The city of Grand Junction, Colorado, has a slightly gritty, distinctly Western feel to it, a place where Wranglers and cowboy boots are part of the dress code, and pickup trucks and semis rule the road. Sandwiched between I-70 to the north and Highway 50 to the south, many mountain bikers have only experienced the town via a pit stop at a convenience store on their way to Moab, Utah, 1.5 hours down the road. But there's much more to GJ than initially meets the eye, including miles and miles of top-notch singletrack within close proximity, everything from the buttery smooth trails found on Fruita's 18 Road, to the rocky, more technical offerings at the Lunch Loop area, situated on the border of the Colorado National Monument.
Grand Junction is also the home of Mountain Racing Products (MRP), a company that deserves a good portion of the credit for progressing chainguide technology to where it is today. MRP's story dates back to the mid-90s, when it operated under the name Mountain Speed in Portland, Oregon, selling spring upgrade kits for the early RockShox forks. Chainguides entered the mix in 1997, consisting of CNC'd aluminum plates with bright orange rollers that soon became the company's calling card.
In the early 2000s, MRP was sold to its current owner, Tim Fry, who left his job as a corporate litigation lawyer in Ohio and moved out to Colorado to begin his new career. Fifteen years later, Fry is still at the helm, overseeing multiple facets of the company. In addition to chainguides and chain rings, MRP's products include suspension forks (formerly produced under the White Brothers name), Kreitler Rollers, and even Power Grips, the pedal accessory that had its first heyday in the '90s, and then experienced a resurgence with the urban fixed gear crowd. www.mrpbike.com