I-MTB

Rock Shox Lyrik RC2L 2013 – First Test

Unfortunately we have lost the original data for this story but we can reccommend you visit here for a similar test.

We carried out a test on a Nomad Carbon recently and we can atest to say this fork is actually really nice and an improvement over the last years fork that we tested.

The original test follows after we recovered the data.

Test

As we already ride a range of 160mm 26″ bikes, a Rock Shox Lyrik RC2L found it’s way into our hand to test, it was the ideal fork to run on our Santa Cruz Nomad Enduro influenced bike.

As we have already been using a Lyrik from Rockshox since 2012 we thought we would be just having a shinier fork, and that was it.

We we wrong, firstly the fork features the dual position air which our old version didn’t have, plus the various compression settings. The feature set on this fork is quite impressive, with everything being controllable and rider tuneable, in theory it gives the ability to find the perfect trail setup for any riding style. Out of the box the settings were all fairly neutral and we set it so that the fork was balanced in responsiveness to our shock on the rear suspension system. After a short time on the bike we also added a bit of high/low compression, tuning the fork so that it worked well with our local trails and could take some bigger hits, and would not dive under hard braking. We set a sag of around 25 percent.

Uphill

The travel adjust feature was really useful and just with a quick flick of the switch we had much more climb friendly geometry available immediately. The fork though at the same time still manages to respond to the bumps on the trail. Having a long travel fork can encourage bobbing when climbing, and often gives an awkward geometry on most bikes we have used, but with the travel adjust and compression controls we didn’t suffer any problems, a very smooth and much easier ride up is possible. A common complaint of many forks on the market is that the performance suffers by having the travel adjust feature. In our experience though we did not notice any reduction in fork performance, the fork moved smoothly and responded to all the bumps on the uphills.

Downhill

To test this fork properly we took it to Rock-Oh which at this time of year is very rough and a good place to push a fork of this type. With all the different sections and awkward holes and rocks, the fork responded well, with the right sag and compression settings at no point did you feel you would bottom out the fork. In fact in their marketing Sram suggests that it has downhill technology/influences in the fork. Recently we rode one of their downhill forks on a Specialized S-Works Demo 8 Carbon. We have to say that whilst mid trail some of the sensations we were getting, reminded us of those feelings we had when using the Demo 8 with a World Cup Boxxer installed, so we are inclined to believe the marketing point in this case. The fork felt solid and dependable and responded to all that we asked of it. We can say that we probably had the spring set just slightly too hard as we didn’t use all the travel available, but at no point did we feel this in our arms and on the bike, it was just an observation when we reached trail end.

Small and large bump performance was excellent with the fork smoothing out the trail nicely, and even when we took deliberate big hits the fork did respond well and always gave us a confident feeling. The smoothness and quickness of response was as we expected and comparable to other top forks we have tried in previous tests. The flow of this fork is really good and for us has moved on compared to last years offering we tried. Probably due to the better internals, but also no doubt due to minor incremental improvements that take place each year.

Comparing to other competitors fork models, which is on our list of things to do, we think that it will be hard to separate out how the forks perform and which is best. Already we are sure that this is better than the last years offering from those forks that we tested. However without proper back to back testing we can’t say anything more for now. In our experience forks though become very personal and what is best can be influenced by many things including bike setup, rider setting preference and riding style.

Steering

The 35mm legs and robust crown made us feel confident at all times. There was no need to worry about flex and a loss of sensation on the front end when we pushed it into corners. We have tried a lot of forks and although there is some marginal weight gains by having the larger legs, we are absolutely convinced that the ability to have a dependable solid fork which goes where you point it and takes big hits for our style of riding is essential. It just feels better than any 32mm or 34mm fork we have used.

Braking

Forks that dive under braking are not our favourite thing. We prefer that our geometry stays as constant as possible. With good compression control it is possible to regulate diving to some extent. We discovered, as in our general experience with Rockshox forks, that the fork was good anyway and had a good feel under braking. We had powerful ZEE brakes fitted which can grab hard when needed, transferring some braking force to the fork compression, but nothing that spoiled our fun and less noticeable than other forks we have used. We were able to dial out most of that which we found under normal hard braking.

Conclusion

Our reviews are always quite general with no specific comments on very small details, by our own admission we think that it is un-necessary and can open a can of worms when it come to confirming our thoughts in minute detail. By this point we mean to say that the science of testing is hard to qualify and can be very personal. This fork is good, really very good and the overall package exceeded our expectations and would for any rider.

Setup with Rock Shox forks is always easy and this time was no exception. Most people who want to buy a new fork do so and don’t want to fuss around. The printed recommended pressure settings and other details, including clear control labelling are always appreciated. As we haven’t had the fork for long we can’t comment on maintenance, but if in line with other SRAM offerings we are sure that you will need to do very little to keep the fork working properly.

We didn’t have the chance to weigh the fork precisely yet, but there was no doubt for it’s size and performance the fork is not heavy and will give a lot of confidence next to a 32mm fork, which will allow you to ride faster in rough sections.

The sag setup is easy, with clear marks on the legs showing the sag grades. We noticed that this fork has 15 and 25 percent marked, a change on previous offerings. No 30 percent indication, does that mean this fork works better with slightly less sag?

Seals have always stood up well to abuse and lack of cleaning on our previous Rockshox Lyrik forks, which is great as it means you can get on and just ride, whilst the fork does its job when you need it to, with a visit to an Sram dealer for a check up every now and then.

For now then we are going to be recommending this fork, as it is great for climbing, with no bobbing and a solid performer downhill, with more time on it we will have more details and at a later date we will comment on how it is going.

A real bench mark for fork testing was carried out last summer here.

Last year fork test.

We are putting together some forks to do a repeat test with this years models.

With most points we are in agreement, however we would add some variations to this when we have put back more data.

Posted under:  News, Parts Test

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I-MTB is an online MTB magazine and trail areas operator based in Tuscany, Italy

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