Forbidden druid price

Forbidden druid price DEFAULT

Forbidden’s take on sizing and geometry involves scaling the rear-center measurement in relation to the size of the frame. This positions the rider’s center of gravity between the tire contact patches, whether it’s Danny Devito or Arnold Schwarzenegger at the helm. All Druids running a 150-millimeter fork have a 65.6-degree headtube angle and 75.6-degree seat tube angle, and the size medium I’ve been riding has a long-ish 445-millimeter reach and a distinctly low standover height. Our Druid test bike weighs 30 lbs without pedals.

One characteristic of many four-bar trail bikes (such as the dw-link or Horst-link) is an intentionally high anti-squat value, resulting in snappy and efficient acceleration, but often at the cost of traction and suspension compliance on rough, technical climbs. The Druid’s single-pivot design and idler position seem to decouple that effect from the suspension, making it very supple and active for optimum traction when the drivetrain is under power over choppy terrain. Approaching suspension performance with the goal of maximum traction and compliance makes perfect sense, given the rough and slippery trails of Forbidden’s BC backyard. Here in California, where the climbs often have a mix of smooth hardpack and smatterings of roots and rocks, having the suspension “freed up” from chain tension is welcome when hammering up rough ascents. However, the lack of snappy, quick acceleration and instant gratification when jamming on the pedals is noticeable. Adding some low-speed compression to the Druid’s Fox DPX2 shock helps reduce the unwanted rider-induced bobbing and slightly improves acceleration, although adding too much of it can negate the trademark plush compliance of the design.

The relatively steep seat tube angle and excellent traction make the Druid a capable climber, but the bike’s real magic is revealed when hitting rough descents and flowing through twisty terrain. For as distinct of a sensation as the Druid delivers when churning uphill, the sensation is equally distinct when off the brakes and pounding through jagged terrain. Occasionally, a bike feels like it descends with more travel than is claimed, and that was my first reaction to the 130-millimeter Druid. The rear suspension’s ability to operate freely from chain tension creates our beloved “hovering” feel as the bike moves through its travel. The rear end seems to live nicely in the suspension stroke’s sweet spot, never using more or less travel than ideal for the terrain it’s hoovering.


TESTED: Forbidden Druid

Words: Ryan Walsch                                                                                Photos: Nick Waygood 

Forbidden Bike Company is named after the Forbidden Plateau which overlooks the owners' home town nestled on the western shores of Vancouver Island BC. An area rich with mountain biking history, wild terrain and surprisingly a year round riding season makes it the perfect location for a new company to develop their first bike, the Druid.

What makes the Druid unique is an ever growing landscape of “ultimate trail bikes” and if you haven’t already noticed, the high pivot rear suspension really stands out. It doesn’t stop there, the more we look, the more details show themselves, the Druid is packing technology we are seeing on the World Cup Downhill circuit and has 130mm travel out back and 140mm/150mm up front.

So why the high pivot and why don’t we see more of them around? Many brands claim their suspension design has the highly advantageous rearward axle path, or portion of, when in reality the portion the rear wheel actually moves rearward is minimal or just a brief deviation from a axle path that heads towards the seat tube thus shortening the rear centre of the bike. The concept of getting that back wheel path moving rearward is to move over obstacles more easily and maintain momentum on the trail instead of getting hooked up on obstacles. We don’t see more high pivots due to the simple fact that the chain must go up and over the pivot via an idler, if not, each time the wheel hits a bump the chain will pull at the cranks which is referred too as pedal kickback. Introducing an idler into the drive train if done poorly adds drag and an additional wear item, get it right and the results can be brilliant.

Tester: Ryan Walsch

Riding Experience: A lifetime of sending and repairing bikes.

Generally Rides: Specialized Stumpjumper and a party hardtail.

Height: 178cm

Weight: 71kg

Bike Test Tracks: Mt Stromlo, Majura Pines, Jindabyne, and secret trails.

Forbidden’s “Science Behind the Witchcraft” is called the Trifecta made up of a High Pivot, Rate Control and an Idler. In turn Trifecta offers a high level of control over pedalling and braking forces, a wheel path that gets the wheel back and out of the way and a fit for riders that is unique for every size frame, not a simple task!

