Mountain Speed FSR XC X-Rated Link Kit Shock Upgrade

4.82/5 (22 Reviews)
Weight : 150 grams MSRP : $149.99


Product Description

  • Conversion for '99-'00 Specialized FSR XC bikes and '01 Rockhopper FSR XCs
  • Improves lateral stability via the traditional style machined shock hardware and DU bushing instead of plastic.
  • Travel increase from stock76 mm (2.96") to 90 mm (3.546")
  • Nickel Plated CNC'd 6061 T6 aluminum link.


  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Steve Ellis a Racer from Irvine, CA, USA

    Date Reviewed: December 29, 2006

    Strengths:    Highest quality, fit/finish, performs better than described!

    Weaknesses:    Price..

    Bottom Line:   
    Just did this upgrade to my older but perfectly maintained bike.. Added a few more years to its life! Like other comments, should have done this years ago just for the travel and ride-feel improvements. Installation was a no-brainer, no issues with bushings, follow directions. High quality and exceeds expectations. Had to increase shock air pressure 40psi over normal due to increased lever ratio. Ride suppleness and quality over small bumps is superior, big hits are smoother. Answers to tech questions I had before buying were spot on. Just buy it.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Cooks to Old-Camp to LUGE!

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $150.00

    Purchased At:   MRP Mail Order

    Similar Products Used:   None

    Bike Setup:   1999 S-Works, XTR crank arms with XT spider and rings, XTR shifters. Skareb fork, (Original Carbon arch broke) Easton carbon bars, XTR pedals, Specialized FastTrak Pro tires. XTR brakes, deraileur etc. Everything else still stock.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Paul a Cross Country Rider from Menlo Park, CA

    Date Reviewed: November 25, 2002

    Strengths:    The MRP X-rated link and drop-out bearing kit deliver an immediate improvement in ride quality. Breathe new life into your FSR XC and say goodbye to back end wagging while you are railing some corner. Finally, no more annoying bushing squeaks. I should have gotten one of these in '99 when I got my bike. The guys at MRP are super helpful.

    Weaknesses:    None. Directions straightforward. It's pricey, but also way cheaper than a new frame. Besides, anyone thinking about this has aready got a few grand into their ride so quit complaining.

    Bottom Line:   
    The x-rated is the missing link in making the FSR XC really perform. This is one upgrade that is worth the admission price.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $150.00

    Purchased At:   direct from MRP

    Similar Products Used:   WD-40, Tri-flow and 10w-40 to quiet the squeaks (useless and what a mess). Various tires to improve tracking.

    Bike Setup:   '99 S-Works FSR XC, XTR drivetrain/brakes, Hugi/517 wheelset, stock front/rear shock. CT2, OCLV bar-ends, Thomson 120x5, SST.98, Fire XC Pro 1.8s, carbon ATAC, bell

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by Eric Wilson a Cross Country Rider from Pleasanton CA.

    Date Reviewed: October 24, 2002

    Strengths:    Smooth, makes the front and rear feel " balanced ".
    Looks hot.


    Weaknesses:    Over tight bushings. ( Read text below )

    Bottom Line:   
    First the bad news. I expected the "UD bushing" to be tight, based on the reveiws I read here, before I ordered the X-Rated link from MRP. I also know the Friction fit of the UD bushing, is to keep it from spinning in the Shock eye and damaging the end of the shock.
    The "UD bushing" was overly tight and wouldn't even get started into the shock eye. I had to take some emery cloth and polish it up some on the edges and put some grease on it, to get it into the end of the shock. I've done some minor machine work before, and the bushing ( in my case ) was overly tight in the extreme, even for a friction fit.
    I next went to install the "reducer bushing" into the "UD bushing" and got another rude surprise. I checked the inside diameter of the "UD bushing", and it seemed to be round, but the "reducer bushing" wouldn't even begin to fit into the "UD bushing".
    I decided to "hone" the inside diameter of the UD bushing till I got a fit with a slight drag ( to allow for break in ) when I inserted the "reducer bushing". It would have been easier to turn down the "reducer bushing", but it appeared to be "hard anodized" and I didn't want to ruin the finish on it. I think for the money, MRP should have put cartridge bearings on the shock eye pivot. Also how do you get the UD bushing out if the shock needs to be repaired or replaced?

    If any one from MRP reads this, you people really need to figure out a better way to do the shock eye pivot.

    With all that said, I got the thing together and it performs beautifully. The bike has a "balanced" feel and the rear end is smoother now, than it has ever been, in the past. I haven't noticed anymore ridgidity, but my stock bushings were still in excellent shape after 3500 miles.

    So...because I had to play "junior machinist" it only gets two flamers for value, but because the X-Rated Link is so awesome once its installed, I give five flamers overall for how it works on the bike.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Any East Bay Ride

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $160.00

    Purchased At:   Direct from MRP.

