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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
https://www.pinkbike.com/news/trust-performances-the-message-carbon-fiber-linkage-fork.html

I'm curious to hear people's thoughts (not about the price or the look, which are both outrageous in different ways) about this concept.

At first I thought "man, anti-dive, constant trail, awesome!"

Then on my ride yesterday I thought about it a bit more as I braked into corners and I'm less sure - because I realized that in general, if I'm hard on the front brake (causing some amount of dive/lower steering trail) I'm about to do a tight corner of some kind - and that the lower trail in that situation is actually beneficial. I'm not sure I'd want to rail into a tight turn and be stuck with 110mm of steering trail, when (with some compression at the front end) I could have 80-90mm.

If the trail was *nothing* but tight turns, after all, I'd want a bike with much lower trail to begin with. On more open/flowy cornering where I'm not on the brakes much I want to keep the higher trail, and the dive isn't an issue anyway.

But I haven't thought about it much (let alone ridden the fork, though I have ridden old Amps and Proflexs back in the day). Anyone got any clever insights?

-Walt
 

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I am not a suspension or bike engineer but I am thinking constant wheelbase would be better than constant trail, this would allow constant weight distribution but have a change in steering feel over the travel. Not sure if the suspension performance of a forward axle path in the for would be horrible or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I've seen that one (and the German A fork, and the Fournales, etc) they're making the same claim - that front end fork dive/reduced steering trail is something we want to eliminate. I'm actually somewhat convinced that having some dive and lowering trail when you're on the front brake is *desirable*, though, at least in most situations you'll encounter on a mountain bike.

-Walt
 

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bit of ride report here...

seems the traction element is noticeably good... I guess the reported lack of stiction would do that...potentially.

as for constant trail..... that's an interesting thought.... i'm pretty curious about it. you hardly ever see anything DW has to do with getting slated so that gets it's toe in the door, id say....

also the fact it looks, well, not *bad* given its a linkage fork with trailing axle that alone deserves some kudos...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, so Weigle says:
“On every telescopic fork, when you come into a corner, you want stability. But what happens is that you weight the front of the bike, the fork dives, you get less mechanical trail, and the bike gets less stable. We humans have learned, over 120 years of riding telescopic forks, to just deal with it. The brain is good at just making it work."

I don't see the logic, though. I don't want MORE stability when I'm trying to get the bike to lean over and turn - I want *less*. I'd never build a bike for super tight twisty trails with 150mm of steering trail. Or am I crazy?

-Walt
 

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From here. https://gearjunkie.com/trust-performance-message-front-suspension

Flexibility in a stanchion fork reduces initiation force. But it also increases instability, which makes it harder for a rider to ream corners and pop over larger obstacles. "On modern bikes, larger wheels, bigger tires, and slacker head angles reduce that instability, but you can still feel it," said Weagle. "And in order for a front suspension fork to absorb shock in both small and large bumps can require Ph.D.-level tuning skills, and even then you're not always able to achieve perfection."

So basically the long slack low 29'ers that many of us are moving towards negate what they've got going on. Oh and I have no Ph.D but damn modern forks feel good with just a few twiddles of the dials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What is "reaming" a corner?

As much as I hate to say it, a lot of the explanation for this just sounds like marketing gibberish to me. They seem to be claiming that high trail numbers are good for cornering, which is sort of the opposite of how I understand steering trail (lots of steering trail makes the bike want to go straight, not corner).

-Walt
 

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Yeah, so Weigle says:
"On every telescopic fork, when you come into a corner, you want stability. But what happens is that you weight the front of the bike, the fork dives, you get less mechanical trail, and the bike gets less stable. We humans have learned, over 120 years of riding telescopic forks, to just deal with it. The brain is good at just making it work."
-Walt
Seems to me that if this is such a fantastic idea it might have been developed for motorcycles. Dirt or road racing. I certainly think these guys are looking for every edge. Rear suspension is difference because of pedaling forces vs an engine, but I would think on the front these would have been tried. We know nearly all motorcycles have traditional telescopic forks.
 

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been thinking this over....I really like riding rigid bikes (as in no suspension). how much of that is knowing where I am in relation to the front wheel with one less dynamic element (ie no suspension movement thus no change in trail) I don't know. I don't find the steering in corners to be detrimental when I go back to a suspension fork and I can go a shed load faster with it....but in slow tech sections I still have a love of full rigid....hmmm! interesting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BMW made (maybe still makes?) some linkage forked street/touring motorcycles. I have ridden them a few times and found the lack of any dive to be really disconcerting - but I'm almost completely incompetent at riding a motorcycle fast on pavement (on dirt I'm only sort of incompetent) so I'm not sure my opinion matters much there.

