Shout Trailing Multi-Link Suspension Boost Fork
In the event that you didn't quite get the message when the first linkage fork was announced by Trust Performance last year, the brand is ready to shout it loud with its new longer-travel multi-link fork that blasts beyond its predecessor, challenging bigger and beefier terrain than the Message could tackle, and offering traction, on traction, on traction, through the roughest, rowdiest trails, and the most blown-out corners packed with brake bumps. The Shout Trailing Multi-Link Suspension Boost Fork is built with a similar aesthetic to the Message fork that blew minds with its unique linkage design, but it shifts away from its sibling with deliberate changes to optimize this beast for your long-travel machine. It packs in a lofty 178mm of plush contour travel to gobble up the deepest roots and rocks, and boost doubles for days — all with less stiction, more stiffness, and better tracking than you'll find from a telescopic fork. And while we can boast the fork's ability to gobble up rock gardens, we'd be remiss to skip over the forks impeccable climbing capabilities, but don't worry—Trust thought of that too with new sag point firm mode that eats up rocks and roots, even on the uphill. This enduro (or aggressive trail) fork is built to fit 29er or 27.5+ bikes that ask for a 160-180mm standard telescopic fork. For frames built around non-plus 27.5in wheels, the Shout replaces 160-170mm of telescopic travel.
We know, gimmicky bike trends seem to hit our industry with the speed and frequency of bullets from a Gatling gun. It’s easy to see new technology and write it off as another piece of carbon that will be out of date in a year — but we'd urge you to take a different approach to Trust's suspension design, and here's why: When diving into the recent history of mountain bike technology, the past decade’s focus on frame design has taken precedence over all else, and one area in which we've constantly seen tinkering is in rear suspension design. With platforms like DW-Link, DELTA Link, and VPP, linkage designs have propelled rear suspension so far forward that those of us from older generations are blown away by the stability our new rides provide — the lack of pedal-bob, and the all-out efficiency that near matches hard tails keep riders pushing harder and faster than before — but while these changes were shifting the rear ends of our bikes into the superbike realm, the front has remained largely unchanged. What this leaves us with is a fork design that we've stuck with for some time, and has made improvements, but we think it might be worth taking a different look at the way the front end works, and considering the benefits we might find from different applications.
Trust's Founder and Technical Director 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.
And now that we've gotten through the history lesson, lets dive into the technology of the Shout, and multi-link front suspension. While there's nothing inherently wrong with a telescoping fork, Trust knew that there was room for progress on the way we think about front suspension. Increased bushing overlap and better seals on modern suspension 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 Shout 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 Shout'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 steer 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 Shout, 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. This translates to a slight shift in riding position which might feel a little foreign at first, as you can push your upper body further forward than before, trusting that the fork will work through the brake bumps and corners with a smoother ride, and stiffer confidence than you’ve ever felt on a traditional fork.
Shout differentiates itself from the Message not only in its travel growth, but it also features a three-way mode adjust that enables on-the-fly adjustments — firm, medium, and open — and while this might seem familiar to you if you've spent much time observing the Message, it adds in an industry first — a sag-point firm mode, which enables 20% of the fork's suspension before lockout engages. This is critical for two reasons —firstly, rarely do our climbing trails point skywards without a single flat or downhill section that offers us much needed respite on the way up, and secondly often technical climbs are littered with rough square-edge bumps that require a little forgiveness. Without the 20% sag, a fork feels fully rigid and jarring when you knock into a rock section mid climb, but the Shout is built to soak that up, and bounce right back to a stiff feel that doesn't waste your power on the way to the summit.
When it came to the Message, we rarely heard complaints on handling through rough sections of trail, but very occasionally, an aggressive rider would take the 130mm fork into situations that question the sum of its numbers. In the event that a rider took the fork in a drop-to-flat scenario, the linkage suspension wasn't as quick to actuate as some might prefer, so we asked Trust how this was being addressed with the longer travel fork that's intentions are steered much more towards flow trails, bike park, tables, and drops. As the Message was intended for shorter travel rides, it wasn't built with endless drops in mind, but the Shout changes the geometry of the linkage, with longer links at the bottom to change the trail of the bike, enabling suspension to be actuated easily regardless of where the wheel lands. This is further paired with a new damper tune that's optimized for bigger hits, keeping things silky smooth in rowdy conditions.
The fork is completed with a sleek, one-piece carbon exterior that's laid up meticulously in Trust's own factory in Taichung. This carbon exterior houses the fork's 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 Shout extends that to 250 hours. The fork has 180mm native rotor post-mount with clearance for 203mm versions with adapters. While compression can be adjusted with the three-position toggle we mentioned before, you can further adjust rebound and low-speed-compression with quick turns of an allen key on two bolts that are easily accessed through ports on the carbon exterior. The requisite rebound damping adjustment is also present, allowing you to dial in the Shout for your weight, riding style, and terrain. It has clearance for standard 27.5in through 29in hoops, and tires up to 2.8in. Finally — setup is made even easier than you'll find on telescoping forks that require full blown algorithms to calculate. Dave Weagle recommends starting by setting shock pressure identical to your weight (at a 1:1 ratio), and using the sag indicator on the non-driveside to start out at 20% sag in open mode.
- Trust's Shout progresses fork technology to new, loftier realms
- 178mm of stiction-free travel and Boost-spaced axles
- Design improves tracking and small-bump compliance
- Fist in industry Sag Point Firm mode enables 20% of sag when climbing
- Carbon construction reduces weight and boosts stiffness
- The damper offers an Open, Medium, and Firm settings
- Easily adjust rebound and compression with allen keys
- Trust was founded by 3 of the industry's most revolutionary titans
- Axle to crown height of 580mm replaces forks +/- 20mm of 580
- Designed for 29, 27.5+ bikes with 160 - 180mm of travel, or 27.5in bikes with 160 - 170mm of travel