29er Helm or Ribbon coil?

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  • 29er Helm or Ribbon coil?
  • Premier Icon gaidong

    It has been months, MONTHS, since I wasted money on a bike part I don’t really need. I’m off to the US in April and have been eyeing up prices on Jenson for coil forks. I have searched high and low for a detailed comparison of the two, to no avail.
    I want to run the fork at 140 mm on my hardtail (Kingdom X2) and at 160 mm on a future full sus (eyeing Cotic Rocketmax etc). I want plush, burly, low maintenance. I don’t jump much (as I don’t know how to) but like to pummel my way down devoid of any grace.
    Helm is cheaper and the frames I’m looking at often have a CC shock option. Don’t like the colour.

    Premier Icon rockthreegozy

    Both only carry a one year warranty in the US. MRP is two in the EU, if that matters. My Ribbon air have been good, I have had two warranty issues but judging by the huge thread on MTBR I have been unlucky and it has been sorted both times.

    Premier Icon Kamakazie

    I’ve seen reports of the Ribbon being quire noisy on the rebound (as oil flows back through the circuit).
    I get this with the Marz 350 and whilst it’s not a deal breaker, it does put me off the Ribbon a bit for my new bike.
    I’ve also been considering getting a new Pike / Lyrik and then swapping out for the Vorsprung Smashpot if I fancy it.

    I have had two warranty issues but judging by the huge thread on MTBR I have been unlucky and it has been sorted both times

    Are you US based? What is support like in the UK for MRP forks?

    I only know of three Helm Coils, all on new Cotics and after six months of hard use for each, no issues have come up at all. Mine have been excellent, similar to the old coil Lyric in many ways but perhaps just a little more supportive in the mid-stroke.
    I’d say that’s a strong performance and the internal travel adjust is quite straightforward.
    Sorry I cannot comment on the MRP, have never even seen one.

    No personal experience of either so the next bit probably isn’t worth much 😉
    The impression I have of the helm is that it’s quite heavily damped a bit of a ‘racers’ tune, so you may find that the ribbon is more of a friendly comfortable fork…
    So that might influence you one way or the other depending on what you want.
    But with no experience of either you might find someone who knows better than me tells you I’m talking bobbins!

    Premier Icon rockthreegozy

    UK based, MRP looked after by Ison here. Support has been good, no slower than Rockshox.

    My airs haven’t been noisy but I have seen that mentioned


    My coil ribbon has been great, I like the easy travel adjust feature. Changing springs requires removing the lowers but other than that it’s all straight forward.
    Can’t say I notice much damping noise but I run the fork quite fast.

    Noisey dampers can happen with any forks as it can be associated with aerated oil from what I’ve read.

    As I right in thinking that the coil sits on top of what looks like an air spring seal (presumably to seal the system at atmosphereic pressure for the bottom out system?) – that seems like a weird way to negate some of the benefit of going coil. Oil seals, fair enough – usually quite loose – an air seal that slides throughout the travel? No thanks – those are usually very tight and impart a fair amount of stiction!


    I think it’s the MRP that a friend of mine has. He had a bloody nightmare with a cartridge service here in the UK. The tools were prohibitively expensive so it’s back to the importer who managed to take forever and send the fork back in worse condition than when they went away.

    Certainly worth checking service coast and availability before pulling the trigger.

    I’m no Rockshox fanboi, but I do like that I can service a charger damper at home with common tools.


    Ribbon coil here and can definitely recommend it. Damper is a bit noisy but seems to be noisier the more compression you run. I run wide open so not as bad as some have found.

    From experience of dealing with Ison (UK distributor) on other things, their support is excellent. Main support contact there is a chap called Maz who was actually in the Halo wheels piece here on stw.

    Plus, Noah Sears (VP of product development at MRP) is super active on the MTBR forums with advice, tuning tips etc.

    I think it’s South coast suspension and Sprung that now also do MRP servicing.

    So in short, yep, recommended.

    Premier Icon gaidong

    Sorry to have hit and run. I’m on fieldwork in Myanmar and thought I had replied last night but it got eaten. Good to see more or less all of you are keen. Also good to see that Jenson have given me a 20% voucher overnight… What I still haven’t grasped is whether one is more suited than the other to my needs. I live in France, so UK servicing is neither here nor there. I see the MRP has offsets of 41/46/51 mm available, that doesn’t help! Thanks for all the input so far.


    I think one thing nobody has touched on so far is the massive difference in performance from an air fork. I took off a 2016 fox 36 RC2 with Ramp Control cartridge, well serviced etc, and the Ribbon was night and day in terms of how much better it rides. No more having to run low PSI and lots of ramp to achieve small bump sensitivity and get rid of the harshness – coupled with a coil shock, the bike just feels incredibly controlled (2019 Stumpy Evo) at speed or in the really tough.

    In terms of weight, with the steerer trimmed to 185mm, my 27.5″ Ribbon Coil weighed a real life 2026g with the medium spring, so around 100g difference over my 36 with the MRP cartridge.

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