Initial Impressions

We have all read countless adverts for new bikes claiming the world. They are slacker, longer, more progressive, game changing and never seen before! These are just a few marketing claims that come to mind. So when reading Forbidden’s Science behind the Witchcraft I am sure you can understand why the sceptic came out and sat on one shoulder, ready to pipe up if the claims were untrue. This wasn’t my first encounter with the Druid, Sandy Plenty from The Trailhead Bike Company generously let me swing a leg of his brand new Druid last year and I was intrigued even when limited to a carpark roll with beer in hand. So I was really stoked to finally get one onto the trail and see what high pivot witchcraft is all about.

Fortunately our Druid test bike was dialled out of the box thanks to Forbidden’s Australian importer Danjas Imports, I checked the tyre pressure and fiddled with the brake lever position for no reason other than I felt I needed to tweak something and that was that. The new school geometry positions the rider nicely over the centre of the bike and the actual seat tube angle of 75 degrees (size large with 140mm fork) allows this central seating position to be attained by riders of varying seat heights. The head angle measures in at 66 degrees (or 65.6 degrees with 150mm fork) and makes for steering that is balanced on climbs yet stable on the descents. Where the geometry gets more interesting, is across the four sizes of frame offered by Forbidden. Each and every size has a different “chainstay” or rear centre measurements, starting at 414mm for size small, 426mm for size medium, 438mm for size large and 450mm for size extra large. There are also slightly different seat tube angles and a fit that’s tailored to riders of varying statures.

High quality titanium fixtures are used throughout the frame and the all internal routing can be set up for moto or euro brake orientation easily allowing for a mess free cockpit. Each cable routing port cinches down securely holding the brake line or outer firmly in place and reduces the chance of any rattling on the trail, a simple feature but one we wish was used more often. There is room for a full sized bottle in all four sized frames along with an additional mount on the underside of the Top Tube for a Wolf Tooth B-RAD accessory mount and strap or similar to hold your spares without wrapping straps around the tube. There is even a small compartment located under the downtube bash protector which I only found when cleaning the bike to send back to the importer which gives access to assist in the internal routing of the dropper and room for quite the stash of spares which I immediately started jamming in. Three 16g Co2 cartridges, multitool with chain breaker, chain links, you get the idea it can carry the heavy little essentials that normally flail around in pockets and bags. Looking inside the Druid it is easy to see how much care has gone into the layup of the carbon frame. The high quality uniform compaction of the fibres is evident with no loose ply or sharp edges to note, something not normally looked at but impressive to see in the flesh.

The Druid’s build quality is exceptional, Titanium fixtures, a mud guard that protects the shock from roost and debris and a chassis that has no nooks or crannies for mud or dirt to settle makes washing a breeze. The seat tube tunnel the shock passes through is large and will accommodate a coil or the large air can of the Fox X2. The tunnel does make seeing the sag indicator tricky, however once set, it doesn’t matter anyway as it's hard to tell when the Druid reaches full travel anyway.

On The Trail

Jumping onto a nimble 130mm trail bike for the first time in a while is pretty refreshing and makes the Druid feel like the perfect bike for all-day escapades. The seating position is very comfortable and keeps the rider smack bang in the middle with its 470mm reach paired with a beautifully made We Are One Composites 45mm “Da Stem” (reach is knocked back to 465mm with a 150mm fork). The steep seat tube angle really lets you sit on top of the bike and makes climbing so much more comfortable and you're less likely to sink into the rear travel. Forbidden have positioned the idler just above and behind the High Pivot which while already isolating the pedalling forces provides around 120% Anti-squat at sag. This relates to no noticeable bobbing about and a bike that pedals beautifully in or out of the saddle and keeps the suspension active when climbing on rough climbs.

So how does it descend? As the Druid was born in BC and uses a similar suspension design as some of the fastest DH bikes around it is no surprise it comes alive going down hill. The most noticeable traits being the momentum it carries over rough terrain, in particular square edged bumps and braking bumps. This is a key factor for the stability it holds through harsh sections. The harder you hit, the deeper it sits into its travel thus greatly increasing the rear centre by up to 26mm. That means our size Large test bike with its 438mm rear centre (or chainstay length to some) extends to 464mm at full compression. The Druid is agile and responsive up the top of its travel and stable when giving it the beans. In fact, there isn’t much that seemed to unsettle the 130mm of rear travel during the test despite using all of the travel quite often. The Rate Control linkage plays a big role to keeps things supple off the top and firmer towards the end of the stroke. Landing deep into sections or coming up short the Druid doesn’t complain or let out any signs of slowing down, which is quite unusual for a trail bike.

