Trust Performance seems to be the latest victim of the economic and supply chain challenges caused by the coronavirus. As the world grapples with both the physical, mental, and economic toll of COVID-19, many businesses have already been severely impacted.

For some, like Trust Performance, it may simply be too much to bear; the company just announced that they are suspending operations effective immediately.

Why is Trust Performance shutting down?

From the sounds of it, the problem boils down to the company’s funding. Trying to reinvent the suspension fork is not an easy or inexpensive task, and just as Trust was gaining momentum, the economy has taken an abrupt turn thanks to the coronavirus and the financial fallout has left Trust without the ability to access enough capital to keep things running.

Trust states that they are pausing operations, they do not state that this is for good. If things improve globally and the funding is there, we could see Trust back up and running.

Are forks for sale? What about warranty service?

For now the only Trust forks available will be the ones that are already out there or sitting on a shelf waiting to be sold. Those that already own a Trust fork will still be able to get them serviced at Suspension Syndicate in Salt Lake City, Utah. That includes both the original Message 130mm travel fork and the recent Shout 178mm enduro fork.

Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come for other brands in the bicycle industry!

In Trust’s own words, here’s what happened

FROM TRUST’S FACEBOOK POST: We started Trust Performance in 2015 with a vision of building products that bring spirited outdoor athletes more fun and camaraderie. Our core focus from the outset was on reimagining and re-defining suspension technology; at first in mountain bikes with other industries thereafter. As you might imagine, our plans hinged on raising multiple rounds of capital to fuel our ambitions for incredible design, engineering, manufacturing and customer/dealer support.

2019 was a breakthrough year for Trust. We surpassed 1,000 units sold, we saw steep growth in dealer and distributor sales, and we saw four of our best-ever sales months at the end of the year. We had great momentum based on key demand metrics, brand awareness, and community enthusiasm.

But 2020 brought a number of unexpected factors, starting with the shut-down of key parts of our Asian supply chain following Chinese New Year due to coronavirus. In February, demand slowed considerably as macro fears about the economy started to rise. Then, finally, severe negativity in the investment markets shut down our ability to gain access to capital. This was at a point where we needed increased liquidity to carry us through a critical moment in our business. It all added up to a perfect storm that slammed right into us.

As a result of the overwhelming effects of the coronavirus and evaporated capital markets, it’s with incredible disappointment and a heavy heart that, effective immediately, Trust Performance is taking a pause and suspending operations until we address our capital needs. We are utterly and completely gutted. We have given every waking hour over the past few months to find a path forward, but to no avail. Trust Performance, like the rest of the world, will be a different company when life is back to normal.

For those who own a Trust fork and need service going forward, please contact Suspension Syndicate in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are trained and certified as a Trust Performance authorized service center.

We’re grateful for the community of people who encouraged and supported our unique design and innovative technology. In stepping away, we wish everyone health and safety. These trying times are a great reminder to make the most of the moment with those you enjoy most.

trustperformance.com

16 COMMENTS

  1. Ouch, that’s really a shame for them. It doesn’t sound like Trust will be back post crisis if they have run out of cash, unless there is an enterprising soul with a hefty wadge of money willing to make an investment.

    • To be fair, it isn’t dead they simply have shut down operations for the immediate future. This is not an uncommon thing during this time, and I’ve spent part of the last week helping a local company do the same plus know many others in a similar situation.

      This isn’t new, seem to recall Hope has had to do something similar and lots of shops are quietly already there. We’ll see more of such in the Monty to come but it does not mean it’s done unless the owners explicitly say it’s done folks. Let’s be cognizant of such and watch how we portray such announcements.

  2. I’ve owned both The Message and The Shout. Hands down the best climbing bust especially cornering forks ever created. If you haven’t ridden one, now is your time to scoop one up (new or used) for a once-in-a-lifetime deal. They are THAT amazing.

    R.I.P. (for now) Trust. Hope to see you back on your feet soon, guys!

  3. This is a mere bump in the road. Every business is going to hold onto cash right now, my guess is they ran into a funding roadblock on account of the stage of their business and production/suppliers not wanting to lend capital in hopes of payment.

  4. Is anyone shocked? To suspend operations now is common. They will spring back. Many companies are in a forked up situation. If the CEO has his head-set on coming back, they will do it, and possibly get a leg up on the competition. Give them a brake. Losing profits is axle-erating and they may be thru. This type of company compression can happen these days. Thats enough. I’m tire-d. i hope the entire world gets back to normal soon and everyone makes it out ok.

  5. Cant say that I am surprised. how many linkage fork companies have come and gone over the past 30 years. Each one has a new revolution on the same basic idea. The only thing none of them have figured out is how to make the difference between a linkage fork and telescopic fork worth the difference in price. Even with the deep pockets of the motorcycle industry they have not figured it out besides BMW and we all know the $$ premium that they command. Even BMW runs telescopic forks on their budget minded and race motorcycles.

  6. The R&D, molds, and expertise have not simply disappeared. Whether it’s the original crew, or a buyer, this fork will emerge once the funding crisis fades. Guessing that will take better part of a year.

  7. This will get me flamed, but I deserve it.

    Those forks are too expensive and too fugly.

    They might turn Moore Fun into the Yellow Brick Road, but cyclists in general and mountain bikers in particular are vain af and these forks turn a bike into a sideshow. They enhance performance, but at the expense of aesthetics, and that we cannot have. They are a step on the road to some future innovation, and a major shot at the ceiling of what mountain bikers are willing to tolerate in terms of looks and performance, but they’re also a bridge too far in terms of that same aesthetic and the expense required to obtain them. Further, I believe Trust lowered the cost of entry a few weeks ago–far prior to the quarantine. The history of mountain biking is riddled with the corpses of innovation that came 5, 10, or 20 years too early, and I’m afraid this company will remain firmly in that history.

    • I actually think they look cool in a “wow, that’s different” kind of way. I’d be more likely to run them because of how they look. Ok, I’m weird. That said, in a previous life I was a suspension engineer. My main focus was In motorcycle roadracing but I did dabble in MotoX, Snomobiles, ATV’s and some sports car stuff too. After watching/reading reviews/tests I don’t think it’s a viable product. It gives up too much for what it gains. Some of the stuff they tout as advantages are actually disadvantages if you understand the geometry changes required to get the feel you need. In a MTB application the inherent problems are masked because you can’t load the contact patch very hard. The same configuration with lots of traction would be a disaster. Take what I say with a grain of salt because I have not been able to ride a set of these. There is a reason that the telescoping fork has endured so long. It is the best worst way of getting the job done. A lot of manufacturers with massive budgets have tackled doing something other than the telescoping fork for decades. No one has come up with something better yet. I help everyone that I can out on the trail with suspension setup (I enjoy it). I have literally never run across another MTB’r with their forks set up in the same galaxy as ideal. Do these people need new front end technology? Or do they just need to dial in what they have? It’s the latter.

      • I have to disagree with the idea that no linkage fork has ever been better than the best telescopic forks. I know it’s awhile back, but I remember riding a MAG21 and a Girvin Vector 2, and while the MAG21 was pretty good (would have been better if they had stocked it with 2.5wt oil), the Vector just gulped down straight on hits that would have stopped the MAG21 in its tracks. I believe the Lawwill Leader 3 would have been even better, as it had a real shock on it instead of crummy rubber bumpers.
        Also, have you read the review of the Structure Cycle Works frame-fork combo on Pinkbike? It gets a pretty awesome review- Levy said that it made every other fork he’s ridden feel like it’s full of molasses and sand.

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.