The mighty Lyrik has been around long enough now to have a devout following of riders and racers who swear by its performance. This year Rock Shox dropped the next version of the classic, incorporating all that was new in suspension tech and of course, painting it red.Buy Forks on
Aimed firmly at the enduro crowd, the Lyrik aims to be for 'riders without limits' and it would be a fair assumption that most folks riding on a Lyrik will definitely struggle to find any sort of limit. But that shouldn't stop us mortals wanting the finer things in life, should it?
The chassis remains pretty much unchanged for 2019 but the Lyrik is now offered in two offsets; 37mm and 46mm for 650b, and 42mm or 51mm for 29er. This offset allows for the fork to be matched to those frames, which have been designed around a shorter offset fork.
Most of the updates, therefore, happen inside the fork, and that's where the magic happens. First up is the Debonair Air Spring, in which the air spring shaft has been hollowed out adding more volume to the negative air by 42%. This claims to make the initial stroke of the fork much smoother and it requires less force to move. The seal head has also been switched from plastic to alloy and reduces friction effects under flex, keeping the smooth action wherever, and however, the forces are applied.
In the other leg, we get the new RC2 damper offers riders the ability to adjust both high and low-speed compression damping alongside low-speed rebound. The high-speed compression adjustment offers five positions and the low speed gives twenty clicks of fine tuning adjustment. The middle setting on the high speed apparently mimics the same damping as on the old RCT3 damper. Rebound is on the bottom and adjustment is simple to adjust on the fly and gives a big range of control.
Options are numerous for the Lyrik and of course wheels are catered for in both 27.5 and 29er flavour as well as being boosted of course. Travel ranges from 150mm to 180mm and two offsets are available for each wheel size. The weights come in at 2,013g to 2,058g. The retail price in the UK is £981.49, but a quick Google shows up some killer deals currently (Dec 2018).
What I love about these forks is the ease of set up. Sure the RC2 damper has a bit more adjustment, but it's essentially a simple system to get dialled in. Air pressures are printed on the fork, and tokens can easily be added or removed, especially with access made easy with the simple application of a cassette tool. No more scratched crowns!
The five-step plan for high-speed compression adjustment is great if you like it clear and simple. Five clicks give you all the options and with the top and bottom end of the scale unlikely to be used, there are then essentially three options. As a simple rider, I stuck it in the middle and rarely had reason to click up or down unless the terrain I was riding on was vastly gnarlier or when descents were much longer than I was used to.
Low speed gives more options in the clicks, but I had little reason to dial up loads of compression and kept it fairly light, the air spring seemed to just be working great on its own. This is probably where the magic is really happening in the Lyrik and the Debonair system really seems to have upped the game considerably.
Sure we can go down the cliched phrases of 'soft off the top', 'mid stroke support' and 'good ramp up' at the end, but it does have it all. There is a calm, ground-hugging feel to the initial stroke, but behind that is enough support to push against and get something back. Through choppy terrain things feel in control yet you can still initiate turns or hops with ease without getting lost in the travel.
I will always take confidence over comfort, and in the past, the Lyrik has always given the confidence but now has a far more sophisticated approach to delivering its travel and as such has improved both comfort and traction. This balance of support, comfort and traction is a killer combination and the overall package is as good as they come.
It's hard to fault the Lyrik, one of the finest long travel forks you can get your hands on. Solid, tuneable and reliable, the feel of the Lyrik is superb and is a calm, sophisticated fork that delivers its travel in confidence inspiring style.
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This review was in Issue 57 of IMB.For more information visit RockShox
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By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.