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Review

Cascade Components Forbidden Druid-Nought Link

Words Deniz Merdano
Photos Deniz Merdano
Date Dec 1, 2021
Reading time

What do you get when some of the employees of a precision machining company (producing diving equipment!) become infatuated with mountain biking on the Pacific North West? You get exciting products that increase the capabilities of modern mountain bikes! Jimmy Davis of Cascade Components set out to improve suspension kinematics in the heart of the offroad bicycle.

*Note - I think it goes without saying that every single linkage Cascade Components make will probably void or affect your frame warranty offered by the manufacturer.

Some manufacturers started including this tidbit in their FAQ pages. We wanted to find out if this risk was worth the effort when we reached out to Cascade for links for the bikes we are testing.

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A bright orange link worthy of a mountain biker’s engagement proposal showed up at my door. Black, silver and orange were my options and the orange made sense for the sake of photographs. Not that you can actually see the links in a Forbidden Druid frame at first glance but nice to see the orange glow that is the heart of the bike on closer inspection.

A 5-axis Haas CNC Mill equipped with a 40 tool array spits these links out in no time. Deriving the specifications of the links is the time-consuming part. Do they get to ride each link in the frame they are designed for? Perhaps not. But numbers tell a story, and for engineers, numbers even draw pictures.

After looking at different graphs and pie charts and venn diagrams, I made sense of the engineering behind each cascade components link. It’s not that your favourite bike company can’t design suspension like these guys do. I think the idea is that when you are designing a complete bike that will please riders across a very wide spectrum (for the entire world in fact), kinematic compromises are inevitable. What may work for a rider in Idaho may not be ideal for a Squamish shredder. And yet they are both on the same bike.

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The leverage ratios. more supple and more supportive with the new link

The Cascade guys are not from the MTB suburbs. Based on Everett Washington, they live near some of the best trails in the world. Trails are steep and rain is abundant. While everywhere else the trails are turning lighter shades of blue, in the North West, we deal with dramatic daily changes to our trails as they turn darker and darker shades of black.

Jimmy came up with the idea for the Cascade Components Link while waiting for a warranty link for his Santa Cruz Nomad. The process took long enough that he whipped up a link with slightly different kinematics overnight. We’ll never know if the effects of the new link were all intentional from the get go, but he has since figured out how to optimize the stock links on many frames to suit the Cascade ethos; making bikes ride better on challenging trails.

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There was a Super Deluxe Coil on the Druid for a brief couple of months

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A 400 lb spring was too much for the 35% sag I was after and no lighter options available

The Bike

The 130mm-travel Forbidden Druid has been an excellent performer on the North Shore and beyond; stable, low and all kinds of fun when trails get rough and steep. Earlier in my setup process, I swapped the 0.4" grey volume spacer for the 0.6" Light Blue one to decrease bottom outs with this little shock on a rowdy riding bike. While I wouldn't call top of the travel plush, it had a planted ride erasing most of the bumps on the trail.

My 155 lb rider weight settled in on a nice 32-35% sag at 150psi with fully open compression circuits. It was a predictable setup that served me well for a long time. I didn't deviate much from these settings even when I was equipped with camera gear as I wanted an even more planted ride at 40% sag riding the gnarlies. Photographing on the North Shore double blacks means riding down those double blacks

The problem with 35-40% sag is that on a 130mm shock, there is not much left in the tank to fight the terrain at speed. I briefly tried a Rockshox Super Deluxe Coil on the Druid and the experiment was helpful. The Druid is a perfect vessel to coil and the Super Deluxe has a fantastic feel without having too many adjustments to screw up.

A 400 lb spring resulted in a 25% sag which wasn’t ideal. At 55mm stroke however, RS did not make a 350 spring for me to try. Sprindex was not an option either at the time with extremely limited availability. The linear nature of coil shocks is appreciated for building up mid-stroke support earlier than a high volume air spring. Increased sensitivity is also appreciated, but the Druid had, dare I say, too much support with the 400 lb spring to calm the tail end down and there was a tendency to bounce at slower speeds. So the coil shock came off and the stock DPX2 went back on.

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Stock link vs Cascade Link

When the Cascade link arrived, I was quite excited for the seemingly “made just for me” feel. The fit and the finish were as beautiful as a fresh picked orange from Spain and Enduro Max bearings pre-pressed in. It found good company amongst the spring flowers my girlfriend picked and arranged for the photos. I rolled up my sleeves for a swap.

