Forbidden’s first foray into making a mountain bike is one of the highest anticipated bikes in recent times. When it was time for me to move on and find a new enduro bike their were a few candidates. Why did I choose to take the plunge and buy their first offering?
The Druid has two main characteristics which make this bike individual. It has a rearward suspension path, meaning the rear wheel moves backwards out of the way of obstacles, compared to most bikes where the rear wheel moves backwards initially and then forwards as the suspension compresses. With the Druid, the lengthening of the wheelbase under compression increases the stability of the bike when it is required most.
However it also means it requires one of the first things that stand out on this frame. A chain idler to help the chain grow as it moves through the travel. Speaking of the chain this frame requires a couple of extra links (sizes Large and XL) in order for the chain to be long enough to reach around the stainless steel chain idler. There is a very minimal increase in drag but I don’t think it’s enough to notice. Especially if you regularly clean the chain and keep the chain lubed.
All the bolts on the frame are titanium which means they don’t rust after the hundreds of times you wash and clean your bike!
The frame comes with a rear mud guard, a spare rear mech hangar and chain guide straight out of the box. Details like a fitted chain protector on the seat stay and downtube guard certainly add to the well thought out design of the frame.
On bike storage.
Mountain bikers need to carry essential spares when out on the trails and many prefer not to carry spares on themselves. The Druid provides plenty of options to add your crucial spares to the bike. When the downtube guard is removed, a stash box appears from a recess left in the carbon frame. There is enough room to store a tube, levers, mech hanger and a few small spares.
With a bottle mount on the top side of the downtube and another mounting boss underneath the top tube to affix a One Up components pump or tool storage, you’ll find an option to suit you.
With only 130mm rear wheel travel it pedals and climbs technical single track purposefully. Doing an all day ride is a doddle. Its geometry makes it comfy to ride when seated in the saddle for long periods and with a sensible head angle it won’t wander around. Whilst descending you would never guess it only had 130mm rear travel as it’ll happily eat up the rougher sections of trails!
Anyone who rides their mountain bike in all weather conditions for prolonged periods of time will know how much wear and tear their bike gets. Because of this I wanted a bike as reliable as possible with the aim to make it my main bike for at least 5 years!
The Druid comes with a threaded bottom bracket which is easy to fit and remove. With a Hope bottom bracket the bearings can be removed and replaced very easily .
All the bearings in the frame are common sized and easily available which means you can keep the suspension running smoothly!
Running an idler shouldn’t be an issue for anyone who maintains their bike on a regular basis. I’ve had no issues at all. The idler will wear (like any other drivetrain part) with long term use.
How it rides!
With no pedal kickback from this suspension design it really allows you to ride through rough sections faster and with more precision. You do get some rise from the suspension when braking which can be beneficial once you adapt to the way it feels. Ideally you don’t need to brake at all! But for those moments when the trail dictates you have to slow down, riding low and aggressively you’ll be able to stay more composed and balanced when riding over difficult features.
With the Ziggy Link fitted to adjust the geometry for a 27.5 rear wheel to create a Mullet set up, the bike handles quicker through sequences of rutted turns and is easier to style up if that’s your kind of thing!
Other things to note:
– Depending on the size frame you have you may need to buy two chains due to the chain length around the idler.
– Occasionally pieces of dirt, sticks land in the space between the brace for the seat stay and the seat post. Moto foam helps fill this void avoiding anything being compressed and scratching your paint.
– The bike is frame only (*edit: you can now buy a full build it you can get your hands on one!). If you do get a frame only, play close attention to your chain line to avoid excessive drivetrain wear, in particular your idler.
– This bike punches way above it’s weight category! It’s labelled as a trail bike but it’ll thrive on terrain that some enduro bikes struggle with.
A stunning bike to own which rides like nothing else. It’ll cover technical terrain better than most things. If you can afford to keep the spec maintained, you’ll struggle to find anything better!