Words by Nic Hall; Photos by Rob Aseltine
Trust Performance is doubling down on their efforts with the release of their brand new Shout fork. Linkage forks aren’t necessarily new, but it seems they have never been as visible in the mountain bike space as they are right now. While most riders (including us) have dismissed them as an ugly and unnecessary fix to a design that ‘ain’t broke,’ we’ve all been secretly curious as to how they feel on the trail. Our opportunity arose a couple months back. We got a call from Trust Performance and were honored with an invite to a small and secretive media camp to see something new. Something their current and future fans have been waiting for— a longer travel version of their trailing multi-link suspension. Just last year, Trust released their 130mm unit, called the Message. It was a fork that piqued the interest of many riders, ourselves included, but the shorter travel kept it out of our wheelhouse. Now with the Shout, we have our chance.
I arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah and was taken over to the Trust headquarters for a quick introduction to the brand’s history and their unique design philosophy. They have a dedicated staff of core individuals that believe they are redefining the world of front suspension. Trust isn’t just making big claims, they’ve got decades of experience behind them and a venerable suspension guru in their back pocket – Dave Weagle.
Dave is one of three founders at Trust and if you haven’t heard his name then you’re not looking at very many chainstays. Partnering with Dave, is Hap Seliga and Jason Schiers. Hap co-founded Competitive Cyclist many years ago and Jason founded Enve Composites. Hap brings sales and business experience while Jason adds a wealth of knowledge in the carbon fiber engineering department.
Trust’s products are designed to address some of the inherent drawbacks of a telescoping fork, mainly the changing trail measurement, brake dive, decreased stability under compression and stiction to name a few.
After some handshakes and hellos, Trust walked us through some of their early prototypes. We could see the evolution, tuning and conceptualization in these heavily abused test mules. The raw CNC’d aluminum and carbon tubes were a far cry from the finished product we were being shown, but it was great to see the evolution of testing in their showroom. At the end of the prototype lineup sat the finished product— 1 of 8 reportedly in existence. The new Shout fork is 178mm of long travel carbon wizardry.
After the unveiling we walked back to the warehouse where several stripped dampers were laid out. This is the part where the smart guys try to explain the magic behind the madness of Dave Weagle’s design to a group of mountain bike journalists. The new damper offers a 100% damped travel stroke with almost zero potential for cavitation. The damper is unique, as it has an open shaft that allows for rapid cooling, low diameter stanchion shafts to nearly eliminate stiction, and offers 250 hour service intervals.
After an overload of technical info surrounding axle path, rate curves, compression tuning and platform shim stacks, it was time for a beer. We walked down the street to a local brewery and had a few beers while we talked shop a bit more. We thought the best way to set up some expectations for the new fork was to ride the short travel sibling, the Message for an evening pedal. After beers and snacks we headed up to Park City for quick rip.
One ride is not even close to enough time to tell you about the Message, but I liked it enough to ask for a long-term review, which we have been working on since. That being said, my initial thoughts were how well the fork handled out of the saddle efforts and how composed it was for a short travel fork. It quickly set my expectations pretty high for what the Shout could offer. We were scheduled for a full day of laps at Deer Valley Bike Park and we couldn’t wait.