A New Long Travel Option
The list of desirable long-travel single crown forks, those offering between 150 and 170mm of travel, is relatively short these days, with only a few options from the major players. MRP, yes the MRP of chain guide fame, is looking to throw their hat into that ring with their new Stage fork, shown here at Eurobike for the first time. While there is most certainly some White Brothers DNA involved, the Stage will carry MRP branding, and will be available in both 26''/650B and 29'' compatible options. The former can be had with either 150, 160, or 170mm of travel, and can also be lowered to 140mm by way of some internal tinkering, an option that would likely create a potent mid-travel fork for a trail bike. The 29'' compatible Stage will come in 130, 140, or 160mm flavours, as well as the internal option of lowering it to 120mm.
MRP Stage Details
• Intended use: all-mountain/enduro
• 26''/650B travel: 150, 160, or 170mm
• 29'' travel: 130, 140, or 160mm
• 34mm stanchion tubes
• Air sprung
• Compression, rebound, and ramp-up adjustments
• Tapered steerer
• 15mm 'QtapeR' thru-axle
• Weight: 1950g (26''/650B), 1995g (29'')
The air sprung Stage can be filled via a schrader valve located at the bottom of the left leg, and MRP has incorporated a nifty bleed button at the center of the left side top cap that allows for micro-adjustments without risking the chance that lubrication oil might contaminate the disk by letting air out at the bottom of the leg. We gave the small button a push to release a few PSI and it works as advertised, much in the same way that a bleed button on a
shock pump functions. Damper adjustments include a magnetically controlled threshold valve similar to what is used on their Loop forks, but it requires less force to activate the fork to allow for a more active feel, and rebound can be adjusted via a knob at the bottom of the right leg. A dial atop the same leg allows riders to tweak the fork's progressivity as well.
The Raze 2CR Shock
You're not going crazy, the shock pictured to the right looks familiar for a good reason: MRP recently purchased the rights, technology, and remaining units and supplies of Elka's Stage 5, thereby giving MRP a full fledged shock right out of the gate. At this point the Raze features all of the same adjustments as on the Stage 5, with low-speed rebound, and both high and low-speed compression tuneable externally. Riders who already own the shock will likely be happy to hear that MRP has spare parts in-house, and they also plan to assemble and service every Raze shock in their Colorado facility, a decision that should make for more of a one-on-one relationship with the customer given that MRP isn't nearly the size of the major suspension brands.
Prototype Air ShockWhen Wide is Really Wide
This yet to be named prototype was also on display in MRP's Eurobike booth, although it is still in the very early stages of its development and has yet to see action on the trail. And while its appearance might be somewhat retro, it sounds like there is some internal trickery hidden within its unassuming body. According to MRP ''it compresses air against a seal on the housing rather than on the piston - resulting in reduced friction,'' and it also makes use of MRP's magnetic compression valving that is designed to keep the shock from being affected by pedalling or body motion but still allows it to function when needed. Much like the Stage fork, the shock also utilizes MRP's 'Ramp Control' system that lets riders to adjust its ending stroke feel.
MRP's brand new Hb1 handlebar measures in at a staggering 830mm width, although it can obviously be cut down to suit a rider who prefers a more commonly accepted bar size. Manufactured from unidirectional carbon fiber, it features a 35mm diameter clamping zone (MRP also offers a matching aluminum stem
), and 25mm of rise. MRP also went with a proven and comfortable 9° backsweek and a 5° upsweep.www.mountainracingproducts.com