the Druid - it's like it doesn't even attempt to blend in with the rest of the frame
  • 35 0
 Great write up Seb.
  • 28 0
 Interesting historical fact - the dreadnaught class of battleship was actually to the detriment of its creator. Britain already had the biggest and strongest navy when it launched HMS dreadnaught, which had more bigger guns, better armour and was faster than any of its rivals. It made the enemy fleets obsolete but also the rest of the british fleet.
All Germany (for example, and all other nations, friend and foe) had to do was match the UK in dreadnaught-class ships to have a competitive navy, which was a lot quicker and cheaper to do than matching all the pre-1906 ships.
And, just under a decade later, in WW1 the ship that started it all was tired and out of date, and saw no decisive battles.
  • 43 0
 This is what I'm here for, pinkboat. Any more historical naval facts?
  • 4 0
 @pbuser2299: USS Hornet (CV-12). It’s a museum now, it picked up the Apollo 11 and 12 lunar capsules (my dad was onboard for both), survived a 100ft wave (his dad was onboard for that one) and it wasn’t the original ship with that name. Yes the same air craft carrier served in WWII and Vietnam has also been used for TV, movies and as I said it’s a museum now.
  • 5 0
 USS Phoenix survived the attack on Pearl harbour unscathed and saw successful combat in the rest of the war.
She was then sold to Argentina, renamed “17 de octubre”, then later renamed again the “general belgrano” and became the only ship to have ever been sunk in combat by a nuclear submarine.
Over 50% of Argentina’s personnel losses of the falklands conflict were on that ship when it sunk.
Renaming ships is bad luck.
  • 31 4
 I can almost guarantee that the extra drag is coming from the e13 lower roller guide not the idler. I swapped my Druid to an MRP SXg, originally because I was doing an XC race, and noticed a significant reduction in drag so I left it that way and have had no chain drop issues at all and a much much quieter experience.
  • 10 1
 Demo'ed one, the chain popped off, left it off and I agree was sooo much easier to pedal.
  • 3 0
 I’ve got the same roller on my dh bike, my buddy had the same one but he pulled it off. The difference is night and day as far as drag goes.
  • 1 1
 I took mine off and dont have any problem.
  • 2 0
 Good to hear @ericolsen
  • 1 0
 yeah I still remember the awesome feeling of switching from a full guide to a top guide only. Truly night and day.
  • 3 2
 I demo'd a Forbidden (with lower roller guide) and a Norco Range (with the MRP guide) and they felt about the same to me when climbing. No real night and day difference in drag....

However both were draggier than a traditional bike, so the upper idler does come into play IMHO....
  • 1 0
 i've been running the e13 lower guide on my highlander and am not very stoked on it. will try this out as an alternative - thanks for the recommendation
  • 3 0
 I'm actually confused as to why Forbidden spec's/requires the lower idler while the Range, Jeckyl, Force etc. don't. The latter two have a "less-high" pivot setup but the Range seems pretty similar to the Dreadnaught. What if you just take the lower idler off entirely?
  • 2 0
 @Drew-O: According to them it's for proper chain wrap on the chain ring. I've read from Forbidden on a MTBR forum post that during their testing they were loosing the chains while powering up climbs without the lower chain guide. Others have experienced this too, but many run without the lower guide with no issue.
  • 2 0
 @als802: Thanks, makes sense. Though seems like similar amount of wrap between the Range and Dreadnought, so I'm still not totally clear on why the Norco doesn't have similar issues.
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O: i added the guide to my highlander after dropping the chain multiple times. the chain wrap (similar to the forbidden) is not sufficient, at least in my experience.
  • 2 0
 @twonsarelli: I think the chainring size makes a difference, I run a 34t and dont have any problem on a medium but a 28t on a small might be a different story
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: i had issues with 34 and 32, but nothing since adding the chain guide. i am gonna try out the mrp since it doesn't actually put any tension on the chain itself and seems to work more like an upper guide, since it doesn't allow the chain to move far enough to either side to come off. glad to hear you haven't had any problems. maybe the clutch tension of different derailleurs has an impact as well.
  • 27 1
 Love you style of reviews @seb-stott . Please keep it up! Now, I am really curious how the Range will do given it seems to alleviate some of the descending "issues" with it's extra travel. Range vs. Enduro vs. Mega // et al would be an awesome field test
  • 35 11
 What's with the weird vertical travel thing that happens when people review this bike?
Nobody is going around saying "Yeah, well the fork travel is rated at 160, but when you calculate vertical travel due to the 65 degree head angle, it's only 145".

If we tilted the bike down a steep hill, so that the direction of rear travel was tilted enough to be straight up and down relative to gravity, would we say that the fork and high pivot suspension get a full 160, but the backend of the conventional swingarm only gets 145 now?

Oh wait, that's actually what happens when we're riding downhill!
  • 37 9
 It's the travel normal to the ground that matters, I'd argue, and that's the same no matter the gradient. I get the argument to measure the "diagonal" travel, but on the rear the convention is to measure the vertical. Some people do calculate the vertical front wheel travel too, hence why a lot of bikes have around 10% more fork travel. There's only 3mm in it anyway in this case.
  • 3 0
 @seb-stott: I would think that any amount of shock/fork compression is reducing impact with the ground and that should be measured regardless of angle, no? Seems like a whole new unnecessary complication. If I bottom out a 160mm fork then that much force has not be translated into my arms - that's the way I see it anyway.
  • 13 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: Vertical rear wheel travel makes sense for an apple's to apple's comparison between brands. A bike with a more curved axle path will effectively have more overall travel in the axle path compared to a bike with a straighter axle path despite having the same vertical travel. Yes the rear ward horizontal travel is useful for smoothing out bumps but most bike have a significant amount of forward travel toward bottom out which is not useful and would be counted toward the bikes overall travel. Vertical travel just makes more sense for consistency.
  • 2 0
 The best leveller is surely the straight distance between the axle at full top out and full bottom, regardless of axle path
  • 2 0
 I actually thought the travel length was integrated over the whole curve so this vertical part only was curious.
  • 3 0
 Wait, so when I'm going uphill my fork travel is only like 50%?
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: canfield used to isolate the rear travel vectors which was interesting
  • 5 0
 @spicysparkes: Agreed, and well put.

