2017 Pinkbike Awards: Suspension Product of the Year Winner

Dec 14, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
PB Awards




Why it's the winner:

Historically, the Suspension Product of the Year has come from a major manufacturer, and it's invariably been a fork or shock that most riders are already familiar with. Fox, RockShox, and Manitou have made up the lion's share of both nominations and wins, as you'd expect to see in this category - big budgets, years of R&D, and plenty of manufacturing muscle are hard to beat. And that's why MRP's surprising victory is worthy of being called the Upset of the Year as well.

We all know that if you're spending around a grand on a suspension fork, you're going to get something that will offer all the performance you might ever require - pretty much everything in this price bracket is going to impress. But thanks to its twin-tube damper that offers best-in-class action, as well as a unique end-stroke control system, the MRP Ribbon manages to outshine its more well-known competition.

With its travel adjustable in 5mm or 10mm increments between 140mm to 170mm for the 27.5'' chassis, or 120mm to 160mm for the 29er fork that I've been riding, the $989 USD Ribbon can be put to work as everything from a brawny cross-country fork to being bolted to the front of an enduro race bike. It's probably most at home somewhere in the middle of that wide spectrum, however, making it an ideal option for how a lot of us like to ride our bikes. It's not short of adjustments, either, as the negative spring can be fine-tuned to adjust the action, and the clever Ramp Control Cartridge offers speed-sensitive ending-stroke control with adjustable bottom-out. The latter is a much more effective way to tune the stroke compared to the token system found in most forks that's position sensitive. You can even pick up a Ribbon with a coil spring inside of it if you'd prefer that over air.

From the review:
bigquotesA lot of us only think of two or maybe three brands when looking for a new suspension fork, and that's understandable given how much these things cost. Most riders aren't likely to spend a grand on something that's not a well-known performer, but it turns out that the Ribbon is one underdog that can not only hang with the big boys but even outperform them. MRP's awesome twin-tube damper and Ramp Control system come together to make their fork not just a viable option, but also a front-runner. Mike Levy



114 Comments

  • + 125
 Congratulations MRP. Good to see the little guy punch above their weight. Also, if the fork performs as well as the Ramp Control Cartridge and negative airspring conversion worked for my 36's, then I'm not surprised they won.
  • + 127
 Thank you very much! We are all buzzin' here at HQ!
  • + 20
 @MRPofficial: i’m Buzzing but not cuz a fork.
  • + 11
 @MRPofficial: So next you're going to offer a 26" version, right?

Please?
  • + 5
 So stoked for MRP!!! Threw a Ribbon on my new GG and stoked I did--
Dear MRP : keep up the good work, stay small even when you go big, keep making badass stuff
  • + 7
 @Dethphist: 27 = 26 + 1/2" extra mud room
  • + 3
 @MRPofficial: MRP RIBBON sales just jump 2000%
  • + 1
 @Dethphist: If a 170mm fork will do, get the 26, have monster clearance, and laugh all the way down the mountain
  • + 78
 Let's give them props for making the mud collector part of the arch face forwards.
  • + 11
 It’s amazing how fast the look of the fork grew on me. Honestly I think forks with the lattice in the back look off to me now and the Ribbon looks correct.
  • - 27
flag mtbufu (Dec 14, 2017 at 14:55) (Below Threshold)
 Mud typically is flung or sprayed in the direction your wheels are rotating. I have never ridden one of these forks but unless you are rolling down the hill fakie or smashing through axle deep puddles I don’t think mud collection will be a factor.
  • + 10
 @mtbufu: have you ever actually ridden in mud with a suspension fork? Mud gets all up in that fork arch.
  • + 11
 @mtbufu: @mtbufu: turn your handlebars 180 degrees. should help with pulling those brake levers too.
  • + 1
 Nice touch indeed. However since I use a Marshguard that has never been an issue.
  • + 26
 Is this something we can agree upon, or is it a fight as usual??? Big Grin
  • + 19
 I'm itching for a fight, but I got nothing. Happy to see MRP take it.
  • + 11
 screw you! it should have been the coil version! everyone know coil is more enduro!
  • + 1
 There will always be tribes. Because we like to fight. It's kind of motif for us. And you won't hear us singing Kumbaya holding hands around fire. But it's always nice to see something ''new'' and promising. For the sake of change.
  • + 8
 @adrennan: BS. Everyone knows the coil wasn't released until October which clearly means it's a 2018 product, maybe even 2019 already. So that means the coil version should win NEXT year and not this year. DUMBASS! Wink ......yeah I got nothing too. Truce.
  • + 3
 It really looks like pinkbike picked the best option out of the three they selected.
  • + 3
 Kabush over Lopes any day!!! as far as the fork, fantastic choice. Congrats MRP.
  • + 3
 I’m super happy for MRP to win and love many of you guys.
  • + 2
 Boo! Metric was robbed!
  • + 5
 We're in agreement on this one. Wink
  • - 2
 @MRPofficial: I give you kudos not exclusively but mostly for Rustler. Maybe one day Wink
  • + 2
 What happened to that revel? Has anyone seen one in the wild yet?
  • + 1
 @jaame: People have been acquiring them from Ironstable in Taiwan
  • + 0
 @naturaltalent: yeah I know, but I haven't been able to find anything about anyone who actually has one on the internet. I know they are available to buy, but I wonder if xf is only releasing them on the Asian market ti do their beta testing, since no one in Taiwan who actually rides bikes knows the difference between a good fork and a bad one. I thought perhaps they are just waiting until the first run develops problems, or not, before the western loam heroes and internet heroes crucify them publicly. What I mention it us because I really like the look of it and would like to know if it's worth a punt.
  • + 1
 Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
  • + 0
 @jaame: people just keep fishing Revels from the bottom of the Ocean... it all started after some dude caught a shark with one sticking out of his ass.
  • + 24
 I only buy "underdog" products that are a "viable option" and that "can hang with the big boys" so this might be the perfect fork for me.
  • + 1
 It's really an insulting way of giving an award, isn't it? Pretty lazy writing, IMO.
  • + 29
 @scvkurt03: I am quite lazy, so there's that.
  • + 2
 Mrp is an underdog as far as sites/magazines reviews and space goes.
Those are dominated by the larger companies. Still need to read a bad review of any RS or Specialized stuff.
And some of those “benchmark” products are just average for me.

