Review | Judgement Day For The Trust Message Multi-Link Suspension Fork

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The Trust Message is undeniably strange compared to anything we’re used to seeing on the front of a mountain bike.

Its originators are three bike industry heavyweights: Dave Weagle, rear suspension designer extraordinaire; Jason Schiers, founder of EDGE (now ENVE) Composites, and Hap Seliga, co-founder of Competitive Cyclist.

In particular, I’ve previously been impressed by riding the DW-Link Weagle begat, and was wondering if he’d do the same for forks. If you go read Trust Performance’s website, they talk about how good and different it is to anything before, going so far as to dub this “The Trust Effect”. Which they mostly talk about in terms of how much faster and more confident it’s definitely, for sure, going to make you.

The way they talk about it seems almost…religious.

trust performance message linkage fork
Do you Trust us?

In The Beginning

Finish quality is high. The matt carbon and linkage shapes have a kind of cyber-crab aesthetic, which has proven divisive amongst friends. I found any aesthetic shock wore off after a few weeks riding it.

Most setup was covered in the first ride review. One thing I omitted in that earlier piece was the torque cap adapters. Torque caps themselves are of the devil, because they’ve led to fiddly, hub guzzling dropouts. Trust has a neat solution in the form of bolt in crescents that take up all that redundant space, should you happen to be running one of the many non-torque capped front hubs out there. Blessed be.

trust performance message linkage fork
The carbon one-piece steerer tube and uppers are mighty beefy.

While the Message does come with a highly complete cabling kit, giving many options for hose routing, the plastic routing components were greasy plastic that didn’t stick well to the provided adhesive tape. That got frustrating enough that I slapped some anti-rub stickers on the fork and called it done.

Will It Bend?

On the first ride article, someone asked if it was binding on off camber stuff. I did a quick test, turning the bike upside down and deflecting a 29er wheel by gripping the top and bottom. Even applying that leverage, both linkages still moved smoothy. So no, it doesn’t bind.

Unlike a RockShox RS1, where the lowers can move separately and make it annoying to insert the axle, dual air springs on the Message keep axle holes aligned. Beyond Trust Performance stating that you absolutely MUST check the axle is tightened to 17Nm before every ride, popping a wheel in or out is no more difficult than with any other fork.

Overall, the Trust Message has a high quality finish and feels solid.

trust performance message linkage fork
The linkage design compresses two little air shocks – one inside each leg.

Twelve Score & Ten

While Trust doesn’t promise life eternal, it does state a Methusalean 250 hour service interval, which is nearly 1.5 weeks of continuous ride time. Obviously, only having it for a month, I did not achieve that. I’m not a miracle worker.

I’ve been asked many times whether the pivots are holding up to UK weather. A month of rain, filth, grit and bike washing have resulted in no apparent crunch. Let’s skip to the end of the test and open one up, eh?



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Review Info

Brand:Trust Performance
Product:The Message
Price:$2,700 USD
Tested:by David Hayward for 1 month

Comments (25)

    Ouch! I so wanted this fork to be good… thanks for an honest review.

    It wouldn’t look out of place on the Mount Vision

    I too wanted the Trust Message fork to be the holy grail of front suspension.. but this review sounds eerily too familiar to lacemine29s… At this price the Trust fork cannot work as good as a telescopic fork, but it must be at least twice as good.

    But it goes so well with that Evil… Gopping and Gopping-er.

    seems like it might be the way of the future… but not the near future let alone present. good to see people thinking outside of the box though

    A big fat told you so to all the believers.

    I’m sure a clever fella like Dave Weagle can fix this; Trust 2.0 will be better I’m sure. But even if I had the cash, it’s just too ugly to go on any bike I ever own.

    sudden oversteer, wheel flopping into, that reminds me of the whyte prst 1 , it also had a linkage type suspension and was equally scary to ride.

    That’s a lotta cash for smooth berms 0.0

    I have the E18 linkage fork and they are excellent. I’ve only had time to roughly set them up but they just work. Small bump is really good even though they aren’t fully bedded in (assuming the bushes require this) and when braking the fork feels like a rigid fork, you know what the wheel is doing in a more Intuitive way than my 36 with ACS 3 coil kit and if you brake over bumps and in corners the fork really shows what it can do.

    It’s a pity this doesn’t seem to match the hype.

    Have you spoken to Trust to get their comments on your findings?

    Appreciate the honest review, which seems to match a few other reviewers experiences quite well.

    Eesh. That doesn’t sound like an enjoyable test period at all. Did you manage to reach full travel over the period or was it maxing out at 80% shown on the indicator in the photos?
    Appreciate the honest review.

    Yes, I did occasionally get it to 100% travel. The best settings I found meant it consistently used 80% on rougher trails.

    The Evil Offering is meant for a 140/150/160 fork. Not 130 – 140. Most are running it with 150, if the Offering forum members are a good sample to go by.

    Would be interesting to see E18 test in some competent hands as well…


    Yeah, found that one, but no promissed follow up…


    @IvanMTB as soon as we get our test E18 fork we’ll get testing! Apparently high demand has delayed availability and we’re now hoping to receive it in April.

    Looks similar I know, but that’s an Evil Following MB frame, not an offering… The dark olive colour gives it away, and the rear shock is a little shorter.

    Anyway… Sad, mixed feelings about this review. Kinda glad that I no longer have any real desire to try it for myself, but at the same time I really wanted it to be the holy grail to aspire to! A big missed opportunity I guess…

    Shame that it sounds like the damper tech is lagging behind the chassis. Wonder if Push or similar suspension tuners have managed to get their hands on one yet and if they’ve managed to release the potential?

    Trust has a neat solution in the form of bolt in crescents that take up all that redundant space, should you happen to be running one of the many non-torque capped front hubs out there

    Yeah I fixed that on my pikes with 2 self adhesive 15mm id plastic washers for about 10p and just cut out a channel in the bottom.

    Seems the curse of the AMP linkage fork lives on in this century……..I had the un-pleasure of piloting an AMP Linkage fork for a season, and never could get it to work so where the initial travel response wasn’t sacrificed for big hit stuff, etc…..then, once those linkage pivots start to wear – even just a little, the steering precision when new (which was much better than a telescopic fork) goes away…..There’s a reason why the telescopic fork is still with us today, much like the wheel is still the wheel….its a design that just plain works.

    I had a demo ride on the trust forks yesterday. I agree mostly with the review although I didn’t get to ride anything remotely rocky aside from a few high speed braking bumps; most fast flowing hard pack.
    I particularly liked the absence of brake diving, feedback was good particularly through fast corners giving a feeling of trust (pun not intended). They felt firm with none of the plushness I’m used to from a normal telescopic fork, as a BMXer that wasn’t an issue at all.
    One think I didn’t like and feel it could present a fatigue issue on longer rides related to the firmess and feedback. Whilst they felt great on the 3 mile demo loop, I imagine 10 loops would get more tiresome than a standard fork.
    I’d love to spend more with them but at £2500 that’s a damn expensive experiment and one only a dentist could probably justify.

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