    Similar Products Used:   None

    Bike Setup:   FSR xc with aftermarket FLOAT R/C and X-Rated link.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Jim a Cross Country Rider from Fall River

    Date Reviewed: August 28, 2002

    Strengths:    Super smooth travel, increased bb height

    Weaknesses:    kind of pricey

    Bottom Line:   
    I'm very impressed with the quality of travel I'm getting. I had to increase the pressure in my shock about 25 PSI to set it up right for XC riding. I've run the downhill at Mt Snow (VT) and Loon (NH) and the XLink proved smooth and stiff. One unexpected bonus is that my bottom bracket height increased from 11 3/8" stock, to 12". If you want to make your FSR even more versitile, this is the hot set-up. One installation tip: allign the bushings in the shock body by screwing the hardware together, remove the bolt, then press them into place in your vise.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $150.00

    Purchased At:   MRP

    Similar Products Used:   stock link & bushings

    Bike Setup:   2000 FSR S Works XT/XTR drivetrain. Race Face lowriser bars. Arch Rival brakes.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Don a Weekend Warrior from Williamston

    Date Reviewed: August 10, 2002

    Strengths:    Very pretty!.Light, stiff easy to install.

    Weaknesses:    Price. I know its a sweet part but some used frames are cheaper! Still gets 5 flames though.

    Bottom Line:   
    I should have bought this link years ago. It makes my 99 ride better than a new one.I put a Duke SL 100mm on the front and wanted something to match the travel. I expected
    this to work well but WOW. It only adds maybe .6 inches travel but it fells like a lot more. The bearings really make a differance. Standing at the side of the bike and holding one hand on the bars and one on the saddle then push the pedal over with your foot you can see how much the rear flexes. Put the link on then do the same and you will notice a great improvement. I really thought about the BETD and I'm sure it's a great product but I did not want to stress my old XC frame and shock with more travel. I think the 3.6 of the X rated matches the front perfectly.
    No regrets!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Poto

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $150.00

    Purchased At:   CentralPark

    Similar Products Used:   Stock bushings.

    Bike Setup:   99 FSR XC Comp,Duke SL,XTR,Fire Pros, Thompson.............

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by john su a Cross Country Rider from boston

    Date Reviewed: May 3, 2002

    Strengths:    awesome performance, decreased side to side wiggle of rear end, stiction free

    Weaknesses:    $50 less would be just right, messed with my shifting

    Bottom Line:   
    i realize any upgrade/replacement part tends to get 5/5 since the reason you replace stock usually is because the stock is worn....given that, i still think this is a great upgrade!

    my rear end was wagging quite a bit. replacing the bushings alone probably would've helped but there'd still be stiction and i'd be replacing the bushings again in a few months.

    the bottom bracket maybe slightly higher - hard to tell to be honest. rear is definitely smooth as butter now and straight as an arrow - great for climbing (so i'm not knocked off line while powering up rock gardens) and downhill too.

    my shop ordered the part (took 3 weeks! backordered probably because everyone's 99/00 really needs the upgrade). installed it free of charge for me... but the 1st few rides my shifting was totally screwed up, front and rear -- not sure how that happened.

    anyways, an absolute necessary upgrade for 99/00 owners -- not so much if you've got a 2001 with a bearings and improved link. considering bushings run $30-40, consider the x-link not only an upgrade but a cost saver.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   fells, wompatuck, lynn

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $175.00

    Purchased At:   international bikes (lbs)/mrp

    Bike Setup:   99 spec stump xc fsr, king headset, stout/221 front, xt/f519, thomson seatpost, selle flite gel seat, titec bar ends, eggbeaters

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by JamesD a Racer from Los Angeles, Ca

    Date Reviewed: March 16, 2002

    Strengths:    Stiffens up the rear end, completely transforms the FSR. The machining is amazing and makes your bike look "high end". The only way to make it better is if MRP made a 100gram version.

    Weaknesses:    "UD" bushing is really tough to mount. You'll see what I mean!
    Nickel plating is beautiful but a bit fragile as it can be chipped if, say, a rock hits it but that is a superficial thing- doesn't affect the performance. I would still rather have the nickel plating because it looks so sweet!


