Interbike 2010: White Brothers Suspension Introduces the Loop

In one of the most surprising product releases of this years Interbike, White Brothers was on hand to show off their new Loop trail fork. While White Brothers has a history of making incredibly high quality forks and even custom forks, you can’t help but notice how few people actually run them. Sure this is primarily due to White not having an OEM contract with a major bike manufacturer, but even as upgrades they aren’t as prevalent as other makes.

I have a feeling that with the introduction of the Loop, that is going to change.

Check out what makes the new Loop different after the break!

The Loop fork marks a complete departure from the aesthetic and construction of previous White Brothers forks. While retaining the quality that WB is known for, the new fork chassis looks amazing and should have the performance to back it up.

Obviously one of the biggest changes for the Loop is the switch to a one piece cast Magnesium lower.For as long as I can remember WB has utilized their press fit 3 piece lower which will now be replaced by a more modern once piece casting. This should help keep the weight down, and should improve over all stiffness of the fork.

In addition to the change in lowers, the Loop will also be the beneficiary of MRP’s custom QR15 quick release through axle. The tapered portions on both end are the secret to it’s simplicity, which it happens to be one of the simplest in the industry. A while back I had posted the new Manitou QR15 which I still feel will be one of the fastest QR15′s if they keep the bayonet design. However, I think it will be a toss up between the new White Brother’s QR15 and Manitou’s as far as ease of use, only time will tell.

While the exterior of the fork is getting a total makeover, what about the interior? To compliment the forks great new looks, White Brothers is introducing a new damping system dubbed the Aura. At the heart of the Aura is a magnetic threshold valve, somewhat like the IMV Magic forks that White currently or used to make. The Aura features fully adjustable compression, rebound, and threshold. In order to give the rider all the adjustments they need, the compression knob is set up so that when it’s in the first half of the stroke the threshold valve is off allowing the fork to run on just compression damping. Turn the knob to the second half of the stroke and you get into the magnetic threshold which keep the fork firm until the travel is needed. I was told that the new threshold is much more sensitive to small bumps even while “locked out” which is always a complaint no matter what company’s threshold. In addition to the adjustment knob, under the black dot is an adjustment screw that allows you to dial in the level of magnetic threshold you desire.

The rebound damper control knob is found in the somewhat typical location at the bottom of the right fork leg. To the right of the fork you can just see the side of a giant Norglide bushing which is the company that will supply the busings for the new Aura forks. The name may sound familiar due to Cane Creek sourcing their bushing from Norglide for the upper half of their AER headsets. White Brothers was quick to point out that this was not just due to quality, but the fact that the Norglide bushing are slotted vertically so that oil is able to pass through the bushings more easily.

The Loop will be available in many configurations so that you can put one on your bike no matter what you’re running. It will be offered in all mountain bike sizes, meaning 26, 29, and 650 b, both 1.5 to 1 1/8 tapered and 1 1/8 straight steerers and will have travel options from 80-150mm. The only thing you can’t choose is the QR15, no quick releases allowed.

White Brothers also mentioned that this should be the start of a release of a new fork, ever year so keep your eyes peeled for the next installment from White Brothers.

Comments

zombinate - 10/11/10 - 10:50am

approximate MSRP?

Alex O - 10/11/10 - 2:24pm

I’m sorry to say that after bad experiences with WB forks in the late ’90′s and again in the early-mid ’00′s I’m put completely off. I’d love to see them become more mainstream but I’m not expecting the Loop to do it for them – when it’ll probably cost $200 more than a comparable fork from RS / Manitou / Marzocchi.

As for the QR’s, check out the one from Suntour if you want easy to use. Brilliant design!

Nevada 29er - 10/13/10 - 12:44am

Bad move to 15mm, should have stayed with 20.

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