Review: MRP Ribbon Coil Fork

May 22, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
MRP Ribbon Coil review


Over the course of the last few seasons we've seen more and more all-mountain and enduro bikes get the coil shock treatment, while in the downhill world there are more bikes equipped with air-sprung suspension than ever. Is there a real reason for this trend, or is it a case of style over substance? That's open to debate, but while the major fork manufacturers seem to be focused on air-sprung options, the smaller players are filling in the void with coil-sprung options of their own.

MRP decided to join the party with their Ribbon Coil, which has a list of features that are nearly identical to their well-received air-sprung Ribbon. The Colorado-based company's fork has externally adjustable compression and rebound damping, spring preload, and it even has MRP's Ramp Control feature, which can be used to increase the amount of bottom out resistance.
Ribbon Coil Details
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain / enduro
• Coil-sprung, soft, medium, and firm springs included
• 35mm stanchions
• Travel: 140-160mm (29"), 150-170 (27.5")
• Offset: 44mm (27.5), 46 or 51mm (27.5+ and 29)
• External adjustments: rebound, low-speed compression, Ramp Control, preload
• Weight (29", 46mm offset): 2240 grams
• MSRP: $989.95 USD
www.mrpbike.com/ribbon-coil/

Available in a 27.5” version with internally adjustable travel from 150 - 170mm and a 29" version with 140 - 160mm of travel, the Ribbon Coil retails for $989.95 USD.


MRP Ribbon Coil review
The Ribbon Coil comes with three different spring weights that should accommodate riders from 150 - 235 lb, with extra-soft and extra-firm springs available separately.

Details

The Ribbon coil uses the same chassis as its air-sprung sibling (MRP offer a kit for riders who want to convert their air-sprung Ribbon fork to coil), with 35mm stanchions, and the distinctive Outcast arch design, which is designed to help keep mud from building up inside those little pockets during sloppy rides. There's also a small button on the back of each leg that can be used to bleed off the excess pressure that can develop due to elevation or temperatures changes, a feature similar to what's found on a Fox 40 downhill fork. The Ribbon Coil is only available with 15x110mm axle spacing, with either a quick-release style or a bolt on thru-axle to keep the wheel securely in place.

The right leg of the Ribbon Coil houses the same damper that's found in the air-sprung version, a twin-tube design that uses a spring-backed internal floating piston. Low speed-compression is adjusted via an 8-position dial at the top of the fork, while rebound is adjusted via a knob on the bottom of the fork, with 18 clicks of adjustment.


MRP Ribbon Coil review
Changing the position of the spring perch allows the travel to be adjusted from 140 to 160mm on the 29" version, and 150-170mm on the 27.5' version.
MRP Ribbon Coil review
Turning the orange Ramp Control knob clockwise decreases the size of the port seen to the right, increasing the amount of end-stroke ramp up.


The Ribbon Coil comes with soft, medium, and firm springs included, and there are also extra-soft and extra-firm springs available. There is one quirk to the Ribbon Coil's design that I'm not sold on – the fact that you can't change the spring without removing the fork's lowers. With most coil-sprung forks swapping springs is usually only a matter of removing a top cap and making the switch, but the Ribbon has a tapered stanchion tube that makes this impossible (trust me, I tried). Instead, most of the steps that would be required to do a lower leg service need to be performed just to swap a spring.

The spring-swapping design may be inconvenient, but I am a fan of the fact that adjusting the fork's travel doesn't require any additional parts. There's a lock nut on the spring rod assembly that can be moved to increase the amount of travel, from 140 – 160mm on the 29” fork, and 150 – 170mm on the 27.5” fork.

MRP have also managed to integrate their Ramp Control system in the Ribbon Coil, which allows riders to dial in additional end-stroke ramp up, a feature typically reserved for air-sprung forks. Even though it's a coil-spring fork, there's still a small amount of air in the lower leg. The Ramp Control works by adjusting the flow of this air into the stanchion – turning the Ramp Control knob changes the size of the opening that the air passes through. The nature of the design means that it's speed sensitive – at moderate shaft speeds the air easily passes from the lower leg, through the spring rod, and into the stanchion, but at higher speeds it becomes more difficult for that air to get through the port, which creates that end-stroke ramp-up.


MRP Ribbon Coil review
I never heard any air escape, but the Ribbon Coil has pressure relief valves located on each leg just in case.
MRP Ribbon Coil review
Low-speed compression is adjusted via an eight position dial.


Performance

There's a reason air-sprung forks dominate the market – they're light, easily adjustable, and shops and manufacturers don't need to deal with keeping a stack of various springs in stock. But the small bump sensitivity of a coil fork is hard to beat, which is one of the reasons they have such a loyal following. The Ribbon is no exception – it does an excellent job of smoothing out the small chattery section of trail, a trait that's especially handy on wet, rooty trails where having the maximium amount of traction is necessary to stay upright.