    Bottom Line:   
    Everything they say about the MRP X-Rated Link is true. This thing is amazing and turns that rear suspension into a stiff, efficient beast.
    It adds about 100 grams (link kit and drop out bearing kit combined) but is well worth it because it improves everything about the bike other than the few grams. The quality is top notch.
    I checked out the 2002 M5 S-Works and they have the same type of MRP Link except it looks like a playschool toy version of the X-Rated Link. The 2002 FSR has a goofy black plastic-looking link (I think it's metal though).
    Both the '02 FSR and MRP give you 90mm of travel.
    Get the rear dropout links for $24 more. The needle bearings are amazing and turn your suspension into silk. The X-Rated Link transforms your FSR and the dropout bearing kit completely eliminates any trace of stiction and flex that is left.
    This is one part worth every dime and does exactly what it says. It's like riding a new bike and compares to any FS bike from any price range.
    Instructions are clear with photos and install took 1 hour (mostly trying to get that UD bushing in!)

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $150.00

    Purchased At:   mountainspeed.com

    Similar Products Used:   Stck FSR S-Works link. The only thing good about it is it is lightweight. It fails as a suspension device. Specialized realized this and tried to change it on the '02 FSR. Still not up to MRP quality or looks.

    Bike Setup:   '00 S-Works FSR XC

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Rick a Cross Country Rider from Kansas City, MO

    Date Reviewed: March 4, 2002

    Strengths:    Quality machining, high quality bearings, reasonable installation requirements, DOES WHAT IT CLAIMS

    Weaknesses:    None yet

    Bottom Line:   
    I was ready to sell this bike until I tried the MSR link and full bearing kit. It's almost like riding another bike.......you get to feel how the rear end was designed to work......truly an amazing difference.One caution: I experienced a reluctance for the front derailleur to shift down to the smallest chainring when I set the shock in the longer-travel position. It seems the bulge in the outer plate won't contact the chain any longer 'cause the chain gets angled downward too severely. I use the stock 90mm travel position and it keeps the bike from being too twitchy. Two weeks after the install, I went on my annual pilgrimage to Colorado, riding Breck, Vail, Winter Park, Durango, and Fruita. I had ridden the same trails the year before with the stock setup, and it's no stretch to say that all the trails were much more enjoyable, especially the long rough downhills.I weigh 195 in full riding garb, and I'm no finesse rider, yet the whole system is still tight and trouble-free.By the way, the guys on the phone at MSR are friendly, will answer any and all questions, and are just a pleasure to spend your coins with.Got an FSR with toy bushings? Buy the whole kit (with dropout bearings). You'll fall in love with your FSR all over again.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Landahl Park

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Purchased At:   MSR via phone order

    Similar Products Used:   Stock plastic bushings and stock link

    Bike Setup:   2000 FSR XC Comp with Chris King headset, XT cranks and BB, Race Face XY seatpost, Mavic 517s with 36 14 gage spokes, Psylo XC, Flite saddle

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Kell a Weekend Warrior from IL, U.S.

    Date Reviewed: December 3, 2001

    Strengths:    Stiffens rear end, increases travel

    Weaknesses:    Cost a lot for such a small piece of metal.

    Bottom Line:   
    I am reviewing my brothers link. He has the MSR and I have the BETD on my bike. The MSR works great and is a big improvement over stock. makes the back end stiffer and gives you the option of raising the very low bottom bracket. However, if you are really looking into increasing travel, get the BETD like I did. You have several travel options with the highest setting being 5 inches!!!!!! Do the research and you decide like I did. The MSR is lighter if you are worried about weight though.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

    Similar Products Used:   BETD FSR XC link. (my favorite, it rules!)


    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Rocco Sifreddi a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA, USA

    Date Reviewed: November 26, 2001

    Strengths:    More travel. Looks sick and beefy

    Weaknesses:    that it was an aftermarket purchase which means more money into the bike

    Bottom Line:   
    Makes the bike look beefy and psychologically makes you feel
    huge. You sit up a little higher and gives you another inch of travel. This thing is sick! If you have the green, buy it.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Mission Trails

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Purchased At:   $150.00

    Similar Products Used:   stock link

    Bike Setup:   sworks fsrxc, avid mech.discs, wellgo flat pedals, tenacious D
    riser bars, XT/XTR drive train.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by KC a Cross Country Rider from Burlington, VT, USA

    Date Reviewed: November 10, 2001

    Strengths:    It really works and excellent parts quality.

    Weaknesses:    Instructions are a little bit sketchy. Not something you want to do on a Saturday night with a few beers in you. Overpriced, but worth it if you are going to keep the old steed.

    Bottom Line:   
    The difference in ride and handling is readily apparent. Definitely takes the wag of the rear end and adds some travel too. If you purchase it, get the bearing kit too. A lot of my plastic bushing were worn and split when I took them out.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $150.00

    Purchased At:   Mountain Speed

    Similar Products Used:   none

    Bike Setup:   99 FSR XC-PRO

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by Griff a Cross Country Rider from Sacramento, CA

    Date Reviewed: August 28, 2001

    Strengths:    Smooth . . . eliminates stiction from the rear-end pivots. Lateral stability increased. Better wheel tracking in the rear. blah, blah, everyone else has said it.