Some frame designs are easier than others when it comes to open heart surgeries. The Druid does not require a 5 year residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and it's a process that gets easier with frequent practice, and practice you get with the conditions we ride in here. A beer and a Jehovah’s witness monologue at the door later, I had a successful link transplant and a freshened up Druid ready to be put in the testing rotation again. If only I could have convinced the Jehovah’s feller to give me a hand with the work.

The Cascade guys suggested a 10% increase in spring rate to achieve the same sag as before. I settled in on a nice 170psi in the DPX2 with the same volume spacer. I was reminded that I may need to remove the bigger spacer for a smaller one to be able to use full travel, but I did not find that to be the case.

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Shorter overall length for travel bump and taller shock mount for higher initial leverage ratio

How It Rides

The first greasy root in the first ride illuminated the idea behind the product. Relieved I didn’t have to do extended testing, I started writing the review in my head as I climbed up the trail.

Apart from increasing my rear wheel travel to 142mm from 130mm. The link allowed for incredible sensitivity off the top. The small chatter just melted away like a dairy rich frozen treat and I found myself sitting planted right in the midstroke. Say about 60 to 70 mm of wheel travel in. The bump up in the leverage ratio in the early to mid part of the travel meant that I could use higher shock pressures to combat bottom outs without affecting the suppleness and traction. This could also be done to a degree with volume spacers. But there will be a compromise in the supple or the supportive side of the spectrum, and I already had the largest spacer in my DPX2.


Cascade Components cater to the aggressive, lighter weight riders that have reached the limit of tuning in their shocks.

Climbing manners weren't affected as much but bigger features on the descent didn't have the same violent impact as before. I was sold right then and there… All I had to do was to put the over-sprung Rockshox coil on the bike as soon as I got home and proceed to school all the 13-year olds that are somehow faster than me on my trails. Then I came home to my mailbox blowing up….

Cascade had sent out an ill composed e-mail where they CC'ed about 25 people who just purchased the link, where they probably should have just BCC'ed. Honest mistake. The email said there were unforeseen clearance issues with using coil shock on the link creating a mechanical interference at the top of the travel. All the armchair engineers in the mailing list went on to “reply all” to state their opinions.

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Here you can see see the shorter yet taller stature of the Cascade link

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Bearings pre-pressed so swapping does not take long

I quickly realized this was actually a rolling field test as many of these people had different shocks on their bikes that could confirm fitment. EXTs, CaneCreeks, Fox, RS, DVO… you name it, people had them. Slightly disappointed with the impossibility of the Super Deluxe working on my bike, I hung up the review and went on to enjoy the shit out of the link with the stock shock. Boy I loved what the bike had become. I lovingly named it the Druid Nought as my over-forked bike now had more travel than stock but less travel than the beastly Dreadnought.

I liked to play on the bike, not race, so this link provided that opportunity in bucket loads. It was easier to load up the suspension to clear sneaky doubles and the little Druid wasn't even unfazed by the features on Dirt Merchant. I borrowed a Ziggy Link from my friend Tom to push the possibilities even further. This option from Forbidden allows you to run a 27.5" rear wheel without any geometry changes.

I loved the mullet setup on the Druid. Fast, steep trails became child's play and the bike liked to change direction when I suggested it. The 27.5 wheel I was borrowing from another test bike meant the mullet setup had an expiry date. Thankfully I didn’t miss the smaller rear wheel as much as I thought I would. The boost in suspension performance and the 29er wheel was a great combination to ride anywhere, anytime. When the trails flattened out and when traversing the usual rough stuff, the dual 29er setup made it much easier to keep moving.

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Dry run to check the clearances

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Nothing binding and running well

A few months later the same e-mail chain had a brief pulse again with the announcement of the slightly updated link from the Cascade guys. Tested to work with Fox coils... Again, no dice for me. So I considered whether this review needed to be written. Heck Yea, I shook my fist at myself. It is still a great tuning tool!

What a sweet time to be alive, when aftermarket engineering is not just purple anodized brake boosters but actual performance enhancing components. Sure a 300 USD piece of metal may not be the right solution to a pedal smasher in rolling hills, but if you are trying to increase your margin of error on the steepest side of the moon, I think this is a worthy investment. And please Cascade Components, just make a purple version!

