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FORUM HOTSEAT - MRP

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5/14/2020 7:52 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/14/2020 7:53 AM

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We're excited to have the crew from MRP at your service today for our Forum Hotseat!

Ask them anything here today! MRP will be online responding from 9am to 2pm PST.

MRP is a long-time leader in the chainguide market and has a deep line of suspension products for the serious mountain biker looking to fine-tune their ride.

MRP's Bartlett dual-crown fork is an intriguing option for enduro riders wanting long-travel precision and stiffness on the front end, and we recently saw their prototype Jackson air shock (picture above) at the Sedona MTB Festival. We were really impressed with the MRP Stage fork in 2018. As a smaller company, the brand out of Grand Junction, Colorado, is able to act on ideas and react quickly to the needs of modern riders.

Random, fun poll

Would You Run a Dual-Crown fork on Your Enduro Bike?

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5/14/2020 7:57 AM

I bought your original 48 tooth chain guide back in the 90's and haven't run more than one ring since. My everything bike back then was a Santa Cruz Heckler with a DHO and that 48 tooth with a 10-28 in the back. Thank you guys for a long wild ride.

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5/14/2020 8:01 AM

Years later I did a single speed race on my old Super 8 DH bike and welded a bearing mount onto the spider and spring loaded it to make it into a chain tensioner.

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5/14/2020 8:12 AM

I'm just glad that a company representative(Noah) is here on Vital that chimes in on the forums.

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5/14/2020 8:34 AM

Big Bird wrote:

I bought your original 48 tooth chain guide back in the 90's and haven't run more than one ring since. My everything bike back then was a Santa Cruz Heckler with a DHO and that 48 tooth with a 10-28 in the back. Thank you guys for a long wild ride.

Nice! It's been interesting to watch chainring size trends over the years. In my office I have some of the old-school System 1 guide rings in the "Mammoth" size, I think that's like a 56t! Someday when I'm bored I should mount it to a super-low modern bike and see if the shock or guide ring bottom-out first!

I've been 1x myself since the late '00s, probably. The trail bike setup back then was 34 x 11-34t, IIRC. That makes me feel a little soft now, running 34 x 10-45t, but I know I ride a lot more now!

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 8:39 AM

i'll go record saying that i bought a *mountain speed* travel upgrade kit with stratos shock for my specialized fsr maxbackbone. travel up from 4" to 6" and bb height about that much higher too HAHA!

on a serious note, here's a question - when narrow/wide chainrings came out as "chainguide killers," what did you all think internally? was that product out of the blue for you or did you know it was coming? clearly, it hasn't killed the chainguide business, eh?

(thanks for being on today!)

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5/14/2020 8:42 AM

Scrub wrote:

I'm just glad that a company representative(Noah) is here on Vital that chimes in on the forums.

They're a great distraction sometimes! It's really entertaining to watch the Racing Rumors threads when you have insider info. smile

The tech threads are also great, they provide valuable insight into what riders think and the bike geek I'll always be still loves when someone posts a grainy spy shot of a new product found on some obscure Chinese forum.

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 9:16 AM

i have a mrp hazzard and I typically run it in low travel mode even when going off pretty big jumps or drops as it just feels better, will this cause problems with the shock over time?

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5/14/2020 9:27 AM

sspomer wrote:

i'll go record saying that i bought a *mountain speed* travel upgrade kit with stratos shock for my specialized fsr maxbackbone. travel up from 4" to 6" and bb height about that much higher too HAHA!

on a serious note, here's a question - when narrow/wide chainrings came out as "chainguide killers," what did you all think internally? was that product out of the blue for you or did you know it was coming? clearly, it hasn't killed the chainguide business, eh?

(thanks for being on today!)

I still have one of those FSR links! I found it in a box in the back with a million shock DU bushings and 6x25.4mm shock hardware. There are a lot of MRP / Mountainspeed, White Brothers, Total Air, and Power Grips relics from the golden years up in the rafters.

Re: narrow/wide, I don't remember the timeline exactly, but you have to remember we were producing chainguides for SRAM/Truvativ at the time, so we were privy to some early info on X-Sync. I remember being shown some sample parts of the original XX1 group at Eurobike, well before that came out. Chris Hilton (now of YT) had them in this cool hard-sided suitcase and took us outside to one of the parking lots between halls to show us. I remember feeling so special, haha.

