Core Bike 2011: White Brothers Loop fork

New cross-country/trail/all-mountain option

White Brothers no longer have the profile they once did in the mountain bike suspension fork market, with RockShox, Fox and Marzocchi having a virtual stranglehold on aftermarket sales. But if first impressions of the new Loop are anything to go by, they could soon regain a foothold.

The Loop looks very different from previous White Bros forks, with stiffer one-piece cast magnesium lowers and none of the CNC machining that used to be their trademark. It's available in a variety of different configurations to suit different wheel sizes, head tubes and types of riding.

All models have 32mm aluminium stanchions and come with the Colorado-based company's new QtapeR15 system – their take on the 15mm quick-release through-axle, which uses a tapered head and dropout to ensure a secure fit.

White Brothers' new Aura TCR damping is used throughout the range. All models have adjustable spring rate (via an air valve on top of the left leg), rebound damping (bottom of the right leg), compression damping and (magnetic) lockout threshold (top of right leg).

Forks are available with either 80/100/120mm of internally adjustable travel or 130/140/150mm. When you buy a Loop, you can specify how much travel you want it set to out of the box. Adjusting it simply involves changing the position of a circlip – UK distributors Ison reckon this takes just 15 minutes.

Versions are available for 1-1/8in and tapered (1-1/8 to 1-1/2in) head tubes, and 26in/650B and 29in wheels. Travel on the 29er version is limited to 140mm. RRP for all the different versions is £599.99, which seems like good value, given the way that fork prices have rocketed over the past couple of years. The Loop is available in black or white. There's no word yet on weights.

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