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It's a beauty from all angles

Cascade Components caters to aggressive, lighter to mid weight riders that have reached the limit of tuning in their shocks. You may have to explain a couple of things to your bike shop if things don’t go according to plan. Exercising warranty these days? I don’t even wish it upon my worst enemy.

Go ahead though, get yourself a fresh orange from the tree and try a Cascade link. I think these guys are doing some smart things. Being able to machine parts in house, the R&D process is rapid for these guys. There are some interesting recent additions to their line up of shiny aluminium as well. Improved calipers for SRAM Code brakes and a variety of chain retention units that seem to work well. Manufacturing is coming back home to North America and it is very exciting to see.

Cascade Components

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano

Photographer and Story Teller

Lenticular Aesthetician

www.blackbirdworks.ca

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Comments

JVP
JVP
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+5 solar_evolution Mammal Deniz Merdano Velocipedestrian Dogl0rd

What Cascade Components is doing is a really big deal, and making a really positive impact on the industry. If you're a hard rider, and I don't mean pro, your bike is almost certainly not progressive enough. I can't tell you how many frames I've broken over the years from hard bottoming them thousands of times. No, you shouldn't use all your travel every ride.

A few years ago we learned that most bikes should be slacker. This year we're learning that most bikes should be more progressive.

Reply

mammal
Mammal
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 solar_evolution Deniz Merdano domdb

I certainly love what the Ripmo AF link has done for my bike. The original leverage curve didn't suit my style/preference at all, and the Cascade Link made it a whole new beast that's way better suited for steep and gnarly.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 solar_evolution Mammal

So amazing to have these options...

I'd love to try a DW link bike with a cascade link.. I find they generally suffer from end progression.

Reply

mammal
Mammal
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Definitely, regarding the lack of progression at end stroke. Even with the Topaz air shock, I needed to run over the max # of volume reducers to avoid bottoming hard, and that ends up affecting the damping behavior too much. Very much improved in that regards.

But that's only the half. This is the first Ibis I've ridden, but I am learning that they aim for very aggressive pedaling support around the sag point, to the extent that it's overkill. I'd notice the rear triangle not wanting to swing out of the way when partially unweighted and flying into/over obstacles. It was a weird combo of characteristics. The CL has made the initial stroke more accessible (toned down the pedalling support), and allowed the beginning-middle stroke to hang up less. Combined with the end-stroke support, it's basically perfect. Still a great climber (but now with more grip), very active when it gets rowdy, and smooth/steady ramp up to avoid bottom-out.

Reply

Ripzilla79
Ripzilla79
2 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Not as many reviews out there on the Cascade link for the Ripmo AF as I'd like. Sounds like you are pretty sold on it. I'm super tempted to pull the trigger. I ride in Cumberland, so lots of pedaling but also, lots of rowdy downs. Trying to find the perfect balance. Are you still riding an air shock? I'm tempted by a coil as well...

Reply

DadStillRides
DadStillRides
8 months, 1 week ago
0

Would be cool to see a review of the pivot switchblade with the Cascade link. I demoed an unmodded version recently during a trip to Phoenix. Was probably the best bike I've ridden, but the poppy/playfulness could be detrimental if your only objective was descending chonk. I wonder if the Cascade link balances that out in addition to increasing travel a smidge.

Reply

DobberDoo
DobberDoo
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Deniz Merdano

Given the cost of the frame, regardless of the benefits, I'm not interested in voiding my warranty so will skip. I thought the idea of different link options for various ride weight classes from the manufacturer would be a great idea and maybe something a small manufacturer like Forbidden could get behind.

Reply

mammal
Mammal
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I understand that position, but it's not hard to reinstall the stock link before inquiring with a shop or the manufacturer about warranty.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

It's the smartest option for sure. 

Not a mandatory upgrade in the realm of this frame, however it seems to make some untunable bikes ridable

Reply

neologisticzand
Chad K
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Deniz Merdano

Here I was thinking I came to read about bikes and not think about my medical education and then you snuck in the line about residency!

This article makes me want both a cascade link and a Druid, though I'd be willing to settle for just a Cascade link for my current bike.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I was recently having a conversation with a friend who is at Mayo in Rochester,MN. 

He was telling me about all the people who who up at the wrong Rochester airport.. 

What bike are you on right now?

Reply

neologisticzand
Chad K
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Deniz Merdano

I am on a Sb130, with a decent bit of volume tokens in the shock, so I wouldn't mind some extra progression out back!

