How is the Lyrik Different Than the Pike?More travel options:
When RockShox unveiled their new Lyrik fork
last summer, they didn't make any efforts to downplay the fact that it was, in essence, a beefed up version of their much-lauded Pike. After all, when you've already created one of the best performing suspension forks on the market, it only makes sense to build off that platform rather than starting from scratch.
There are internal and external differences between the two, but both forks are air-sprung and rely on RockShox's Charger damper, a closed system that uses an expanding rubber bladder to deal with the fluid that's displaced when the fork compresses.
Lyrik RCT3 Details
• Intended use: all-mountain, enduro
• Travel: 160 (tested), 170, 180mm
• Air-sprung, Charger damper
• Damper adjustments: low-speed compression, rebound
• Low-speed compression tuneable in open mode
• Stanchions: 35mm
• Axle size: 15 x 100mm or 15 x 110mm
• Weight: 2005 grams (4.42 lb)
• RCT3 Solo Air MSRP: $1030 USD
The Lyrik is available for 27.5" and 29" wheels with up to 180mm of travel. Other options include the ability to choose between RockShox's Solo Air or Dual Position Air spring, and either 15x100mm or 15x110mm Boost spacing.
The longest travel 27.5” Pike has 160mm of travel while the Lyrik is available with up to 180mm of travel. Thicker stanchion walls:
Both forks share the same 35mm stanchion diameter, but thicker tubing is used for the Lyrik to add additional stiffness. More negative spring volume
: In order to create a more supple initial stroke, RockShox increased the negative air spring volume. Thicker arch:
The arch that connects the two legs is 3.5mm thicker than the Pike's, another measure that was taken to increase stiffness.Torque Cap compatible
: All versions of the Lyrik are compatible with hubs using SRAM's Torque Caps, the oversized end caps designed to increase the amount of contact between the hub and the fork legs. There are Torque Cap compatible models of the Pike, but only on models with 15x110mm Boost spacing.Weight:
The Lyrik weighs approximately 150 grams (.33 lb) more than the Pike when comparing the 27.5” versions with 160mm of travel.Setup
If you're familiar with setting up a Pike, getting the Lyrik dialed in will feel extremely familiar. The air pressure guide is located on the left leg for easy reference, and sag gradients are printed on the fork leg. Once the air pressure is set, it's simply a matter of dialing in the amount of rebound and low-speed compression damping to suit your personal preferences. The larger low-speed compression dial has three positions: open, pedal, and lock (lock isn't a full lock out, but it does make the fork very firm for long fire road approaches), and the smaller dial on top has 15 clicks that are used to fine tune the amount of low-speed compression damping in the fully open position.
It's also possible to add or subtract Bottomless Tokens to adjust the amount of end stroke ramp up, a simple procedure that only requires removing the air spring-side top cap (make sure to let the air out first) and then threading on or unscrewing a token as needed. The 160mm Lyrik comes stock with two tokens, which worked well for my needs.
Internally, it's possible to alter the configuration of the rebound damper's shim stack if a softer or firmer rebound tune is needed. RockShox suggests doing this if riders find themselves at the far end of the range of adjustments, either a click or two from fully open or fully closed.Performance
I've never had any complaints about the stiffness of the Pike (and I still don't), but the extra solidity of the Lyrik is noticeable out on the trail, especially on rougher sections where the terrain is constantly pushing and pulling on the fork, trying to knock it off line. The extra stiffness doesn't smack you over the head, but in a back-to-back comparison, it's immediately apparent, even when the fork is run on a non-Torque Cap equipped wheel, which is how I had it set up for most of the test period. Now, it is possible to create a fork that's too
stiff, creating unwanted harshness that leads to sore hands and arm pump, but that's not the case with the Lyrik. Even on long descents full of holes and jarring roots sections it never felt like there was any unwanted feedback being transmitted through the chassis.
The Lyrik does feel plusher than the Pike at the beginning of its travel, likely due to that increased negative spring volume, and it takes noticeably less effort to move the fork through the first 20mm or so of its stroke. The extra suppleness helps filter out the high-speed chatter and creates a fork that has very, very good small bump sensitivity.
The rest of the fork's travel is well managed, with the excellent mid-stroke support that put the Charger damper on the map in the first place, and the easily-tuned ramp-up before bottom out. When the Lyrik does reach the end of the travel there's a subtle 'thwunk;' just enough to let you know that you used every last millimeter, but without ever being harsh or jarring.
How does the Lyrik compare to the Fox 36, its most obvious competitor? The performance offered by both forks is remarkably similar, and while they each have their own unique feel, the end result is the same - they offer reliable, predictable, and smooth bump absorption. If you'd asked me a few months ago, I would have given the Lyrik the edge as far as small bump sensitivity goes, but after spending time on Fox's updated 2017 FIT 4 damper that's no longer the case, and the two competitors are neck-and-neck once again. Fox does have the advantage when it comes to external features - the 36 is available with a damper that allows for both high-speed and low-speed compression to be adjusted independently, and they also offer a version with convertible dropouts that allow riders to run either a 15mm or 20mm thru-axle. At the end of the day, choosing one over the other will come down to what features you value the most, since both forks leave little to be desired out on the trail.Issues
After six months of regular usage, a good portion of it in cold, muddy conditions, the Lyrik is still ticking right along without any creaks or leaks. Pulling the lowers for a quick clean and fluid change (a procedure that takes less than 30 minutes) revealed that everything was in good working condition, without any undue wear. When it comes to their suspension forks, simplicity is one of RockShox's strong suits – from setup to maintenance they've done a good job of making products that flat-out work, and don't need a degree in mechanical engineering and fluid dynamics to understand.
The Lyrik's performance and durability have been completely trouble free, and I have no complaints in that department. I do have one feature that's on my wishlist, and that's an air bleed valve that would allow the air that builds up in the lowers to be released with the push of a button, something similar to what's found on the Fox 40. After repeated long runs the fork can begin to feel overinflated, and it becomes harder to get through the last portion of its travel. Currently, the easiest thing to do is carefully slide a zip tie between the stanchion and the dust wiper to let out that trapped air. It's a simple procedure, and this issue occurs with forks from other companies as well, but a little valve would be a much more refined solution than a plastic zip tie.Pinkbike's Take
|When the new Lyrik was first unveiled there were some riders who bemoaned the fact that it wasn't radically different than the Pike. Where was the Totem 2.0? I'd say those concerns are unfounded - the Lyrik handily fills the space in RockShox's lineup between the Pike and the BoXXer, a tough yet versatile fork that works well on everything from all-mountain rigs to mini-DH bikes.|
After my initial time on the Lyrik the only unanswered questions were related to durability, and after months of hard usage it's passed that test with flying colors. A plush-yet-supportive on trail feel, plenty of stiffness, and a hassle-free setup all add up to a fork that's ideally suited for today's hard-charging riders. - Mike Kazimer
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