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Trust Performance Shout Fork

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Unlike Anything Else - Trust Shout Linkage Fork Reviewed

How does this wild, long-travel alternative to traditional front suspension stack up on the trails? It's time to find out!

Rating: Vital Review

With the promise of both turning heads and delivering a better ride experience, the latest trailing multi-link front suspension platform from Trust Performance is designed for aggressive trail and enduro mountain bikes. Join Zach Petersen, a rider known for his speed on a bike and the Trail Peek Youtube channel, for a straight-shooter's perspective on the unique design. Listen in as he discusses and demonstrates the fork's major strengths, weaknesses, and gives you a bottom line.

Trust Shout Highlights

  • Design: Trailing multi-link front suspension
  • Construction: Full carbon chassis, steerer tube and linkages with aluminum pivots
  • Travel: 178mm contour travel
  • Wheel Size: Fits 29” / 27.5+ / and 27.5” wheel sizes
  • Tire Clearance: 29”x 2.6” (762 x 66) max or 27.5” x 2.8” (744 x 78) max
  • Rotor Size: Direct-mount 180mm rotor (with adapter: 203mm)
  • Suggested Bikes: 29” aggressive trail and enduro bikes designed for 160-180mm telescopic travel; 27.5” aggressive trail and enduro bikes designed for 160-170mm telescopic forks
  • Damper Technology: Trust engineered twin-tube, thru-shaft damper
  • Adjustments: External rebound adjustment; 3-way compression adjust (Open, Mid, Firm) with adjustable low-speed compression on mid-mode and open-mode settings.
  • Hub Spacing: 15x110mm BOOST thru-axle standard or with “torque caps”
  • Axle-to-Crown: 580mm
  • Steerer Tube: Tapered
  • Weight: 2,170g (axle-in)
  • Price: $1,975 USD
"By employing a linkage system, Trust Performance suspension reap the benefits of a leverage ratio – something typically only found in rear suspension bikes."

The Shout includes a two-year warranty, lifetime bearing replacement, no-fault crash replacement program, and has a 250-hour service interval. For additional technical information, be sure to consult this launch feature.

Visit www.trustperformance.com for more details.

Vital MTB Rating: 3 Stars - Good


About The Reviewer

Zach Petersen - Age: 23 // Years Riding: 10 // Height: 5'9" (1.75m) // Weight: 145-pounds (65.8kg)

Zach cut his teeth figuring out how to ride on the unforgiving mining trails of Northern California. After watching Earthed 5, he decided to try out enduro racing and continues to seek out the most gravity-oriented events. When not racing he's smashing out big backcountry days in the Sierra Nevada, pushing dirt around the forest with a McLeod, and keeping the stoke high.

Video by Trail Peek

Rate review:

32 comments newest first

There's more useful information in a handful of these opinions than in a 1,000 miles of the "bad road" known as Pinkbike comments.
Thanks Vital!

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I'd like to chime in with my experience. I got one on loan to demo on my own bike since I'm local to them in Utah. No doubt it takes a few rides to get used to the fork! I had to adjust to riding more forward on the bike which is a part of what makes the fork work well. It wasn't until a very long day of muddy wet and cold rock riding that I had the breakthrough moment that I hadn't dabbed in hours of riding while buddies were slipping around.

After I removed the fork and went back to my Lyric 170 that I noticed how soft and un supportive my old fork was. I had spent a year of dialing in my compression and tokens and now it just wasn't the same. Of course, I tried firmer settings but then I lost the tracking I needed.

I eventually had to have one on my bike. -I did get a hookup- I'll admit that.

I'm a tiny human at 125lbs and wondered if this fork would be even better for bigger riders that struggle with fork flex. I usually like pretty light damping too. I've been diligent about leaving the damping at the recommended settings.

I took it to Virgin during Rampage and rode all the scary lines I've always ridden and just loved the action on Flying Monkey, and the steep drop filled lines of Old Rampage.

I'm an old school rider that jumps wheel high too often and hangs off the back too much. I've had to focus on landing nose heavy more often to avoid the harshness of slapping the front wheel down. It's been good for my technique! It's so awesome to just point the front wheel right into trail garbage and centerpunch landings.

