Words by: Chance Seely
MRP Bike has been around for quite some time, making some of the best and most trusted chain retention systems in the game. More recently, however, MRP has started to dabble in the suspension game. Specifically, the MRP Hazzard coil shock and Ribbon fork. During our coil versus air comparison using the MRP Ribbon Forks, we found out just how well MRP suspension products perform. Now we are testing their Hazzard shock and their progressive coil springs that help add some ramp-up to what is normally a linear coil shock, a great thing for those with trail bikes looking to go coil. We mounted our Hazzard coil to a Yeti SB130 LR and set out to see how it compares to other coil shocks on the market.
The first thing that I noticed about the MRP Hazzard coil shock was the absolute toughness of it, in a very good way! It seemed like a shock that we could really “smash on” and not have to worry. The overall look of this shock is really what got me. From the trick, orange anodization on both the threads and lockout knob, to the very sweet looking adjustment dials, it really catches your eye. Every bit of the MRP Hazzard coil portrays its ability to take a beating, especially the larger shaft diameter that is 14mm in diameter, which is much larger than most other coils on the market. The eyelets have been reinforced as well and the fact that the shock mounting hardware is a bigger diameter than the typical 15mm (so make sure to get the MRP hardware for your bike). All of these make the MRP Hazzard much better suited to be used with a clevis.
Immediately, when taking the stock DPX2 off and putting on the MRP Hazzard I felt the significant weight that was added to the bike. Although it was a bit heavier, this did not affect the bike’s efficiency while climbing or make the bike feel sluggish. MRP has a climb switch called the “Shred Lever”, which I personally love to use. I installed the Hazzard coil with the 400lbs progressive spring that gave me the 28% sag and also added some progression to help the bottom-out resistance feel more like an air shock on my Yeti SB130. If I were to run the standard Enduro SL spring from MRP I would most likely get the 450lbs spring to give me the same ending progressivity, but I’ll get more into the ride feel of the MRP Progressive spring below.
The MRP Hazzard coil is available in just about every size you can imagine for a trail bike, including standard and metric sizing with both traditional eyelets and trunnion mounts, as well as a few bearing metric options as well. Because they are all made to order, MRP can not only make exactly what you need in a black or orange body, but they give you nine decal options to match your bike. There are also two springs you can choose from for MRP, the Enduro SL, and the Progressive coil spring. The Enduro SL will be your standard linear spring, which they managed to shave some weight off. The Progressive spring takes a different approach to the standard coil spring by increasing the spring's wind up at the end of the stroke to increase the force needed to bottom out the bike's travel. Not only does this help bikes not typically suited for coil shocks, but you can now even further tune in your coil shock. With the Progressive spring, you will have less time balancing small bump sensitivity and bottom-out resistance, as you can get a lower rate spring for the small bump that delivers about a 50lbs ramp up near the end of the stroke.
To further explain, if you are riding a 450lbs linear spring because that is the spring weight you need to not bottom out all the time, you can drop that to a 400lbs progressive spring to get better small bump compliance and still keep that ramp up and bottom-out control you would typically have from the 450lbs spring. If you have run coil rear shocks before and often were between two different spring rates, this could be the answer to your problem!
"With the Hazzard coil, you have both the Progressive coil spring as well as the large bottom out bumper on the shaft of the shock. Both of these help the larger hits and I found that as a whole this might be the best well rounded coil shock I have used on a trail bike. " - Chance Seely
We have a local trail around here that makes it very convenient when wanting to do laps and really get the feel for tuning, which made this test very fun. At first, I hopped on it with a very middle tune for my body, weight, and riding style which turned out to work great. I started with HSC fully open, only a little bit of LSC and a pretty neutral rebound. We were also sent a 500lbs progressive spring, but I quickly realized that was a bit too much for myself (I weigh 160 lbs all geared up). So dropping to the 400lb spring gave me much better sag and the end ramp I was looking for. With about 1-1 ½ turns of preload on the spring that set me at about 28-30% sag, right in the sweet zone for the Yeti SB130.
The first thing I felt throughout the day was the Hazzard really shined while cornering. I felt each time I came into this particular flat corner I could lay the bike over lower and lower each run. It gave me a very comfortable feeling that I could trust the way the rear end was gonna hold. The main thing everyone notices when switching from air to coil is obviously the small bump sensitivity. There was no question when it came to the Hazzard. That is pretty common with coil rear shocks or just coil shocks in general. The coil helps keep the tires on the ground better and that can translate to tons of traction. This also translated to the bike being a bit more composed over very rough terrain. On multiple repetitive hits, the coil doesn’t have any “spike” and that can also be tuned in further with the separate low-speed compression and high-speed compression adjustments.
After some riding, I ended up adding a little LSC and HSC to help keep the shock composed over bigger hits. At a local zone, we have some steep trails that require the best-tuned shocks to go fast. You have rough choppy braking bumps, steep chutes, and rock slabs as well as some pretty big and hard g-outs or drops. All of these take each aspect of a shock’s tuning and make it all so important. The coil excels at small bump absorption and maintaining control over the steep chutes and slabs. But when you get the bigger g-outs and drops, the coil typically doesn’t do as well as the air counterpart. Well with the Hazzard, you have both the Progressive coil spring as well as the large bottom out bumper on the shaft of the shock. Both of these help the larger hits and I found that as a whole this might be the best well-rounded coil shock I have used on a trail bike.
After months of abuse, the MRP Hazzard showed no signs of wear and the performance didn’t drop at all. I swapped back and forth a few times between the stock Fox DPX2 air shock and the MRP Hazzard coil, and each time getting on the coil left me remembering why coil rear shocks are so good. They just work so well and keep that rear wheel tracking and planted over the roughest terrain.
The MRP Hazzard coil has all the adjustments to compete with the big dogs in the rear shock game, along with some robust features to set it apart as well. The no-nonsense Hazzard coil can be equipped with a standard linear coil spring or MRP’s progressive coil to increase the ramp-up in the end stroke. Standard adjustments like low speed and high-speed compression along with rebound and spring preload give you all the needed knobs to turn to tune the shock as well as a climb switch, or as MRP calls it the Shred Lever, to help you get to the shredding faster. As a whole, we are very impressed by the beating the MRP Hazzard Coil was able to take. I think this is the most well rounded, burley yet tunable rear coil shock we have tested, and that includes just about all of the options.