Incremental Platform Adjust (IPA) Damper
The four position Incremental Platform Adjust (IPA) damper offers a wide range of compression adjustment from an open mode ready to smash through rock gardens to a firm platform setting that offers the support you need while battling those leg burning climbs. It does this by utilizing two separate shim stacks to maintain an ideal balance of low-speed and high-speed compression damping throughout the adjustment range. The first of these is the preload stack which is controlled by the IPA knob. As you turn the knob clockwise you begin to increase the preload on the shims directly without the use of springs or carriers. The lack of springs and carriers minimizes moving mass and maximizes the speed at which the shims are able to respond to trail inputs keeping your rear wheel cool, calm, and collected no matter how choppy the trail is. The second shim stack is a fixed velocity stack that was carefully designed to increase small bump sensitivity and provide the correct amount of high-speed compression to control the wheel with the lowest amount of harshness. This provides the rider with more chassis control, better small bump sensitivity with excellent bottoming control, less deflection through the rock gardens and phenomenal ride quality in all conditions.
The rebound on this shock is similarly controlled through two separate circuits. The first of which is a tapered needle that provides the ability to tune the rebound damping to account for rider weight, leverage ratio, and air spring settings. Adjustment of this needle through the knob affects the entire damping range but most noticeably controls the low-speed rebound. The second circuit is a fixed shim stack carefully optimized to preserve the correct high-speed rebound as the needle is adjusted up or down. This provides the rider more control, better traction and steering precision while minimizing the need to adjust for changing trail conditions.
I have a Ripley af. The mara turned the bike into a much more well rounded bike than I had ever thought possible. I use the second trail setting and fully open. Jumps like a boss. Climbs like it famous for. The stability and calmness of the rear end is confidence inspiring. All while ready to pop off the next trail feature! Good job!
I like to try out different stuff, so for my bike that use 165x45 trunnion shock, I tried:
RS SidLuxe which is 230g in this size mentioned above,
Fox DPS which is 251g,
and this Mara Inline which is 325g.
In summary, Mara Inline wins on damping quality by a landslide.
Sidluxe is a pogo stick. It bob a lot while pedal, I used way more travel than I should have on medium bumps. There's no way to (externally) increase SidLuxe compression damping and its damping seems simplistic. DPS work just fine for my low body weight, I don't run into damper overheat issue that heavier riders experience. Still, it isn't as plush as Mara Inline.
Mara Inline reduce pedal bob versus the rest, yet still managed to ride more compose and plusher. The reduced pedal bob alone makes up for it slightly heavier weight in racing IMO. Then more plush ride is a bonus. My lap time is even faster on this shock vs the rest despite the more comfortable ride.
Another bonus point as a third party shock is, the adjustment range both on compression and rebound is rather huge. So, while many other shocks needs a specific tune to align the available adjustment range of compression and rebound to the useful range for each frame, this Mara Inline will work great with most frame and most riders out of the box with no custom tune needed. Just take your time set up the air pressure, rebound, and try out each IPA setting.
I waited a few months after purchase to leave a review. I purchase mine at Jenson. It was a replacement for my 21 Stumpy Fox Factory. Was having issues that were not being resolved. Tried rockshox next. Still no good. Finally found a Mara in the correct size. It made a big difference. I am continually amazed at how well this shock works. I keep expecting the worst and it just delivers awesomeness. Must be the magic powder they sprinkle them with before they leave the factory. To say I am pleased with the performance would be an understatement. If I had any complaint it would be that it is noisy during slow speed stuff. No noisier that the fox. Good stuff, buy one.
I changed from original shock to the Mara on my Ibis Ripley and it is a big improvement. I kept reading forum reports of how much better it was than the stock shock, now I understand why. It's excellent, a smoother ride with more control and traction. I'm running less sag at lower pressure and it feels great. The Ripley was already a sweet bike, now it's even better.
Thanks for the solid review Doug! #scienceofsmooth
Replaced a Suntour tri-air on my Giant Reign SX which replaced a RockShox Deluxe Coil. The Deluxe was a pointless waste of time and materials; the Tri-air was OK for a place holder. What was the shock I really wanted: X2? MRP? Manitou forks and shocks have always been easy to own for someone who works on their own stuff, and great performers. Loved my CCDB, but it was not rider serviceable, and it was stolen along with the Banshee Rune. I miss you guys. Gave the Mara a try. Holy Mother of God! This thing is awesome. The initial stroke sensitivity is diabolical and add control smashing through rock gardens and oh, I just cleaned that nasty tech climb for the first time in a year. This thing really keeps the madness under control. Can't wait to hit Angel Fire tomorrow. Then Moab in a couple weeks. Thanks Manitou. Keep the hits coming.