Simon Noble from We The Rides recently caught up with the team from Forbidden Bikes to chat all things MTB and the release of their new enduro beast - Druid, here's what they had to say...
Firstly, how was Forbidden formed and what backgrounds are you guys from?
Myself (Owen Pemberton) and Ali (Alastair Becket) wanted to start a brand that allowed us freedom and creativity in both our bike design process and brand image. Without the worry of pleasing mass markets, we wanted to create something different that with a bit of personality would turn heads. I think more and more riders these days are looking for a bike that can make a statement and stand out from the crowd. And I think that is how our Druid has defined itself: as something new and unique to its own.
The recently released Druid is a big statement of a first bike for you guys. How did it come about?
Coming from a long history of industry experience, nobody at Forbidden had a vision for any less than perfection for our first bike. I think the information, lessons, and skills we’ve gathered from years in the industry play a huge role in how our first bike turned out. We were fortunate enough to come into this project with our eyes open and not have waste resources on the learning curve.
As far as bike design goes, while it seems to have attracted quite a bit of attention, we hadn’t intended on a high pivot, but just a suspension design that would work for our vision of MTB performance. The high single pivot happened to be the design that worked best. It doesn't hurt when the DH circuits most winning bike of late has been a high single pivot as well.
Being based in Cumberland on Vancouver Island that’s surely helped with development of the bike. What are the strengths for the Druid?
Being based in Cumberland has had a huge influence on the development of the Druid. We are fortunate enough to have some of the most amazing year-round trails straight on our backdoor.
The biggest strength of the Druid is undoubtedly its stability through rough terrain and ability to soak up the roughest trails while still being playful which is inspired by the iconic island riding area Forbidden Plateau which we take our name from. The bike really seems to be a chameleon in the sense that its 130mm of rear travel seems to just get deeper and deeper the harder you push the bike, allowing it to be extremely versatile and adaptable to different environments. Mountain biking really is a way of life here and I’m really happy that has translated to our products.
With the high pivot not being a requirement in planning stages, was it the ride characteristics and pedal efficiency that lead towards this design?
Exactly, the high pivot offers us the best combination of ride characteristics for the way we wanted the bike to ride. The combination of suspension traits that we have achieved on the Druid just aren’t possible with a more traditional layout.
With frame sizes being first to drop, what sizing and geometry specs can you share with me?
All we can say right now is we are currently offering small medium and large frame kits with extra large frames on the way. As far as geo goes you’ll just have to wait and see!
The pre production frame that was on display at the BC Bike Show is looking super refined. Any major/minor changes worth noting for the production models?
The only difference between the bike on display at the show and our production frames will be titanium linkage hardware on production
In 5 words how would to best describe the Druid?
Fun, fast, playful, diverse, unique.
Being a 29er would you say it’s an all out enduro race bike, an all day/multi day country monster, park capable slayer or fitting into all of these nicely
Depending on the rider the Druid could be any or all of these things, however, we designed the bike with the idea of being the bike that an everyday ripper should be riding, with a suspension platform that performs to a level that allows riders to avoid going overboard on travel for sake of comfort. This way we can provide that short travel playful feel for long pedals and smoother trails while maintaining stability and comfort while smashing downhill trails or bike park.
What’s next for Forbidden? In a design sense, can you share anything that’s on the radar?
The Druid will not be the last bike you see from us. We will let people speculate what the next step maybe.
I’m very keen to get a chance to ride one of these when I’m back in BC, how can everyone keep up to date with what’s happening at forbidden?
We have been providing updates by our social media accounts, and by our online mailing list available on our website.
Any plans for a race team after release?
We definitely would love to see our bikes on top of a podium or two. We’ll see what the future holds.
Written by Simon Noble