Many suspension designs cause the rear of a bike to rise under braking often resulting in “brake jack” or the suspension stiffening up. Forbidden’s high pivot design creates anti-squat and literally sticks the bike to the ground under braking. I noticed this most on steep and rough off camber sections of trail when normally the back wheel would step out and lose traction. The Druid held its line and made me feel like I came into the turn too slowly. I came to learn that this bike rewards being brave and coming in hot!

Heading into more flowy trails and jump lines, there is an element of the extending rear centre that does take a bit of getting used to and that is manualling. Because the back of the bike lengthens under compression unlike almost all other suspension designs, it does require a greater range of movement to get your weight over that rear wheel and keep the front wheel up. After a few rides I had adapted and it wasn’t noticeable, although my first ride back on an “ordinary” bike meant that the chances of looping out was frightfully is imminent.

Throughout the test I found myself braking into turns later, trying new lines and throwing caution to the wind. I even went back to flat pedals to channel my inner Kovarik. I can honestly say this has been the most surprising bike test to date and a bike that needs to be ridden to be understood or appreciated. During this bike test period we had fires, torrential rains, hail, mud, heat and the Druid was faultless, no noise, no loose bolts, nothing but silent fun out on the trails.

Our Take

If you’re a rider that favours technical trails, a silent ride and a meticulously assembled frame set that’s a little bit different then you need to swing a leg over a Druid. Yes it is quirky and yes there is a bit more drag than the conventional drivetrain but this out performs bikes far bigger on paper and will have you smiling so much more. If ever there was a bike that should not be judged by the amount of travel it has, it's the Druid.

Brand: Forbidden
Model: Druid
Price: $4999 (frame kit)
Weight: 14.1kgs (complete bike)
From: Forbidden Bike Company

Available Sizes:  Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large
Frame Material: Carbon Fibre main frame and swing arm.
Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate 140mm Boost
Shock: Fox Float DPX2 Performance 210mm x 55mm
Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle 12sp
Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle 12sp
Crank: SRAM GX Eagle DUB 170mm
Chain: SRAM GX Eagle 12sp
Cassette Sram XG1275 10-50t 12sp
Hubs: Industry 9 Hydra 690 point engagement
Spokes: DT Swiss

Rims: We Are One Composite Union Rims 29”
Tyres: Maxxis Asegai EXO Front and Aggressor EXO+ rear
Brakes: SRAM CODE R  200mm/180mm
Handlebar: We Are One Composite Da Bar 800mm 20mm rise
Stem: We Are One Composite Da Stem 45mm stem
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb C1 175mm
Saddle: Fabric Scoop Saddle
Grips: Sensus

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High-pivot bikes are a red hot topic on the downhill scene, but do they work on trail bikes too? We check out the Forbidden Druid, a new high-pivot trail rocket, to see if the suspension really can work magic.

We are the ‘craft beer’ generation, we all desire something special, something unique, and we will pay extra for it too. This is reflected in the bike industry too, super-brands are playing catch up to the bespoke, the underdogs are biting back. Despite their smaller volumes, radical brands like Unno, Pole, RAAW and Mojo Geometron are red hot. As core riders sip post-ride expensive craft ales around the pub table, conversations of “what bike will I buy next?” are increasingly crowded with small-volume bespoke brands. So, even though the global economic climate is taking punches, there has perhaps never been a better time to release a new ‘high-end’ bike brand.

Who are Forbidden Bikes?

Forbidden Bikes – named after the Forbidden Plateau in Cumberland, Canada – is the latest high-end, low-volume brand to hit the market. Owen Pemberton, an ex-Rolls Royce engineer, best known for working on the recent bikes from Norco has joined forces with Alistair Beckett, ex Nukeproof product manager and Trevor Ferrao to launch this exciting new brand. You may have already seen the Druid, their only bike, as Forbidden Bikes dropped a teaser of the sexy new high-pivot trail bike at Crankworx last year, but with no real information, it was nothing more than an enigma. The wait is now over, Forbidden Bikes have finally released all the information on the new Druid trail bike, a 150 / 130 mm 29er, and the team flew over to let us test one on our home trails.

