Home » Review: RockShox’s 2023 Lyrik Ultimate is Smooth, Silent, & Incredibly Comfortable

Review: RockShox’s 2023 Lyrik Ultimate is Smooth, Silent, & Incredibly Comfortable

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RockShox is their flight attendant Last fall, the electronic suspension system effectively provides the new sneak peaks found in the new battery-free versions of Lyrik, Pike and Zeb.

These pressure relief valves and Butter Cup vibration absorbers have been added to the lineup, and there is also a new Charger 3 damper that uses a springback IFP instead of the bladder style damper that RockShox has been using for nearly a decade.

RockShox has worked to avoid over-duplication between different fork models to make it easier to choose the right option. Therefore, you can’t see 120mm zebs or 190mm pike. As the saying goes, it’s a horse for the course.

Details of RockShoxLyrik Ultimate

• Purpose of use: Trail / Enduro
• Travel: 140, 150, 160mm
• 27.5 “or 29” option.
• 35mm prop
• Offset: 44m for 29 “, 37 or 44mm for 27.5”
• Air spring with volume spacer
• ButterCups vibration absorber
• Pressure relief valve
• Color: Black, Heavy Meadow
• Weight: 1980 grams (178mm steerer with starnut and axle)
• MSRP: $ 1,107 USD
•• rockshox.com

Currently, Pike’s movement is 120, 130, or 140mm, Lyrik’s movement is 140, 150, or 160mm, and Zeb’s movement is from 160mm to a whopping 190mm. I tested the 160mm, 29 inch version of Lyrik Ultimate. It sells for $ 1,107.
Charger 3 damper

The new Charger 3 damper is very different from the previous damper because it uses a springback internal floating piston (IFP) to handle the oil that moves when the fork is compressed. Previously, extended rubber bladder was used to perform that task. Why change? According to RockShox, the new design makes it easy to make low-speed and high-speed compression circuits as independent as possible.

Currently, RockShox is far from the first company to adopt this design. This is very common in the moto world, and Fox has been using springback IFPs for GRIP dampers for years, but the overall concept may be similar. A clear difference in the internal behavior of the damper. One of the features included in RockShox is a stepped “silencer” piston head. The stepped shape affects the flow of oil and reduces the amount of turbulence and noise generated when the fork compresses or rebounds. I didn’t think the previous Lyrik was too noisy, but this new version is very quiet. In fact, I think it’s the quietest fork I’ve ever ridden.

When it comes to tweaking, the Charger 3 damper has a 15-click slow compression tweak, a 5-click fast compression tweak, and an 18-click rebound tweak. The concept of independent high-speed and low-speed compression adjustments is often used, but it is not always the case. At some point, slow compression adjustments begin to affect fast compression damping and vice versa.

However, according to RockShox, these are very close to truly independent adjustments. In the dyno chart, there is no change in low speed compression damping when the high speed dial is fully closed, and the difference in high speed compression damping when the low speed dial is fully closed is 5%. In other words, the rider should be able to turn those knobs to his heart’s content without worrying that one will affect the other.

MMM, buttercup

ButterCups are surprisingly never used in the world of mountain biking, but they are one of the most sensible features. Found on Ultimate Level Forks, these are small rubber packs at the bottom of the air springs and damper shafts that serve as the first line of protection against high frequency vibrations (according to RockShox, these vibrations are reduced by 20%. increase). To a fork without them).

Rubber packs can wear over time and are recommended to be replaced as part of 200 hours of service. You can also run just one butter cup to get at least some of the benefits of vibration damping. This scenario occurs when the rider only upgrades the air springs or dampers on a 2023 fork that is not yet equipped.

Air spring

The Debonair springs have been fine-tuned again and the position of the strut dimples has been changed to equalize the positive and negative chambers. As with the previous Lyrik, changing the amount of endstroke ramp up is by unscrewing the airside top cap (and of course, when the air is out) and screwing in one or more plastic volume spacers. It’s just as easy.

New chassis with pressure relief valve

If you’ve ever slid a cable tie behind a fork’s dust seal, you probably know how much air can reach the bottom over time. The trapped air can affect the performance of the fork and make it difficult to move completely. A pressure relief valve that is no longer a problem and occasional button presses allow the trapped air to escape. Again, this is not a whole new concept in the world of mountain biking. Previously adopted by Fox, Manito, etc., it is especially useful for many rounds of bike parks and for riding in areas where altitude changes significantly. ..

The shape of the fork lower has also been changed to increase the torsional rigidity. Personally, I didn’t think the previous version was missing in the department, but the new version is said to be 20% stiffer.

The Ultimate model has lower bushings than the Select and Select + models to reduce high impact and friction during G-outs. I don’t think it’s fair for some of me to have a difference in bushing between the finest and lowest-end models, but I need some features that separate them from each other, and it’s the best model. It’s a strong selling point that promises to improve performance and reduce friction.