That being said, air-sprung forks have become very, very good in recent years, and I wouldn't say that the Ribbon Coil's level of grip is worlds apart from a new Fox 36 or a RockShox Lyrik. The overall sensation the fork delivers out on the trail is different, though, and the Ribbon Coil has a more linear, slightly plusher feel, something that riders looking for extra comfort on very rough trails will appreciate.

I initially started out with the soft spring installed – I weigh 160 pounds, and based on MRP's chart I'm right in the middle of the recommended range for that spring, but the fork bottomed out too easily, even after I added additional preload and Ramp Control. Time for a spring swap. Once I had the medium (green) spring installed the spring rate was much better, and the number of hard bottom out events was greatly reduced.
MRP Ribbon Coil review

The Ramp Control dial is simple but effective – the position of the fork's o-ring after hitting the same drop with it fully open and then almost all the way closed showed that it was doing its job. Ramp Control doesn't have as much of an effect on the fork's midstroke compared to adding tokens in an air-sprung fork, which can be seen two ways. On the plus side, the Ribbon Coil's plush, linear feel is preserved even when more bottom-out resistance is added, compared to an air-sprung fork where the ramp up occurs earlier in the stoke. However, that reduced mid-stroke support does mean that at times the fork felt like it dove a little too deeply into its travel for my liking.

Chassis / Weight: Fork stiffness can be difficult to quantify, but I'd say that the Ribbon Coil's stiffness felt on par with a RockShox Pike. I'd had a Fox 36 in place previously, which felt a little more stout, although the difference isn't massive, and I didn't experience any unwanted flexing from the MRP no matter how steep or rough the trail. As far as the overall weight goes, the Ribbon Coil is approximately 180 grams (.4 lb) heavier than a Lyrik or a 36, although that number is less than what would happen if Push's ACS3 coil conversion kit was installed in a 36 or Lyrik. 180 grams isn't a massive amount of weight, although it's something to keep in mind when considering the pros and cons of going the coil route.

Damper: The low-speed compression dial is is easy to reach, and each click makes a noticeable change. I typically ran it halfway through its range of adjustments, which gave me a little more support for popping off the lips of jumps or pushing hard into turns, while still maintaining the fork's excellent small bump compliance. The one downside of the twin-tube damper design is how much noise it makes. It's quite loud when rebounding, and compared to a Fox or a RockShox damper the squelch is noticeable, and a little annoying.




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesMRP have packed the Ribbon Coil with an impressive array of features that give it a level of adjustability not commonly found on a coil-sprung fork. The competition is fierce at this pricepoint, especially when lighter and more easily adjustable air-sprung options are thrown into the mix, but for diehard coil spring fans the Ribbon Coil is certainly worth considering.  Mike Kazimer









188 Comments

  • + 63
 I’ve had this fork for a little over a month now.... I’ve owned a Stage, Pikes, Rebas, 32s, 36s, Vanillas, Revelations, Z1s, etc.... (I think you get the point) over the last 20 years. The combination of small bump sensitivity and the Ramp Control makes this the best thing I’ve ever put on my bike. Already has saved my azz a few times. Truly good guys in Grand Junction, too. My friends are probably tired of hearing about it.....
  • + 6
 Fair price too
  • + 5
 I've got the air version, but can still agree with you. I tried the coil and it was the best thing in the world, and the airbus just a smidgeon behind it (needed the air because I sometimes ride with a lot of gear). Really well made and really nice folk.
  • + 0
 Air is**
  • + 7
 I just got my 100mm Loop SL back from them on routine service, and after mounting it back up I had the same “damn” moment I had when I first got the fork. That thing feels miraculous for only 100mm. 10/10 would buy the Ribbon as my next fork just based on past experiences.
  • + 3
 Have the Stage and hit the bike park yesterday and kept thinking my front tire was flat (it was at 28 psi!), but No, the fork is just that supple on small bumps Smile
  • + 9
 Unless all those forks you’ve had were the the latest current crop of forks then your comparison is void, of course the MRP will be the best fork you’ve had if all the others are older generations.
  • + 14
 @maglor: 3 that I mentioned were 2016 or newer. Add to recent forks I didn’t mention is a 2017 Mattoc. Add several demos..... I think you get the picture.

When I got my Ribbon Coil, a buddy of mine did the Push Coil conversion on his Pike. I told him he HAD to ride my MRP. We swapped bikes, and when he gave it back said “Thanks for making me feel like I just wasted a shitload of money”......

Sounding a little too much like a fanboy, but I guess I am......
  • + 3
 Wanty wanty wanty
  • - 1
 I have the fox 36 with Push Internals is this the same thing? And my fork feels awesome ????????
  • + 6
 @maglor: meh. everything is 'new and improved' every year, but I have some old forks that are better than most all the new shit I've owned. Progress isn't a march forward.
  • + 3
 @nlibot33: i have a Fox36 andreani kit and mrp ramp control and it’s also awesome, but kudos to mrp there ramp control was the icing on my cake
  • + 5
 @RBWebb: That's fair it just sounded a lot like you were comparing it to old forks you've had over the last 20 years.