It helps me to picture a bike with 100mm of purely vertical travel and one with 100mm of purely rearward travel. The vertical travel bike will be able to reduce transmissibility - that is if you go over a 50mm-high bump, the chassis will move up and down by less than 50mm, ideally much less. The rearward bike, however will have 100% transmissibility - meaning the chassis will move up and down 50mm for a 50mm bump. However, as I alluded to in the article, the rearward bike will reduce the velocities at which the wheel goes up and over the bump (because the rearward travel slows the wheel speed relative to the bump), so the acceleration (both horizontal and vertical) will be a little less.

The point of this thought experiment is that the horizontal and vertical travel vectors do different things. So it's more accurate to say that the Dreadnought has 151mm of vertical travel and 31mm of rearward travel. Just quoting the hypotenuse travel at 154mm is a little simplistic ; it's not the same as 154mm of vertical travel. Bear in mind that I measured the usable vertical travel at 148mm, which would give around 151mm of hypotenuse travel. So however you slice it, it's basically a 150mm bike.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: Ever since the Druid and the Deviate Highlander were announced, i wondered at the purpose of those short-travel high pivot bikes. I always thought they might be better of just using more conventional travel.

It seems like a rearward axle path would mostly be beneficial after having already maxed-out vertical travel. Like Commencal does on their DH bike.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: when you put it like this it makes more sense. It's not simply a case of the distance between point A and point B.
With more old school bikes that had a lot more forward than rearward travel, I always felt that it was ignored by the majority of reviewers.
Where do you stand on this subject wrt fork travel? Should fork companies advertise forks as slightly less than they currently do?
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: ok, now I want to make a bike with only horizontal travel in the rear.
  • 21 0
 Does anyone remember when Dave Turner was castigated for not jumping onto the short chainstay bandwagon in the early 2010s. Now Turner bikes is gone and long chainstays are back. Poor Dave. Apparently, he was right all along.
  • 6 2
 Better still if they would let the rider choose. I’ll take an XL frame with the rear triangle of an S, please…
  • 6 1
 @FuzzyL: Rear triangles are all identical size to size. The BB position changes on the front triangle for each frame to give the differing rear-center lengths.
  • 1 0
 @maxwharin1: Ah, that’s interesting, thank you.
  • 22 1
 Why do bike manufacturers keep using 180mm rotors? I would prefer to have 220/200 on such a bike
  • 26 2
 I laughed at the rotor being smaller than the cassette; Waki (Peace be upon him) was prophetic
  • 2 17
flag Tinshield (Aug 16, 2021 at 8:57) (Below Threshold)
 I would think that the heat sinks on the new Shimano rotors would negate the need for larger rotors to a point?
  • 14 0
 @Tinshield: It's not just about the heat. Larger rotors generate more torque and is a linear increase in braking power. Going from a 180 to a 203 is a 12% increase in torque and theoretically, braking power.
  • 5 0
 @Almazing: makes sense.
  • 3 1
 @Tinshield: absolutely not. A bigger rotor is noticeable.
  • 7 1
 100%. I put a 220mm rear and 200mm front on my 2021 Enduro - it's fantastic.
  • 5 1
 I have no idea why anyone would use anything other than the maximum possible size the bike can fit. It's a no brainer.
  • 6 7
 Bigger rotors also hit rocks easier. Maybe not a problem on your trails.
  • 9 0
 @JohanG: Sure, but we live with derailleurs hanging way lower than a 200mm rotor.
  • 3 2
 The Shimano 4 piston brakes with Ice Tech rotors I get more then enough power and cooling for Top of the World/Bike Park laps on 180mm rotors. With all other brakes I’ve tried (Sram, TRP, Magura) I need 200mm + and sometimes still cook rotors. I was skeptical, but I think the Ice Tech actually works. Plus you get better modulation and fast rotor water clearing in the rain and more clearance from rotor impacts with 180mm rotors.
  • 1 0
 Ice tech is certainly an impressive achievement and markedly improves performance. I was quite impressed with it on my Mrs bike. I don’t even mind running a 180mm on the rear, but a 220 on the front is a not negotiable for me. I weigh too much and have been on 220 for a couple of years now. Give me an ice tech 220 and I would be in heaven.
  • 1 0
 I look forward to other manufacturers pushing back with more design improvements as a result of ice tech.
  • 2 0
 @ko-d: Serious question - how much do you weigh?