The Druid is 100% a trail bike

While the DH world gets it knickers in a twist over high-pivot bikes, Forbidden Bikes are very clear to stress that the new Druid is a trail bike. With 29 inch wheels and 150 / 130 mm of travel – the bike can also be run with a 140 mm fork – Owen claims the Druid is a bike that can handle the rough stuff but is still fun to pop into the air at every opportunity. A good-times bike. Manufactured in carbon fibre, Forbidden Bikes pull no punches when it comes to attention to detail, claiming that their carbon construction is a rival to, or exceeds the leading brands on the market.

The Trifecta Suspension design of the Forbidden Druid

Although it looks complex, the Trifecta suspension system of the Forbidden Druid is based on the relatively simple linkage-driven single-pivot design. However, the main pivot is located high on the seatstay, with a rocker between the chainstay and the shock to tailor the leverage rate and produce a highly progressive curve, for those who are interested, the ratio drops from 2.7 – 2.0. The Druid features a 100% rearward axle path, with the rear centre growing more than 26 mm at full extension, meaning the rear axle can swing up and backwards during an impact (most convention designs go up and forwards), which in theory should make it better over repeated impacts. To reduce the inevitable chain growth caused by the high-pivot and its rearward axle path a chain idler is fitted to reduce pedal kickback and undesirable chain forces. Forbidden have optimised the position of the idler pulley to bring just enough chain tension into the system to increase pedal efficiency at SAG.

Geometry of the Forbidden Druid

Upon questioning, Forbidden were keen not to pigeonhole their bike with an extreme geometry. While uber-long bikes do have many advantages in some areas, they are compromised in others, and vice-versa for short bikes. With a focus on balance, Forbidden have settled where many brands are now moving too, a 465 mm reach in size L with a 65.6 degree head angle, 75.6 degree seat angle, -32.7 mm BB drop and 438 mm chainstays – it all screams aggressive trail. Available in 4 frame sizes, Forbidden run a long headtube to give a higher stack on the L and XL models, noticing that riders of those bikes would naturally add spacers. Where we are most impressed, is that unlike most bikes, the rear-centre (chainstays effectively) length is specific for each size, changing from 414 mm in the size S up to 450 mm in the XL. This maintains almost the same front / rear centre ratio throughout the sizes (very different from fixed chainstay bikes that differ significantly through the size range) and guarantees that riders of all sizes will have the same experience.

Where we are most impressed, is that unlike most bikes, the rear-centre length (chainstays effectively) is specific for each size.

Seat tube400 mm420 mm450 mm490 mm
Top tube580 mm604 mm627 mm650 mm
Head tube90 mm105 mm120 mm135 mm
Head angle65.5°65.6°65.6°65.6°
Seat angle75.5°75.6°75.6°75.6°
Chainstay416 mm426 mm438 mm450 mm
BB Drop-32.7 mm-32.7 mm-32.7 mm-32.7 mm
Wheelbase1149 mm1187 mm1225 mm1263 mm
Reach425 mm445 mm465 mm485 mm
Stack606 mm620 mm634 mm648 mm

Everything in balance, what about the high anti-rise?

We know that all suspension systems are a compromise, a balance of positive and negative characteristics. High-pivot bikes have great axle paths but are known to have high levels of anti-rise, often considered a negative trait. Anti-rise is a measure of how much the suspension compresses or extends due to the force of braking. The holy-grail was always thought to be enough anti-rise under hard-braking to counteracts exactly all the forward weight transfer of bike and rider, stopping the suspension extending and pitching forward. However, on steeper trails, sometimes more anti-rise can be beneficial, while heavy-braking on steep terrain you get a lot of fork dive, if using the back brake as well, high levels of anti-rise will make the bike sit down into its travel, preserving the geometry and avoiding the pitching feeling. So, while some riders consider high anti-rise a bad thing, in many situations it can be an advantage – it depends on your riding style and home trails. The only real negatives to the high-pivot idler system are more complexity, potential noise and increased servicing.