I understand that there are drawbacks but I feel the upsides are greater and I'm surprised that more people aren't saying how mind blowing it is through the rough hacked up trails. I hear people praising it for this but to me it's a real standout quality. The cornering is indeed amazing. The dynamic offset keeps the front wheel slightly further ahead of you during deep compressions which keeps the steering slowed down a bit and helps stability. I think that bikes don't need to be so slack with a Trust fork. We've gone crazy slack to keep the front wheel way out there but we just have had no choice. If the head angle was a little bit steeper the harsh slap down effect would be reduced. The fork stays up in it's travel so well that the front wheel almost seems too far out- too slack.

The price, well it's $256 more than a Fox 40 factory. Seems fair for a full carbon chassis, bearings, recirculating thru shaft damper, etc.

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I appreciate that price wasn’t mentioned a single time in the review (unless I missed it). That’s usually a major focus point, especially when comparing to other forks.

That said, if I’m paying close to 2x what I’m paying for a top end Lyric or 36 I’d want more.

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I basically paid retail for a standard fork. You have to realize the number of these made vs Fox or RS as well as the complication of manufacturing it. It cost what it cost, worth it, you’d have to ride one. This is the least “parking lot” test fork going!

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I just got a shout a week ago and have been able to get only one ride in so far. I am a small suspension service shop in Denver, but we have to pay for these! That said, they are kind enough to offer a nice price, but still a lot of dough But I feel I can be honest. It was ridden on our hardest and most technical trail on the Denver front range, Dakota ridge.

My impression was, it was as claimed, in many regards to performance. Very precise steering, accurate and stable. The variable offset was noticeable and increased turning traction. At 135lb I do feel the compression damping needs to be backed off (was fully off for my ride) The Rebound was all the way off for most of the ride and at some point I set it to the recommended clicks and felt that was better for the chunky, albeit not super fast terrain. Climbing was, as Zach mentioned, better over some standard forks with its very lite damping in the 1st 20% of its travel. It had the stock 3 tokens per leg and the next test will be 1 token per leg.

While both air & damper chambers we're out, it has a little more stiction in the air chambers while cycling without air vs Fox/RS/Ohlins. Both chambers had decent lubrication. Trust uses Teflon glide rings on the air piston which IMO are not necessary, but they are using alloy piston so it needs to isolate them from hitting the inner air chamber wall. I think a Delrin piston would be better and more slippery, small detail though. The damper, however, was quite stiff, meaning well damped. Do remember this is a linkage driven system and needs more damped than a traditional system as it's not one-to-one stroke to travel, like rear suspension. But, at least at my puny 135lb, I think it could be a much lighter tune and gain back any support lost by adding a bit more psi. I think it needs less high speed rebound as Zach was experiencing and that'll enable the low speed to set to normal recommendations.

I'm pretty stoked on it! I've needed to "tune" any fork I've owned, no matter how aggressive I may ride, mass demands how damping is set up. I think once that is set it'll be worth its price over a traditional fork. I have never been able to make a fork turn with the traction this allowed, and that's one ride!

I'll my last bit of .02 on this... Fork and frame mfg's work so hard to make their structures stiffer and more precise yet NO mfg and frame maker get together and say "Hmmm, all that work is lost in the same 1.5" lower steerer tube / headtube junction".
It seems so obvious to go the next step with all this carbon swoopyness, make the junction 2", 3" whatever it takes to make the fork do the travel not the elongation of materials!! Making a 5.5+lb Fox 38 makes no sense to me when it'll still bend at the head tube/steerer tube. Where's my Maverick DUC36........

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If you’d like some of the benefits of this fork, why not have a telescopic fork with an offset that’s achieved through the angle of the fork itself like that X fusion inverted fork. You’d get that shrinking offset as the fork uses its travel, but without giving up nearly as much comfort on landings.

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I am in love with my Message fork. I feel faster and more controlled, especially on steep stuff. It just seems to make its own traction, especially on climbs. I can't wait to go big and try the Shout.

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It would be cool to see some slomo footage of telescopic forks in the same rear-wheel-heavy landing situation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMq2p12RkTk&t=82s
Turns out they're pretty goofy to watch too. I wonder if much of the weirdness of this fork can be chalked up to unfamiliarity after all, most of us have been riding telescopic forks forever.

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I know of someone with this exact footage. wink I wonder if it'll be posted!