I weigh 193 lbs, and there are no lbs that I can or would want to lose. Between my gear, my bike and my body weight, the whole system is pushing 235lbs on a 170/170mm enduro bike. I see zero downside to gigantic rotors, and the additional power means a less pressure on the ol' braking finger throughout my ride.
  • 1 0
 @KJP1230: the only downsides are modulation can suffer in some brakes that aren’t well setup (ie from the factory). But that’s a very small negative for a lot of positives.
  • 2 2
 @KJP1230: ya I mean I’m 160lbs geared up on a 40lb Starling Twist. So kinda towards the lighter side of things. Again, really impressed with the newest Shimano system as far as power and cooling goes. On my stock SB150, XT brakes and non ice tech rotors I had to run 200mm rotors. But with the fancy rotors 180 is more than enough.
  • 3 0
 For me, power is never an issue with the Shimano four-pot brakes.
  • 2 0
 @ko-d: I impressed with the 2.3 magura rotors and stock pads on magura mt-5s 203/180 almost as good as my old codes 200/180 with metallic pads. I'm confident that once I put race pads in, the maguras will out perform the codes and I only ever felt the codes to loose power in extremely long steep descents in hot weather. I wonder how of a roll the extra mass of the thicker magura rotors plays a role.
  • 16 0
 I’m interested in how a Shimabo chain works when compared against a Shimano chain.
  • 11 0
 And the ride feel of a mainframe and swingarm, both of which are made form are carbon fiber.
  • 7 0
 ... and the closely related Shima-bro chain. Which is only offered in oil slick color, wears cutoffs and old-school Oakley shades, and always brings extra Coors to the party.
  • 6 0
 The repeated "are" problem is now fixed, along with a couple of other grammar issues someone pointed out. Unfortunately the Shimabo typo is harder to fix, so I think that's a cross we'll all just have to bear.
  • 3 0
 @seb-stott: Long Live Shimabo :-)
  • 13 0
 I have a Druid for 10mo's now and feel the need to chime in-

First, great review Seb (as usual)

The Druid is the best technical climbing bike I have ever ridden. It blows my mind what I can just monster truck up and over and how efficient it is at doing it. It just keeps manufacturing grip.

You have to run the sag as deep as Forbidden say's to. If you don't the bike both doesn't climb to potential and doesn't descend smoothly. (I briefly ran a coil over-sprung by only 25lbs and it ruined the bike) Nail the setup and it's better than anything I've been on.

The handling in corners can't be matched by a standard rear design. Once you learn to compress the suspension by pumping the corner and the bike just rips. While you should do that on any bike, this is the only one I've ridden that rewards it sooo much.

These bikes definitely ride unlike anything else which is the whole point of them IMHO. For those whose riding styles and terrain truly benefit from this design's strengths - either the Druid or Dread will be one of the best bikes you have ever ridden.

If your style or terrain doesn't adapt well to this design's strengths you will likely find the compromises of this design not worth it.

In terms of Forbidden's service/warranty - I had rear triangle damage from FEDEX. They got me a new rear assembly shipped out 2 day air 4 hours after I messaged them! No complaints here.

There technical dos's and videos are some of the best I have ever seen.

If I had to nitpick - the stock idler cog doesn't last very long. They no have better versions. I would've liked it if us early adopters got a new idler for free or at cost instead of having to buy the NSB or steel idler at full price. But I'm still happy w Forbidden and 100% buy another bike from them in the future.
  • 7 0
 @fitnj: I bought my Druid in early 2019 from their first production run. I have since amassed a crap ton of miles on it. I 100% agree with everything you said, including the importance of carefully setting sag and selecting the correct spring weight if you are running coil. Really nicely stated.
  • 1 0
 @mtnbkrmike: yeah agree with you guys. Just did some Whistler bike park laps on the dreadnought, didn’t bottom it. I’m just going to keep taking air out of the back untill then. So happy I have an air to start with as it’s such a interesting bike to dial in. So progressive at end of stroke hitting bigger jumps lines it’s almost this bikes calling.
  • 13 0
 Mandatory $15 purchase for all Druid and Dreadnought owners. Trust me, this will save you:

jankcomponents.com/products/jank-moto-foam-kit-for-forbidden-druid-dreadnought
  • 16 5
 Vs. 2022 Norco Range please. Holding off on or soft pedaling direct comparisons to obvious competitors is unhelpful for your readers. But, alas, readers aren’t equal customers anymore, so I guess we get what we (don’t) pay for. It’s a difficult dynamic when the only money comes from the makers of the products being reviewed, but the reason they pay to advertise is the number of readers. Though tightrope to walk.
  • 3 0
 I’m looking for the same comparison.
These bikes will both likely be in the upcoming field test.
  • 5 0
 He can only really compare it to bikes he has ridden. Unless another reviewer has ridden both bikes then they can add to the review.
  • 1 0
 @DANKimball: If this bike were part of the field test, they wouldn’t have run this full review today. I’m pretty sure the Range will be part of it though, so you’ll at least have in-depth reviews on each to look at.
  • 6 1
 not as good as the Range
  • 1 0
 @BrambleLee: there is a trail and enduro section for the field test that was done up in Sun Peaks. The Range is part of the test.
  • 3 0
 @mtbman1980: fair point. Range reviews have been more enthusiastic. Watching Lew Buchannon send hard line on his was dope.
  • 2 0
 I've got a Spire on order, but if I happen to see a Range in stock first...........(haha, yeah, I laughed at first too, then shed a single tear)
  • 1 0
 Anyone know if the team has announced when the field test is due out?
  • 3 0
 I heard a review at the Inners BDS whilst standing in the queue. Norco might be the better bike.
  • 1 0
 I don’t think they are the exact same bike. I just picked up a dreadnought slx build. And the range while I considered it, Was more of a full race bike. This dreadnought isn’t a full on race bike, should be more fun on the Whistler enduro trails I ride @Blownoutrides:
  • 2 0
 @Blownoutrides: seeing Lew rip Ft Bill on a Druid was part of what sold me on that bike... I'm struggling to see that this bike doesn't ride above the nameplate travel as the Druid absolutely feels like more than 130mm.
  • 6 0
 @shredddr: I spent a season on the druid, just switched to the dreadnought. It is definitely more capable. Not sure on the reviewers opinion that the rear end feels less capable than other bigger bikes, the ride felt like it was nearing DH bike territory for me.
  • 4 0
 @quinnltd: I agree
  • 15 2
 My 161's steep seat tube angle has ruined so many bikes for me. Don't think I could ever go back. (Pun intended)
  • 3 0
 You had to say it was a pun for me to realise Wink
  • 1 0
 So is this bike 78 or 76sa?
  • 12 0
 One of the better more comprehensive reviews I've read in a long long looiong time. More content like this please.
  • 10 1
 I own a Dreadnought and can confidently say it rides like nothing I've ever experienced. It's so fast, so confident and definitely doesn't feel like a 150mm bike. I actually find it climbs better than my old Horst link bike and I've cleaned more tech climbs on it than ever. No new bikes are light anymore and the weight actually adds to it's sure-footedness and overall demeanour. It literally took one ride to figure out how to get it to 'pop' off lips and it's far from dead feeling on the trail. I ride a medium and the sizing feels great for my 5' 9". This bike rips.
  • 4 2
 Right On! The reviwer is a retard honestly.I love my Dreadnought it does rides like nothing else and fucking climbs too
  • 1 0
 Did you get the medium size?
  • 10 2
 As an owner I can say some of this is true, other things not so much. I don’t find it lacks in climbing ability at all setup around the same sag as the tester. Also don’t really agree with the travel feeling limited with the ~154 but perhaps I am not riding as aggressive as you and so am not finding that negative view. One thing that is dead on is that bottom bracket hitting in certain angles. I have hit the bash guard on trails I know well far more often than in the past. This explains why so thanks.
  • 2 0
 He’s a massive guy, I agree with you. It climbs noticeably better then a 135 fugative lt with a coil and climb switch.
  • 8 0
 @seb-stott As far as the derailleur issue goes... When you're in the smallest cogs, the chain has very little mechanical advantage to extend the derailleur, so I agree with your thought that it might have to do with lower chain growth. With how much chain growth this bike has, I would expect that it has to extend the derailleur faster than most bikes, which would require more force.

It would be interesting to see a huck to flat video of this bike and a couple others with the same derailleur (the exact same one, since clutch tension varies so much) and in the same gear.
  • 10 2
 As with any suspension design, there are pros and cons. For bump eating capacity, the rearward axel path of high single pivot can't be beat but you need to stay off the brakes. With wheelbase expansion, cornering can be unearthly once you harness that feel. Zerode was doing this over a decade ago and Balfa well before that. HSP will always have a fan base for those that want something totally different than all the rest. Owen has made a stealthy looking number for the connoisseur - there will always be a niche for this kind of rig.
  • 6 0
 HSP meant 'Halal Snack Pack' (kebab meat on hot chips with sauces) to me before I got into mountain bikes. I'm a fan of all kinds of HSPs
  • 2 1
 Worse than cornerie is bottoming out with a bike that has its front going shorter and its back going longer. I imagine that longer reach has helped mitigating such issue but the Suprem v4 was lethal when you happened to bottom harshly, much more than any of my previous bikes (Ion, Sunday, M-pire, Fury and so on).
  • 1 0
 @essessareare: ooooh you got me thinking of the British version - doner meat and chips. With extra hot chilli sauce. Mmmmm
  • 10 1
 I’ve been running 50mm rise bars for a little while now. Freaking love them, they’re never coming off….but this article did make me realize they look a bit ridiculous lol
  • 15 7
 So it's not as good as a Privateer, which is less expensive, heavier, and lacks the sophisticated suspension design ... interesting.

This matches my experience riding a Druid, god for a few things, but not good overall.

That Kool-Aid may be showing it's age Wink
  • 7 0
 These forbidden bikes seem really cool, but from some of the issues people seem to be having, I'd wait two to three years to let them iron out some of the details.
  • 12 2
 "Does this gimmick work better than other gimmicks?"
Answer - Orange Bikes Alpine
  • 9 1
 Well well well… it was a dream bike for me before this review… but like most things in life - there is no such wonder machine existing which delivers everything you might need
  • 3 0
 Same feeling here. I'd been lusting over this bike for a bit. Now it seems like it'd be best to give them a couple years to sort everything out first. Which is to be expected with a smaller start up brand.
  • 2 0
 Don’t let what one dude thinks change your mind, he’s a huge guy riding an xl which automatically makes me not trust the review as I’m 5’9” 150lbs so we ride completely different @DylanH93:
  • 4 1
 I just got a dreadnought and it’s the fastest bike I’ve ever riden, I might do a YouTube video comparing it to a Knolly fugative. And meta 29 which I owned before @DylanH93:
  • 1 0
 @blowfish1: 190 huge Smile
  • 1 1
 Well, there's the Norco Range...
  • 1 0
 @blowfish1: alright thanks for telling…
  • 8 1
 The other day, I found an old copy of BIKE magazine from 2005 when packing to move. Lots of triple cranksets, some carbon fiber, mostly 26" wheels, steep geometry, short travel.

I would love to go back in time and hand the editors a picture of this bike, just to watch their minds blow. And then tell them the main criticism of the review was "not enough travel". What a time to be alive.
  • 3 0
 "mostly 26" "? What other wheelsize was there in 2005? 24"?
  • 7 0
 @KJP1230: 29ers already existed for a few years, but they were niche. Niner bikes was founded in 2004. My local bike shop had a 29er Surly Karate Monkey in stock in 2003. Here's the catalog:

surlybikes.com/uploads/downloads/Surly_2003_Catalog.pdf
  • 7 0
 I wish more reviews of the forbidden bikes touched on these 2 issues:

1. the need for moto foam / a custom extended rear fender to prevent rocks from chewing through your frame between the seat tube and swing arm.

2. the brake and derailleur cables enter the swing arm unprotected and rub through the carbon there.

For such an expensive frame both seem like an oversight.

That being said I love my Druid, I just wish it wasnt made of carbon and had external routing.

