Created in partnership with crankbrothers, Forbidden Bike Co. is pleased to announce our entry into the world of Elite mountain bike racing with the formation of the Forbidden Synthesis team. Featuring an all-Canadian roster with a core focus on the Enduro World Series for 2021, our trio of riders are no stranger to the podium and represent three of the most exciting riders to call this epicentre of the sport home.
Former Canadian National DH Champion, Magnus Manson, might not be a familiar name in the enduro ranks, but thankfully for this 22-year-old BC native, his two teammates live and breathe enduro and will be on hand to help him on his journey. The DH bike won’t be retired anytime soon either and Magnus will be on double duty, mixing things up between select EWS and World Cup DH events while also supporting Forbidden’s R&D department...
“For 2021 I'm super excited to be part of a new and growing brand and on a team like Forbidden Synthesis. After a few challenging years dealing with injuries, I'm thrilled to race again and on some pretty sweet-looking bikes, as well as helping with some of the R&D work that’s currently going on behind the scenes.
Coming from a DH background, I feel like I’m pretty good at getting bikes up to speed quickly, which I think will be helpful when working on a new bike or design. Considering how well the current Forbidden bikes work, I can't wait to begin collaborating with Owen [Pemberton] and the R&D team; they have some exciting new projects in the works! I was lucky enough to get started with Forbidden aboard a Dreadnought late last fall and while I typically struggle to make enduro-style bikes enjoyable for the type of riding I like to do, I found myself riding that bike relentlessly within a few days!
I’m looking forward to competing in a variety of different races this season and in a few disciplines including enduro, which will be a new one for me. Thankfully though, I have some pretty great teammates to help me learn the ropes! I can't wait to see what the summer brings and I'm super stoked to be aboard a Canadian brand who make some kick-ass bikes.” - Magnus Manson
One of the most promising talents on the international enduro scene, 23-year-old Squamish local Rhys Verner, made his intentions known in 2020 with some stellar results. After making regular podium appearances throughout the Crankworx Summer Series, winning the Queen Stage at the Pietra Ligure EWS, arguably one of the most savage of the season, and rounding out the season with an eleventh place in the overall EWS standings...
“I can’t remember exactly when, but I do recall seeing the Forbidden Druid for the first time and thinking, “that’s a bike I would love to ride one day!” Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long for that opportunity, which eventually presented itself late last year and after a few months on Forbidden’s bikes, I can’t wait to see what we can do on them at the races this season.
The formation of the Forbidden Synthesis team has not only created the perfect opportunity to take Forbidden’s bikes onto the world stage, something I am ecstatic to be a part of, but the prospect of an all-BC team on a BC bike is a dream come true! With my first full winter of training behind me, having recently graduated from university, I’ve never felt so ready to go racing.” - Rhys Verner
Our rookie, 20-year-old Jack Menzies, has shown the world he has the speed to win, taking the U21 crown at the EWS in Whistler, 2019. Having recently relocated from Canmore, Alberta to Squamish, BC because, “if you want to be good at enduro, you have to be in Squamish!” Committed to racing and with the skills to upset the rankings this season, we’re excited to see what Jack can do in his last season in the U21 EWS category...
“I'm so stoked to be riding for the Forbidden Synthesis team this year and with such a rad crew of homies - I really couldn't be happier with my teammates and how it all came together. From the first phone call, I just knew it was the right place for me to be - from the inviting attitude of everyone involved to the vision for the team and to the bikes, which have blown me away. There aren’t many [bikes] that you can just jump on and instantly feel like you can go and kill it at the races, making me all the keener to kick the season off and go racing!” - Jack Menzies
Every race team needs someone to steer the ship when it departs on its journey and donning the captain’s hat this season is Thomas Doyle. Having been involved with Forbidden since its inception and featuring in both the Druid and Dreadnought launch videos, Thomas brings a unique set of skills to this young and dynamic race team. Stuntwork for Forbidden’s videos aside, Thomas has also been spending the past few seasons on the World Cup circuit, documenting the activities of one of Canada’s most recognized downhill talents. Applying his media skills to daily duties will ensure Forbidden’s social channels are buzzing with fresh team content throughout a race weekend and we can’t wait to send these boys on their way to Europe...
“It’s been amazing to watch Forbidden grow these past few years - the hard work, passion and coming from such a small group of individuals, the rapid evolution within the brand has been something to behold. Entering Forbidden’s third year of operating and finding ourselves in the start gate for the 2021 EWS season, is pretty amazing and shows what hard work and determination can achieve.
I’m stoked to be a part of a new brand that represents what we at Forbidden love about mountain biking, and that is gelled by a plain and simple passion for the sport. The challenges of the year ahead are exciting and with such a diverse group of ‘characters’ in the mix, we’ll be in for some fun times on the road for sure! From chasing results to exciting film projects and riding new spots and old ones, I’m stoked to show everyone what we’ve put together and have planned for the future, and travelling with the team this summer is going to be amazing - June just can’t come soon enough!” - Thomas Doyle, Forbidden Synthesis Team and Content Manager
“It took a minute to say yes to Owen [Pemberton] and Olly when they initially proposed the idea of building an EWS race team together, but here we are, a few months later and the Forbidden Synthesis team is a reality and ready to go. It’s really exciting to build a brand new team and with a group of people that we like for their human values and for their creativity; we will support and nurture some great Canadian talent, chase some podiums and have some good times along the way!” - Gaspare Licata, crankbrothers CEO
“Creating a factory race team from scratch was the opportunity of a lifetime for all of us at Forbidden, but amid a global pandemic, it was never going to be a walk in the park. With so much uncertainty in the world, not least with regards to racing and overseas travel, but the impact of strained supply chains and a universal lack of product, the odds were certainly stacked against us.
Thankfully though, we weren’t the only brand determined to go racing this season and over the past seven months, began a long and often arduous process that has ultimately delivered a team that we at Forbidden are all immensely proud of. Encompassing who we are as a bike company, be it the riders, the support crew or the amazing brands we have partnered with and the truly passionate individuals who work there. Without them and others in the racing community, this sport wouldn’t be what it is today.
And what a roster of partners at that! Sharing our vision from the get-go, crankbrothers will be supplying the team with their front and rear-specific Synthesis wheels, shoes, pedals and range of tools. We are also privileged to have both SRAM and RockShox by our side, ensuring our riders have the best braking and transmission systems, seatposts and suspension platforms available.
Fizik, whose legacy in mountain bike racing is hard to fault, will be supplying saddles while bars, stems, grips and headsets will be provided by Burgtec and Chris King respectively; the coolest cockpit combo out there for sure. The team will be rolling on Maxxis rubber with CushCore inserts, wearing 7Mesh apparel, Oakley helmets and eyewear, and fending off those falls with protection from 7iDP. Muc-Off will be supplying the team’s bike care ingredients and ensuring the bikes are spick and span all season. With three fast and entertaining riders, Thomas and Alex Presant (our Aussie team mechanic), I can’t wait to get the season started and get the Forbidden Synthesis team to Europe for plenty of racing and fun times, both inside and outside the tape!” - Olly Forster, Global Marketing Manager and Team Director
Photography: Liam Wallace / Video: Thomas Doyle / Location: Squamish, BC