I have zero affiliation with the company or any media outlet at this point. I'm also good at setting up suspension. It is world's different when slapping the front wheel. Like, "oh my God did I forget to leave a lockout on" different. Last time I felt harshness like this was in 2001 riding David Camp's old Marzocchi Z something that would hydraulically lockout in HSC events.

Some have been up front about this. Others (with ties back to the company) tend to glaze over it and say "oh, it was different".

Downsides were well in excess of upsides, at least to me. That's without even taking into account the price.

Its a worthwhile experiment, sure, but I have to wonder how much of an echo chamber this thing was tested/developed in. I also have to wonder if there was a point they went "oh shit, we've spent a lot of money on this thing, lets see if we can't get some back".

The real proof would be some objective, timed, laps.

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Both. I didn't spend weeks on either though. Was a fairly brief test. If I was mega rich and had all sorts of bikes I'm sure I'd find a way to rationalize owning one of them in the right application.

Maybe I'll give it another shot this summer at a spot I can easily time laps. While I know most people don't care about shaving seconds, its a good objective way to know if something is working.

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Bturman, that does not count. It also doesn't prove a point. Jeff isn't saying no one ever tried a linkage moto fork, it was done to death in the 70s and 80s, it never caught on. Riders complained about the same stuff, biggest being harshness rear heavy landings. These were protoypes built by really smart people at shops like honda, with honda budget, and it still didnt catch on.

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To some extent, I think you are right. The way the offset works is unique however.

My gut continues to be "but motorcycles never figured this out" and "we still have a lot to learn about the bushing/stanction interface before we're relegated to forks that look like a prop from the second Alien movie"

Again, without riders objectively testing this stuff; back to back with telescoping forks, and paying attention to things like crashes, hand fatigue etc, this is all just speculative dick waving. (lol)

I'd still like to see a needle bearing setup in a conventional fork. Something that resists binding better than the current crop of telescoping forks. Maybe we can find a solution using bushings, but the problem, to me, is very obvious here. Just for fun, go ahead and take your normal fork, wedge it against a corner, wall, something, turn the handlebars and try and cycle it. This was one reason I was really excited about these linkage forks.

...or maybe some flex in a fork is okay, and this will be the answer to resisting bind. I still want a double crown inverted enduro fork with some flex built in. In my experience this kind of setup allows a stiffer spring/damping package while still being forgiving in its own way. It can be engineered to not deflect, be very rigid under braking, eat bumps well while allowing the rider to run a reasonable amount of compression damping/spring rate to accomplish a lot of what you are asking...

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Doesn't it seem like all the positive attributes of the Trust forks can be achieved by running less sag and more compression on your existing telescopic fork? Less brake dive, doesn't throw you forward when you hit braking bumps or deep holes, stability on steep sections, etc, these are the benefits of the Trust but they're also the reasons why pros run 10% sag or less on their forks. And it seems like the tradeoff is the same: harshness. Sounds like the Trust is harsh on small bumps, and I can promise you that running a telescopic fork at 6% sag is also harsh. Even the advice is the same, “it feels rough, but you get used to it.” So couldn't you save $1000 and just pump more air in your current fork? Ride faster, brake later, and hold on for dear life.

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Marginal advantages for double the cost? Pair that with my riding style that sometimes sends me in a different direction than my bike and I just can't TRUST myself to not break this very expensive fork. (see what I did there?)

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Hi all,

I’ve been on a Shout for about 6 months. During that time, I’ve gone back and forth with a 160mm telescopic fork (Öhlins Coil), so I feel like I’m in tune with the differences.

When I have the choice, I run the Shout. I find it more controlled, more comfortable and faster overall. That’s it. I love riding all bikes ... the Shout makes my bike even more fun.

When do I choose the telescopic? When I need to fly with my bike — the Shout doesn’t fit into my EVOC bag.

Lee

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Hey Lee,

One question, did you pay for the fork? Any relationship with the company in question?

Having ridden one I can't fathom ever picking this fork over a normal fork in the 150mm+ application. In certain trail settings (120mm), I could see it being a cool alternative depending on terrain, but in the category you are describing I found the product to be downright scary.

EDIT: Scary in the way it handled bigger impacts/drops.