Oh hey whats this Actofive bike........
  • 2 0
 Jank components on Instagram for like $15 sells moto foam. I ordered mine yesterday for my dreadnought and it’s allready in the main
  • 3 0
 @blowfish1: Yep my LBS gave me foam with the bike and I have a 3d printed foam holder from elsewhere. Just saying jank shouldnt need to make this stuff.
  • 6 0
 Druid owner here...my theory on these bikes is that the shock tune is off. I was surprised to see the settings @seb-scott landed on here quite frankly. Most people running this on the X2 are running it almost wide open on all 4 settings as it seems you can get the thing to be fast enough. Perhaps at your 190 pounds that would not work.

I look back on that Norco video and the commentary about how long they spent with Fox dialing in he tune. I fear these smaller companies simply don't have those resources and just go with something close enough...not sure this frame design is meant for that...thats been my experience as well on the smaller travel Druid. I was going to buy this thing as I've been feeling the 130mm Druid was not enough but now am re-considering.
  • 5 0
 got my dreadnaught a few weeks ago (my buddy and i each got one). admittingly ive been out of the game for a long time so its taken a while to get it feeling well.

until last weekend i was considering selling it to get a nomad or megatower as the rear end just wasnt feeling great.

we dropped the rear air pressure 20psi and bumped up the compression. it made a WORLD of difference. still thinking about a coil but the settigns now made it ride amazing.

loving the bike and i would recommend it to anyone looking for an all-around ride
  • 10 0
 This review is not accurate.My dreadnought is the best bike ever
  • 6 1
 @seb-stott , if you claim 6 Watts at 250W is 'minimal' and 'not enough for anyone to feel the difference', would you also be willing to go on record to say similar things about a 2kg heavier frame ? Because I am sure you are aware that this is the same difference for a total weight of about 83 kg. At least when climbing is concerned.
  • 5 0
 No mention about the dreaded crush zone or the fact that the rear der housing saws through the rear triangle if using anything else other than axs. You can even see the worn cable in one of Sebs photos. Mines worn so much it’s got thin around the carbon area and since cracked. Yet to hear back from Forbidden. By crickey it’s a nice bike to ride though.
  • 5 0
 Ironically, the dreadnought class battleship became obsolete only 5 years after inception (in some cases) due to the introduction of the super dreadnought. I think I know what forbidden’s next bike is going to be named! Have to assume they’ll Incorporate super boost plus to make it that much more super-er
  • 6 1
 So it's not good at climbing in general, also not good in steep technical areas, pretty much sounds shit unless you point it down something not too steep or technical. So if you just ride machine built trails this bike could be for you. Nope.
  • 5 0
 "The 170mm-travel Scott Ransom stands out as an example of a bike with very supple suspension that's still ridiculously light and efficient on the climbs. Does the Dreadnought's high-pivot suspension allow it to catch up to these longer-travel machines on the descents? I don't think it does."

Having owned a Ransom, and now a Dreadnought, I find the above statement the complete opposite for myself on both climbing and descending. I will note that part of this could be attributed to myself being 6'4", so 'outdated' geometry can be multiplied. I am not a 'bike reviewer' and I have not been sponsored to say this or anything. I respect that everyone has an opinion, so here's mine:

Yes the Ransom is a lighter frame, but the geometry and seated position of the Dreadnought make it climb so much easier. I don't have to slam my seat forward and slide even further forward myself, which over time takes it out of your core/legs/arms and hinders you from putting down power efficiently or effectively when needed. The anti-squat on the Dreadnought is amazing, granted I've never had a bike with 'firmer' anti-squat but you do not rely on the shock lock-out to support yourself, which allows the suspension to remain active and work on technical roots/rocks etc providing so much more grip and transfer of power. Firm up the shock for fire roads and non-technical climbs if you'd like. I have only been out on a couple of rides but the climbing is night and day better than the Ransom. A couple of evening's ago I made sections of Technical climbs in Pemberton in the wet (yes it finally rained!) with ease, that were hit and miss on my Ransom in the dry. I was honestly amazed at how well it climbs for it's intended use (going downhill fast). Sure there is a decrease in wattage or whatever with a high pivot and idler pulley, however it's geometry, seated position and anti-squat make up for a little decrease in efficiency by being way more efficient elsewhere.

Then when you go downhill this thing comes alive - We've all heard about it's character here, so I won't go on about the amazingly supple yet supportive suspension, weight distribution etc. etc. It likes to go fast and I find it wants to generate speed even on mellow sections of trail. Yes it is harder to manual, but that's a given and a trade off for the stability. I have no issue manualling through terrain, bike park rollers etc. It felt like going from and 'older' style 26" downhill bike to more current geometry and 27.5" wheels in 2016 or so - More stability, grip etc. with a loss in playfulness. Then you get used to it and make it playful again. Those older 26" downhill bikes would now feel real twitchy nowadays whereas before they were the norm.

Yes there are a couple of issues with rocks between front and rear triangles. It's good to hear about issues with cable entry ports, something I shall make sure to address! Hardware coming loose - Unless it's happening every single ride, this is not uncommon with any new bike that I have had. If you're not doing a solid bolt check and torque spec, wheel check and tension etc. etc. after your first few rides, and then frequently as regular maintenance, then you're doing it wrong I'm afraid.