On User forums/sites, mrp is generally considered well above rs and fox.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: I dig what you do, but yeah, I think the winning product deserves a little more respect than that.
  • + 0
 perfect fork for all riders
  • + 13
 I was tossing up between this and a Lyrik RCT3 for a 160 mm 29er and ended up opting for the Lyrik because it’s what I ‘knew’... wondering if I should have gone with the MRP. To be fair the Lyrik is awesome and I really like how it rides, so maybe this comment was pointless.
  • + 1
 Lol you're torn it's understandable. I too faced this decision and also went Lyrik, though 27.5 for me. I've ridden both and honestly I couldn't pick a winner between the two. They felt somewhat different, but both very good and capable with very slight edges to each in different areas. I went with the Lyrik because it was cheaper, and think you can't go wrong either way!
  • + 1
 @tgent: Can you describe the difference?
The thing I like most about my pike is it's ability to stand up in its travel and not dive upon braking and cornering. But Im strongly considering a ribbon coil at the moment.
  • + 1
 @chumba17: I rode the MRP Ribbon, so I can't comment on the coil. I felt like the Ribbon was a bit more supple off the top than my Lyrik, and had slightly better small bump compliance, but it went through it's travel a bit more readily than the Lyrik. I think the Lyrik, as you said, has slightly better mid stroke support and better ramp up for big hits. All this being said, the Lyrik is my fork and I've tuned it over countless rides exactly to my liking and the MRP was my buddies and while I set it up for me and tweaked it a bit, I only rode it over a weekend. I think that some riders will prefer one or the other, and there is a discernible difference between the two, but they are both absolutely fantastic forks that get the job done well.
  • + 1
 @tgent: Weird, I find it to be the exact opposite. The Lyrik is more supple off the top and the Ribbon has better mid-stroke and ramp up.
  • + 4
 @tgent: That just means you needed to add a click or two to the ramp control (probably two from what you described.) Properly tuned it has better mid-stroke control and bottom out resistance than token systems like RS and Fox. Plus, you don't have to swap tokens, and you could add even more bottom out resistance with an additional click or two if you're hitting the bike park.
  • + 1
 @bentown The ribbon is quite above the lyrik. Lyrik is fine if you race and like to take it apart every month.
Mrp is more tunable and can definitely be more supple off top.
I would also look into the dvo diamond which is slightly heavier but very nice feel, and formula selva.
  • + 1
 sell the Lyrik and buy a ribbon--I ride one and it is unbelievable. I think it has increased my traction in the wet over my fox, and it's much more compliant when I want compliance, and more stiff when I want stiffness. Love the independently adjustable negative spring. I think MRP's recommendations on setup are perfectly solid, but I've been messing around a lot and I think this fork is teaching me a lot about suspension setup
  • + 10
 Been on my Ribbon Coil for the last week. It blows everything away. I have The Stage also and these forks are fantastic. The folks at MRP are some of the best in the industry. The personal attention you get outshines the competition.
  • + 1
 When you call them you can easily talk to someone at MRP about their products! I talked to one of the folks there about the ribbon for about 45 minutes before I bought mine, and have called them many times since with questions--they explain everything fully, and don't try to get me to shut up (which is rare among folks I talk to), and they've always answered their phone.
  • + 10
 I rode my new Ribbon coil last night for the first time. It blows the pike rct3 it replaced out of the water. I'm looking forward to a proper ride on it this weekend though.
  • + 0
 I am really looking forward to reviews of the coil version. So far I like what I see but the lack of a proper HSC dial is holding me back from buying it. Hey MRP, first of all congrats! Second, please add HSC and you can shut up and take my money. I just love how my stanction stiffens as I twist my knob, need HSC.
  • + 5
 We understand you like your new fork that you paid a lot of money for, but please define "blows the Pike out of the water".
  • + 1
 How does it blow the pike out of the water? I'm actually very interested in good reply because I have been thinking about a new fork for my Hightower that has a pike on it and don't really know what one to get. I've thought about the Fox 36 just because big is beautiful, or a DVO product since I have a Topaz on the rear, but don't know.
  • + 29
 @PinkyScar: He was in the bathtub with his pike.

