Forbidden updates its radical high-pivot trail bike with the Druid V2

New Forbidden Druid V2
(Image credit: Forbidden)

Forbidden has released the second generation of its short-travel, high-pivot, hard-hitting Druid. The new frame sees a number of updates to a bike that we already considered to be one of the best trail bikes around.

Forbidden was one of the neo-high-pivot pioneers with their Trifecta suspension system and idler chain system. While other brands have caught on and added idlers and moved pivots upwards on their own bikes, Forbidden's Druid still stands out as one of the very few trail bikes to feature a high-pivot system. 

The new Druid V2 is an evolution of the original Druid, using an updated version of their Trifecta suspension system. A new Inverted 4-bar layout gives the Druid the rearward axle path that Forbidden is famous for, however, they claim to have improved small bump sensitivity and grip, added mid-stroke support, improved bottom-out control, and optimized pedaling and braking characteristics. 

The Druid V2 now features a larger 18t idler wheel with upgraded solid lube bearings too. The new suspension system also means the idler is now mounted to the main triangle, removing the need for a chain guide and can also be set up for both 52mm and 55mm chain lines.

New Forbidden Druid V2 Trifecta suspension system.

New Trifecta suspension system no longer requires a lower chain guide (Image credit: Forbidden)

The Druid V2 is still available in MX (29in front wheel with 27.5in rear) or 29er options although customers will need to buy a new chainstay if they want to switch rear wheel size at a later date. Forbidden has changed the naming scheme for their sizing on the Druid V2, opting for bikes to be sized between S1 to S4. The S1 MX caters to riders from 158cm tall while the S4 tops out at 198cm. All the sizes are proportional too in order to maintain ride characteristics across the range of sizes.

The geometry has also seen an update, and is 0.5 degrees slacker than the original bike to give a 65-degree head angle while the seat tube is steepened by 1.5 degrees. Reach has increased by 15mm and the bottom bracket is dropped by 2.5mm. Moving to the MX setup slackens the head angle and seat angle by 0.5 degrees and lowers the bottom bracket by 5mm, whilst taking 5mm off the reach.

It's not all numbers and pivot points though, there are some other nice touches on the Druid V2. Forbidden has added new frame protection for a quieter ride and all the internal routing goes into the frame, rather than through the headset. The internal frame storage now has a tool-less entry so you can get your frame-stored trail essentials out faster.

New Forbidden Druid V2 being jumped on a trail in a forest

Can the new Druid combine the best of both long and short travel bikes? (Image credit: Forbidden)

The first build spec available is the Druid X0 ($8,899 / £ 8,999 / €10,599) in either Spruce Almighty or Star Dust, although there will be two further SRAM GX builds available in the coming months starting at $6,199 / £ 6,299 / €7,499. The Druid V2 will also be available as a frameset ($3,799 / £ 3,599 / €3,999) too.

If you want to know more about Forbidden's new bike, check out Guy's full review of the Forbidden Druid V2.

Forbidden Druid V2 side shot

The Forbidden Druid V2 XO (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Tech specs: Forbidden Druid V2 XO

  • Discipline: Trail/enduro
  • Price: $8,899 / £8,999 / €10,599
  • Weight: 14.77kg (size S3)
  • Head angle: 65 degrees
  • Frame material: Carbon fiber
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate 130mm travel
  • Sizes: S1, S2, S3, S4 
  • Weight: 14.77kg
  • Wheel size: 29in
  • Chainset: SRAM XO T-Type 32T, 165mm arm crank with Dub bottom bracket and 18T steel idler
  • Mech: SRAM XO T- Type AXS 12-speed
  • Shifter: SRAM XO T- Type AXS 12-speed
  • Cassette: SRAM XO T- Type 12-speed 10-51T
  • Brakes: SRAM Code Stealth Ultimate with 180mm HS2 rotors
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai MaxTerra 3C EXO 29x2.5in front and Maxxis DHR MaxTerra 3C EXO+ 29x2.4in rear
  • Wheels: Crank Brothers Synthesis Enduro Carbon
  • Bar: Burgtec Ride Wide Alloy 780mm
  • Grips: Burgtec Bartender Pro
  • Stem: Burgtec MK3 Enduro 42.5mm
  • Seatpost: OneUp170mm dropper
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Alpaca X5
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham Cottingham is the senior tech writer at and is all about riding bikes off-road. With over 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg