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  • Trust Performance Message Trailing Multi-Link Suspension Boost Fork
  • Trust Performance Message Trailing Multi-Link Suspension Boost Fork Detail
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  • Trust Performance Message Trailing Multi-Link Suspension Boost Fork Detail
  • Trust Performance Message Trailing Multi-Link Suspension Boost Fork Detail
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Trust PerformanceMessage Trailing Multi-Link Suspension Boost Fork
$1,975.00

Item # TSR0001

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Item # TSR0001
Description

Message Boost Fork

The Message Boost Fork from Trust Performance doesn't look like any other suspension fork you've seen before. That's because it's designed to ride like no other fork you've ridden before. It's not just different for difference's sake though, it's truly designed to improve your ride. Truth be told, telescoping technology has reached its zenith and if suspension gains were to be made to the front end of the bike, a linkage fork design is necessary. Sure, linkage forks are nothing new, we've seen them on the front of motorcycles before and even some mountain bike designs have dabbled with some linkage forks over the decades. Those of us who have been in the sport for a while might have memories of forks harkening back to those of AMP Research and Pro-Flex. Those mountain bike designs never carried on for more than a few seasons, but the Message has already had an indelible impact on the future of suspension forks that we think will shape the industry going forward.

That's a big claim, and we'd typically shy away from such sweeping generalizations for new products, but we're confident in the Message for multiple reasons. For one, technology has certainly advanced since those early forks and air springs and dampers are in a completely different league compared to the elastomers and coil springs and the primitive damping from back in the day. Materials have evolved, too, and what were once noodly, heavy units have been replaced with carbon fiber, dropping some serious grams while elevating stiffness. Lastly, Trust Performance consists of a crew that's the mountain bike equivalent of a Super Group band that's created quite the buzz in the industry.

Trust's Technical Director and Founder is no other than Dave Weagle, who has designed and patented some of the most lauded suspension platforms on the market including DW-Link, Split-Pivot, and DELTA. His understanding of suspension kinematics is peerless, and applying his expertise towards the front of the bike is certainly going to transform pre-conceived notions about fork designs. Bringing carbon fiber expertise to the fold is Co-founder and President Jason Schiers. Schiers founded ENVE Composites and legitimized carbon wheels and components for mountain bikes proving that they were lighter, stiffer, and more durable than their aluminum equivalents. Last up is fellow Co-founder and CEO Hap Seliga. Hap is one of 3 founders of Competitive Cyclist (which is why our logo has those 3 dots, by the way) and helped it grow into the premium online bike retailer that it is today.

Now with the history and introductions out of the way, let's talk about the Message. While there's nothing inherently wrong with a telescoping fork, Trust knew it could build a better one. Increased bushing overlap and better seals on modern forks are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they improve stiffness and prolong service life but it comes at the expense of increased friction. Even with lower drag seals and special stanchion coatings that can make a telescoping fork feel smooth, it can't hold a candle to the reduced breakaway force achieved by a linkage design that pivots on bearings. Trust tested a handful of premium forks on the market and the average force needed to move the stanchions, sans a spring, was around 50 pounds. The best it found was a broken-in and factory tuned version that required 21 pounds of force to initiate movement. The Message takes all of 2 pounds. Its small bump compliance is something you appreciate right away and you'll really notice it when hopping back on more traditional designs. Take the rear shock off of your bike and cycle the suspension. You know that smoothness that comes from a linkage design that pivots on bearings? That’s exactly what you get with the Message's stroke.

The other area of refinement allowed with a linkage design is its ability to choose the axle's placement and its travel path. Almost every fork currently on the market uses a leading axle design which works okay, however, it's not ideal. A telescoping fork operates much like a lever when this leading axle hits an object and while most of the force goes up and is mitigated by the spring and damper, some of the force goes rearward too. This places a binding force on the upper legs and bushing that reduces its sensitivity. Trust's design places the axle further back allowing the fork to gobble up rock gardens, roots, and braking bumps better. Think of the axle placement like a shopping cart caster, the wheels always want to self-correct to a position that is behind the pivot, or in this case the steerer tube, relative to the direction of movement. To put it another way, the load is pulling the wheel forward and you can see how adding some pedaling force behind this helps the front wheel claw up and over technical trail furniture and helps keep the wheel glued to the singletrack and tracking through chunder. Another scenario to imagine is pushing a loaded wheelbarrow into a curb versus pulling it behind you. It's much easier to pull it up and over than pushing through the abrupt stop you get as the wheel makes contact. Its slightly rearward wheelpath and increased fore and aft stiffness relative to traditional designs further eases this initiation and allows the front end to follow trail contours more efficiently.

