What’s up with that fork???
The Trust Shout Fork has a linkage so that the fork’s offset can be reduced through its travel. This is accomplished by having a curved axel path that brings the front wheel back towards the bottom bracket of the bike. A traditional telescoping fork’s axel would come straight up to the head tube, but the Shout fork comes up and rearwards through its travel.
A big part of why your bike handles the way it does is due to the mechanical trail. The mechanical trail is the difference between a line that goes straight down from the head tube all the way to the earth and then a plumb bob dropped through your front axel. As the mechanical trail gets bigger, the bike handles with more stability. As it gets shorter, the bike is more nimble- however it’s also more twitchy and nervous with that shorter trail.
What the linkage forks do is bring the front axel back which reduces the offset, and because that’s an inverse relationship, reduced offset increases the trail measurement. As your bike cycles through the travel, your head tube angle gets quite a bit steeper, so with a fork like the Shout, the travel stays very consistent– whereas with a telescoping fork your trail has to get significantly reduced.
I did some quick geometry based around my bike, and with the stock 160 fork bottomed out all the way at 0 mls of travel, the actual trail gets shrunk from around 114 to around 60, so you’re seeing about a 50 percent reduction in stability in the front end of a bike like this when it’s bottomed out.
I’m curious: What kind of travel do you want for the trails that you ride???
I’ve already been riding the Shout on my Mojo HD5 (you can see the video about that bike here). That’s a 27.5″ bike and it’s designed around a fairly short fork, a 170 trail 27.5″ fork. The Shout fork has more travel than that and it fits a 29″ wheel, so that means it’s a lot taller than the fork the HD5 was intended to be used with. I really liked that set up at Whistler bike park, where I was able to hit some big jumps I hadn’t hit in over a decade with no problem. We also went and rode some of the tighter trails in the valley with long climbs up, and not a super fast down, and I found myself battling the bike a little bit. Now, that’s not a detriment to the Shout fork. That fork works great but my bike was simply designed for a smaller fork and the bigger fork slackened out my seat tube angle and brought the handlebars up really high. So, I had an idea and I threw the Shout fork on my Ripmo AF. When I did that there were three things about the bike that definitely improved.
- The actual seated position of the bike was better. The slightly taller handlebar height felt really good.
- While the bottom bracket height felt quite a bit higher at top out, on bigger bottom outs, the Shout fork isn’t just going up towards the head tube, it’s swinging back quite a bit, so a lot of that travel isn’t just dropping the front end so I noticed way more pedal clearance at bottom out and at 50 percent of the travel than with my shorter travel telescoping fork.
- Another spot I really like this fork is cornering. Yes, it’s taller than the stock fork and that slackens the bike out quite a bit. I can push into the bike for a much harder pump than I can with a telescoping fork. It’s less likely to shoot the fork off the trail. A big part of that is because there is simply more traction available with a design like this than a telescoping fork can really offer.
Overall, I like the Shout best on my Ripmo AF. On a long travel 29er I think the Shout is a worthy consideration. I like the way this fork feels and I feel like it has more small bump sensitivity than the Message which makes sense given the amount of sag you’re going to run is way more than on a shorter travel fork, but I do think the axel path also contributes to this. When I’m really pushing it, I have a lot more confidence and stability with this set up than I did with my regular telescoping fork.