In summary - This bike descends as good as people say and feels very well balanced and comfortable. What surprised me is how well it climbs too, which is an additional plus!
  • 6 0
 @seb-stott AWESOME WORK MAN. really appreciate such a thorough review both in the ride characteristics of the bike and the phisics behind them.
  • 5 1
 Had my XL dread for a couple months maybe. I sold my 2021 meta AM frame and swapped to the Dread. 15mm longer wheelbase but with a 31mm longer rear center(static). The shorter front/longer rear really works as advertised. The fastest cornering bike I’ve ever had. Never feel like I’m going to wash the front. I’m able to have a more upright stance but have more weight on the front.
  • 7 3
 Ripping derailleirs off isnt a fact of life if your bike dialed in. Dumping tension on rebound due to huhe chaing growth + too much chain or not enough wrap = chain off pulleys
  • 5 0
 Really like Seb’s reviews. He goes into really great detail that others don’t and is really good at trying to stay objective.
  • 4 1
 IMHO the Dreadnought is a good-looking bike (kewl name too) in the same realm as the Wrecker, Enduro, Megatower, Slash etc. I'd like to cheer for this one, but there are too many issues that would make me look elsewhere. This review (and others) tip-toe around the fact that it has the issues older suspension bikes did...mutes everything, not a good pedaler, little to no pop nor a great climber. I guess, it's tricky to say something bad when there is a lot riding on it for a small company. I wonder if some of the problems touched on here are exacerbated, by the longer travel (in contrast to The Druid, and some other shorter travel high-pivot bikes) and on this review it being an XL bike?
  • 3 0
 And is more complexity really the way we want to go with bikes? I recently purchased some 4-bar bikes with pretty simple/standard designs and was amazed that I liked them better than my thru-shock megatower and tallboy. And it is so much easier to set the sag, clean the bike, etc.
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: The only thing I couldn't stand about my old Horst 4 bar was the antisquat curve. I would pedal strike like crazy on the rocky trails I ride, both up and down hill. Otherwise, yes I agree.
  • 7 0
 Should've had this guy review the Knolly.
  • 4 0
 yeah 100% the guy atleast wouldve chosen the right size
  • 7 0
 The Greatest bike I have ever ridden, no doubt about it!
  • 3 0
 Really good review. Have had the Druid and now the Dreadnought, both were drastically improved by adding a coil IMHO. I think the Druid played well with air but the Dreadnought not so much. The Dreadnought is stupid fast, and I think does really well in the steeps, so do not agree there. I actually sized down on the Dreadnought because I was in between sizes and use it for my do all bike and think the Druid only climbs marginally better. Some quirks others mentioned - the space between the rear and front triangle, immediately put moto foam in there and yes the cable rubs the internal routing/carbon in the rear triangle.
  • 5 0
 Also sized down. 5'11 on a medium, the large was way too big for me. I'm running the EXT Storia, everything he had to say about suspension issues were not at all the case for me. The bike is crazy fast when you let off the brakes, and I would never choose the DH bike I sold over the Dreadnought on ANY trail.
  • 4 1
 Normally, rear suspension travel is measured in the vertical direction,

why is this when fork travel is measured in the direction of wheel travel? there's a 10% difference between the two with a normalish head angle..
  • 6 0
 From now all forks will come with a calculator to work out the vertical travel for your bikes individual head angle.
  • 3 0
 with a rearward axle path when the shock compresses, you get a forward axle path (obviously) when it's rebounding. Is this noticeable? (i.e. is it more likely to get hung up on stuff when rebounding?)
  • 2 0
 If it’s returning then the wheel is being unweighted, so I don’t think this would be an issue
  • 2 2
 @kleinblake: kinda but not really.
  • 1 0
 Very good question. No one ever talks about the return stroke on these rearward path bikes and what that might do to momentum… especially on bumpy low angle trails that will be encountered on shorter travel trail bikes.
  • 3 0
 @caradock: that might have a negative effect on real slow speed stuff, but the difference in velocity/momentum of a wheel returning at a 85 degree angle and a 65 degree angle is probably negligible compared to the velocity/momentum of the entire bikes and rider at any normal riding pace.
  • 5 1
 Bike with 506 reach and 639 stack is a tad small for 6'3'' tester, bike with 500mm reach and 599 stack is too big for a 6'2'' tester, go figure.
  • 2 0
 Depends on how that height is made up - one could have long legs, short body, the other the opposite.
  • 4 1
 that vertical drop squish makes me uncomfortable

bike seems fine, but like the bronson: shoulda just got the nomad. weighs the same pedals the same, I'd rather have as much travel as I can, all things equal
  • 6 1
 People will buy this bike regardless of reviews, it's made for that type of person.
  • 2 0
 "Our bike had a shock bolt repeatedly work loose and two hard-to-explain snapped derailleurs."

I hope they did their homework right and are not too short on chain on the big cog.
I played a lot with high pivot geo in linkage and when you have a high pivot with a 50T cog, 150mm of travel is pretty much the maximum before you reach over extension of the derailleur. The lower chainguide is mandatory to have enough spare chain.
Sure this situation (bottom out on the 50T cog) should supposedly rarely happen, but still such a config may put quite some stress on the derailleur.

So high pivot work well on DH bikes cuz they have small cassettes, but on enduro with a big cassette it's trickier. Makes me wonder now if this hasn't played a role in Commencal withdrawing the Supreme SX quickly.
  • 5 0
 I have one and it’s the sickest bike I’ve ever ridden but I tend to ride fast, maybe you should give that a crack
  • 3 0
 Friends that have this bike like it a lot. What I really want to know / see is a head to head against an v3 Evil Wreckoning..
  • 1 3
 Having ridden both briefly I felt like they were maybe the most similar bikes on the market in terms of braking feel and leverage curve.
  • 1 3
 @ericolsen: evils have a completely different leverage curve than that...
  • 1 0
 @ericolsen: are they? I have not ridden the Forbidden but from all the reviews it seems the Dreadnought would be plow machine and the Wreckoning on the other hand is really lively and poppy.
  • 2 1
 @i-am-lp: check out Kazimers first ride review. I think they are both a lot more versatile then people think. Compared to the Spec. Enduro I've ridden the Dread and Wrecker both felt more nimble/more intuitive cornering on tight trails. It also really comes down to how you setup your suspension and cockpit. A lot of folks don't realize you can make these bikes feel nimble on lower angle trails if you have to. Simple as softening the fork, stiffening the shock, speeding up rebound, and maybe lowering your stem a few spacers.
  • 4 3
 Long nice review but guys if you measure in percentages the energy loss of a high pivot systems idler pulley when climbing couldn’t you also measure whether if or not its more efficient going down the hill (which that particular system is designed for)
  • 5 0
 Efficient downhill? I don't get it
  • 3 0
 Measuring efficiency uphill is a relatively straight forward task. Attach a power meter, ride at a pre decided output on over a predetermined climb and compare times.

