Bicycles

Radical suspension fork is a Message to mountain bikers

Radical suspension fork is a M...
The Message was officially unveiled this week
The Message was officially unveiled this week
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The Message is said to have less stiction than a regular fork
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The Message is said to have less stiction than a regular fork
The Message is claimed to dive less under braking than a traditional fork
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The Message is claimed to dive less under braking than a traditional fork
The Message was officially unveiled this week
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The Message was officially unveiled this week
Setting the Message up simply involves adjusting the pressure of the two air springs to the weight of the rider
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Setting the Message up simply involves adjusting the pressure of the two air springs to the weight of the rider
The one model of the Message is compatible with both 27.5- and 29-inch-wheeled bikes with thru axles
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The one model of the Message is compatible with both 27.5- and 29-inch-wheeled bikes with thru axles

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.

The one model of the Message is compatible with both 27.5- and 29-inch-wheeled bikes with thru axles
The one model of the Message is compatible with both 27.5- and 29-inch-wheeled bikes with thru axles

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

Introducing The Message from Trust Performance

12 comments
christopher
LOL - it looks different, so they can make up as much bogus hokum as they like for their marketing PR, and folks without good spacial and physics understanding won't see through it.
PaleDale
So they are heavier than normal forks and cost 3 times as much. Yep, I'll hold off and if the uptake is good the price will drop and then I *might* think about a set. Price needs to be < USD$800
Nik
Very inefficient design. The two upper, trailing struts are redundant, and do nothing. The same effect could be achieved with the axle fixed to the end of the first link, starting at the forks, and replace the gas unit with rubber in compression. The variation in springing could be provided by multiple pivot points on the trailing strut, or an adjustable mounting for the rubber, to vary compression. Rubber provides its own damping. This would require fewer components to make and to wear out, less weight, and a significant reduction in cost, making it a more attractive sale item. KISS! is the engineers motto. [Keep It Simple, Stupid!]
Bob Stuart
There is no illustration to assess the anti-dive performance, and no range of travel mentioned. Is the springing progressive, or does it hit a stop? What is the range of frequencies obtained? Is everyone in such a hurry that only half-baked ideas get to market? And why does this input panel keep going away?
Paul Muad'Dib
It looks like it doesn’t have very much travel.
Expanded Viewpoint
Not much of a video on ANY level! Is it supposed to inspire us to buy one? Not me. Is it supposed to dazzle us with the brilliance of the design? Not me. Is it supposed to show us how it actually works? I must have missed that part, but I'm not going to watch it again as the price is several times more than it's worth.
Username
Utterly useless video. This leads me to conclude that they don't really have convincing information to disseminate.
ljaques
It doesn't dive because the total travel is only 30% of a telescoping fork? Does anyone else find the price tag + the company name produce a considerable amount of cognitive dissonance? Does anyone doubt a steep price on the 250 hour service call?
JasonCornish
Been done. Grivin/Pro Flex in the 90s had linkage fork with same claims. Was heavy and fragile...but it looked cool. History repeats LOL.
Towerman
fugly, it just doesn;t look right, i'd put the old roxshox mag 20 on before this thing