I like that MRP have done it differently and i especially like that this is a great option that isn't Fox or Rockshox, their monopoly on suspension is boring and companies like Cane creek, MRP, Formula etc making products that are more unique and arguably better is just awesome.
  • - 4
flag Waldon83 (May 23, 2018 at 23:51) (Below Threshold)
 @RBWebb

Just for the record, I don't get the point.
  • - 3
 Yeah every new fork I'm getting just happens to be the best one I've ever had. This is just the way it works, I guess)
  • + 23
 My air forks and shocks always feel saggy after a few rides. They need servicing frequently and tuning them is a dark art. I am not a mechanic, I have a family and I want to spend what time I have riding.

I hear that coil is better in all of these areas and especially needs much less servicing to feel good. Is this true?
  • + 13
 hell yeah it is
  • + 69
 Coil keeps its composure on really long descents whereas air over heats, spikes, loses traction, possible stomach bleeding and or death. Ask your doctor if fukitol coilitis is right for you.
  • + 1
 A shitty set up coil suspension will probably feel a little less shitty then an air sprung suspension. But still both will feel like shit. And same for servicing. I prefer air, because it is way easier to find a good setup in a short time.
  • + 0
 @kamelfront

> I prefer air, because it is way easier to find a good setup in a short time.
yup, the same
its nice that there are more options but i wouldn't ever buy coil :
  • + 22
 @beerandbikes, the recommended service intervals for the Ribbon Coil are similar to what you would find with an air fork - a bath oil change every 50 hours, and a damper oil change ever 200 hours. That being said, you don't need to worry about checking air pressure, and there are fewer seals on a coil setup, which makes it a little more of a set and forget option.

For the record, I haven't experienced any modern air forks or shocks getting "saggy" after a few rides.
  • + 74
 The rear suspension on my hardtail was a little finicky for a while. So I zip tied an enduro-specific coil spring to it. F*ckin' mint now.
  • - 2
 @mikekazimer: Yeah, I service my suspension once a year. Last year I rode 2750 km.
  • + 2
 @beerandbikes: Service intervals are shite.
  • + 2
 @Asmodai:

What's difficult in setting up a coil fork? Finding the right spring and pre-load?
  • + 1
 @LeetusBee:
adjusting air takes 2min i cant be bothered to swap (and buy) new springs
  • + 14
 Time for RS to release a coil Yari? Budget minded, set and forget riders like me would be well served by such a fork.
  • + 7
 @MTBrent: unfortunately, most people won't touch it because it says SR Suntour on it, and people associate SR with $200 bikes and low quality.
  • + 6
 @xblitzkriegx: Unfortunate, indeed. Although they do make super budget forks, their higher-end stuff is actually really decent.
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: it would be sick if it came in more travel
  • + 3
 @MTBrent: my Norco Torrent came with a 140mm Zeron - I have been pretty impressed with it so far. Nice thick 35mm stanchions

Rode Seymour mountain, Burnaby, west sechelt - tons of local trails - it's been solid.
  • + 2
 I agree about the budget coil Yari!

I am thinking of changing my Yari with Push’s ACS3. On that fork, would i see the full benefits of coil for the small bumps? Or is upgrading the Yari’s damper to a charger with more adjustable compression a better buy?
  • + 1
 Push makes a coil conversion thats a very fair price and you simply won't find better suspension products than Push Industries.
  • + 2
 @Dead6595: i would do the push coil conversion over the damper change
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: Does anyone have more information on this fork (SR Suntour Zeron)? I know it is on the Norco Torrent 2 HT+ and some e-bikes but I can't find a review.

