MRP's new Ribbon fork adds some unique features while carrying over the performance that has gained this Colorado company a cult following.
By now you've probably seen a video demonstration. In an effort to get maximum performance out of a fork, savvy riders and/or mechanics take a small zip tie and wedge it into the lower, burping air that can build up due to changes in altitude (think a bag of potato chips). Well, now you don't need the zip tie.
A pair of built-in pressure relief valves are just one of the cool features on MRP's new boost-spacing-ready Ribbon enduro/all-mountain suspension fork that comes in travel lengths from 120mm to 170mm for 27.5, 27.5+, and 29. Simply depress the pair of small buttons on the back of the fork to assure there's no excess air impeding the fork's performance.
"When we slide a fork together during production, there is already air in there so you start building pressure right away," explained MRP's Nick Simcik. "Then say you head to Crested Butte or some place where you'll go up to 10,000 feet. There's more pressure which can affect damping. You can even create build-up when charging a descent because compression and flex can drive air into fork through the seals. This allows you to burp out that excess air without wearing out your dust wipers."
The Ribbon also has what MRP is calling an outcast arch design, where the weight-saving lattice section of the fork's arch faces forward, meaning less mud (and extra weight) build up on those sloppy riding days. This will increase the overall life of the fork, because you'll have less grit and grime dripping down toward your fork's internals every time you give your bike a bath.
Other highlights include a bladder free damper, boost 15x110mm spacing, and new low friction seals that are claimed to reduce friction by 28% compared to MRP's popular Stage fork, which stays in the line for now to fill the gap for riders who've yet to make the jump to a boost set-up. Stanchion diameter also increases from 34mm to 35mm, and MRP added material around the steer tube/crown connection to increase overall stiffness.
Fork adjustment settings include an 8-position compression knob, 16-position ramp control, positive and negative air spring, and rebound. By having a dual air chamber, riders can independently adjust air pressures for positive and negative to allow the fork to be stiffer or more plush off the top than with a solo air spring. So for instance if you want a little softer add 5psi into the negative air chamber.
Wheel attachment options are standard QR thru-axle or tooled bolt-on, which cuts about 25 grams and delivers a cleaner look. Just remember to bring the right tool in case you get a flat. Max tire clearance is 27.5x3.0 or 29x2.6 for the bigger wheeled option, and 2.6 for the standard 27.5 fork, and MRP will continue to offer a variety of decals to match your bike. Claimed weight is 1860 grams. Price for the MRP Ribbon fork is $989 with availability set for December.
Continue to page 2 to learn about MRP's new Ramp Control Upgrade Cartridges »
Ramp Control Upgrade Cartridges
These handy cartridges replace the need for tokens and will work with solo-air models of RockShox's Pike, Lyric, Yari, and Boxxer World Cup forks.
For those interested in the convenience and benefits of on-the-fly ramp control adjustment but are not ready for a completely new fork, MRP has an interesting option for RockShox users.
The Colorado company's Ramp Control Upgrade Cartridges replace the bottomless tokens that are usually used for volume adjustment. The main benefit is that you can now make adjustments on the trail without tools or a clean work environment. And you get a 16-poisition knob with clearly defined detents.
As a quick refresher, ramp control affects the fork's ending stroke spring curve, giving you more support for big drops or when plowing through rock gardens at high speed. Claimed weight for the drop-in cartridge is 55 grams or about what three tokens weighs. The cartridges will work with solo-air models of RockShox's Pike, Lyric, Yari, and Boxxer World Cup forks, and because there are two thread pitches on those forks, MRP has released two versions of its new cartridge.
"The key is that this allows you to externally adjust your ending stroke for your compression but not affect the initial or mid-stroke," explained Simcik. "It's a speed sensitive adjustment where if you hit something really hard this will really activate. But under initial strike it will not have a huge effect, so it provides support where you need it but not across the board. You have a good plush stroke until the end, but you don't have gnarly bottom out."
This is the same feature that MRP developed on its Stage fork and carried over to the new Ribbon. Installation of the new cartridges is fairly straight forward and does not require removal of the lower. Price is $140 and they are available now.
For more information please visit www.mrpbike.com.