Telescoping forks are certainly standard on all forms of 2-wheeled race moto that I can think of. That's not necessarily the end of the argument, though. Lots of things about bikes are different than motorcycles.

-Walt
 

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I'm really excited about this and i hope they sell a heap of them. It's possible that it's ideal to have the axle path in line with the steering axis, but it seems unlikely. It's impossible to really explore the idea without lots of people riding and designing linkage forks though.

What is "reaming" a corner?

As much as I hate to say it, a lot of the explanation for this just sounds like marketing gibberish to me. They seem to be claiming that high trail numbers are good for cornering, which is sort of the opposite of how I understand steering trail (lots of steering trail makes the bike want to go straight, not corner).

-Walt
That's not how i understand it. My understanding is that high trail makes the bike resistant to altering it's line, be that going straight or cornering. Once it's leaned in to a turn a high trail bike is going to be less sensitive to what pushes the wheel, be that the handlebars or obstacles the bike is rolling over.

High trail feels sluggish cuz the bike needs to be tipped over more to corner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's a good point, but I still don't want the high trail when I'm initiating the turn (that's where I'm most likely to lose traction/miss the corner). To me the initial lean-in is the crucial stage and once you've got yourself established at the lean angle you need, you're good.

To be fair, too, any amount of trail is going to make the bike want to go back to straight - not maintain a lean and keep cornering. More trail is going to mean the bike tries harder to go back to straight. You can feel this in a corner on a DH bike vs XC pretty easily - it takes way more effort/weight shift to ride the same radius turn on the higher trail bike. Steering trail literally just tries to keep the wheels lined up with each other - not maintain a turn.

Regardless, I'm also excited to see how it rides (assuming I ever get a chance, since I'm sure as heck not going to drop even half of that price on a fork).

-Walt
 

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You can feel this in a corner on a DH bike vs XC pretty easily - it takes way more effort/weight shift to ride the same radius turn on the higher trail bike. Steering trail literally just tries to keep the wheels lined up with each other - not maintain a turn.

Regardless, I'm also excited to see how it rides (assuming I ever get a chance, since I'm sure as heck not going to drop even half of that price on a fork).

-Walt
I've always thought that was because of a longer wheelbase and a more rearward weight distribution. Once you get the bike tipped over and your weight in the right spot it doesn't seem that different.

When you have tight pedally flat trails you can run in to problems where you can't tip a high trail bike enough to maintain balance and cut a tight enough turn. Feels crappy and clumsy. Knowing your typical riding, i wonder if that's what you're experiencing?

I like high trail for entering corners, you can just slam the bike in there rather than having to feel out the traction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've always thought that was because of a longer wheelbase and a more rearward weight distribution. Once you get the bike tipped over and your weight in the right spot it doesn't seem that different.

When you have tight pedally flat trails you can run in to problems where you can't tip a high trail bike enough to maintain balance and cut a tight enough turn. Feels crappy and clumsy. Knowing your typical riding, i wonder if that's what you're experiencing?

I like high trail for entering corners, you can just slam the bike in there rather than having to feel out the traction.
I've experimented with bikes with same wheelbase/different trail. You just have to remember - trail is trying to center the front wheel contact patch behind the steering axis. It is a self-centering feature. More of it means more effort to both initiate and maintain a turn, and there's no free lunch - more trail will require more effort to turn and in general be more "sluggish".

-Walt
 

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I'm looking at this development from a different angle. I want a fork I can put panniers on where the loaded gear is considered sprung mass. This is one way.

I have some CAD stuff of my own thoughts, but, frankly, Trust's work is superior to my own. Mine is packaged differently and is oriented around racks and full fenders, and the kinematics works out of those packaging concerns has an effect on needing the travel limited to 110mm. Any further and the trail and anti-dive conditions get weird (and dangerous in the case of 100%+ anti dive). Trust is interesting in the sense that they have squeezed much more travel out of the approach in a compact build envelope.

Good on them, I say. I will agree that there's a lot to unpack in terms of marketing, and these units just need to see a lot of ride time. If anything I'm glad of their presence because it will boost the acceptability of my future works.

I don't like the internal shocks though. I would be happy with a single external rear suspension shock. I get the reasoning (the 1:1 rider weight to shock pressure is enticing), I just dislike it because of the economic result.
 