SR Suntour has very little information other than it exists. There are 3 springs available but I don't know what the weight ranges are.
  • + 1
 A friend just went from (in the space of 6 months) Pike to Helm to Push'd Coil 36. He said the install was easy and I think it came to around $1500 AUD.
Ive ridden the charger 2 damper, it's pretty darn good.... But a Push'd Yari to coil would be great also. They would likely also be comparative in price.
I think air forks just have SO much adjustability, and the Neg air spring in the RS products keeps getting better and better.
  • + 1
 These guys are making a Yari compatible kit for 1/3 the price of the push kit. www.tftuned.com/pike-coil-conversion-kit/p3314
  • + 10
 im also waiting on a review for the Cane Creek Helm Coil review.
  • + 3
 It's really dope!
  • + 1
 Depends on the review.
  • + 5
 One of the best forks I have ridden. I have ridden a lot of different forks. The coil has such an amazing feel for small bumps. I purchased the extra soft spring, preload is all of the way in, and ramp control is 2 clicks from fully on. I have swapped out the coil my self, it took maybe 20 minutes and not very labor intensive at all. If you are thinking of upgrading, highly recommend going with this option.
  • + 1
 Hey,
If you don’t mind me asking, what weight are you? I am surprised to hear the reviewer at 160 with the soft spring bottoming out too frequently. I’m 170 with the soft spring, no preload, no ramp control or no LSC and on the weekend with a ride with a couple of decent hucks and general impacts the most I used was 135mm travel.
Not sure what’s going on but I’m going to give the extra soft a go. On a Nomad 4.
  • + 2
 @Rabbuit: If you look at the MRP chart, his 160mm fork generally requires a slightly stiffer spring than your 170mm fork. I've always found his settings to always be on the firmer side of things.
  • + 2
 @Rabbuit: Just FYI, I come in at a hefty 170lbs in gear and am running the medium spring at 160mm. I can (and have) bottomed it a fair few times, but have started running 4/6 compression and that has dialed the fork in super well.
  • + 1
 @Rabbuit: I am 145 lbs , say 148 with riding gear. On big bits I get very close to bottoming. I have run the soft spring and it’s a tad stiff. Never bottom and it was a rowdy trail. No ramp control was on when I had the soft spring in.
For most of the trails in my area the extra soft is great, the soft would be great for big hucks or jump lines. As the article stated, a couple clicks of compression will help with the preload for jumping.
  • - 1
 @Rabbuit: It’s called rebound, if you add too much lsr, or the forks hsr is not right for you speed/style, you will bottom on repetitive hits
  • + 6
 Questions about coil forks: Are they more consistent-feeling over their life-span? Do they need to be serviced as often as an air-fork? Is the service as invasive / demanding?
  • + 3
 Yes, no, no
  • + 7
 You'll still need to service the lowers consistently just like an air fork. At that point the stanchions are sliding on bushings so it's exactly the same. Air springs can leak over time, the seals wear out or like me after a few harsh bottom outs you blow the seals and need the spring rebuilt or replaced. Coil springs will ALWAYS feel the same. There's no maintenance on the spring itself.
  • + 6
 @youngtech89: but the dampers still need to be serviced in the same way as air suspension.
  • + 2
 @youngtech89: Springs wear out. Take the spring out of a clapped out fork, then a new version of the same fork, you'll notice that the old spring is shorter.

*Personally tested this with Marzocchi Ti fork springs, but the same thing occurs in a steel spring, just over a much longer period of time, Im guessing.
  • + 2
 Yes, yes, and yes. Air can migrate from chamber to chamber, lose psi, etc. Skerby is right about the springs getting beaten up as well, but the air spring will always be a bit less consistent. 50 hour wiper change is exactly the same as an air fork. Lowers still come off, and the only difference would be letting the air out of the air fork... 100 hour service, or a full damper bleed is going to be easier since you don't have to replace o-rings on the air spring. That being said, few people bleed their own dampers.
  • + 4
 Sounds like the fork is pretty great. But coil sprung is less complicated than an air sprung fork so why couldn't the price point be further away from the $1,000 level? That puts it against fierce competition from the other big air sprung brands. If MRP could get this fork down to $800 or less and the good reviews keep coming in, they could really sell this like hot-cakes
  • + 2
 I feel like most people when buying high-end forks for their high-end mountain bikes don't weigh a $100 difference very much in the decision process.
  • + 2
 It's got the exact same damper from what I understand, and that the expensive part. If you are getting this fork it's for the damper (which you should, it's an awesome fork)
  • + 8
 It is selling like hot cakes. They are backordered right now. Demand is high for the Ribbon. I've had mine since December and loving it. Changing the travel anywhere in between is great. Have mine set at 165mm just for the hell of it. Nothing rides like coil, plush predictable controlled suspension, especially going to different altitudes.
  • - 1
 @ride4austin: I hate to be the one to say it, but air springs (not the ones found in MTB forks, anyways) don't act any different at different altitudes.
  • + 2
 Keep in mind they also likely sell less volume of this model, so need to keep that in mind. Volume changes pricing massively. I assume we'll slowly see the price come down in the future in this case, but they have no reason to lower the price when they literally can't keep them in stock.
  • + 9
 Thanks @0gravity

Even though the coil spring system is not as "complicated" as the air, it does require a lot of unique parts. Especially with the inclusion of our Ramp Control system, it's not as though we simply threw a spring in the leg and called it good. Plus, we include three springs with every fork.

A coil-sprung version of a lower-priced model could be in the works....
  • + 2
 @allballz:

Shock Pressure is gauge pressure not absolute so it will still be 150PSI above the outside pressure at altitude assuming the temperature doesn't change. Remember PV=nRT from chemistry?
  • + 1
 @allballz: Since the body outside the air spring is rigid and the piston is not acted on by the outside air pressure, the pressure within the airspring only changes with changing temperature. You could send the airspring into outer space and the force required to push the airspring through its travel would be the same.

What you're describing is what would happen if one side of the piston was exposed to ambient air, but this is not the case in an enclosed airspring. Trust.

