MRP's trail and all-mountain focused Ribbon fork is entirely new from the ground up, including its odd looking lowers that employ a fork arch that is in the usual place but that also appears to be turned around backwards. The new Ribbon, which takes its name from a well-known trail in MRP's hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado, will be an addition to their catalog rather than a replacement for their proven Stage fork.
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain / enduro
• Travel: 140-170mm (27.5), 120-150mm (29)
• 35mm stanchions
• Internally adjustable travel in 5 and 10mm increments
• Ramp Control system
• Twin tube damper
• External LSC, LSR adjustment
• Availability: late November
• Weight: 4.1lbs (w/ QR axle)
• MSRP: $989 USD
The 27.5 Ribbon can be run with up to 170mm of stroke or down to as little as 140mm, while the 29er version can be set with up to 150mm of travel or down to 120mm. This is adjusted internally on both models by either 5mm or 10mm increments via a spacer system that is said to be simple to understand, and MRP includes everything that's needed with the fork.
There are two separate chassis - one for 27.5'' wheels and another for 29'' wheels - and the former can fit a tire up to 2.6'' wide, while the latter can take a 2.6'' wide 29er tire or a 3.0'' wide 27.5 plus-sized wheel and tire combo. Forwards but also backwards. The odd looking arch is designed to be mud proof.
And what about that funky looking arch that appears to be designed backwards but put on forwards? MRP says that the idea is to simply move the lattice work to the front of the arch to keep mud and crud from building up within it, something that their UK clientele has repeatedly requested. Also, with everyone and their friend selling an all-black fork with different decals on it, the funky arch design of the Ribbon certainly sets it apart from the crowd.
MRP has also included a set of nifty air-bleed valve buttons on each fork leg
; simply push them to expel any pressure that's built up from use or elevation change.
The Ribbon employs a twin-tube damper just like the Stage fork, but it's an updated design that has moved to an internal floating piston rather than the expanding bladder compensator found in the Stage. Why the change? MRP says that the IFP is a more reliable, easier to manufacture design, and also that it makes it much easier for a rider to perform a damper bleed. That said, one of the main reasons that many fork dampers employ expanding bladders is because it's an essentially frictionless system, which is important when talking about the 1:1 suspension ratio of a fork but less of an issue when the leverage of a bike's rear suspension can easily overcome the friction of a shock with an IFP in it. MRP's Noah Sears says that this isn't an issue with their IFP-based design, however, because of the low air pressure behind the floating piston. The Ribbon is home to a new twin-tube damper.
Tired of token tinkering? MRP's Ramp Control cartridge replaces the top cap and token assembly of certain RockShox forks, and it allows you to tune ramp-up by turning a dial.
A crown-mounted dial is used to adjust the Ribbon's low-speed compression, with eight clicks that take the fork from wide open to nearly locked out. Rebound is tuned at the bottom of the same leg, and there's a decal on the casting that shows the total number of clicks for LSC, LSR, and the Ramp Control air spring feature.
MRP has also gone with a different air spring in the Ribbon compared to what's used in the Stage, with the new fork featuring separate air valves for the positive (at the top) and negative (at the bottom) air chambers. This is instead of the self-adjusting negative air spring found in the Stage, and like any fork with a two-way adjustable air spring, it lets the rider tune how active the fork is by varying pressure in the negative chamber.
One thing that does get carried over from the Stage is MRP's clever Ramp Control system that, as you probably guessed, adjusts how the fork ramps up in its travel without needing to add or subtract tokens. Instead, you simply turn a crown-mounted dial that opens or closes a very small port; the smaller the port, the harder it is for the air to pass through and vice versa. Think of it as damping, but to control the fork's air spring ramp-up.
Would you like a quicker, tool-free way to adjust the ramp-up of your Pike, Yari, Lyirk, or BoXXer instead of adding or subtracting tokens? MRP has decided to offer their Ramp Control system in a drop-in, cartridge-based setup for the aforementioned RockShox forks. The $150 USD Ramp Control cartridge replaces the top cap and token assembly of your RockShox fork, allowing you to adjust its bottom-out control by simply turning a crown-mounted dial. This dial opens and closes a very small port at the bottom of the cartridge; the smaller the port, the harder it is for the air to pass through and vice versa.
MRP says that installing the Ramp Control system and leaving it wide open is about on par with adding one token to your RockShox fork simply because of the volume it takes up, but that it also gives you a much easier way to tinker with your spring rate.