Attention to detail

As bikes grow in performance, more focus is placed on the joy and ease of ownership and looking deeper at the Forbidden Druid frame, there are a few details that really impress us. We like that the linkage has been designed with serviceability in mind, with captive top hat spacers, a two-piece rocker link for easy assembly and flat surfaces around the bearings to make extraction easy. We also like that Forbidden have forged, rather than CNCed their rockers, and use 6AL 4V Titanium in the three linkage pivots, expenses that show their dedication to making the best frame they can.

Riding the Forbidden Druid

We were given the opportunity to test ride a Forbidden Druid on home trails for a few days, and took full advantage, giving it a proper thrashing. The size Large was ideal for our 180 cm testers. Setup was very easy – however, it’s a little tougher to set SAG as the shock shaft is hidden inside the shock tunnel.

Climbing on the Forbidden Druid

It’s clear from sitting on the Forbidden Druid that they take pride in their design, all the contact points are well chosen and the demo bike we had feels very sorted. Spinning up the first climb it is immediately apparent the suspension system of the Forbidden Druid is extremely pedal neutral, sitting totally composed with no bobbing. Applying the platform damping on the FOX DPX2 shock is like a full lockout, so we switched it off and did not touch it again. The climbing position feels central and nicely balanced, and while the position cannot match the latest 78 degree + seat stayed bikes when it comes to efficiency, the 440 mm ish chainstays ensured we didn’t feel too far back. The idler ensures pedal kickback is very low and when we powered up steep, rough sections we found it very easy to pedal smoothly and maintain traction.

Descending on the Forbidden Druid

Ignoring the geometry for a second, there’s a lot going on with the Forbidden Druid that we like. We found the high-pivot rear suspension had a number of distinguishing characteristics that are easy to observe on the trail. The most noticeable is how the bike deals with fast, square edged hits. Riding back to back with a (very good) competitors bike with a conventional chainline and similar geometry, we found there was noticeably less ‘pull’ from the back on the Druid as the bike dealt with fast, repeated impacts, carrying more speed through rock gardens and moto-whoop sections. The fully rearward axle path seems to reduce the decelerative effect of repetitive hits. Secondly, when pumping through turns, the bike feels very stable under full compression – whether this is a product of the extending wheel base under compression, or just a lot of mid-stroke support is unknown, but all our testers noticed it. In the centre of a turn where you are fully loaded into the bike, the bike just feels like it hunkers down and grips harder, holding a confident line.

the Druid dealt well with fast repeated impacts, carrying more speed through rock gardens and moto-whoop sections.

The balanced and easy-going geometry, combined with the very progressive leverage rate meant that we soon forgot we were riding just a 130 mm rear travel bike, happy to rally the bike down trails at speeds normally reserved for 160 mm bikes. The 2.7 to 2 leverage rate means that full compression bottom-outs could hardly be felt. Mid-stroke support is also very dialled, Forbidden have worked some magic and the bike feels firm and poppy when you push into it but this does not seem to come at the expense of grip at the wheel. It’s a sublime trail bike. Only the small brake rotors and high-modulation, low power TRP brakes on the test bike held us back on the steeper terrain. But with the chain running so close to the seatstay, is it noisy? Forbidden spent a lot of time choosing the compound of their seat/chainstay protector and they should give themself a high-five, the bike runs totally silently, no creaks, chain rattle or noise at all – most excellent.

Does the idler add drag?

A common concern is that adding an idler adds significant drag to the system, is this the case? In our testing, with a fresh and well-lubed chain, we agreed there was no ‘detectable’ loss of power due to drag. Of course, you need to look after your drivetrain like any other bike. Spinning the cranks in the stand felt smooth without any additional friction compared to a conventional chain-line. Of course, there’s a negative to having the long chain, when you swap the chain the first time in the larger sizes, you will need extra links due to the length.

Is the idler noisy?

We have experienced high-pivot idler based suspension systems before and one of our common complaints is the increased chain noise, both from the idler and chain slap on the seatstay. Only time will tell if wear increases noise at the idler, however, the compound used on the chainstay protector is superb, even under a proper trashing the Forbidden Druid was a masterclass in silent running.