    Weaknesses:    Price . . . how much for CNC'd aluminum? Also, the directions are a little hard to follow. When assembling things, I like to have a good parts list so I know parts (such as the bushing for the rear shock) have come as spec'd. Make sure you have a vice, because that shock bushing is a pain in the a** to install!

    Bottom Line:   
    All the claims (and previous reviews) are right. This product works. Additionally, it makes the bike feel more like a full-suspension bike. You'll need to increase the pressure in your rear shock to compensate for the plushness, but I noticed a BIG difference in rear-end stability and tracking. One more thing: I haven't lubed my rear end since I installed the kit, and the bike REMAINS PLUSH. It's a nice change.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Downieville . . . anywhere

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $149.00

    Purchased At:   Manufacturer

    Similar Products Used:   Stock link

    Bike Setup:   Stumpjumper FSR-XC with Fox Float-R.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Jim a Cross Country Rider from IL-WI stateline area

    Date Reviewed: August 16, 2001

    Strengths:    Much stiffer, Much Smoother, Much quiet-er

    Weaknesses:    None yet

    Bottom Line:   
    Little pricey, but if you have the means, I say do it.
    Every review pretty much has been spot-on. You will need new rear cable housing.
    I believe this is the way the bike was supposed to handle.
    Not the second coming though.
    If you are sick of the sound your bike is making while climbing or hammering..."KNOCK" this fixes it right now. Spend the xtra and get the drop out bearing kit. It now feels stonger and rides like an expensive bike should.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Purchased At:   LBS

    Similar Products Used:   Stock setup

    Bike Setup:   2000 FSR-XC Pro

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Circumcised a Weekend Warrior from Cali

    Date Reviewed: August 11, 2001

    Strengths:    Sealed bearings....Everything really, Tracking, NO MORE STICKTION! Smoother ride,

    Weaknesses:    Come on now!

    Bottom Line:   
    It took me almost a year of donating at the blood and sperm banks but it was well worth every ounce I pumped out. I even got to know the nurse very well at the sperm bank I went to, and now we're dating! 5 stars for that! Now my FSR rules, I don't know which one I want to ride more, my nurse or my bike! My bike would win most of the time, which really pisses my girl off. So now she rides with me. She bought a Sugar 1. I love the way it handles now, it soooo smooth and I can rocket down hills 2x as fast and not feel a bump. It's even better on the climbs as the rear tire would dig in, instead of breaking loose. Installation was a snap! Just read and follow the direction, took me about 1/2hour or so. I didn't need longer cables for the rear. But for the cable housing, you will need a longer one for the rear derailleur. You don't need to buy a longer one. All you need to do is trade places with the one connected to the rear shifter and you are set. Re-tune the rear derailleur and then go ride. You may need to add more air to the rear shock as well. This is a must have upgrade for FSR 99-00 accroding to Rolling Stone Magazine...Heehee. Shame on Specialized for not getting this right the 1st time. Double shame for them taking 2 more years to get it right. I due credit them for passing down the M4 frames to the Stumpy line in 2002 though. Now if you own a 99-00 FSR, if you have to do what I did to afford this upgrade, DO IT!

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $180.00

    Purchased At:   MRP Website

    Similar Products Used:   Crapy stock linkage

    Bike Setup:   Thompson seat post, riser bars, a BELL, black water bottle holder, X-rated linkage and drop out bearings

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Tim a Weekend Warrior from Nashville, TN

    Date Reviewed: August 10, 2001

    Strengths:    Eliminates the looseness of the swingarm from side to side.
    Increased travel. Gets rid of the stiction.


    Weaknesses:    Doesn't climb as well(Gets rid of the stiction caused by the bushings which helps transfer power while climbing). Have to buy dropout bearings separatly. Increases the leverage ratio of the shock. May have to increase air pressure. Rear end bobs when pedaling on a hard surface.

    Bottom Line:   
    I didn't have any trouble with the install. Done in less than 30 minutes. You may need to lengthen the rear derailure cable but, I got lucky. No more side to side play of the swingarm. Greatly stiffens the back of the bike. Increased travel and smoother ride. Less maintenance.
    At this price the drop out bearings should be included in the kit.
    I went back to my original air pressure(body weight)and let the suspension work. Higher air pressure in the shock limits travel.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Lock 4

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $159.00

    Purchased At:   LBS

    Similar Products Used:   Stock

    Bike Setup:   '99 Stumpjumper FSR, 1.5" riser bars, all XT, Panaracer Fire Pro XC.

    Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

     

    INTERBIKE

    Contests





    Interbike Featured Booths

    Check out the hottest mountain bike products from these brands!



















    See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »

       

    MTBR on Facebook