Spotted: MRP's Prototype Air-Sprung Shock

Oct 22, 2019
by Mike Levy  
MRP prototype air-sprung shock.

MRP's been dropping hints for awhile now that a new air-sprung shock is on the way, but they've been reluctant to share any details or pictures so far. Lucky for us, a Pinkbike reader in Grand Junction, Colorado, MRP's hometown, isn't so stingy with the photos. He spotted the unlabeled shock bolted to a carbon fiber Transition (see below), and its all-black anodizing and orange switch leaves no doubt about where it came from.

MRP's Noah Sears had this to say when pressed for info: ''Your eagle-eyed reader did spot one of the air shock prototypes we currently have in field testing. This project has been in development for several years and I look forward to the day that the world at large will be able to experience it for themselves.

The current prototypes are close to production but do not yet have a firm ETA on public availability. The internals step outside of traditional shock designs in order to provide unmatched performance, so it is critically important that it be completely vetted both through extensive lab testing and the toughest real-world environments (if you’ve taken a Whole Enchilada shuttle in the past few weeks, you may have seen one). The results thus far have been fantastic, but we’ll defer on releasing any details of the project, such as specs and features until it is finalized.''

Okay, so not much info there, but Sears did include a better photo of the shock (top), and its name: The Jackson.

Internally, you're probably not going to be wrong if you assumed the Jackson employs a twin-tube damper layout. That's what you'll find inside their forks, and it'd make sense for the relatively small suspension company to follow suit at the back of the bike. There seem to be multiple adjustment dials at the upper eyelet, too, including a pedal-assist switch.
MRP prototype air-sprung shock.
Two air valves and a whole lot of black. What's going on inside of MRP's upcoming shock?

A traditional air-sprung shock uses a single valve and some variation of a self-equalizing bleed port to automatically pressurize the negative chamber, but it looks like MRP might be letting riders manually adjust the negative pressure via a second valve (the top one). More negative pressure would help push the shock into its stroke and feel more supple, while less pressure can be used to create more efficient, less active suspension. On top of that, the knurled caps hint at it being easy to add or subtract volume spacers from either chamber to further tune the spring rate.

Any more guesses as to what MRP has been working on?

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 159 3
 Sorry, MRp Jackson I ride for REAL...
  • 17 1
 It makes me so happy someone else was thinking about that song.
  • 2 2
 2000 classic. Gonna go back and listen at this album. Thanks.
  • 10 25
flag mm732 (Oct 22, 2019 at 21:09) (Below Threshold)
 @QuebecPoulin: RIP Tupac
  • 4 3
 @mm732: Outkast, from the album Stankonia
  • 7 2
 @mm732: Ouch. Just... ouch...
  • 10 0
 never meant to make your bushings cry, i apologize a trillion times
  • 3 0
 Oh man these corny ass puns are never ending on PB
  • 138 5
 Plus it doubles as a monocular for spotting land when lost at sea!
  • 7 9
 Ah nice a tunable inline shock perfect for my downcountry ride. Hope I can get it in 165x45 TRUNNION. Perfect match to my 29er Ribbon coil.
  • 88 0
 Who's the fool who put the tire upside down
  • 163 0
 Shhh, that's a prototype II RHD sixxaM.
  • 21 0
 They must be doing some kind of blind testing, literally Wink
  • 27 0
 Reversed tread lugs for MOAR CLIMBING POWER.
  • 12 0
 He's an engineer, so maybe he's onto something....
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Being developed to run as a system with those 9i wheels?
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: designed by the man Nikki Sixx himself.
  • 3 0
 @Trudeez: If it were designed by nikki sixx he would have put a whole lot of blood, sweat, and heroin into the the design
  • 5 0
 @spencebwell: mostly just heroin. and "the design" is just his arm.
  • 1 17
flag sanchofula (Oct 22, 2019 at 20:19) (Below Threshold)
 It’s a front tire, ramps are correct, bike is to the left of the picture
  • 2 2
 Jerry testing ????
  • 2 1
 @mikekazimer: I had to use a mirror to read that
  • 8 0
 @yuroshek: Unless that person is more interested into climbing and wants maximu traction uphill ? I know it sounds like a blasphemous but there are some people like that. I even heard of horror stories of people deliberately using a tech single track to go up while there is a perfectly suitable melow fire-road ! That one scared me to death I have to admit ...
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: So many winning comments today!!!
  • 1 0
 I'm sure you're using a microscope to watch the photo.
  • 2 0
 @CourierSix: With 6! wheels
  • 76 1
 u guys better glue a fake piggyback reservoir on there so peeps take it seriously.
  • 34 0
 Don't get me wrong, most shock naming conventions lack 'zing' to it. But is a stiff Jackson in the rear really what you're going for?
  • 18 0
 Do you prefer a stiff Johnson instead?
  • 13 0
 @Staktup: as long as it doesn't last more than 4 hours.
  • 2 0
 I guess "Rock Stacker" was too long to fit.
  • 23 0
 Did we ever get a bartlett review?
  • 32 0
 Exactly!..Still waiting for Bartlett review...Why bother it's only the lightest, lowest axle to crown, 15mm axle Dual crown on the market that rides like a Ribbon-PinkBike's "suspension product of the year".
  • 1 1
 @bikeblur: We wait. Trying to get one here in the UK was a long process.
  • 24 5
 Hopefully you guys managed to get this "sneak peek" posted more than 24hrs before the press release drops.