Is it better than a non high-pivot system?

This is a difficult question, and it will depend on how you ride and what you want from your bike. While there are observable benefits to the Forbidden Druid’s Trifecta suspension system, it’s still a compromise, just like every other system. However, we can think of few 130 mm bikes that can demolish rough trails so effortlessly. If you’re trying to merge a trail bike and enduro bike, and have deep pockets, the Forbidden Druid is well worth a test ride.


The Forbidden Druid is a sensational trail bike, balanced, silent and riding like nothing else – it has true category blurring potential. The Forbidden Druid dispels the myth that high-pivots are a one trick pony, only for going downhill. As a first bike from a fresh company, the Forbidden Druid is a home run! It’s expensive for sure, but if you can afford it and appreciate craft beer, you can buy something fast, fun and very awesome indeed.


  • Rearward axle path improves performance over bumps
  • Balanced geometry makes the most of the suspension
  • Extremely fun and potent for a 130 mm bike


  • High anti-rise is not for everyone
  • Of course, it is expensive

For more info head to

Words & Photos: Trev Worsey

2021 Forbidden Dreadnought: Fear Nothing - First Look \u0026 Ride

Today, high-pivot idler bikes like this Forbidden Druid XT are rapidly becoming commonplace, especially in enduro racing. But when Forbidden launched the Druid back in 2019 it was a major departure from the norm. A statement bike to launch a fledgling brand in a crowded marketplace? Possibly. But there’s no denying that this 130mm-travel 29er trail bike with its high single-pivot suspension layout and idler garnered a lot of attention. And rightly so. But does it earn a place in the pantheon of the very best mountain bikes?

Idler arrangement on the Forbidden Druid XT

The high-pivoted Forbidden feeds on heavy hits with porcine ferocity

With its full carbon chassis the Druid masks the complexity of the frame design beautifully, the front end blending a low slung top tube and a seat mast fitting of a conning tower on a nuclear sub to maximise standover clearance. Even the linkage arrangement that actuates the shock is partially concealed, as is the shock, both helping to maintain the smooth flowing lines of the frame. Given its complexity, it’s still an easy bike to work on, as none of the bolt hardware is hidden, making it possible to remove the shock or switch to the 27.5in Ziggy link without having to remove the chainset or dismantle the frame. Yes, having the Fox DPX2 shock enclosed in a carbon tunnel makes setting the sag a little tricky, but using a 19mm template or small ruler is the easy fix for that.

In terms of geometry the Druid pushed boundaries too, with its size-specific chainstay lengths and relatively slack 64.8° head angle. And while the Druid can hardly be considered old, you could argue that the sizing is already showing its age; the size L sporting a 458mm reach, putting it more in line with most brands’ size M. In fact, with the recent introduction of the longer-travel Dreadnought, it’s clear that Forbidden has moved its sizing forward and we wouldn’t be surprised if it made the same move on the next iteration of the Druid. Thankfully, with ample standover clearance and relatively short head tubes, if you’re caught between sizes, upsizing is relatively easy, and probably recommended given that the 338mm BB isn’t that low either.

Flip between 27.5 and 29 rear wheels via Ziggy link on Forbidden Druid XT

Ziggy link enables mullet compatibility


The high single-pivot suspension layout on the Druid gives a fully rearward axle path. So even though the 440mm chainstay length sounds pretty standard, it grows as the suspension compresses to the sag position. Forbidden lists the Druid as having 130mm travel but we measured vertical wheel travel at 125mm. We don’t think for a second that Forbidden is trying to hoodwink anyone, it just measures travel along the axle path rather than vertically, hence the 5mm shortfall. The XT build comes stock with a Fox DPX2 shock and being the Performance Elite version, in addition to low-speed rebound adjustment and a three-position climb switch, you also get the low-speed compression adjuster found on the Factory units. At 80kg we ran all of the adjusters wide open, all of the time, which is a good indication that the stock shock tune is over-damped, at least for lighter riders.

