MRP Loop TR Fork
Wheel Size: 29”
Blister’s Axle-to-Crown Measurement: 525mm
Blister’s Measured Weight: 4.2lbs
Bolted To: Canfield Yelli Screamy
Reviewer: 5’8”, 160 lbs.
Test Location: Park City, UT
Test Duration: 16 rides
MRP says in their marketing copy that the Loop TR is “the quintessential “trail” fork – a tight, light, and stiff package the gets you up and down with equal, awesome ability.” Sounds interesting. But before we get to the Loop TR in particular…
It might seem like MRP started developing suspension out of nowhere, but there is actually a lot of experience behind these products.
MRP licensed the White Brothers Suspension name for 10 years before dropping it in 2013 and selling suspension products under their own name. (White Brothers was a small manufacturer that dated back to the mid 90’s, and sold mostly aftermarket forks. Their small size allowed them to adapt quickly with products like the 27.5” fork spec’d on the Jamis Dakar 650B1 and B2 bikes—some of the first 650b / 27.5” wheeled bikes available.) MRP also acquired Elka in 2013, and added rear shocks to their line.
Now MRP hand builds their forks in Grand Junction, Colorado, and advertises that they run each fork through a dyno to verify performance. Validation procedures like this can keep lemons from reaching customers, which is nice since it isn’t uncommon for riders to complain about receiving forks from other companies that don’t have sufficient oil. This testing can help catch oil levels that are low enough to affect performance or create other issues.
The MRP Loop TR is available in either black or white, and comes in a 29” version, as well as a 26 / 27.5” version—one fork covers both of those sizes.
The travel on the 29” model is internally adjustable between 120mm, 130mm, and 140mm.
I tested the Loop in the 120mm setting.
The MRP Loop TR has a pretty simple chassis that doesn’t have any wild sculpting, just slight bulges at the bushings. There is probably the potential for additional weight reduction in the chassis, but that can be expensive, requiring lots of testing (both digitally and on physical test equipment) and I’d be surprised if MRP had the same resources that SRAM / Rock Shox have to do that sort of work.
The axle on the MRP Loop TR threads on from the right side like a Rock Shox Maxle. But unlike the Maxle, it features a wedge system to tighten it at the lever side. This means that the axle is fixed on both ends and, hypothetically, should result in a stiffer fork system.
Noah mentioned the impressive tire clearance of the DT Swiss OPL in his review, and I’d rank the MRP fork on par. You can fit just about any tire you want in here up to 29×3”.
Fork stiffness is one of those things that is more noted in its absence than its presence. The MRP Loop TR let me place my front wheel exactly where I wanted, and resisted any attempts the trail made to overrule it. I never noticed the MRP Loop TR doing anything other than what I wanted it to do. It didn’t feel impressively stiff, but I never had an instance where I felt it deflect from my desired course.
This “adequate” stiffness of the MRP Loop TR wouldn’t stand out per se, except for the fact that every other 29er fork with 32mm stanchions I have been on this year has flexed undesirably and notably. Maybe that axle design really does make a difference.
In short, the MRP Loop TR is a step above every other 32mm stanchion fork I’ve been on for chassis stiffness, particularly in terms of torsional stiffness.
The 49mm offset of the MRP Loop TR lies in between the classic 46mm offset of the first 29ers, and the newer 51mm offset. It feels slightly more like the 51mm offset than the 46mm offset, which should surprise no one.
For my money, I’ll always take the larger offset when possible. I like bikes that handle quickly, and I find that the larger offset helps a bike to dive into corners. It is akin to sports car handling, and the additional ever-so-slight twitchiness is a small price to pay. (Who wants a bike that makes them ride like a passenger anyway?)
NEXT: Air Spring, Damping, Etc.