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Chad K

I don't have any time on a modern Yeti but 130 LR with a cascade link would be right up my alley.. i think

Reply

rnayel
RNAYEL
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

The correct answer is Rochester NY, why would anyone want to live in MN?

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Dan

Something about North America's leading cardiology unit at Mayo Clinic ..

Reply

DadStillRides
DadStillRides
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Deniz Merdano

My wife did a 5 year residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I don't believe she's ever touched a wrench to her bikes other than pumping up her tires once in a blue moon.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DadStillRides

If my random reference resonates with one person, I've done my job.. Also, you are welcomed to use this article as a leverage to get yourself some argument points.

-Hey Hun, just like the guy from NSMB said in his reference to Mayo, I need to get a new bike... 

you are welcome

ackshunW
ackshunW
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Deniz Merdano

“The small chatter just melted away like a dairy rich frozen treat”

Such poetry! 

Can you comment more on your 40% sag? Is that specific to the Druid, or a general preference? I’ve never tried something like that, but regardless of progression / bottoming resistance, that seems like way too much pillowy softness off the top. Disclaimer, I also can’t stand pillowy soft mattresses. Or pillows for that matter.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Forbidden frames, bot the Druid and the Dreadnought , perform best at %35 sag. It is a suspension design that performs within a wide range of sag numbers. The kinematics are isolated from the spring rates.

More sag does not mean a softer ride at sag. It means less dynamic BB height and less bottom out resistance.  BB is usually too low for any real riding on the shore at deep sag numbers. However I do like how the bike performs when I am loaded with camera gear chasing some fast people down the hill.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Deniz Merdano

"Cascade Components caters to aggressive, lighter to mid weight riders that have reached the limit of tuning in their shocks." Virtually all mountain bike products are optimized for this weight class already so why not?

Reply

DarioD
DarioD
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+4 Deniz Merdano solar_evolution Agleck7 JVP

80kg here and a big fan of my V1 Sentinel CC link. Not sure why the assertion that these are meant for lighter riders, with many of the modified curves benefitting anybody who rides on the harder end of the spectrum.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Curious what were your before and after shock pressures? My comment was directed in a sense that younger riders or lighter weight adults, can definitely use a boost in spring rates that CC link provide. Also if you are running 250psi in your Fox X2, you may not want to use a CC link and up that pressure to the 300psi limit

Reply

solar_evolution
solar_evolution
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cr4w

Another Sentinel V1 / CC link owner here. I had a tough time getting a good feel from the stock link and the CC link solved the biggest issue I was having: choosing between good off the top or not blowing through the travel. Now I have both! I'm about 200 with gear. Very happy with 20mm sag @ +/- 230 psi. 0.4 spacer inside. Before the CC link I was at 16mm sag and up to 270psi.  Almost forgot- DPX2 w/ custom tune based on the CC link.

Reply

Flatted-again
Flatted-again
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 solar_evolution

I just swapped on a CC link to my V1 Sentinel. I'm ~ 210lbs all kitted up, and ran 260psi before and afterwards on the stock dpx2, though I reduced the volume spacer to a smaller size. I've been experimenting with different pressures, but I keep coming back to ~ 260. It's an amazing difference. It seems like these bikes, among the many that CC makes links for, are really well suited to the new link. CC has made the assertion that at the V2 sentinel essentially uses the same, or very similar, progression curve as their V1 linkage.

Also, Transition has stated that they're cool with people using the CC link and it does not void warranty.

I'm also curious about your 300psi limit comment. The psi capacity of the shock should be leverage agnostic, right?

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

My moto is, never run any device at it's maximum capacity. 

If i was already pumping my shock up to 260psi, i would be hesitant to install a part that would require pressure increase.

Reply

Flatted-again
Flatted-again
8 months, 1 week ago
0

Ah, I get what you’re saying. In this case, I’m using a dpx2 with a max psi of 350, so it’s not an issue here, but if I were close I’d feel the same way.

andrewbikeguide
AndrewR
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Velocipedestrian

I can confirm that the Cascade Components link for the Sight makes an awesome bike even more awesome-er for a 95 kg 6'2" rider on an XL on steep and chunky Sea to Sky trails.

It provides a more sensitive bottom end (initial stroke), which is most noticeable when climbing slimy, janky tech trails; a slightly better mid travel support (not that this is an issue with the RS Super Deluxe) and a smidge more pop; and the bottom out is almost un-noticeable (more of a case of "oh the o-ring has popped of the shock tube"). 