That time period was actually a boon for us. A lot of people think narrow/wide tech had a negative effect on the guide market, but it's was actually the opposite. Previously, 1x drivetrains weren't necessarily rare (they were definitely on-trend with peers), but they certainly weren't mainstream. Most bikes still had multiple chainrings, and although we sold a good amount of our LRP and 2x guides, they were still fairly niche. The era of the original XX1 and the slew of range-extending add-on cogs for other cassettes at the time really pushed 1x into the mainstream, so we had more riders than ever looking at our guide and bash products.

We've always looked at chain-retaining rings (as we call them) as a way to add security to a drivetrain, not necessarily as replacements for chainguides. For some people, they may provide enough security, and it's not necessarily because those people don't "shred", but that certainly plays a part. For many people, they need the insurance a chainguide provides. For instance, you haven't seen a pro enduro rider without one for ages. Anymore, you rarely see a top-level XC racer without one. So, as good as some of these rings are, guides are still necessity for racers. It also seems to be a regional thing, like here in the desert, guides and bash protection are almost non-negotiable if you want to ride technical trails. Areas where the trails are smooth, lack a lot of ledges and square-edged hits, and downhills are steep enough to coast, you see less chainguide use.

I could go on for days about guide benefits, so I better stop... smile

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 10:10 AM

The Dark Knight wrote:

i have a mrp hazzard and I typically run it in low travel mode even when going off pretty big jumps or drops as it just feels better, will this cause problems with the shock over time?

Do you mean you have it in the short-travel shock mount on your bike or are you talking about running it with the Shred Lever on (firm)?

I assume the latter, in which case, maybe?

From engineers:

"Constricting oil flow dramatically, as with a climb setting or lockout, inevitably puts an extra load on certain seals. This is true of any shock, not just Hazzard. So leaving the Shred Lever on all the time, taking lots of very hard hits, may affect the service interval. That said, the system is robust and frequent use of it is not an issue."

The intent with that feature was to provide a very firm "climb" adjustment. At the time, I felt like those from other manufacturers were generally pretty weak, to the point where I'd question which position was "on". So I 'd imagine your bike is either really firm like this, unless it's under-sprung. We could re-vlave it for you to provide more base low-speed compression damping, so you could then reserve the Shred Lever for climbing, road, smooth trail, etc., as it's intended.

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 10:15 AM

Yes I was referring to the shred lever being on in the firm mode. I should probably send it in for service, but with covid i'm trying to ride as much as possible to stay sane. What are your current turn-arounds on service rebuilds at the moment?

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5/14/2020 10:17 AM

I appreciate MRPs commitment to interesting products like the dual crown 29er enduro fork and gravel fork. I was interested in the Hazzard and progressive springs too, but there have not been many review online that I can find for these. Is it just hard to get people to review these 'niche' products?
Also, I would like to know your thoughts on coil shocks for trail/mini-duro bikes. If we're prioritizing downhill performance on our bikes and we have limited travel (<140mm), would a coil shock provide better suspension performance than an air shock? I'm thinking in terms of small bump compliance - short travel means limited range for the shock to get from one stage of travel/tune to another, so in theory the benefits of coil shocks would be even greater on short travel bikes. Or am I completely wrong here? I have no engineering/design experience, just like to ride and look at cool stuff.

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5/14/2020 10:34 AM

The Dark Knight wrote:

Yes I was referring to the shred lever being on in the firm mode. I should probably send it in for service, but with covid i'm trying to ride as much as possible to stay sane. What are your current turn-arounds on service rebuilds at the moment?

Got it. I'm with ya on the "riding as much as possible" part!

Our Service Manager is working about 3 days a week at the moment while we maintain a healthy work environment for everyone by limiting staff overlap. That said, we still running pretty quick service turnarounds. It's best to reach out to support@MRPbike.com for exact timeframes. With planning, we could schedule the service to minimize any downtime.

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 10:44 AM

Are we going to see your progressive springs in heavier weights?

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5/14/2020 10:51 AM

@noahcolorado is the grass really greener under your weiner dogs weiner??