@sailor0231 if you took the absolute pressure of the airspring at any altitude and then moved it to any other altitude, the absolute pressure would not change and the force to move the airspring would be the same.
  • + 2
 @allballz: If you're an engineer and you think a totally enclosed airspring at the same temperature will change characteristics simply by going up in altitude - remind me not to drive on your bridges or drive in your cars. It seems like you might need to revisit your basic thermo.

I'm going to guess you're probably not actually an engineer (or at least not a degreed/licensed one). Especially given that you copied and pasted your comment from one on MTBR. Unfortunately, you picked the wrong one to paste :/
  • + 1
 @shredteds: Do you understand how pressurized gas works?
  • + 4
 @loganflores: Yep. Want me to do the math and show you how it works? I have a degree in exactly this field, not that you need one for a highschool level physics problem. Here's the story in brief...

State 1 at sea level, State 2 at high altitude.
PV=nRT
Since no gas is added to the airspring:
n1=n2
Since the body of the airspring is (practically) rigid:
delta(V)=0 V1=V2
R is constant for a single gas, T is unchanged:
Therefore:
P1=P2

Sorry.
  • + 1
 @shredteds: sorry little drunk typing last night I understand what you mean but how is the airshaft rigid?
  • + 1
 @loganflores: Haha, no worries! Just because it's an aluminum tube being subjected to differences of only a few psi - virtually no deflection whatsoever.
  • + 1
 @shredteds: the shock can move forward ie suck down so it’s not rigid if temp could compress than it’s not truly rigid.
  • + 1
 @loganflores: I'm not sure what you're saying here. No part of the piston is exposed to air pressure, it is fully encapsulated. A change in ambient air pressure will not affect a closed airspring like we have on mountain bikes.

Here's an example of a system which would be affected by ambient air pressure: Imagine you have a cup and a piston that seals perfectly inside that cup. Let's say you put the piston into the cup at high altitude (maybe 10psi ambient). If you bring that cup down to sea level, the piston will travel down the cup, compressing the air inside until the pressure on the inside of the cup is equal to the ambient air pressure. This is only because the piston is exposed to ambient air pressure.
  • + 1
 @shredteds: I'm so embarrassed now.
  • + 1
 @supercollider: Why's that?
  • + 1
 @shredteds: I feel like a dumbbass for constantly messing with my air pressure when i go in the mountains. What you said is obvious once you think about it.
  • + 1
 @supercollider: Haha, I used to do the same when I was younger - it seems like it would change without thinking about it for a while.
  • + 1
 @shredteds: its just that.. Im not "younger".. And I remember boyles law. Anyway thanks for teaching this old dog.
  • + 3
 Not sure the weight is stated correctly here, my 29" ribbon coil is 2150g uncut, and the official weight is 4.65 lbs (2.109kg)
Therefore the weight difference between Lyrik and Ribbon coil is rather 50g than 180g, so there is no significant weight penalty from coil to air.
So, if you are an enduro weight weenie, go for the Air version instead, and you are 150g below the Lyrik
  • + 6
 Neat review, when's the Ripmo review coming? Smile
  • + 5
 Soon...
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: How about that Rallon long termer, been waiting too long!
  • + 2
 I came off 6 months on 2018 Pike 140 to a 2017 Pike 150 Coil with a TF Tuned conversion. Been on the coil Pike for 9 months now and I have to say it has given me more confidence in the steeps and off drops. It's subjective of course, but the rising rate of air springs can take you out when you already tired or pushing your limits.
The damping is pretty much the same (2018 Pike damping feels more precise, as you might expect) but the soft start to the coil means it hooks up quite as lot better at speed on bumpy corners and sketchy off camber situations.
I've not changed setup since the first month - just seems a very tolerant, "save your ass" suspension that I enjoy riding.
  • + 2
 it would be cool if they had more in between coil options just to dial in ride feel. whatchya think about that @NoahColorado or are they compatible with other coils available on the market like ti-springs? thinking of converting my ribbon air to coil.
  • + 3
 We have 5 spring rates. Those coupled with the preload adjustment cover a wide range of riders. We might add a sixth spring, an xtra-xtra-soft (particularly for superlight riders on the longest-travel Ribbon Coils).