Did I notice the travel increase to 155 mm - not really. But I also used full travel and never contacted the frame with the rear tyre/ wheel.

It does add almost half a pound to the bike (didn't notice it - just stating that fact - if you are a weight weenie you probably aren't on a Sight anyway). The Sight version is not as sexy as it could be, being formed from three pieces and connected with some non titanium (cue "intake of breath from shock) bolts. I bet they could machine a one piece that is lighter and sexier but I am guessing that it would take a lot more machine time which must be the largest component of the cost.

I was informed, in clear Canadian English, that using the link would void my frame warranty (but no reason offered, I am guessing that it is because the frame has been tested with the OE link and not the Cascade link).

And it is ano purple - like all good aluminium components should be #1993forever #orangeisafruit

Reply

craw
Cr4w
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+4 Heathen Deniz Merdano Andrew Major 4Runner1

I find it weird that these bikes ship worldwide with such a vanilla kinematics tune that a $300USD upgrade is necessary and worthwhile. And that's from companies based right here in southern BC.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Mammal

You are so spoiled with your ultra adjustable bike...

Reply

craw
Cr4w
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 D4nderson ackshunW

These Cascade links are specifically to vary suspension kinematics and progression. The G1's adjustments are for geometry.

edit 1: I don't think that's how people are using these adjustments. No one is like the terrain is too tough I better increase suspension leverage by lengthening my chainstays. Changing kinematics is a byproduct of fit and TBH adding 3mm of chainstay probably isn't noticeable suspension-wise.

edit 2: Same with the travel settings. If I choose to use the travel settings now all my settings are off and I have to find another spring to maintain the same feel. So yeah the kinematics change as a byproduct of changing travel not because that's the goal. 

It's fair to find it odd that people find that local bike designers are dumbing down their kinematics so much that the bikes don't work well here. I'd be curious to hear what the folks from Forbidden think about this link and why they didn't just go this route in the first place. They're pretty clever.

Reply

xy9ine
Perry Schebel
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 Deniz Merdano Andrew Major ackshunW

interesting thought there - are bike designers *really* getting it wrong or dumbing things down (for whatever reason)? i've heard lots of positive reviews of various cascade links. would totally like to hear bike designers' perspective. 

also: if cascade is listening - I pine for a 2021 commencal meta tr link that adds a bit of progression, a dash of travel - AND mullet conversion.

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Increase in chainstay lenght does affect the leverage ratios. Does it not?

Mojo16rider
Jakub Gábriš
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

You have 2 travel settings with quite different kinematics to go with it.

D_C_
DMVancouver
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

What shock settings did you land on with the Sight Cascade Link? I'm running a coil shock with stock link, and currently using a 550# spring. Cascade's setup guide would want me on a 650#-ish spring... that's getting up there in spring stiffness.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cr4w

Obviously the the people on either ends of the weight spectrum have a hard time getting a good suspension tune.

People under 140lbs can use a little more spring rate if they need to set their shocks at 100psi.

and someone already at the upper limits of the shock pressures will be even closer to max pressures unless they want to run more sag at the same pressures wit ha cascade link.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major solar_evolution

What the previous comments have shown is that bigger and smaller riders probably need different linkages. Which totally makes sense. XS riders have very different leverage needs to a 220lb dude pushing the pressure limit in an air shock. This is the level of size-specific stuff we're not likely to see anytime soon from any company. It kind of seems like the kind of thing companies could produce in small quantities to allow customers with special needs to purchase but bikes still ship with the stock link.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Isn't norco changing pivot locations for each frame size? Effectively increasing the chainstay lenght too

Reply

dorkweed
dorkweed
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Forbidden has shock tunes for S/M and for L/XL.  I'm not sure if that's driven by greater leverage (ie. longer rear center) or by assumed greater weight of L and XL customers.  The've at least considered some of this stuff...

