MRP Ramp Control
Words & Photos by Taylor Haenny
When the MRP Ramp Control first came out, I knew I needed to test it. From a young age, I’ve always loved to tinker with gadgets. It was an uncontrollable urge to find out how things work, and figure out how to make them better. Something my parents didn’t find so amusing. It seems like the people over at MRP are stricken with the same kind of sickness. That tinkering spirit is undoubtedly what led to the MRP Ramp Control. Many hours of toiling have resulted with a simple solution and innovative way to change the progressivity of the air chamber in your fork.
The MRP Ramp Control replaces the top cap and bottomless tokens with an adjustable knob to adjust progressivity. It weighs in at a measly 56-grams, which on my Fox 34 was only a three gram increase over the OE top cap loaded with one volume reducer. MRP offers a wide variety of sizes to fit stanchions from 32-40mm from both Fox and Rock Shox. (see table below)
Once installed the Ramp Control uses a labyrinth of ports to control the airflow depending on where the progressivity is set. Essentially trading air volume adjustment for a preload adjustment. More preload creates more restriction on airflow, which leads to more progressivity. Armed with a 16-position dial, this would allow the rider to adjust their bottom out protection with a few clicks before dropping into a heavier section of trail. Since the air volume of the air chamber doesn’t change, this should give the Ramp Control a distinct advantage over just adding more tokens.
I was really happy with the build quality right out of the box. The machining on the knob, as well as the air valve cover is top notch. Installing the Ramp Control is incredibly simple. Just remove the top cap on the air cartridge side of the fork and drop it in.
Prior to installing the Ramp Control I was running two volume reducing tokens in my Fox 34, so it’s safe to say that I like a rather progressive front end. I started my test with the dial all the way off (least progressive) to see if the size of the cartridge would act like volume spacer. At normal pressures the fork felt slightly more linear than what I’m used to (similar to one token). As I ramped up the progressivity, the bottom out protection returned. When I reached 4-5 clicks in, I felt right at home, nearly identical to my fork with two tokens installed.
At this moment, my childish curiosity got the best of me when I asked, “What do the other 11 do?” I cranked the knob to 11, I mean 16, and pointed my bike down the chunkiest DH I could find. The bottom out protection did its job, however the overly progressive curve made my fork feel a tad harsh. I grabbed a shock pump and decreased the air pressue by 5 psi before jumping back on the gondola for another run. That little tweak made all of the difference! Small bump sensitivity was insane, all without sacrificing the bottom out protection. The only thing lacking was mid-stroke support. The transition between small bump to progressive top end was so fast that it left medium sized bumps in a strange middle ground.
With the wagon wheels on my Rocky Mountain Instinct, I do believe the benefits outweigh the negatives for what I ride and how I ride. The increased small bump sensitivity allows me to take advantage of faster rolling sections, and the bottom out protection helps me manage the larger hits with my 140/140 travel. If you can get past the steep price tag, the versatility of the Ramp Control will provide you with the ability to tune the front end more efficiently.
Nearly 1,000 miles later, I still have the Ramp Control installed and I really enjoy being able to change that bottom out protection on the fly.
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