There is no more White Brothers logo on mountain bike suspension. After licensing it for about ten years, MRP has rebranded the line under their own name. They’ve also developed a new, patent pending suspension platform that makes its debut on the all-new MRP Stage fork.
The Stage ups the ante from their Loop forks with 34mm stanchions and up to 170mm travel for 27.5″ wheels. The 29er fork tops out at 150mm travel. There’s no 26″, and there’s no question what crowd this fork is aimed at…
It has an eight position compression adjustment on the right. On the left, with the air spring, is Ramp Control to adjust the ending stroke. Where most brands use a high and low speed compression damping control to affect ending stroke ramp, MRP developed a dual chamber air spring.
The bottom chamber handles the first bit of travel and stays supple for the small stuff. When you hit something big, the air pushes past a spring loaded valve into the top chamber. The valve’s piston doesn’t completely close the two chambers off from each other, it simply limits air flow. The Ramp Control knob adjusts how much preload the spring puts on it, which extends the time (or force) it takes to open it up. The more preload on the spring, the more progressive the ending stroke is. Keep it open and you’ll have a very linear feel.
On the bottom is the rebound adjustment knob and air valve.
This system will move to the new Loop Trail, too. There’s also a Loop SL that’s similar to the original but with slightly shorter stanchions and less oil volume in the damper. It saves about a quarter pound from the original, coming in at 3.9lbs for the 29er. Both get a simple three position compression knob.
They just purchased Canadian suspension brand Elka, taking over production of their Stage 5 shock. They’ll call it the MRP Raze. They’d also been independently working on an air shock, which is a long term project. It’ll be at least a year.
The G3 Steel is a new lower price chainguide/bash guard with a stamped steel backplate. It uses the same nylon and polycarbonate guides and guards as the higher end models, but comes in about 100g heavier than the alloy G3 (claimed at 241g for ISCG05) but much cheaper at $90 (versus $150).
They’re also working on a new carbon DH-level riser handlebar. It’s a massive 830mm wide based around the 35mm clamp diameter. They’ll have stems to support that in a few weeks. It has a 25mm rise, 9° degree back sweep and 5° upsweep. Retail is $160.