Reply

grimwood
grimwood
7 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Deniz Merdano

Nice review Deniz. I think this link would make many Druid owners happy. I ended up getting one for my Dreadnought. I can sum my experience in one work; extreme! Since I couldn't get my EXT Storia to work with it initially (more on that later), I ran it with a Rock Shox Super Deluxe (I can confirm that the Float X2 clears too). At first I had a Meg Neg on there, but that was a bit silly. Even at over 40% sag, I could only get about 90% travel, even when I tried to bottom out. I swapped back to the regular can and that was better. The link takes the already quite progressive Dreadnought and pushes it to 11. I haven't seen small bump performance like that since I was riding DH bikes. Tons of mid stroke support and even with no volume spacers, it was extremely hard to bottom out. I know this sounds awesome, but if I wanted to use close to full travel on most rides, I ended up having to run a bit more sag that desired, so I ended up in the firm mid-stroke (unless I un-weighted the bike or rode front heavy). This was great for pinning it, less great for those days I was tired.

I was told that shocks like the EXT Storia wouldn't work because of the spring contacting the link. I was pretty convinced that a coil would be way better so I got some help from Peter and Pinner Machine shop in Whistler. I sent him my shock and link and he milled an aluminum spacer to move the spring forward a bit so the link would clear. This worked like a charm! Now I could run a little less sag but the bike would still sag under it's own weight. I'm about 185 lbs and I was running a 350 lb spring and this set up was still very hard to bottom out.

The great thing about the link is that it didn't really change the pedaling efficiency.

The big question, would I recommend it to other Dreadnought owners? I'm not sure. It would certainly make some people happy. But it really cranks up a lot of the bike's character. The nice thing is that it's not overly expensive (certainly cheaper than buying a new bike) and it's reversible. I hope this helps!

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
7 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Thanks for the detailed input Mike! 

Remember, the link is not a final decision. It can always come out for different seasons/ride plans. 

I found it suited the Druid really well and made it an almost Dreadnought. (I would also go up a frame size next time) 

Funny enough, I still haven't ridden a Dreadnought. So I can't comment on that transformation. 

I have a slight top-out on my Grip 2 Z1 coil if I run the rebound faster and it is quite annoying indeed...

Reply

Ceecee
Ceecee
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

The fit was as beautiful as an orange, and wasn't even unfazed by mechanical interference

Reply

mhaager2
Moritz Haager
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Interest piqued. You said it might not be for someone in rolling terrain.  What's the downside for this application? Also is there a good reason why this voids the warranty?  Does it cause more stress to the frame or something?

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 solar_evolution

I don't think I would enjoy the extra sensitivity on smoother terrain where pumping is the primary way to keep the speeds up. Frame manufacturers hate when you start veer off their design goals. It is hard to say if the stress levels are increased. They just don't want garage mechanics going around fabbing parts for their frames. I would be shocked and it would be silly, if all the companies that CC make links for hasn't ordered a few link to try out and see if the claims are true. I would be also shocked if some of them like the way the bike rides with the CC link and have kept it on.

Reply

mammal
Mammal
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 solar_evolution

To add to your warranty points, a lot of these links add some rear travel, which always reduces clearances to some extent. I've heard that some bike/link combos need to consider different tire sizes etc, for clearance reasons, and I'm sure manufacturers don't want to go down that rabbit hole of potential gripes and moans. Not to mention changing parameters of all the performance and safety testing they've done.

Ibis has their EWS team running 170mm forks and over-shocked bikes (more travel), but they certainly won't warranty a frame that has admittedly run those components.

Reply

dorkweed
dorkweed
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

fair criticism, but i think the bike was designed as more of a trail bike.  I can't think of another bike where the intended use has been pushed as far as this one, from a 140 to a 150 and now lots of people running a 160mm fork, asking for more rear travel, and pushing it pretty hard - stories of days in the WBP abound for the Druid.

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mhaager2
Moritz Haager
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I think that is a fair point,  especially now that they have released the Dreadnought.  On the other hand it does speak to the versatility of the bike.  Being able to switch out air springs and rear link to optimize for different use scenarios certainly is a lot cheaper than buying a whole separate bike that you might only use for a few weeks of the year. Say for a trip to the wet coast.  Certainly the druid makes a lot more sense than the Dreadnought for the vast majority of the riding I do. It would be nice if Forbidden tested and "approved" these modifications though.  I'm not super stoked about voiding a warranty, nor do I want to push the bike beyond what its intended for.

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denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I agree with you. As a 30lbs trail bike, Druid works amazingly well at 150mm travel. Even then, I would seriously consider the cascade link for it. As my one and only bike, it had to morph into the Dreadnought that didn't exist yet. 

160mm Coil and Cascade Link is a magic combo on this bike. I know people who put Sids forks and shocks to make it a Shore country whippets too..