  • 1 1
  • 17 1
 looks like a cartoon pirates telescope
  • 11 0
 It's a dual chamber inline(in series) air spring.
I'd push a guess that you can run a supple top pressure, and have a higher main chamber pressure.
E.g. it decouples the main air spring pressure from the initial stroke pressure.

Same principle as the manitou irt separate chambers approach.
  • 8 0
 A shock within a shock... shockception!
  • 5 1
 aka "the rattler klunkity klunk klunk"
  • 1 0
 That was my first thought as well, seeing how it's built... but, from what I know they don't even use such system in any of their forks, and there it's way more important than in the rear IMO...
  • 16 2
 I like that they are recycling old threaded bottom brackets to make this.
  • 13 0
 Who the hell lays bricks like that?!
  • 1 0
 The City of Grand Junction! That's Main Street.
  • 9 0
 It's also out in the open on Nate Hills' latest video from the Mack trails.
  • 7 0
 Wow, can't sneak anything past you!
  • 9 2
 I'd be willing to buy one if they could implement a ramp control cartridge in it to adjust progressiveness
  • 5 1
 The real question is what kind of bike that is on, because none of the current Transition bikes have a lower shock mount that terminates before the seat tube and they all use solid rocker links, where this one has a cutout.

new Carbon Scout?
  • 5 0
 Old not new. Looks like a previous generation patrol
  • 5 1
 @shinook this appears to be 2015 - 2017. I have a 2016 and a 2019 Patrol. This definitely matches the 2016.
  • 2 1
 Ah yea, you guys are right. I should have looked back a bit further, got a bit ahead of myself there
  • 5 3
 Looks like a Pivot to me.
  • 3 0
 that looks like an old carbon patrol... non metric
  • 2 0
 I actually emailed Transition a while ago asking about that, and there isn't enough demand to produce the Scout as a carbon again
  • 3 0
 If this really is a way to fine tune the negative spring, they are just putting glitter on a DNM air shock. That stuff already has the negative air spring filled separetely. Anyways, I'm more instereted in reviews from the underdogs. Those DNM suspensions and shocks, RST, Suntour. People could really apreciate and go to a cheaper side of the sport IF we had more reviews from those brands that are not on the top of the sport. How they feel, how it is completely disasembled, how to disassemble and reassemble the right way, how they are helding after 1 year of abuse way over they paygrade. Sure you guys have to review the top stuff, the cutting edge. It is the face of the sport, everybody lust after these parts. But not everyone has the money to get it. That's why those less glorious brands deserve more space.
  • 1 0
 The last review of a Suntour did not end well for Suntour... DNM and RST are pretty much entry level oem components, no one, on any budget, should be buying those. I don't even think you can buy them aftermarket in north america. If you're on a budget, but good used stuff.
  • 1 0
 @mattsavage: I've seen some good reviews from higher end Suntour, including another sites. Again, to me, here, an entry level RS or Fox come down from 5 grand. It's just too expensive, while the RST i've just bought is less than 1000, in brazilian money.
Entry level MTB, full suspension, in direct conversion, is absurd. And we practice MTB over here too. 2500 USD for entry level would be close to 11.000. That's why cheap stuff that works remarkably well is golden.
Of course it will go not so well in direct comparison test against RS or Fox stuff, but they might be just the best stuff other people could get hands on.
Well, at least in this side of the continent.
Anyway, here's a good review on the Durolux:
  • 8 2
 Looks are not everything, but some would help
  • 2 0
 Wonder if it will reduce the dead zone you get with rockshox. Sometimes it the dampener that pooped itself for the millionth time but also the transfer port depending on the bike and sag setting.
  • 2 0
 I've watched a guy change his air pressure on a rockshox monarch debonair by 50psi. 175 to 225. No change in sag. They just seemed to always need to sit at that air transfer port.

