In May we made a trip down the road to Grand Junction, Colorado and more specifically MRP SUSPENSION. We’ve been long time fans of their forks and with the global crunch put on everything from inner tubes to suspension forks, we felt it high time to check out their operation to better understand what they are about. Having options and a broader supply chain will help us, help our dealers and end customers get on a Moots quicker. Plus, they produce very nice products that we feel proud to spec on our bikes.
The 3-hour drive from Steamboat pulls us further down the western slope and into a high desert setting with rugged landscapes, massive vistas and the Colorado River running west. Noah Sears (VP of business development) met us at the front door of MRP and after some introductions we began a tour of the production floor. Like all manufacturing there is a start and a finish. Raw materials delivered, processes applied to those materials and by the end a product goes into a box to be delivered installed and used by the rider. What happens to those raw materials in the process is where the magic happens and at MRP there is beautiful magic going on.
Number 2 press at the ready.
Ribbon and Ribbon SL
We are stocking the Ribbon (140mm travel) for the Womble and the Ribbon SL (120mm travel) for the Mountaineer. Noah told us during the tour that there are roughly 170 parts in a single fork, and they manufacture about 130 of those parts in-house. That is a ton of machine work, and the tolerance of that work must be spot on since they are working with air, oil, seals and valves. As we toured the facility it became clear that each area was well focused on what they were doing.
Forks wait further assembly. –Not trash.
All assembly and testing is done in-house.
MRP is a high-end quality product that doesn’t have the massive marketing machine behind it that the other big names have. We also love that they are a Colorado based company and the attention to detail is like Moots in many ways. The history of the company is also something that draws us to them as well. They have had a few brands under their roof over time and some of you might recognize them: White Brothers, Kreitler Rollers and Power Grips. Currently they focus on the MRP suspension business but support those other brand items just as well, all except White Brothers which was folded into MRP many years ago.
Iconic orange Kreitler Roller belts in inventory.
Fork cycle test set up. (Each fork is cycled, its performance documented and saved).
Who? MRP (Mountain Racing Products)
Riders. Yes, they ride and ride a lot. To us this felt even more like Moots as normal lunch rides happen and some of the staff races all disciplines on a regular basis. You develop a special relationship to the product you produce when you regularly ride. Subtle tweaks to the product to full remodels can come to light during rides and this moves things forward for a better ride experience for all.
From solid block to rough shape to finished product. Rear shock pieces are also made in-house at MRP.
Speaking of rides. Once done with a factory tour we grabbed lunch with the MRP team and then headed to the local trails. Their local trails are world famous as Fruita and the Kokopelli network are just a short distance from their front door. On this day we went with the Mary and Lions Loop/Horse Thief Bench loop which starts off the Kokopelli Trail proper. And as you might guess, they rip!
You can view the Womble with the Ribbon 140mm fork on our model page and read more about the technology inside their works as well.
Good looking combo with performance to match.