No one elses springs fit to AFAIK. Dimensions are super important to keep noise down.
  • + 2
 @NoahColorado: I guess I will find out soon enough. See you at the grand Enduro in a couple weeks!
  • + 1
 @adrennan: Balances Like Ribbon coils man ! @NoahColorado
  • + 1
 @Lagr1980: i bet it would be rad. i got the ribbon on my pedalhead. been weighing the idea of a push coil conversion on the balance to match the shock, but we will see.
  • + 3
 I love the look of these, but I just feel like I'd be cheating on the Mrs in regards to swapping out my DVO for it - probably cheaper though
  • + 1
 The bottoming is curious. I have a Ribbon Coil, light spring, weigh the same as Kazimer, and ride the same PacNW terrain, and have never come close to bottoming my fork. I use very little ramp control and no preload. Maybe he rides a lot harder and faster than I do. Every ride I'm blown away by how smooth this fork is. Definitely the best fork that I've ever ridden.
  • + 1
 Im in the same boat, never come close to bottoming out, after a weekend enduro race with a few mid size hucks the most travel i used was 135 of 170mm. I weigh 170lbs/77kgs and am on the light spring. I'm going to give the x-soft a run.
Aside from that the fork is dope!
  • + 1
 Great review, especially in a market in which it's hard to pick the best fork now that the front runners are all so capable. I would like to hear opinions on this MRP Ribbon from riders in the 220 lb range, maybe the stiffness and damping comparison would be more clear.
  • + 3
 I weigh about 210 geared up and my Ribbon Air has been amazing so far, from mellow trail to rowdy flow trail to park it devours everything like it's not even there. I haven't ridden any lift serviced DH with yet but it'll probably shine there too.
  • + 1
 Yep, this. It's hard to pick one. I'm in a 3 battle. Mrp v revel v formula 35.
  • + 3
 I have a ribbon coil and like the sound it makes. It keeps me company on the decents
  • + 1
 I'm growing to love the sounds as well!
  • + 3
 Been on this fork for three rides now, was pretty easy and quick to set up. So far I have been very impressed.
  • + 2
 I have owned a Ribbon coil for a few months now and I have exactly the same feelings towards it as Mike has, it's actually uncanny how exact our thoughts are!
  • + 0
 So given that there are only 5 (realistically 3) spring options, what are the odds that someone around 180 lbs like me is going to buy this and find the medium spring too soft and the firm spring too hard? Even worse if I don't have the skills to do a full service how much is it going to cost me to pay someone to swap the springs back and forth to figure it out?

Am I wrong to think that?
  • + 2
 You can change a coil spring in 5 mins its really easy, so much easier than an air shaft on an air fork which still only takes 30mins, mate watch a you tube video roll up your sleeves and get involved
  • + 4
 We have video instructions for how to swap springs, it's really pretty easy. We have 5 springs that cover roughly a 125 lb. rider weight range (125-250), so I can't imagine you can't find a spring that's naturally REALLY close for you. Plus, you've got preload and Ramp Control to fine tune things (in addition to the compression adjustment). Also, if we couldn't make forks appropriate for 180 lb. riders, we'd be outta business. Smile
  • - 2
 @johnnygrosso: The article says you have to drop the entire lowers and do almost as much as involved with a full service. I do any wrenching involving nuts and bolts but generally don't mess with suspension stuff.
  • + 3
 @NoahColorado: Thanks for the feedback. The article made it sound like it was somewhat involved. That being said it sounds like there are only 2 spring options for riders between 160-210 lbs. As a consumer who has never ridden your product, I would feel more confident purchasing if there was 1 more spring weight option in there. I'm an intermediate rider who is getting faster all the time, and the spring that's right now may not be in a few months from now. My concern would be that going from the medium to firm may be too big a jump and force me to make a compromise in best setup.