Once you are headed down a trail repeatability becomes a massive issue. You are no longer able to stare at the power in real time and hold it steady. And while I assume Seb is a drastically better rider than me and could get closer to accomplishing the folllowing: going over the exact same line in the trail, with the exact same breaking beforehand seems nearly impossible.
  • 2 11
flag Jolinwood (Aug 16, 2021 at 10:57) (Below Threshold)
 A decent sports journalist might write about the HPP Vaccine’s side effects but a splendid one sure finds a way to figure out if the HPP Vaccine gets a majority of the population down covHill faster than without the HPP Vaccine wont he? (Now I never said it would be easy to, all I request is the whole picture)
  • 1 0
 @Jolinwood: He did. The not so subtle conclusion was to just buy a bike with more travel.
  • 1 0
 @mr-moose: no they ”felt” whether the high pivot rolled over obstacles easier than a lower standard pivot. All I’m saying is it would be nice if someone got to the conclusion if a high pivot on the rear wheel triangle is -actually- a better descender than a lower pivot. Of course it can be done, both theoretical by calculation/simulation and in real world lab tests like they test how well helmets work for example. But someone has to start somewhere but no one does it, right?
  • 4 0
 Ha, mine rides awesome with a Zeb and EXT storia! Way more confidence DH than the DH bike it replaced
  • 1 0
 It would be interesting to see a comparison of "high pivot" bikes based on pivot height. For example, I bought one of the new Shores, and while it has a higher than virtual pivot than a non-idler bike isn't nearly as high as some "high pivots", and it really doesn't feel different from a cornering or pedaling (for what it is) perspective, although it took a few rides to learn how to best get the front wheel up quickly. The Kavenz review similarly didn't find issues with climbing or cornering, and it also uses more of a mid-high pivot design. www.pinkbike.com/news/review-kavenz-vhp-16.html
  • 2 1
 I hope i don't jinx it! After riding SRAM and Magura brakes for 3 years i risked it all and bought a brand new set of Shimano XTR 4 pods. Have done over 1000km now including full speed in Austria/Leogang with smoking rotors and riding from the lift open and descending as last rider on the mountain. NO issues! Maybe Pinkbike should put an end to the myth and do an in-depth mechanical deep dive, expert involved, pro mechanic and scientific test to find out what the h... Is the problem. Are users just bleeding then wrong or is it a crap product? (I think not). Proof me wrong...
  • 1 0
 Very insightful and detailed review. It would be great to understand why the climbing is sub par.

Based on this you get the worst of both worlds, DH bike climbing with light trail level descending?

Comparisons bwith other HPP design bikes would be good too. Deviate Highlander 150 for example looks a close comparison.

I have heard about cable and stone wear on the frame which would be a concern too. These are not inexpensive frames.
  • 1 0
 Mmh, I reckon that when I think about a high pivot I mostly think about the DH advantage of better rolling over obstacle, but when climbing, you can imagine that small bumps will result in the wheelbase extending then maybe draging you backward when the suspension extends again, contrary to a "normal" pivot where it will have a harder time rolling over a small bump but then maybe pushing you forward when extending again.

Indeed comparision with other HP bike would be great.
  • 3 0
 I had a forbidden Druid, and the hanger is so thick that hitting the derailer on something caused a cracked rear triangle. It’s too thick!
  • 2 0
 @Seb Scott
The bottom bracket moves to create the different chain stay lengths, not the main pivot.
The suspension pivots never move, that would be a pain in the arse to do for every size
  • 1 0
 "Forbidden can change the positioning of the main pivot relative to the BB without affecting the suspension kinematics."

But can they? Moving the BB moves the CG of the rider, which would have an impact on kinematics. Sure, it's the same kinematics relative to the pivot, but if the pivot is moving relative to the BB, the kinematics relative to the BB cannot be the same.
  • 1 0
 "But personally, I have never noticed this supposed harshness under braking with the Dreadnought, or other high anti-rise bikes."

So all those bikes must also be lacking in the vaunted "mid-stroke support". Because if braking puts it deep in the travel (literally the definition of high anti-rise), then it will be in that more "supportive" portion of the travel, which would mean it's definitely firmer/harsher than nearer the top of travel where it would sit on a less anti-rise design.
  • 4 0
 I like this bike. This may be the next frameset I buy.
  • 7 6
 One of the best cornering bikes once you get used to the long chainstays…. I’ve been saying it for so long… longer chainstays make for a more balanced bike which actually rides and corners BETTER
  • 5 4
 Absolutely, this is why I buy a mountain bike, so I can stay on the ground and rail flow turns, who needs air and agility Wink
  • 3 0
 Fourth paragraph* but seriously, editor or remedial English writing class good.
  • 4 0
 For 2 Times thé Price you have a New firebird
  • 1 0
 What an excellent review! Seb did an article on tyres & tyre pressures, at his previous place of work, & it was a game-changer for me! My XC bike felt like a hovercraft, after I heeded the advice of his article!
  • 4 3
 Great review, but if you have derailleur issues going into the wheel is either bent ( hanger or derailleur) or the limit screws are not set right end of, nothing to do with the bike.
  • 2 2
 Leave HP to DH race bikes where they actually work properly for intended use. This trend is going to end up in one of those videos "mtb trends that tried and died"
I see my other comment got deleted for laying some smackdown to the guys with a boat ticket to board the SS Sheep.
Glad I sold my Deviate frame for what i paid.