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5/14/2020 11:11 AM

Masjo wrote:

I appreciate MRPs commitment to interesting products like the dual crown 29er enduro fork and gravel fork. I was interested in the Hazzard and progressive springs too, but there have not been many review online that I can find for these. Is it just hard to get people to review these 'niche' products?
Also, I would like to know your thoughts on coil shocks for trail/mini-duro bikes. If we're prioritizing downhill performance on our bikes and we have limited travel (<140mm), would a coil shock provide better suspension performance than an air shock? I'm thinking in terms of small bump compliance - short travel means limited range for the shock to get from one stage of travel/tune to another, so in theory the benefits of coil shocks would be even greater on short travel bikes. Or am I completely wrong here? I have no engineering/design experience, just like to ride and look at cool stuff.

Thanks, a lot of those start as pet projects of mine. Words cannot describe how cool it is when a random idea I had while out riding becomes a commercial product. The AMg was this way, once Shadow+ derailleurs came out I thought "hmm, I wonder if combining the 1x guide and XCg bash guard into a single product would be the ticket for enduro bikes." 8 years later and it's our best-selling (and most-copied) guide. I never would of thought I'd see someone like Sam Hill using a product I invented.

There are a few reviews for the Hazzard and Progressive Springs out there, they're linked on our product page. Regarding reviews in general, there's definitely been a consolidation of media and thus places to get legitimate reviews in the last few years. While some people think an advertising contract will get you a good review, that's definitely NOT the case. But, it is true that some outlets won't review product without advertising. So that's been one hurdle. We definitely offer product up for review, but it can sometimes be tricky to match a product to an appropriate reviewer (with a suitable bike). That's probably the biggest challenge with getting Bartlett reviews, it's fairly niche to begin with and then you have reviewers with test sleds that are owned by the manufacturer, who may hear "dual crown" and get scared.

I think Vital is looking for good test sled for the Bartlett right now. smile

Re: coil on short-travel bikes. Yes and no. There are some frames where it's a good (even great) match, but many lack the support needed to not be riding on the bump stops all the time. As well, a lot of short-travel frames utilize shock sizes that aren't friendly to coil shocks in general, and even less friendly to heavier and/or Progressive springs (which are longer). One that comes to mind is the 185mm trunnion size that's pretty common in the "short-travel shredder" category (didn't say downcountry). That size can take most of our Enduro SL springs, but it's limited to the 500+ and lighter Progressive springs (due to fit). Furthermore, our Progressive springs have a max stroke of 65mm, so if you're using them on 50 or 52.5mm stroke shocks, you're actually missing a bit of the progressive effect. We'd need to make short-travel specific Progressive springs to really have a good match to more of these bikes. I'd totally vote for that in spirit, but I'm not sure its a big enough market to make it commercially viable (at least at the moment).

Air shocks don't have to have poor sensitivity, it's just that a lot of them do. I think most commonly that's because of system friction. There are ways to address that and even make the initial stroke feel tunable by the rider.... cool

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 11:13 AM

How would a Hazzard with a progressive spring work on a regressive single pivot? At all? Or no chance?

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5/14/2020 11:14 AM

Atkinson wrote:

@noahcolorado is the grass really greener under your weiner dogs weiner??

It makes me feel warm and fuzzy that in 10 years of being registered on Vital this is your first post.

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 11:23 AM

Atkinson wrote:

@noahcolorado is the grass really greener under your weiner dogs weiner??

NoahColorado wrote:

It makes me feel warm and fuzzy that in 10 years of being registered on Vital this is your first post.

haha, rock is in the mail

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5/14/2020 11:25 AM

Prophet26 wrote:

How would a Hazzard with a progressive spring work on a regressive single pivot? At all? Or no chance?

Depends. The Progressive springs (if used to 65mm of stroke) have about a 20% progression, so it's by no means makes every bike "coil-friendly." It's really intended for linear to modestly progressive designs.

What bike?

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 11:31 AM

Lol Bryn.


Noah, how do you guys come up with technology names? CHOCOLUXE cracks me up!

Related, what does a 37% reduction in fork friction feel like on the trail?