Is this something that has improved on the deluxe shocks?
  • 5 0
 DNM AOY-36 has twin air valves. pick one up for $80 off ebay
  • 1 0
 low pressure, chamber and high pressure dual spring shock like a coil setup in offroad cars buts an air version is my guess soft initial and then a second spring to handle big hits this will feel like a coil but handle hits like air...

down side = two sets of seals
  • 1 0
 Can someone please tinker with a telescopic air shock? Smaller diameter needs less force to compress (small bump sensitivity - could be undamped) until pressure exceeds point where larger shaft takes over (mid and bottom out). Surely bikes designs are stiff enough these days to compensate for extra flex due to two shafts.

Also, what happened to Fox Alps type volume adjustment? Except hands free.
  • 1 0
 I should have said multi-inline shaft. All shocks are telescopic.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: Or you could just run a coil and save all the hassles for the added weight of a pre-coffee half dump.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: shocks are built the way they are because they end up being put under a lot more load that one might thing, and are even important structurally on some designs. That’s why ohlins redesigned their Stx air shock because it wasn’t designed to handle the side loads bike suspension designs put on it.
  • 22 18
 "Spotted" haha.

We'll see a full review tomorrow.
  • 1 1
 Looks like an air pump with a shaft slidding in the other shaft so you can pump more air with a smaller pump.
So I think the ultimate super-enhancing amazingly performance racing shock actually double as a spare pump to inflate your tires before long climb.

Or the IFP is driven by the main air chamber thus needing to inflate manually the negative chamber.
Or the two external bodies can actually move (there is something looking like a dust wiper), because the red lever is a kind of "shapeshifter" from Canyon that changes springrate/travel/color of the bike.

Or the second inflatable chamber is a SWAT box so this shock will only be available at specialized shops. It's inflatable so it shoots the required item in your hands so you don't waste time searching for it. Genius.
  • 3 0
 a dual stage positive chamber like the Runt?
  • 2 0
 I believe there will be 3 models of the Jackson in 3 different colours, black, beige and white.
  • 1 0
 A lever on the top... I think it's a twin tube shock like ccdb inline
And the air chamber.... maybe a triple chamber air spring?
  • 2 1
 Also most looks multi-staged , similar to a forklift or dump-truck cylinder.
  • 3 1
 It looks like it was made out of random parts found at a hardware store.
  • 2 1
 At first I thought it was clamped with gear clamps.
  • 3 2
 Tire is mounted backwards
  • 1 0
 I'm new and none too bright, so forgive my ignorance, but which tire is mounted backwards and how could you tell?
  • 1 0
 @JakeEPooh: The black bike; the rear tire has center knobs with ramps that are pointed away from the direction of rotation.
  • 4 0
 @k-n-i-x-o-n: Faster skids, broooooo
  • 1 0
 @k-n-i-x-o-n: thanks, man! I see it now.
  • 1 1
 Definitely has a proto look about it... I thought the air valves were pipe clamps!
  • 1 1
 I wonder literally how many "years" this shock has been out there for real-world testing? Anyone know?
  • 5 0
 Over 2.
  • 2 1
 Hopefully, it rides better than it looks!
  • 9 0
 I've said that a few times after a couple drinks.
  • 1 1
 I would like to see a i to i length adjustment which would be possible through a pressure adjustable negative spring.
  • 2 0
 When will the ad be out
  • 2 3
 Trek already did it. Fox DRCV shock looked pretty sweet 10 years ago.
  • 1 2
 The game has changed!!!
  • 2 4
 Hopefully it's not as garbage as their Ribbon Air fork.
  • 2 5
 Not digging how it looks... at all!
  • 2 1
 Never mind look
It’s about how it rides!
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