The other notable advantage of a linkage system is how it keeps the bike's geometry better intact throughout its travel. As a telescoping fork goes through its stroke, the head tube angle steepens and the wheelbase and trail decrease. On the Message, those measurements are more consistent from the top of the stroke through deep in its travel, leading to, well, a more consistent ride with less brake dive and better stability everywhere. When combined with the newer generation trail geometry, the thought of going over the bars is a distant memory. Those days of preserving the bike's intended geo by adding tons of air pressure to the fork or filling it up with a bunch of volume reducers in an attempt to keep the fork higher in its travel, often compromising performance, are also long gone.

The fork has 130mm of total travel, 120mm of that is vertical with the balance being made up with the slightly rearward movement, and it's so smooth, active, and supple that you'll swear its more. On our first test ride, we actually pulled over to check the tire's air as we were almost certain we were losing pressure. Thanks to its advanced carbon construction, the fork doesn't sacrifice lateral or torsional stiffness to traditional forks, and Trust instead focused on building in structural support from its carbon construction as it doesn't rely on its axle or a traditional arch for stiffness.

One really neat feature of the fork is that it houses its sliding bits under the hood so to speak, keeping seals and such out of harm's way from rocks and other trail debris. Additionally, this bumps up the service intervals significantly. Whereas a typical fork recommends servicing every 50 hours, the Message extends that to 250 hours. The fork has 180mm native rotor post-mount with clearance for 203mm versions with adapters. Compression is adjustable with a 3-position toggle offering a lockout, a firm damping setting, and wide open. The requisite rebound damping adjustment is also present, allowing you to dial in the Message for your weight, riding style, and terrain. It has clearance for standard 29-inch tire fare as well as supporting 27.5+.

  • A linkage fork that changes the mountain bike landscape
  • 130mm of stiction-free travel and Boost-spaced axles
  • Design improves tracking and small-bump compliance
  • Carbon construction reduces weight and boosts stiffness
  • Air spring and rebound adjustment offers a range of tuning
  • The damper offers an Open, Medium, and Lock Out setting
  • Designed for 29, 27.5+, and 27.5in trail bikes
  • Trust Performance was founded by three of the industry's most revolutionary titans
Tech Specs
Tech Specs
⚠️ WARNING
This product can expose you to chemicals including Benzene, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
Travel
130mm
Lower Material
Carbon
Crown Material
Carbon
Wheel Size
29, 27.5+, 27.5
Steer Tube Diameter
1-1/8 - 1.5in tapered
Spring Type
Air
Damper
Trust in-house design
Adjustability
3-position compression, air spring, rebound
Lockout
yes
Axle
15mm Boost
Max Rotor Size
203mm
Brake Compatibility
Post-Mount disc
Rotor Compatibility
180mm native
Recommended Use
trail
Manufacturer Warranty
2 years

Reviews & Community

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The Fork You Didn't Know You Wanted

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I recently demoed a hightower with the Trust fork and I must admit I was impressed by the way it preforms. Going into the demo I had little expectations and to be honest was unsure that it would offer much of a different ride from a traditional fork. While this new tech is not going to completely replace a telescoping fork right now it is a major advancement in the industry for riders with trail or downcountry bikes. On technical climbs, rooty/rocky trails and corners this thing is pretty incredible. Especially in corners this fork comes alive. You can really maintain speed and lay into turns with much more speed than a traditional fork. The biggest downfall I noticed was on steep drops. Jumps were fine (you do need to land a little nose heavy) but on drops the rider really feels much more of the impact than a traditional fork.

If you are considering adding one of these guys to your bike I would consider riding one first. It is definitely not a solution to some of the ailments of the traditional fork but it is a pretty amazing piece of technical innovation for the right user.

Big improvement in certain ways!

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

When you first get on this thing, likely in a parking lot, it's going to feel weird. Bouncing up and down on the suspension will feel stiff, and maybe even a little unpleasant, but then you'll ride it over a curb and you'll start to see the advantages. Hitting the curb head-on, even without lifting on the bars at all, is a remarkably smooth experience, much nicer than with a traditional telescopic fork.

