As you would expect with the explosion of Trail/Enduro bikes onto the market in recent years, it was inevitable that component brands were going to be quick to follow suit in investing huge amounts of resources into developing products to up the ante of these bikes.
If you were looking for a quality single crown 160 mm trail/endure fork a few years ago, your choice of fork was easy as you only really had a choice of a few brands which offered quality but more importantly serviceability and support. Fast forward to today and there are numerous quality brands on the market such as DVO, Ohlins, Formula and Manitou to name a few, not to mention your staple quality brands like Rockshox and Fox, all of which are producing a variety of quality forks. As a result, there is a hell of a lot of choice on the market so if you are going to be competitive you need to be on point from the onset.
Now the scene has been set, we’d like to introduce you to the all-new MRP Ribbon fork. Intrigued by their unique design promise of premium performance, we asked for a set to review and recently we bolted this pair of Ribbon’s to the [R]evolution workhorse for a long term try. MRP are not new to the suspension market and with the new Ribbon fork being the next generation of the existing Stage fork, it’s fair to say MRP are not mucking around and they mean business. We have been lucky enough to get our hands on a new pair of MRP’s (27.5 – Boost Spacing) and our first impression of these fork are positive, they look amazing, were easily fitted and adjusted.
Some features of these forks include;
The standard Ramp Control cartridge.
Adjustable low-speed compression and rebound damping.
Air spring with adjustable positive and negative chambers.
16 position Ramp Control for adjusting bottom-out resistance.
PSST pressure-relief valves.
Outcast arch design.
35mm diameter anodized stanchions.
Boost specific chassis w/110x15mm dropouts.
Tool free QR15 thru-axle.
Max tyre clearance: 29×2.6 inch or 27.5×3 inch.
180mm post mount brake tabs.
One element we found unique to the fork, was the fork brace which appears to be backwards, however there is a practical side to this. Turning this around eliminates the brace catching mud, eliminating weight and making it a lot easier to clean. The fork is also available in 27.5 inch and 29 inch. We are testing this fork in the 27.5 inch version.
We’ve only managed a handful of trail outings so far since fitting these forks but our initial thoughts on these forks have been amazing. We really dig that MRP haven’t just copied other forks, instead when they designed the new Ribbon they really wanted ‘outside of the box’. These forks look great and straight out of the box they’ve been performing really well. The adjustment of these forks was a breeze to setup so we’re pretty dam exited to put these suckers through their paces for a long term test. It’s fair to say most quality forks feel amazing when they are new but it’s the test of time which really sets forks apart and how durable they are.
As we mentioned before, we plan to put the Ribbon’s through their paces all summer long. Check back in next issue to learn more about how they’ve been performing and holding up after several months of Aussie summer trail shredding!
Words and photos // Scott Prendergast