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Ribbon damper mod, anyone?

StiHacka

Compensating for something
I've never been too happy with my Ribbon coil, it feels considerably harsher and stickier than my Stage, especially on high speed chatter and smaller square edge hits. I tried lighter fluid before, without any appreciable effect. Fresh oil in damper and lowers also never made a significant improvement. I've found I was not the only one experiencing subpar performance from the Ribbon and found interesting posts in this forum that I discovered on empty beer: https://www.mtb-news.de/forum/t/mrp-ribbon-coil.856195/page-14

The damper has a blow off valve for high speed events and the hypothesis is that the stock spring is too stiff, causing harshness outside of aggressive descents. I've sourced a few springs in varying stiffness that are perfect fit dimensions wise. I've read that a fairly softer spring is required to feel a difference so I am going with a fairly light one, see pics below.

Before I bleed and reassemble the damper and the fork, has anyone attempted this wizardry? I am also going to lick the bushings with a 4k sandpaper as they always felt sticky, even after a year of riding, as this also seems to be a common problem with early Ribbons.

I'll probably use a little heavier oil to compensate for the lower HSC damping as I typically ride with the knob LSC nearly closed.


Top cap with LSC orifice and HSC blow off valve


The HSC valve taken apart


Springs, springs everywhere!


From the left: alternate softer spring, stock spring, the blow off valve
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
44,872
10,522
Sleazattle
I wonder how this worked out for you but I am confused that you are complaining about harshness but are running LSC fully closed. Heavier oil and a softer HSC spring, in theory will make your LSC effective over a smaller speed range as the HSC circuit will open up much earlier.

I am far from an expert on this subject as until recently I have only ever had LSC adjustments on any suspension. At first I really struggled to get the GRIP2 damper setup not to feel super harsh on my Fox 36. I was backing the HSC out too much which made the LSC ineffective and was running way too deep in my dynamic sag. This had me running in the harsher end of the forks travel. Ended up running a lot more HSC, which allowed the LSC actually do something and ended up with a fork that works really really well. Would like to find out what has worked well for others.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
I was waiting for that comment, Westy, to see if anyone was paying attention. Indeed, I rode with the lsc nearly open. I tried a few different lsc settings to encourage the HSC valve to open with no success prior to the mod. The hsc can only be adjusted by a different spring.

@englertracing yes, this is the compression damper. Lsc orifice and hsc poppet valve. The rebound is supposedly shimmed.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
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that's how most HS adjustments work. you're not changing the compression itself, just adjusting how much force is required to open the high speed valve circuit.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
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The default spring seems to be too stiff for anything lesser than a 6ft huck to flat so the lsc tuning has no effect really.
idk if it would have no effect, but with too stiff a spring there you'd be relying on just the LSC in almost all situations - which is still far from ideal and isn't how its intended to function.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
idk if it would have no effect, but with too stiff a spring there you'd be relying on just the LSC in almost all situations - which is still far from ideal and isn't how its intended to function.
Hence my motivation to mod the damper. The fork feels way more responsive with a lighter spring now. The new spring is way lighter and I was fearing the fork would be under dampened, but I think I could have gone with a lighter one and be still fine. I need to wait until April / May to put the mod to a real test on rough descents though.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
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Hence my motivation to mod the damper. The fork feels way more responsive with a lighter spring now. The new spring is way lighter and I was fearing the fork would be under dampened, but I think I could have gone with a lighter one and be still fine. I need to wait until April / May to put the mod to a real test on rough descents though.
good to hear you were able to achieve what you wanted :cheers:
 

Flo33

Turbo Monkey
Mar 3, 2015
1,510
762
Styria
I wonder how this worked out for you but I am confused that you are complaining about harshness but are running LSC fully closed. Heavier oil and a softer HSC spring, in theory will make your LSC effective over a smaller speed range as the HSC circuit will open up much earlier.

I am far from an expert on this subject as until recently I have only ever had LSC adjustments on any suspension. At first I really struggled to get the GRIP2 damper setup not to feel super harsh on my Fox 36. I was backing the HSC out too much which made the LSC ineffective and was running way too deep in my dynamic sag. This had me running in the harsher end of the forks travel. Ended up running a lot more HSC, which allowed the LSC actually do something and ended up with a fork that works really really well. Would like to find out what has worked well for others.
Not sure on exact LSC clicks, approx. 10 from closed, but I'm running my HSC 6 clicks from closed. There is a Vorsprung coil spring in my left leg though. And I'm on the stiffer end for my weight. Works really good for me, especially on steep stuff and fast rough tracks.
 

bigyellowvan

Chimp
Jan 19, 2021
5
0
Any chance you wouldn't mind sharing the part #s? My wallet is trying to tell me to not upgrade my fork, but the HSC on the ribbon and I just do not get along.
 

bigyellowvan

Chimp
Jan 19, 2021
5
0
Actually - you said you could have gone lighter. Looks like most options are in the range of 0.8 - 1.3 mm wire gauge. Where did you land? Also, since it seems like most options I'm finding are in packs of 10, let me know if you have any extras you want to sell.
 

bigyellowvan

Chimp
Jan 19, 2021
5
0
I put my new fork $$ for the year into a bike trip (pending covid restrictions) so I'm trying to limp it along. I'll shoot you a message on the springs.
 

Ivtec

Chimp
Apr 19, 2021
1
0
I'm on the same page trying to make my Ribbon Coil work as desired. I'm not really happy with the on-off feeling of the damping and the overall unpredictability of the fork, but before I ditch it, I would like to give it one last chance. @StiHacka's experience sounds kinda discouraging, so instead of going this way I'm thinking of throwing in another damper. Anyone tried fitting GRIP2 or RC2 in a Ribbon? Is that even possible? I couldn't find any technical drawings or at least an exploded view of the Ribbon.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
I'm on the same page trying to make my Ribbon Coil work as desired. I'm not really happy with the on-off feeling of the damping and the overall unpredictability of the fork, but before I ditch it, I would like to give it one last chance. @StiHacka's experience sounds kinda discouraging, so instead of going this way I'm thinking of throwing in another damper. Anyone tried fitting GRIP2 or RC2 in a Ribbon? Is that even possible? I couldn't find any technical drawings or at least an exploded view of the Ribbon.
I was in touch with someone who tried to figure out how to use RC2 in the Ribbon chassis and gave up because there's not enough room for the damper there.