We’ve managed to get hold an MRP Stage 29 140mm fork for a quick blast around some of the potential EWS descents here at Tweedlove. MRP’s forks are handmade in Colorado and individually dyno tested before leaving the factory for quality control.
The Stage 29 uses MRP’s Equalair two chamber air spring and is firmly aimed at enduro and hard technical riding and is available in 140/150/160/170mm travel in 26/27.5 and 120/130/140/150mm in 29er. The forks air chambers are self equalising with an air valve on the left leg lower and rebound adjuster on the right lower. The Stage also has a 180mm post mount brake mount.
Damping is supplied via a sealed cartridge damper with bladder. 8 settings of compression damping are available via the top mounted adjuster and the damping circuit includes a magnetic valve to reduce spiking. The 8th position is highly damped for stability during smooth climbs, transition stages and fire roads.
A high volume negative air spring is used to keep travel super plush. The left hand adjuster allows riders to tweak the end of the air springs stroke curve with 16 clicks of adjustment, effectively a part high speed compression/part bottom out control completely independent of damper and air spring settings. That black dot in the centre of the adjuster is a bleed button, for reducing air pressure in the fork. Bleeding form the bottom air chamber’s air valve is not recommended due to the risk of rotor contamination.
There’s a handy settings reminder in sticker form on the right leg lower and the fork is supplied with a nice and simple card setup guide that should get you up and running with the fork pretty quickly.
Keeping everything tight at the wheel end is MRP’s QtaperR 15mm thru axle which mates with a conical dropout interface to reduce torsional flex under riding conditions.
On our quick test the sensitivity of the fork was apparent/very obvious in the rough gravel carpark before hitting the proper trails. Riding up to the top of the hill the suspension was active on all bumps. The fork is very impressive; sensitive on small bumps, controlled on bigger impacts, tuneable and well put together. Offers a supportive ride with a very controlled ride that you can feel. The sensation is that the fork will deal with the complexities of terrain (whatever it is) and as a rider you are comfortable, confident and have control of where you want to go.
We’re looking forward to getting hold of a Stage of a longer proper test and review.
More Info here: MRP
The Stage is in stock at Ison and available for £749.99