For the person who isn't aware, what can adjusting the negative pressure on one of your forks do? When might you want to increase or decrease it relative to the positive pressure?

Are fork sales in general pointing toward a mass transfer to shorter offsets?

Which parts of Elka's shock technology does MRP still use today?

How has coronavirus impacted the business? Any unexpected positives?

Hope the crew is well!

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5/14/2020 11:32 AM

kev.1n wrote:

Are we going to see your progressive springs in heavier weights?

We have a 600+ option that was added not too long ago. If you're looking for heavier than that, definitely send an interest request to our general e-mail address (info@mrpbike.com). That's usually how we gauge interest in a product or line extension.

As I mentioned in another response, a challenge we face is that the progressive element of these springs add to their length. So do higher rates. Couple those together and you start to drastically limit fit compatibility.

I've fairly often heard from V1 Hightower owners looking for this, but those frames used a 200x51 shock. That's both short on eye-to-eye length and stroke, making it impossible to squeeze heavy progressive springs onto the shock body.

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 11:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/14/2020 11:48 AM

What is on the vegan quarantine menu other than broccoli? Will dropping dairy make me faster on the climbs?

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5/14/2020 11:47 AM

Ramp Control- I've never understood this product. How is this better than position-sensitive tokens on your spring and to and speed-sensitive high-speed damping?

For instance, I'm running my HSC relatively open to keep my fork supple on high-speed chatter and I'm running tokens to prevent harsh bottom outs and excessive fork dive in steep/nasty stuff. How would a speed-sensitive Ramp Control cartridge on my spring be a better system?

For reference, I'm a big, heavy, formerly fast racer. BTW loving my SxG chainguide! The bottom chain retainer piece is brilliant. Has prevented 100% of chain drops but with no resistance on the chain.

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5/14/2020 11:49 AM

And Blake wants to know "How many flats this week Noah?"

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5/14/2020 12:04 PM

Samsquatch wrote:

What is on the vegan quarantine menu other than broccoli? Will dropping dairy make me faster on the climbs?

I'm all-in on cheese now. I just had cheddar pirogies and pizza for lunch. Dropping dairy will only make you faster on climbs if you're carrying a lot of it in your pack or pockets. It's simply w/kg.

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 12:14 PM

Samsquatch wrote:

And Blake wants to know "How many flats this week Noah?"

I'm totally jinxing myself, but I actually don't get flats very often anymore. The last one I got was on my gravel bike while rallying downhill on rocky Jeep road. It was an absolute mess, sealant everywhere.

For MTB, I've found you can be pretty reckless using Maxxis EXO+(front) and DD (rear) with Enve rims. Probably helps that my suspension is so good. wink

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

5/14/2020 12:27 PM

Samsquatch wrote:

What is on the vegan quarantine menu other than broccoli? Will dropping dairy make me faster on the climbs?

NoahColorado wrote:

I'm all-in on cheese now. I just had cheddar pirogies and pizza for lunch. Dropping dairy will only make you faster on climbs if you're carrying a lot of it in your pack or pockets. It's simply w/kg.

I was 3+ years in and nachos after a late night out ended me. Now I basically only eat cheese. All the cheese.

Good tip! I will take out my pocket cheese and see if I can do better on Strava.

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5/14/2020 12:46 PM

A bit more bike specific question. I'm running a 2017 Transition Patrol with a metric 230*65 coil shock. The bike has a pretty linear linkage. Would this be a ideal bike to use a progressive spring on? And do I need to have the same springrate spring as I have now? Or can I go lighter a bit because of the progressiveness of the spring?

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5/14/2020 12:48 PM

Prophet26 wrote:

How would a Hazzard with a progressive spring work on a regressive single pivot? At all? Or no chance?

NoahColorado wrote:

Depends. The Progressive springs (if used to 65mm of stroke) have about a 20% progression, so it's by no means makes every bike "coil-friendly." It's really intended for linear to modestly progressive designs.

What bike?

A cannondale Prophet. I doubt it since the falling rate suspension goes from 2.6:1 to 3:1.

They used to spec fox DHX coils on some models back in the late 00s when this model was new.

I've got a frame I upgraded to all modern parts including a 27.5 conversion. Just a thought to go coil. Air works fine.

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