Although most mountain bikers seem to be happy with their telescopic forks, over the years we've seen numerous attempts at supposedly-better linkage-based front suspension systems. A recent and particularly interesting example is the Message, a 130-mm trailing multi-link fork from Salt Lake City's Trust Performance.
One of the big selling features of linkage forks is the fact that unlike telescopic forks, they compress very little upon hard braking. This means that the geometry of the bike doesn't change, so it still handles the same, plus the suspension still has room to soak up bumps during the braking process.
That claim is likewise made for the Message, plus it's said to have less stiction than a regular fork, as the wheel axle is simultaneously able to move both up and away from obstacles – on a telescopic fork, because the axle can only move up, the stanchions may stick against the inside of the lowers as the wheel is forced back upon hitting obstacles.
What all this reportedly means is that the Message's suspension is activated more easily, responding more readily to bumps on the trail. Other reported advantages over telescopic forks include better traction when cornering, more predictable steering, and less likelihood of bottoming out when taking big hits.
Setting it up simply involves adjusting the pressure of the two air springs to the weight of the rider. Users can then switch between three compression settings – Firm, Mid and Open.
As far as the main specs go, the Message's chassis, steerer tube and linkages are all made from carbon fiber, with the whole setup tipping the scales at 1,980 g (4.4 lb). The one model is compatible with both 27.5- and 29-inch-wheeled bikes with thru axles, and should be able to go for 250 hours of use between service intervals.
Announced this Thursday, the Message is priced at US$2,700, and will initially be made in a first-come-first-served batch of 2,500.
It can be seen in use, in the video below.
Source: Trust Performance
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