Amazingly one of the places that you're going to notice the biggest improvements is in technical climbing. The front wheel seems to just hover over obstacles. Sections that used to be very physical will become smooth and easy because you don't need to throw the front end around to get over rocks and roots. Just keep a smooth cadence going and you'll float over objects that would have thrown you on a telescopic fork.

Once you start heading downhill you're likely going to have to adapt your style a little bit to get the most out of the fork. You'll want to shift your weight forward of where you normally descend and put some more weight on the bars. If you do this you'll find that your front end grips like it never has before. Seriously the difference in grip is crazy for two reasons. One this fork does a much better job of keeping steady pressure on the front tire and two you don't get any brake dive so your head angle stays the same under braking (and during big hits as well). These two things mean that your front end has more consistent forces on it and gives a more reliable level of grip suitable railing high-speed turns. Now part of the way it accomplishes this is by staying higher in the travel which means that the hits are going to feel a bit harsher and the overall performance is less playful, so this definitely isn't outright better than telescopic forks.

The way I like to look at it is that the Trust Message was built to improve over telescopic forks in terms of stability, small bump compliance, and grip. It is wildly successful in these areas but it does sacrifice a little bit in comfort and playfulness. So depending on your riding style and the bike you're pairing it with it could either be a massive improvement or a moderate disappointment.

Since I'm sure you're all wondering about the weight, it comes in between a Fox 34 and 36.

Bikes I would recommend for this fork:

Pivot Trail 429
Yeti SB100

The concept is rock solid

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

It makes sense that a linkage-driven fork would be superior to a telescopic fork. When you can manipulate axle path and leverage curves, it opens up a new world of possibilities. I'll bet that in 10 years, we'll all be riding variations/knock-offs of this fork.

Would I buy one today? It's hard to say.

I rode the Message on an SB100 up in Park City on a variety of trails ranging from smooth and bermed, to straight and chunky. My impressions? The Message is not plush, or springy. It was almost a little bit of a buzz-kill on the flow trails. This fork absolutely glues the front end onto the trail. I had a hard time popping the front end around. When I started to push it, I felt the back end lifting over the small rises in the trail, but the front end clung onto the ground like a magnet. It also totally eliminated the diving sensation that you get with a traditional fork (you won't get what I'm talking about until you ride one of these.) Your bike's geometry remains totally consistent throughout the stroke, which is remarkably confidence-inspiring. It really is VERY impressive.

My criticisms? Aside from the weight and price, which both give me pause, I think that the front end is too stiff. Even though the fork ate up small bumps, I felt like the chassis transferred too much buzz into the cockpit. I think that softening the front end up just a bit would do wonders. It also didn't like the bigger hits. I think that this fork's party piece is making your 120-140mm bike fast and consistent.

So, would I buy one? On the right bike, maybe. It's a remarkable piece of engineering, and I can't wait to see what the next iteration looks like.

Reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you want to speak in detail!

would this work on a Santa Cruz Highball
Im currently running a fox32 110

Hi Brad,



It is possible, but it is technically too much travel. The message is 130mm and the Highball is designed for 100 to 120mm of travel fork

Hey Brad. I'll bet it would fit. I have an OPEN ONE+, designed for 100-120mm travel, 44-46mm offset. I'm running 27.5 x 2.8".



I wrote Trust, and Matt Schurtz replied,



"For 29er applications (or 27.5+) we suggest that it replaces a range of 110mm of travel through 140mm of travel. The offset changes as you go through the travel of the fork so it ranges anywhere from 50mm to 20mm. This allows your head angle to stay the same and your handling characteristics to actual increase in stability as the Message gets deeper into the travel. I think the message would be a great application for your Open One+. 27.7x2.8’s will work just fine, but 3.0’s would be too big".

5 ⭐️ for innovation!

    This is the most initiative product to come out of the MTB industry in decades. The DW link rear suspension is among the best designed rear suspensions to date. If Dave did as good a job with the Trust fork as the with the DW link rear suspension, there is definitely a new contender in town! The big question for me is how the dampening, adjustability, reliability and serviceability will pan out. Now where am I going to come up with 3 grand... 🤔

    You're giving a 5 star review to a product you've never used? Sounds legit.

    Cutting the steer tube would be nerve racking

    Because we all need more moving parts to service, right. 🙈

    It’s not really helpful to write a review when you’ve never used the product.