RockShox Lyrik RC2 DH Dual Position Air fork overview:
The RockShox Lyrik RC2 DH utilizes stout 35mm stanchions and offers 160mm of air sprung travel.
• Intended for all-mountain riding
• Air sprung
• Travel: Dual Position, 160 or 130mm
• Mission Control DH damper
• Adjustable rebound, high, low speed compression
• Colors: Black, White, Diffusion Black
• Weight: 2211 grams as tested w/ 8.25" steerer and Maxle Lite
• MSRP: $1060 USD
RockShox's Lyrik fork has become a mainstay in the all-mountain category. With up to 170mm of travel and a sub-5 pound fighting weight, the Lyrik is a fitting addition to today's crop of light-but-tough all-mountain bikes. The Lyrik is available in a number of different configurations and damper options. We tested the 160mm, RC2 DH Dual Position Air version, which has RockShox's Mission Control DH damper, technology that is also found in their dual crown Boxxer forks.The DetailsConstruction
The Lyrik's lowers are constructed of magnesium, and have plenty of clearance for running wide tires - we ran 2.5" Maxxis Minions in muddy conditions with no issues. The 35mm stanchions are constructed of 7000 series aluminum, with an anodized coating designed to reduce friction. Printed on the stanchions are indicators showing 15% and 25% of the fork's travel, in order to make dialing in the right setup as hassle-free as possible. In addition, the suggested air pressures for different rider weights are printed on the non-drive side fork leg, just above the post disc brake mount. The Lyrik also has what RockShox calls a Power Bulge, an oversized portion of the fork lowers that houses the bushings and seals. When purchased aftermarket, a spare set of oil seals are included with the fork, likely an attempt to encourage the purchaser to perform regular, preventative maintenance, rather than waiting until their fork is oozing black sludge before thinking about giving it some TLC.Adjustments
Four adjustments are necessary to make sure the Lyrik is properly set up for a rider's weight and riding style. The air pressure is adjusted via a Schrader valve on the left of the fork. Once the proper sag is achieved by adjusting the air pressure, the fork's behavior can be changed via the external rebound and separate low and high speed compression settings. Rebound is adjusted at the lower right side of the fork, while the compression adjustments share real estate on the top right side.
Reducing the Lyrik's travel is as easy as turning the dial on the left side of the fork. Low and high speed compression are adjustable individually on the top right side of the fork.
The fork we tested uses the Mission Control DH damper unit. The main difference between the Mission Control DH and the standard Mission Control is the absence of the Floodgate feature. Removing the Floodgate allows for a wider range of compression settings - there is less of a platform at the beginning of the fork's travel. As the name implies, the DH damper is intended for riders who are more focused on the downhill performance of their fork, and don't mind not having a way to lock out or firm up the fork for climbing. Dual Position
On forks with RockShox's Dual Position feature, the travel can be reduced by 30mm by turning the knob on the top left side. This isn't a lockout feature, but rather a way to adjust the height of the bike’s front end - even at the lower travel setting the fork is still full active. When it comes time to return the fork to its full travel setting, turning the knob and slightly unweighting the front end will extend the fork back to its original position. Reducing the fork's travel shifts the rider's center of gravity, and makes it easier to keep a bike's front wheel from wandering on steep climbs.
Rebound is adjusted on the lower right leg, while a Maxle Lite 20mm thru-axle makes for easy front wheel installation and removal. Sag gradients printed on the stanchions facilitate proper fork setup.
Out of the box, the Lyrik's lack of stiction was impressive – there wasn't the break in period some other forks seem to have. Following RockShox's suggested air pressure settings put us at 20% sag, which ended up being our preferred setting. Setup will vary between riders depending on weight and riding style, but three clicks of high speed compression and two clicks of low speed worked well for us on the terrain we were riding, which was a mix of rooty, technical trails interspersed with faster, flowy jump lines. In the past, the compression adjustment knobs drew criticism for being hard to turn, but RockShox has since redesigned them and fixed this issue. Even with gloves on making adjustments is hassle-free, with a positive click at each rotation.
We made use of the Dual Position feature on long climbs to keep the front end of the bike from wandering. The 30mm drop in travel made a noticeable difference on steep uphills, making it easier to get enough weight over the front wheel. Reaching down to turn the dial into the short travel position was a simple affair, although we did find it easy to forget we'd lowered the travel until partway into a descent. Luckily, the fork feels the same in both the short and long travel positions, so it was the bike's handling that alerted us of our forgetfulness, not the wrist jarring impact that happens when you start a descent with a full locked out fork. Once the dial was returned to the long travel position, lifting up slightly on the front end would bring it back into fully extended position.
Our Lyrik was trounced through the full gamut of trail conditions - it was ridden on everything from perfectly tacky trails offering hero traction to trails coated with a soggy snow and mud cocktail. It endured it all without complaint, and without any oil leaks or air loss. Compared to a fork with 32mm stanchions, the stiffness of the Lyrik's 35mm stanchions was apparent. Even on steep switchback filled descents there wasn't any noticeable flex or twisting. The fork went through its travel smoothly, with a subtle ramp up towards the end of its travel to help with the absorption of big impacts. We bottomed out the fork off a particularly harsh drop, but again, it kept on charging ahead without any change in performance. The feeling when the fork reached the end of its stroke was very muted – there were no clanging sounds to be heard or metal on metal impacts to be felt. Air sprung suspension is notorious for not being able to compare to the plush, linear feel of a coil spring, but with the Lyrik, RockShox has come incredibly close. Issues
We didn't run into any performance issues with the Lyrik – it performed its task admirably. However, there are a couple of items on our wish list. The option to reduce the Lyrik’s travel to 150mm would be at the top of this list. This was achievable on earlier versions of the Lyrik by adding a spacer, but this changed in 2012, and is no longer possible (at least not in a way endorsed by RockShox
). A 150mm fork with 35mm stanchions would be a perfect match for many of the bikes currently on the market. RockShox does reportedly have several new products on the horizon that may fulfill this wish; we'll just have to wait and see what they have up their sleeve.
Another feature we wouldn't mind having is a compression adjuster similar to Fox's CTD, or even a version of RockShox's own RCT3 damper. This would allow for quick switching between compression settings. As it is now, the Lyrik is more of a set and forget fork – it would be cumbersome to continually adjust the compression settings during a ride.Pinkbike's take:
|The Lyrik is a worthy contender in the battle for all-mountain dominance. Stiff, easily adjustable, and at a competitive weight, the Lyrik holds its own when the terrain turns treacherous. There's a reason this fork is popular among enduro racers - it works well in all conditions, and can handle whatever punishment its rider dishes out. The fact that it was able to survive the nasty conditions we rode it through without any leaks or creaks is a testament to its durability. There are a few little refinements on our wish list, like a shorter travel version and a three position compression dial, but even without these, the Lyrik RC2 DH earns top marks. -Mike Kazimer|