His mom answered the door when ups delivered the mrp and she had to pay the delivery charges.

She took the mrp, threw it at him in the tub, is sent bubbles and his pike flying out of the water.
  • + 5
 @onemind123: Any epsom salts? Scented candles?
  • + 2
 @rmerrill: The Pike is superior for underwater riding, until it gets blown out.
  • + 2
 @PinkyScar: For one, he got the coil, so right off the bat it's going to feel more supple than an air sprung pike. Neglecting that though, the ramp control being a speed-sensitive adjustment to control your mid-stroke and bottom out gives you a far more composed ride than the position sensitive token system of the pike. That feels like the main thing about this fork, it always just seems so composed, never diving or blowing through the mid-stroke. Being able to just dial in the ramp control instead of having to swap out tokens makes the initial tuning far easier too. Plus, if you're having a park day with some big drops you can just turn the dial another click or two instead of having to add spacers or give up suppleness by increasing your air pressure.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: Since the bottom-out control (Ramp Control) is speed sensitive there's really no need for HSC. It's already taken care of. Try one. They usually have a booth at Outerbike and a fleet of demo bikes so you can give them a shot if you're out west.
  • + 1
 @TucsonDon: So the MRP is really like fishing for Pike with TNT!
  • - 1
 @PinkyScar: Well the whole Rockshox line is on the lower side of it's competition. The Pike packs up under multiple hits, and almost all the internals are made of plastic. You're not gonna see many people that work for a suspension tuning company running Rockshox because of the plastic parts. They're all on Ohlins, Fox, and/or Push. Now the MRP is up there, and the Cane Creek may be as well. The design of all of those are better.
  • + 2
 @dualsuspensiondave: I didn't know plastic was something we should worry about. I may go back to my Marzocchi Z.1.
  • + 8
 Using a 29er MRP Stage for the last two years and loving every second of it. I am thrilled to see MRP win this award for their Ribbon fork.
  • + 10
 That was pretty suspenseful
  • + 15
 I hope they prepared a ribbon for the winner.
  • + 5
 my mrp stage is the best fork ive ever had by far, absolutely blows away the xfusion sweep on my other bike. Ramp Control is the best on the fly tuning gizmo. Ribbon's gotta be even better..
  • + 4
 Pretty stoked on this. I have the Ribbon Air on my Plus bike/rowdy hard tail and I just got the Ribbon Coil on my Wreckoning. I am so pumped for these guys and all they have done! If you haven't had the pleasure to ride a Ribbon, take the plunge!
  • + 5
 Having had both an air and a coil version of this on my bike, and having had to work with MRP on a few things, I can say these guys deserve this. What an awesome product from an awesome group of guys. Congrats!
  • + 6
 It HAD to be MRP! Can't wait to get mine in later this month. Congrats MRP!
  • + 6
 Congrats MRP! Hopefully I can have the chance to ride one someday.
  • + 5
 Very cool. If I ever need to replace a fork I will have to look at these. Seems rock solid.
  • + 13
 The Rock Solid is the MRP rigid carbon fork actually...
www.mrpbike.com/rocksolid
  • + 6
 @forgivenick: ..........
  • + 5
 Way to go MRP!! Glad i took the plunge early this year and haven't looked back!!
  • + 6
 Congrats MRP. Noah you and your crew are legends.
  • + 5
 Thank you!
  • + 5
 Next year, the winner will be the coil version. Bravo
  • + 3
 I have a Stage fork. After 30 years of mountain biking it is by far the nicest fork that's ever been on one of my bikes. Props to MRP for bringing home this win!
  • + 3
 BOOM! NIce one MRP. Loads of folks here in the UK running them via ISON and not one of us would go back to another brand.
  • + 4
