Forbidden Bike Co.’s incoming downhill bike has hardly been kept a secret, as their team racer Connor Fearon has been riding a prototype at World Cup DH races for a while. After honing and refining the bike into a downhill destroyer, the Supernought is now available to the general public.
At the moment there is no mention of complete builds – The Supernought will debut as a frame kit only. Initially, all kits will be sold with mixed-wheel dropouts, but Forbidden says that’s just ‘for now’ so it sounds like the full niner options will become available later.
The Supernought frames are offered in full carbon only. The frames feature Forbidden’s V2 Trifecta high-pivot linkage and offer 205mm of rear travel. The high-pivot linkage uses a steel 18t idler with a solid lube bearing. The idler’s optimized tooth profile and Forbidden’s next-gen Race Guide should ensure reliable chain retention.
The Supernought’s other significant feature is its modular dropouts. Not only can you swap the dropouts to accommodate either a 27.5” or 29” rear wheel, but you can adjust the rear end length as well. Options for 0, +10mm, or -10mm allow riders to fine-tune their weight balance and the bike’s handling. If that’s not enough adjustability for you, Forbidden also went with a 49mm headtube to accommodate adjustable headsets. Forbidden has not yet provided any pricing or availability for the modular dropouts.
Forbidden’s press release states “A quiet bike is a fast bike and a clean bike is less prone to problems”, so they designed a whole set of frame protectors for the Supernought. The frame features fork bump stops which double as cable ports. That port and a clamping seatstay guide hold the derailleur cable tight to prevent rattling. The frame also gets heavy-duty shuttle and lower downtube protection, plus a chain guard (covering the chain and seat stay), all designed to handle the rigors of DH racing.
To keep maintenance fast and easy, Forbidden kept the rear brake hose routed externally. This race machine has a 200mm direct brake mount.
Above is a full chart of technical specifications for the Supernought. Here’s some key specs for quick reference; The frame uses a BSA threaded 83mm BB shell with lower ISCG05 tabs, surprisingly runs Boost 148mm rear spacing, and accepts 31.6mm seat posts. Max tire clearance is 29×2.5”, although Forbidden recommends 2.4”.
When developing the kinematics for the Supernought, Forbidden’s downhill racers asked for more traction and sensitivity. The company gave this bike its own leverage curve and braking characteristics optimized for DH racing. They say the Supernought encourages you to stay off the brakes longer, but when you have to squeeze ‘em it remains highly composed.
The V2 Trifecta linkage is designed to gobble up roots and rocks so you can charge downhill and take on rough lines with ease. The axle path chart shows the wheel moves rearward by 34mm at 160-170mm travel.
Matching the racer’s desire for increased sensitivity, the leverage chart shows a fairly linear curve until it ramps up for the last bit of travel.
Supernought frames come in sizes S1-S4 covering riders from 5’2” to 6’6”. Following Forbidden’s ‘One Ride’ philosophy, the Supernought’s rear ends grow proportionally with each larger frame size so riders of all sizes get the same ride characteristics.
See the geo chart for all the numbers, but here are some key specs: The Supernought’s head tube angle is 63.1°, while the effective seat tube angle is 75.8°. Reach numbers range from 420-488mm, and the proportional rear end lengths vary quite a bit from 431mm to 475mm. BB height is consistent across the board at 350mm.
One interesting note is that standover height also varies, growing 8-10mm between each size. Some brands have moved to keeping standover heights as consistent as possible while the reach grows, but Forbidden’s larger sizes do stand a bit (not drastically) taller.
Going to a full 29” setup alters the Supernought’s geometry in a few ways. First off it makes the head angle slightly steeper at 63.5°, and the seat mast angle bumps up to 76.3°. Reach grows a bit with the bigger wheelset, ranging from 425-492mm. With the 29” dropouts, the rear end length remains the same as the MX bikes. BB height sits a bit higher at 356mm, but standover heights do not change between the MX and full niner configurations.
Video by Liam Morgan, Max McCulloch.
The Supernought frame kit sells for $4299. The kit includes a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil rear shock (with 300/350/400 lbs springs depending on frame size), an e-thirteen chain guide/bash guard, a seat clamp, dropouts and a rear axle.
Forbidden is offering the Supernought in two frame color options: VOL. 4 and White Noise. Frame kits are now available globally through Forbidden dealers and distributor partners.