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I've experimented with bikes with same wheelbase/different trail. You just have to remember - trail is trying to center the front wheel contact patch behind the steering axis. It is a self-centering feature. More of it means more effort to both initiate and maintain a turn, and there's no free lunch - more trail will require more effort to turn and in general be more "sluggish".

-Walt
I don't doubt you, but i've never experienced it as a 'self centering feature,' although i've never experienced trail change in isolation except on road bikes. I agree with more effort to turn and more sluggish, but i equated that to being that with more trail you have to 'lift' the bike higher for the same change in turning radius. (i'm out of my depth in this conversation but i find it fascinating.)

Another aspect i think is interesting is that a linkage fork can decouple brake and ground forces. The brakes could be used to hold the fork closer to the top of its stroke.

I'm looking at this development from a different angle. I want a fork I can put panniers on where the loaded gear is considered sprung mass. This is one way.

I have some CAD stuff of my own thoughts, but, frankly, Trust's work is superior to my own. Mine is packaged differently and is oriented around racks and full fenders, and the kinematics works out of those packaging concerns has an effect on needing the travel limited to 110mm. Any further and the trail and anti-dive conditions get weird (and dangerous in the case of 100%+ anti dive). Trust is interesting in the sense that they have squeezed much more travel out of the approach in a compact build envelope.

Good on them, I say. I will agree that there's a lot to unpack in terms of marketing, and these units just need to see a lot of ride time. If anything I'm glad of their presence because it will boost the acceptability of my future works.

I don't like the internal shocks though. I would be happy with a single external rear suspension shock. I get the reasoning (the 1:1 rider weight to shock pressure is enticing), I just dislike it because of the economic result.
Man i never considered this design with its implications for bikepacking, that's kinda brilliant.

Seems like at this stage in the game they need the most aesthetically pleasing design possible, and if it requires exotic engineering, so be it. So internal through shaft shocks are pretty smart and their target audience doesn't really care about cost that much so much as that they can ride something truly revolutionary and really credible. Err, it's a smart business decision, i think.

Can you share your work?
 

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Can you share your work?
I'll think about it, because the state of my work is disorganized and not easily digestible without certain software installed on a computer, and because I don't want to distract too much from this conversation at hand. I'll post it in a new thread if I decide to share.

I'm not trying to be secretive, I'm trying to be easily understood and my materials specific to this topic are half baked as is.
 

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I'm no suspension expert, far from it. But have ridden them since buying a Manitou 1 way back in the early 90s. Having never ridden a linkage fork other than a Lauf (doesn't count really), i really am interested in riding a Trust fork but...how the heck is that going to happen with that price?! The fork won't make it for that reason alone. I thought the Rock Shox RS-1 was expensive and it seems that hasn't become too widespread...this one is $1k more that that?

I find it mildly frustrating that none of the articles have a GIF of the fork going through its travel. I mean, what does EVERYBODY do when they see a new fork on a bike...? They grab the front brake and push down on it to see how it feels. Granted we can't feel it but seeing how different the axle moves through the travel would help me visualize it all instead of these hollow descriptions of why it's "kinda" a 130mm travel fork but not really because it's too complex for you to understand. I also don't understand only having one axle to crown for a slew of bikes that are built around much longer forks. So putting it on a frame built for a 160 fork you'll drop the BB and steepen the HTA by how much?

I'm like dRjOn with drawing personal impressions from comparisons with rigid fork bikes. I like the consistency in geometry of rigids, that to me is the primary in "stability" -- no dive, no change in head tube angle when braking or going over a drop, you know what to expect, no change in trail is how they're calling it but i guarantee most every rider out there that has a telescoping fork doesn't know what Trail is and what it *feels* like. They do know how a bike's BB gets lower at full compression, it gets twitchier, and how it sucks to have the fork fully compressed when it *should* be in the middle of its travel soaking up whatever the ground has to offer. With a telescoping fork on a hardtail at least you can lay off the front brake and only use the rear so the fork can get all the travel. If this linkage fork can keep the steering geometry relatively consistent with the designed frame geometry then I really think it will change how people ride with a suspension fork.

Reading James Huang's review of actually getting to ride the fork and testing it over various trail types and getting back on a telescoping fork was pretty neat to read:
https://cyclingtips.com/2018/10/trust-performance-message-fork-review/

Being able to rail corners faster and with more control because the fork is adapting to the terrain...but maybe i'm totally soaking up the marketing hype. Of course i'll never buy one though.
 
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