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Suns_PSD
Suns_PSD
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Frankly I'm not THAT aggressive of a rider. I do a few 3-6' drops, ride really chunky terrain, but many people go bigger that's for certain, and personally I found the Cascade so much better than the stock link on my '21 SJ Evo. Like a Gigantic improvement in every aspect of performance. Plushness on the top, midrange support, and bottom out resistance all significantly improved. No downsides at all.

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delusional
delusional
8 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Suns_PSD

I'd say on the 2020 SJ Evo it's almost mandatory for riding around here. With the stock link I was having a hell of a job getting the rear end to offer any support without blowing through it's travel constantly, even with the air shock in there. It was bad enough that the bike came with the shock already maxed out on volume spacers. With the Cascade I'm able to run a coil shock, and the bike feels great. I'd like a little more bottom out support still, but it's pretty damn good as it is.

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Dogl0rd
Dogl0rd
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I have one for my 2018 process 153. Bottom out is much better, but braking bumps are still rough with my super deluxe ultimate. Coil may help.

Its nice having a firmer platform to push off though.

Annoyingly is isn't until halfway through their installation video that I found out I needed to purchase special hardware from Kona to make it fit on my bike.

My friends tell me it's a $400 token. It's good, but not sure if it was worth that much

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Dogl0rd
Dogl0rd
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

StacheTower16
StacheTower16
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Great write up. I had to double check, I was also on that poorly worded email about coil shock fitment!!  I had to send the V1 and V2 links back as neither worked with my coil shock.  Very disappointing, but I love coil too much now to go back. But I had a link for a Stumpjumper and that worked really well.  I would buy the link in a heartbeat if they ever get the coil fitment sorted out.

You mentioned the Sprindex coil. Any chance you are going to test that out on your druid? I am also on a Druid and have the Sprindex. I weigh in at about 240 kitted up but would love to get someone else's general take on that setup.  I find that Sprindex in combination with the lockout switch on my DBCoil gives more ability for trail side suspension tuning.

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rugbyred
Eric Van Sickle
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

This is something that interests me but I think it would be a bandaid for my Enduro as I don’t feel that I have the shock set up perfectly after a season on it. 

I still feel my 2016 Patrol with a Push shock was the best tracking bike. The enduro is just pure plow but something is missing and I am not able to figure out exactly what I’m looking for.

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rndholesqpeg
rndholesqpeg
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Just curious, will a Float X2 work in the Druid frame?

I put a Cascade link on my Hightower 2 and run a fox coil and love it, but wish the X2 would fit in it and is one of the major drawbacks of the HT2 and I have never gelled with the dpx2.

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denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
8 months, 2 weeks ago
0

It sure does. and works really well for a more planted feel

DPX2 is very supportive and more poppy, which I like.

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Skookum69
Skookum69
8 months, 1 week ago
0

Rockshox makes a spring for you FYI:

https://www.sram.com/globalassets/document-hierarchy/spare-parts/spare-parts-catalog/2021-rockshox-spare-parts-catalog.pdf
Page 200

00.4118.200.000 SPRING, METRIC COIL, LENGTH 134MM, SPRING TRAVEL (47.5-55MM), 350 LB

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mhaager2
Moritz Haager
6 months ago
0

Resurrecting an old thread but have a question. Had been wondering why you said you were already running the biggest volume spacer a 0.6 as I was sure there are bigger volume spacers. Then came across the fox chart showing that indeed in the 210 x 55 dpx2 that's the biggest one you can run as with the bigger ones the CR (which presumably means compression ratio) is too high.  So my questions are 1. What happens when the CR is too high, and 2. Would using the cascade link then with the biggest volume spacer result in a higher CR? If not,  why not? Thanks.

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denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
6 months ago
0

I imagine, the rate air circulates through the aircan with the dpx2 is different with different size spacers. The final air pressure ratio can be 1 to 10 in certain situations. (I actually have no idea what the full bottom out air pressure is in the dpx2 set to 180psi)

I imagine, the CR ratio with the cascade link would be lower since the link makes the bike more progressive. Shock moves slower at the end of the stroke compared to the stock link

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mhaager2
Moritz Haager
6 months ago
0

Thanks.  This suspension tech known really is not in my wheelhouse.

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mhaager2
Moritz Haager
6 months ago
0

This comment has been removed.

mhaager2
Moritz Haager
6 months ago
0

This comment has been removed.

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