That may be unfounded, but it's just how I feel. Clearly choosing the air option would solve this but springs are cool.
  • + 3
 dropping the lowers is nothing like a full damper service and should be a basic skill set along with drivetrain maintenance and bleeding brakes. It’s no big deal and not a black art.
  • + 2
 @friendlyfoe: Fair enough, but based on my own experience (I fluctuate between 170-180), I've never needed an inbetweener spring. I use a medium with my 150mm 29" fork and a soft in my 170mm 27.5" model (might go to medium for park season). Regarding offering more spring options, even if you look at our competitors that offer more, the recommended weight range breakdown is similar to ours, except for the lighter end of the range. Lighter riders have to deal with system friction and other hurdles that make tuning more difficult, thus the need for more exact rate options (and my comment elsewhere in this thread that if we added a spring option in the near term, it'd be an extra-extra-soft version). I can't imagine a scenario where a 180 rider wouldn't be happy with a light, medium, or, in rare cases, a firm spring.
  • + 1
 @necros: If one is not all that experienced or mechanically inclined, I would stay away from bleeding your brakes or even dropping your lowers. Its not complicated, but having brakes full of air has real world consequences. Effing up a $1000 fork is easier than you think if you are clueless. With basic mechanical skills, a few special tools, the ability to learn from an instructional video and a little confidence, it's a piece of cake.
  • + 1
 "but at higher speeds it becomes more difficult for that air to get through the port, which creates that end-stroke ramp-up"
So tuning Ramp Control will also have an effect on High Speed Compression or am I wrong ?
  • + 2
 Nope, the ramp only works at the last 1/3 of the travel. When it comes to square edge hits or other high speed hits, it is uninvolved until that last bit.
  • + 2
 No, you're right. It's all about shaft speed, but it does become more pronounced as you reach the end of the travel. I own one and can say it feels very similar to adding HSC. You pick up some harshness with more ramp control, but I find you don't really need much.
  • + 1
 @jselwyn: Really? How does it only affect the last 1/3rd? From where I'm sitting it's all about shaft speed, but is amplified by end stroke, because change in volume percentage per fork movement is greater near bottom out. Am I missing something?
  • + 2
 It basically is a form of HSC. But by using air not oil as the damping medium, you avoid harshness (air is infinitely compressible = no spiking). As you're dealing with ambient (low) air-pressures, that you would truly feel a difference until a fairly deep stroke is unlikely.
  • + 1
 I had to talk with MRP about this myself before I could wrap my head around it. It functions similarly to a HSC adjustment. Actually I'd say it has quite a pronounced effect on preventing bottom out, but doesn't seem to create much high speed damping early in the travel - which is good in theory at least. I like the fork. It works well. If it remains smooth and is easy to service I'll be a happy camper. The review mimics what I've felt about the fork for the most part. What I noticed most about the fork is its "composure" with fast hard descents. Can't say it feels a whole lot smoother/plusher, but it does feel more "controlled". I know that is pretty subjective, but it does let me ride faster. I may be all wet, but my theory on air forks is the rebound coming out of deep travel on a highly progressive air spring is too much for the rebound damper to handle at that point in travel and that creates a less controlled, less damped feeling.
  • + 1
 I would love free reign to design a mountain bike fork. The things I would do. If my father never passed away, who was a machinist, I probably actually could have.
  • + 1
 My father wasn't a machinist, but I still learned to mill and spin out my dumb ideas on a lathe. Get to it!
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: It seems you weren't as stoked on the Ribbon Coil as you were on the Push coil conversion. Is this the case? If so, what was the difference?
  • + 1
 Can it be adjusted to 180mm ? Price / performance / weight ratio looks good to me, however I need proper a/c to suit my bike
  • + 1
 I believe the 27.5 fork will go up to 180mm.
  • + 1
 @shredteds: 27.5 fork only goes to 170mm Smile
  • + 3
 235lbs max weight.... maybe if I’m buck naked and just shat my guts....
  • + 1
 Depends in the fork travel. It's more like 250-260 lbs. for the longest-travel models (with x-firm spring).
  • + 2
 Great damper and great customer support. Awesome product.
  • + 2
 Air forks are garbage so I'll be getting one of these
  • + 2
 Nothing can fill the void, not even the small players
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer , how does it compare with the Ohlin's RXF 36 Coil?

Thanks!
  • - 2
 Just as heavy
  • + 2
 @nick1957: Ribbon Coil weighs in approximately the same as Ohlin's RXF 36 air fork. The RXF Coil is significantly heavier.
  • + 1
 @NoahColorado: According to MTB-Mag, the Ohlins is 2380g vs 2240g for the ribbon, so a (not so) massive 140 grams.

My question was regarding performance. The weight penalty is irrelevant to me.
  • + 4
 @rnayel: 140 grams is massive when weighed in cocain.
  • + 0
 Someone needs to develop a coil / air hybrid fork. Coil for the small stuff and air for the big stuff. Plush yet progressive with good mid stroke support.
  • + 4
 Marzocchi had one like that, ETA if I remember correctly. Heavy and kind of sucked.

Here is one example: www.marzocchi.com/support/forks/2006/2006-66-light-eta.aspx?idC=62354&idM=18932-197-197&idMy=15631&idP=18506-84&idS=15745
  • + 3
 Didn't Marz do this last decade?
  • + 5
 Sounds like the Push ACS3 kit.
  • + 2
 DVO is kinda like that. Air spring with a large (and adjustable) negative coil that really smooths out the chatter.
  • + 2
 Marzocchi did it on several of their platforms. The RC2X was coil with air assists in both legs. You needed the proper adapter and people didn't understand that the air assist chambers were low pressure and you needed a low pressure gauge. So people would way over pressurize the chambers then complain about how harsh they were. There was also a SL version that used an air spring (it wasn't very plush) in tandem with the same damper. There was a Par chamber on the bottom of the air spring side that could be used to control the bottom out resistance.
  • + 4
 Manitou's old Mars Air system was similar too: an air spring working in series with a smaller coil. Weight was competitive for its time. I have a Minute with this spring and it seems nice. Quite good as far as stiction and small bumps go, and smooth at the deep end of the travel too. With less seals in the spring side than the RockShox air forks I've owned and serviced, it has been a lot more reliable over the years
  • + 2
 @BenPea: I had a 55 RC3 and it was kind of that. You were preloading the coil spring by adding air in small chamber. Gives you the precision of an air spring (preloading wise). I don't know about the "big stuff" absorbing role of that air chamber though. But I do think, mechanically wise, that the floating piston used to preload the coil was also part of the absorption process... Cool fork, really burly, but it had huge lack of compression dampening and was leaking all it could after 3 months of use...
  • + 3
 DVO has this along with Manitou. DVO has a small spring that's controlled via OTT (Over-the-top) I have a DVO Diamond and small bump compliance is very good with this feature. Great fork overall.
  • + 0
 @Axxe: ETA was a virtually infinite travel adjust. If you forgot to turn it off for th descent though, you were highly likely to fk it in a matter of first few hits. Marzocchis around 2004 started to have a schrader valve in the top cap which allowed you to add preload but it was a rather shit solution since air would leak and spring rate would get crap.
  • + 1
 @dlopez0811: OTT (off the top) is just a preload adjuster on the negative spring.
  • + 0
 What's this obsession with small bump sensitivity? I like my beginning stroke to be a good rate near the middle for traction but I really don't care how my suspension countours around small bumps. Aren't larger wheels and bigger tires more helpful with going over the small bumps anyways?

