Recently we have seen an increase in aggressive trail bikes, genre blending designs with wild angles and promises of a ride experience to match no other. The Forbidden Bicycle Company Druid slots right in the midst of this fast changing movement but takes what the downhill scene is exploring and packs it into a compact and highly capable 130mm trail bike.

What makes the Druid so unique is its high single pivot, and ultimately the high location of an idler which brings the chain up and “over” that high pivot.

Forbidden call it the Trifecta “the science behind the witchcraft” which as the name suggests is made up of the following three core components.

High Pivot

The High Pivot location enables the rear wheels' path to track backwards, not slightly backwards for a brief moment in its travel but by a whopping 24mm over the 130mm of travel. This enables the rear wheel to move with impacts letting the rear wheel move back and over obstacles rather than into them slowing you down.

The rearward movement lengthens the bikes' wheelbase, the harder you hit, the more stable it becomes while remaining agile and shorter at static sag. The high pivot also offers a higher Anti-Rise value which when the rear brake is applied sits the bike down into its travel, holding it to the ground and resisting a weight transfer on to the front of the bike, diving those forks down into the rough stuff.

Rate Control

Forbidden have identified changes in the way we ride our bikes. Higher speeds and bigger impacts have dictated the requirement for more mid-stroke and end-stroke support while retaining small bump sensitivity. The result is a mid travel bike that feels poppy and almost bottomless on the trail, feeling like it has much more travel and forgiveness of bikes with more on paper.

Idler Position

If you look closely, the idler is not lined up with the high pivot but rather slightly above and behind it. This exact location was chosen to enable a higher Anti-Squat value without pedal kickback.

Typically, bikes with the highly advantageous climbing characteristic of Anti-Squat have high amounts of pedal kick back making climbing over terrain very weird under foot. The Druid’s idler completely isolates these forces and enables the rear wheel to move independently to the forces driving the rear wheel for maximum traction, kinematic wizardry at its finest!

The Druid is designed around a 140mm or 150mm fork and each of the four frame sizes have their own unique geo. Chainstay lengths range from 414mm to 450mm in length and actual seat tube angles get steeper as the frame sizes grow, painstaking amounts of design and manufacturing process all in the name of the perfect fit and handling.

We look forward to putting this pint sized mini DH bike up and down our local steeps and seeing what all the hype is about - the full review will be in Issue #182. If you subscribe now, you won't miss it!