On the trail

RockShox recommends 75psi for my 160lb weight, which was a good starting point. I settled down at 73psi and went down a bit. It gave me 28mm, or 17% slack. I usually don’t measure fork slack during setup. I like to go sensuously and adjust as needed according to the movement of the fork on the trail. I ran a total of zero bottomless tokens, but I didn’t need to add them during the test period.

I started the test period on the bracket day in the same loop and tried each compression setting to feel the difference. It turns out that the number of clicks is well defined and the entire range is available, even if it doesn’t suit your taste. This means that even with slow and fast compression completely closed, we were able to go down the trail without fear of safety or blowing our hands off the bar.

My happy place was to tap in the middle for both high speed and low speed adjustments. This is the method RockShox intended. If the trail is loose and slippery, retreat the slow speed with 2 clicks, and for stiffer trails like those found at Whistler Bike Park, increase the slow compression by 2 clicks. These changes made a noticeable difference without dramatically changing the manners of the fork.

Speaking of etiquette, the new Lyrik is incredibly well organized. I mentioned earlier how quiet it is, but it’s not directly related to performance, but instead of plunging the trail and swallowing or shaking the oil on every impact, the tires I am very happy to hear only the sound. But more than the sound of silence is happening. Lyrik is also a very comfortable fork.

That feature was clearly visible while at Whistler Bike Park. It’s still early season, so the brake bumps haven’t reached the full potential yet, but there were enough high-speed impacts to actually feel Lyrik’s reaction. Those fast chatter hits are where Lyrik is really shining, and that was an important difference from Fox36 I rapped back to back – 36 can’t get rid of the edges from the choppy sections of the trail. It was in the same way that Lyrik did. In terms of initial sensitivity, EXT Era is still at the top of the chart, but its forks are almost twice as expensive as Lyrik, so it’s not exactly the most uniform comparison.

I was able to use all the travel as needed, but I had never experienced a harsh bottom out and had no volume spacers installed. As far as rigidity is concerned, I didn’t know that the previous Lyrik was missing in that division. This also applies to this new version. Waves of 38mm strut forks have been on the market for the past few seasons, but I think Lyrik (or 36) is too stiff for the majority of riders. I rode as much compression as I could, landed deep from many jumps, quickly turned around and rode all sorts of chunky trails, but never thought “if the fork was stiffer …” bottom. Although m no Clydesdale, there is no doubt that Lyrik’s rigidity hits the sweet spot of a wide range of riders.

durability

So far, I’ve been riding Lyrik for two months. Not enough time to comment on long-term durability, but 100% free of leaks and squeaks, no bushing play. It works as smoothly as the day it was installed. We will update this review if there are any changes.

How is it compared? ROCKSHOX LYRIK ULTIMATE VS FOX 36 FACTORY

Fox 36 is Lyrik’s most obvious competitor – RockShox and Fox are the most commonly specified brands these days, so it’s worth trying out the new Lyrik vs 36.

weight

On my scale, Lyrik Ultimate weighed 70 grams less than Fox 36, 1980 grams vs. 2050 (both forks had a 178mm steerer with starnuts and bolt-on axles). It’s just a small drop in the bucket, but saving 70 grams here, and 70 grams there, will ultimately make all the difference for fat trimming, at least for the type of rider who cares about scale numbers. There is a possibility. Note that the 2023 Fox 36 has different steerers and crowns that are claimed to be 20 grams lighter, and the weight difference between the two forks is not further considered.

price

This point goes to Lyrik, but barely. Neither fork is a way to get to the bargain shopper. The 36’s suggested retail price is $ 1139, while Lyrik’s price is $ 32 cheaper at $ 1,107.

performance

Before we move on, we need to emphasize that the 36 is a good fork. Thanks to the ability to fine-tune the amount of fast rebound, more adjustments are possible than Lyrik, perfect for balancing off-the-top suppleness with a highly supportive midstroke. There are a few more platforms. Deeper in the trip compared to Lyrik.

However, this time around, Lyrik voted as the overall winner, thanks to being able to minimize the amount of trail feedback while providing a reliable platform. The fact that it happens to be completely silent is the top cherry blossom. These consecutive laps at the bike park clearly showed the difference between the two forks. If you’ve had a long day before the race or before, choose Lyrik for comfort and calm. At 36, we tend to bring the fast and slow compression settings closer to the fully open position than we did with Lyrik. Lyrik has found that it offers a better configuration range than 36, at least in the compression sector.


Strong Points

+ Very quiet
+ Very comfortable, especially in the choppy sections of the trail
+ Effective and usable range of damping adjustment

Disadvantages

―――― Only the Ultimate version has Butter Cups and longer bushings.


Pink bike take

Earlier Lyrik was less desired, but the enhancements that the 2023 version receives take it to the next level. It’s the ideal fork for a variety of bikes, from aggressive trail machines with short travel distances to bikes that straddle the border between enduro and all-mountain. With ample adjustment and smooth, quiet performance, the new Lyrik is unrivaled.— — Mike Kajimar

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