Can someone please explain this to me?
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: that was good for their dirt jumper line. I experimented heavily with it and found I could take one spring out and prop it up with air and it felt the same as 2 springs. With no springs it was crap though.
  • + 2
 @makripper: Everyone likes different things I suppose. I'm not sure I see any downsides in having good small bump as long as the support is there later on in the stroke though. Better small bump means better traction and less fatigue.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: wasn't eta more of a rebound lock out for the ups? I remember before the uphills that my mates would flip the switch, compress hard and the forks would not come up again. U-turn was infinite adjust
  • - 2
 @BenPea: yes and no, it was still going up and down a bit as far as I can remember it on my forks.
@makripper: if you put similar forks against each other like Vanilla RC2 and Float RC2 you will notice the difference in front wheel grip on wet rough trails. On smooth trails - not so much. Otherwise it's a conneseur thing. Some people claim they feel difference between steel and alu hardtail. I don't.
  • + 3
 @makripper: I had a 4-5 year old basic fork and recently put a Ribbon Air fork on. Big difference for me. The small bump sensitivity just takes away all the small chatter so you can focus on the trail features better, especially as speed increases and your hands aren't feeling every little thing. I love my new fork.
  • + 1
 @makripper: going fast through rough stuff is fun. 'nuff said.
  • + 1
 Mz has a lot of forks like that. I have 33 rc3 evo. It is an awesome fork.. need to put it on something so it doesn’t collect dust. Awesome fork if set up properly
  • + 2
 Sry, 66. But it is heavy.. more than my boxxer team. Coil forks ftw.
  • + 0
 @Axxe: it was only an air preload like almost all thier forks from that era
  • + 2
 yep, Manitou had the MARS air/coil system. they stopped making it a couple of years ago AFAIK. It's so good though- amazing SBC and easy to tune the mid and end stroke with the air pressure. I wish they would make it for the Mattoc as an upgrade option
  • + 1
 @Sugarbrad: I haven't thought about the par chamber in almost a decade. It's unsettling that obsolete suspension fork information is taking up space super deep in my brain somewhere.
  • + 1
 @BitchinCamaro: Dude same here... I was a Marzocchi nerd back in the day.
  • + 0
 @Sugarbrad: me too but then I noticed that shooting loads into people is more fun
  • + 1
 @BenPea: it was external travel adjust some full travel to 100 I think and shorter versions would go down to 80. My dad still has his cool but ultimately kinda useless it was not a full lock out just mostly locked they had a different dampening system they used that had 6 clicks from lock out to open as well and some had a nobb on the bottom for travel adjustments tts or something. Old marzocchis were awesome even the basic ones could be tuned internally or with springs and oil. Tuning an 06 later tonight.
  • + 1
 @loganflores: yeah man, what happened to tuning bottom-out with oil volumes? Did it to my coil Nixon once upon a time.
  • + 2
 The most hotly-anticipated review of the year!
  • + 0
 Hand down my second choice for suspension. Great guys and great products. Excited to see what's in store for them!
  • + 1
 Poor mid-stroke support is a deal breaker for me.
  • + 3
 Mid stroke support is a spring rate/curve thing so it should be more than possible to achieve. More tokens in an air spring fork will not as as the author wrote decrease fork dive. A more linear spring curve will.
  • + 0
 @Sponger: *Should be but doesn't. It seems the goal of coil suspension is linearity. Progressivity is whats needed, something like what Manitou IRT provides.
  • + 5
 Better mid stroke support for the same bottom-out force than an air spring. When comparing my Ribbon to my Evol 36, I can say that the Ribbon has substantially more mid-stroke support. Bottom-out is a different thing, though.
  • + 1
 @noahcolorado - how can someone demo one? 180 version possible?
  • - 3
 “but the fork bottomed out too easily, even after I added additional preload ”

That’s cause preload doesn’t affect bottom out resistance only ride hight and initial sensitivity
  • + 3
 Yep, you're right, but the next part of that sentence says, "and Ramp Control..", which does affect bottom out resistance.
  • - 6
flag poah (May 22, 2018 at 14:11) (Below Threshold)
 However I wasn’t commenting on that part hence the lack of it in my quote Wink the first part is superfluous to stopping the fork bottoming out. @mikekazimer:
  • + 1
 So many good forks.
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