 YAY MRP!!!!! Stoked for the crew!!
  • + 3
 Can't wait to put my brand new Ribbon Coil that arrived today on my 2018 Devinci Spartan frame when it gets here!
  • + 1
 I have been running 170mm Ribbon forks on my Bird Aeris and they have been incredible, so much tunability and a plush feel! Good work MRP ???? when cancer expect to see shocks to match??
  • + 3
 Congrats MRP! Now I’m even more stoked for my Ribbon Coil to be delivered tomorrow!
  • + 4
 Stoked for MRP!
  • - 1
 I rode most of the newer forks out there, ribbon was my second favorite, third dvo diamond, formula selva on top.
34, 36, Pike are one/two steps below. New Manitou, suntour, ohlins and bos, did not have a chance yet.
Marzocchi RIP.
  • + 2
 Hopefully my ribbon coil arrives today .....
  • - 1
 And the shoe of the year is Porche's new p5510 spring-loaded sneakers, that I found at Frankfurt airport! www.trendhunter.com/trends/porsche-design-adidas--shoes-bounces-gears-springs-and-moving-parts
  • + 1
 Let me know when the CSU starts creaking.
  • + 1
 When did manitou become part of the big 2 now 3?
  • + 1
 New bike got specced with one of these, super stoked to try it!
  • + 1
 I'm so happy they make their internals in Grand Junction Colorado!
  • + 2
 Well deserved
  • + 1
 Just wish it was a lot closer to $500 than the $1000 it costs.
  • + 12
 you are not forgiven, Nick.
  • + 3
 @scottyrides5: don't get me wrong, you get what you pay for.
Dropping $1k on a fork just isn't happening for me however.
You may not forgive me Scotty, but you're not the one from whom I seek to have a mended relationship.
Merry Christmas buddy. Smile
  • + 5
 It's on par with all of it's competitors though, as the fox 36 factory, Rockshox Lyric RCT3, and DVO Daimond are all around the same price, so to support a smaller company and get a product that is on par/better than the big brands is pretty cool
  • + 5
 @labiker9: After my bike got stolen, I had limited funds to put together a new bike. The price of the Ribbon with 15% off was less than what many people were selling their performance elite forks for in the buy n sell. It was also cheaper than a take-off yari and charger upgrade. No $400 coil conversion needed. Coil+MRP's damper for less than $800. In my eyes, that's a hell of a value.
  • + 7
 @Ron-C: I agree, it is a great value. Like I said to @scottyrides5 , you get what you pay for.

To be crystal clear: I was NOT saying its worth less than $1000, I was merely saying I WISH it was closer to $500.
Man, you guys in the comments can be ruthless! Haha.
  • + 1
 @forgivenick: for that pricepoint loom at the manitou mattoc - its a seriously good fork at a very aggressive pricepoint.
  • + 3
 Make your own lunch and bring it to work, skip your morning Starbucks/Coffee Bean/Dutch Brothers coffee, or pass on that last beer at the bar. Track the money you don't spend in a spreadsheet until it covers your epic new fork. Do the same next for the hubs or dropper you want. Easiest way to justify the $1000 when you're willing to spend $500 because you've got the difference from watching your coin. I've also found I appreciate what I'm riding more.
  • + 1
 @OriginalDonk: Save a $1000 by doing nothing.

Be happy with what you've got, and don't fall prey to "Best Of" marketing posts.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: This is the plan. Smile
  • + 2
 Great fork.
  • + 2
 Say what?
  • + 0
 donkey feltcher eh? oh my.
  • + 1
 Poor donkey
  • - 1
 Luftkappe got robbed! It’s a suspension product, one of the cheapest upgrade that actually improves you’re suspension!
  • + 4
 You have a very niche taste
  • - 3
 Shockwhiz is pretty sweet if you ask me.
  • - 2
 Everyone just got trolled with this one! Pay for win awards!
  • + 1
 Knowing what our ad budget is, trust me, that was not a factor. Pinkbike is entirely on the up & up!
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