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I didn’t pay for the Trust Shout or the Öhlins coil. I am free to use whichever, however I like. My shoulders are ruined, so I am very sensitive to impacts. In most situations, the Shout is more comfortable, more confidence inspiring and more fun*. The Öhlins is fantastic! Especially on slapper landings. But I generally choose to ride the Trust.

*For me, my shoulders and my riding style, which I would characterize as smooth and precise, and not crazy fast but not slow either. I rarely land rear heavy and slap the front end down.

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Following a few wrist injuries I am also very sensitive to harshness transmitted through the bars. I found the Shout best when paired with some handlebars offering a bit of give to make up for the momentary harshness that can be experienced on even curb-sized dropoffs. ALL the pivots. Haha. Riding the Shout without the bar toasted my wrists on long high-country rides.

Or you can learn to maximize the Trust's performance by nose-pressing absolutely everything... a scary proposition in some terrain.

There's no arguing that this concept has some cool performance advantages, but as Zach stated there are some drawbacks.

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I demo'd one of these a few months back and noticed a lot of the things the reviewer did. In our rocky terrain the way it tracked through corners was a game changer for me. I didn't realize I was fighting my telescoping fork while cornering until I rode the Shout. Agree about the way it handles pockets in the trail going up or down. It just floats over them and that is just a rad feeling. I liked it so much I am selling my 36 and I purchased one of these and I'll be racing it this year. I'm looking forward to a bit lighter rebound tune like the reviewer mentioned, and I'm sure it's coming. Trust seems really in tune with their customer. I don't notice the harshness on big flat landings. Agreed that it's not as plush on those rear wheel heavy landings. But that's not how you're supposed to land on a jump. But we all do it sometimes. I'm looking forward to racing it this year and I promise to give it a healthy diet of rocks, speed, and podiums.

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Yes Zach! Not mentioned here - Zach is incredibly talented. He can probably make stuff work that most people couldn't. I'd wager he's able to "talent" his way through some of the weaknesses of the fork better than most.

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Specifications
Product Trust Performance Shout Fork
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29", 27.5+
Travel 178mm
Spring Type Air (one assembly in each leg)
Damping Trust engineered twin-tube, thru-shaft damper
External Adjustments

Rebound

3-way compression: Open, Mid, Firm

- Adjustable low-speed compression on mid- and open-mode settings

- Remains plush for the first 20% of travel in all compression modes

Left and right air spring pressure

Crown Single
Front Axle 15mm x 110mm (Boost), Other (torque caps)
Brake Mounts Direct mount 180mm rotor (203mm max)
Steer Tube Diameter Tapered 1.125"-1.5"
Steer Tube Construction Full carbon chassis, steerer tube, and linkages
Stanchion Diameter
Colors Black (decal kits available in 8 different colors)
Weight 4 lb 12.4 oz (2,165 g)
Miscellaneous

- Trailing multi-link front suspension allows the front wheel to move back and away from impacts simultaneously

- 178mm contour travel (replaces most 160-180mm forks)

- 580mm axle to crown

- 20% sag with air spring pressure in PSI equal to rider weight in pounds (1-to-1)

- Travel Indicator Dial

- Tunable bottom-out resistance with Huck Pucks (up to five)

- Two Allen wrenches release the lower link and air spring assemblies for installing Huck Pucks

- Accepts tire widths up to 29" x 2.6” (762 x 66mm) max or 27.5" x 2.8" (744 x 78mm) max

- Two-year warranty, lifetime bearing replacement, no-fault crash replacement program, and a 250-hour service interval

Price $1,975
More Info

The Shout is the second multi-link design from Trust Performance. In 2018, Trust Performance launched the Message, its debut 130mm contour travel suspension platform for aggressive trail riding. 

With an axle-to-crown measurement of 580mm, the Shout is designed for aggressive trail and enduro riding. But because the Shout has a dynamic wheel path, mechanical trail increases along with front-end stability as the suspension moves through its range of travel, making the Shout capable of replacing a variety of 160-180mm telescopic forks on 29” mountain bikes and 160-170mm telescopic forks on 27.5” mountain bikes. 

The Shout’s trailing multi-link design is intended to provide riders with three main performance advantages: increased traction, improved stability, and a greater sense of control.

For more info, visit the Trust Performance website.

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