Up front, the Druid rocks the latest Fox 36 Performance Elite fork so you get the Grip 2 damper with four-way adjustment and the bleed-ports of the back of the lower legs to keep everything running as smoothly as with all the best mountain bike forks. And don’t fret if you’re not a suspension wizard; guide pressures and the associated damping setting are listed on the back of the fork lowers. Travel on the 36 is 150mm, and while that sounds a lot more than on the rear, when you account for the head angle you have roughly 135mm of vertical front travel, so it’s more closely matched than you might think.

Full bling build up kit on Forbidden Druid XT

Top-end componentry finishes the Forbidden


With the competitively priced XT specification on the Druid, everything is functional rather than top-end. The alloy 800mm Race Face Turbine R bar and 50mm AEffect stem make for a commanding cockpit and the SDG Radar saddle is also one of the best mountain bike saddles out there. Given the choice we would make some small changes, though. We’d like bigger rotors than the stock 180mm to improve stopping power with the XT four-piston brakes and a longer rear mudguard to better protect the shock. A less obvious upgrade would be to the DT Swiss 350 rear hub, switching the star ratchet from 18t to 36t for faster freehub engagement as there’s a distinct lag when you floor it on the Druid.

Forbidden Druid XT carving woodland singletrack

Makes the complex look simple

Forbidden Druid XT performance

Before testing the Druid we’d heard terms like magic carpet ride brandished about and most reviews say that it feels like it has more travel than claimed. Forbidden even coined the term High Pivot Witchcraft as its marketing slogan. Maybe all the hype gave us unrealistic expectations, but our first rides on the Druid left us suitably unimpressed. Yes, the bike rides flat with very little in the way of pitching, so it’s super-stable even at breakneck speeds. The suspension also feels very effective at handling drops and big single hits, so in that respect Forbidden has nailed the suspension progression.

Keeping the front end up on the Forbidden Druid XT

Needs a better shock tune

Unfortunately, there’s also a distinct lack of small bump sensitivity to the rear suspension, so you feel a lot of vibration through the bike, which we initially thought was due to frame stiffness. The Druid also lacks pop, so it’s not as playful as you’d expect for a short travel rig. So maybe that’s what people mean when they say it feels like a longer travel bike? In fact, it wasn’t until we fitted the DPX2 shock from the original launch bike, with a lighter tune, that the Druid started to hint at its potential magic. But even then it was still over-damped, masking the very traits that anyone interested in a high-pivot idler bike is after.

Side-on view grey Forbidden Duid

Forbidden Druid XT, £5,999


For a small brand Forbidden packs a mighty punch. The 130mm travel 29er Druid proving beyond a shadow of doubt that it can handle the big body blows without getting too out of shape. It’s less adept at absorbing the constant jabbing from the small hits though, which seem to really rattle its confidence and footing. With a lighter shock tune, or possibly even a coil shock, the Druid may live up to the high pivot hype, but as it stands it seems like a sluggish heavyweight banking on delivering one knockout blow, while lighter, less complex designs dance rings around it.


Frame:Full carbon, 130mm travel (125mm measured)

Shock:Fox DPX2 Performance Elite, 210x55mm

Fork:Fox Float 36 Performance Elite Grip 2 (44 offset), 150mm travel

Wheels:DT Swiss 350 110/148mm hubs, Race Face ARC 30mm rims, Maxxis Assegai 3C EXO/Minion DHRII3CEXO+29x 2.5/2.4in tyres

Drivetrain:Shimano XT M8100, 32t, 170mm chainset, Shimano XT M8100 r-mech and shifter, Shimano XT M8100 10-51t cassette

Brakes:Shimano XT M8120 four-piston 180/180mm rotors

Components:Race Face Turbine R 800mm (35mm) bar, Race Face Aeffect R 50mm stem, Race Face Aeffect R 170mmm post, SDG Radar cro-mo saddle

Sizes:S, M, L, XL

Weight:14.87kg (32.78lb)

Size tested:L

Head angle:64.8°

Actual seat angle:73.9°

Effective seat angle:75.2°

BB height:338mm


Front centre:795mm


Down tube:736mm

Top tube:620mm


Price forbidden druid

"Stan's thighs began to jerk up and down. -" Just a little more, and you will get my cream. "" Yes, now I will iron them still hot.


Legs, breasts. We literally clung to her body with our eyes. -Oh, you are not alone.

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She took him into the room. Take five thousand. Has earned. I won't touch you, although I really want to.

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