Still what kinda normal trails are these designed for? i fully expect to see this, the range etc on blue and single black trails where a normal pivot would probably be faster lol.
  • 2 0
 Virtually the same spec at the new Giant Reign E+1 (or Marin Alpine Trail E2) $800cad more. No motor. But carbon frame.
  • 3 4
 "And thanks to the idler pulley, Forbidden can change the positioning of the main pivot relative to the BB without affecting the suspension kinematics."

Isn't the location of the main pivot the crux of the single pivot design? If that were the case, why even go high pivot at all?
  • 2 0
 Seb cocked up the wording, the bb changes, not the pivot location.
  • 2 0
 only gripe is the 450 seat post length on a large. id love to give a high pivot a jam
  • 1 0
 That’s because it only has about 37.2mm of insertion depth. You know, like a yeti.
  • 3 0
 More reviews from this guy, please. Very thorough. Well done.
  • 3 0
 50% progression and a air shock? WTF are they thinking?
  • 5 3
 Beautiful bike with beautiful geometry
  • 4 4
 except how it rides and warranty issues.
  • 6 0
 @noideamtber: nah it rides sweet, one of the best bikes ever.
  • 2 1
 @sch00bs: cute, i had the range. but other than big open parks it was hopeless.
  • 2 0
 Game chainging. I see what ya did there.
  • 1 1
 Is this the same carbon mold as the Druid, but with different linkages? Would that explain why they didn't (couldn't) go with more travel?
  • 2 0
 It’s the same linkage but a different mold.
  • 2 0
 The dreadnought frame is much burlier than the druid. All the same parts are shared tho (axle, idler, chain guide, etc)
  • 3 0
 The dreadnought has a trunnion Mount shock while the druid has a standard mount
  • 1 5
flag hamncheez (Aug 16, 2021 at 9:55) (Below Threshold)
 @chwk: Looking back to back, XL to XL, the frames look like they come from the same mold (at least the front triangle)
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: I've owned both a druid and a dreadnought at the same time and can tell you 100% they aren't the same mold.
  • 3 1
 The front triangles are definitely different, but the rear triangles I think are the same. I have a dread and a buddy a druid and we've put them side by side.
  • 2 0
 @Wormfarmer: the dreadnought rear triangle uses 3802 bearings and the druid uses 6902 in the same location.
  • 2 1
 That seat tube would be a perfect candidate for Fox’s patent pending heart rate activated dropper post.
  • 3 1
 34 lbs without pedals. Tank
  • 2 0
 Can we just revisit that Seb has a 37" inseam?!
  • 5 3
 feeling the drag of a pulley wheel.... oh right 0_0
  • 2 0
 …you can put you weed in there man…
  • 1 0
 That leverage rate and progression seems like a good match a heavy rider, like myself, and a coil shock.
  • 2 0
 The bike with the best name... Forbidden Dreadnought... Damn...
  • 6 4
 You 100% cannot blame broken derailleurs on the bike. lern 2 wrench
  • 1 2
 lern how a high pivot works
  • 1 0
 @jwdenver: learn to wrench. Shock should be aired down and rear end fully compressed to check chain length in largest cog. It's a one link type thing. Too many shops are too shit at their jobs.
  • 2 0
 Can non-kashima x2's be purchased?
  • 2 0
 Those black x2 are near impossible to find.
  • 1 0
 Pedal kickback is quite useful on technical climbs and unnoticeable on descents. I'm a supporter of chain growth.
  • 2 0
 Can we really trust a review for a bike that had a 50mm rise bar swap ?
  • 2 0
 I got a Dreadnought and it blew me away first ride. Such an amazing bike!
  • 2 0
 "mmmmmm forbidden doughnut" - Homer Simpson
  • 1 0
 Hey @seb-stott , what's your saddle height? Love those 50mm rise bars to get the bars even with the saddle.
  • 1 0
 does not seem fait that Levy did not do this revue of the Grim Nut
  • 4 2
 This needs a Trust fork.
  • 5 3
 Now that would be grand price for ugliest bike eh?
  • 2 2
 Today's bikes look like they're folding in half with the steep seatpost angles and relaxed headtubes.
  • 1 1
 Sorry but that is a stupid spot for storage unless you only ride in dry conditions.
  • 2 1
 If they ever had one available I would buy one.
  • 1 1
 @PTyliszczak: sadly only shipping in the USA.
  • 6 5
 This review hurt my faith in mountain biking
  • 2 1
 I would love one. It looks like sex.
  • 1 0
 Anyone have any comparisons to a SB150? Similar travel numbers
  • 2 0
 Phenomenal review Seb.
  • 1 0
 Wonderful in depth review. Well done!
  • 2 1
 great review here. Thanks for riding an appropriate size frame
  • 1 0
 Indeed, it's the biggest size but even by my preferences (and I'm within margin of error of having identical height and weight so Mr. Scott) this bike is a little small. Effective seat tube is also on par with my my XXL 2019 Transition sentinel (at my height/SS height) and in 2021 I want something steeper. So I have a Privateer 141 now (great bike!).
  • 1 0
 The rain in Seb's videos is the most god-damn UK thing.
  • 1 0
 Excellent objective review!
  • 1 0
 Seb is legit. Really knows how to dial in a review.
  • 2 0
 Coolest bike name ever.
  • 1 0
 I want to love it...but after not loving the Druid...I can’t
  • 1 1
 Get an Orange Stage 6 in for review? 469mm chainstay.
  • 1 1
 34lbs without pedals. Mmmkay.
  • 2 1
 Cracking Review
  • 1 3
 Ooof! Thanks for the honest and excellent review and RIP high pivot enduro bikes.
  • 1 4
 Change bike name to "Hulk"
Hulk smash derailleur!
Hulk smash bottom bracket!
Hulk smash linkage!!!
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