RockShox Yari RC review£647.00

A tough, reliable, upgradeable, affordable fork

BikeRadar score4/5

The Yari is the affordable big hit player from RockShox with the same rock solid, super stiff chassis, naturally supple action and excellent reliability of the Lyrik. Simpler damping feels rough when you really start pushing hard though.

It’s not just that the chassis of the Yari is similar to the Lyrik, they’re exactly the same thick taper wall 35mm stanchion structure too.

This means the Yari is absolutely rock solid, even in its longest 180mm travel format, with a 200mm max disc rotor size and a rude ability to shrug off the ugliest landings or boulder battering.

If used in longer travel applications it’s a reasonable weight too, within a few grams off the Lyrik and the Fox 36, and is significantly lighter (by over 300g) than the similarly priced and similarly stout Suntour Durolux fork.

Obviously the weight comparisons become less favourable if you’re using it in a shorter travel set up, as seems very common on mid price complete bikes, but it’s probably overkill below 150mm unless you’re a regular nose diver or particularly punishing on your kit.

Simple Motion Control damper provides compression adjustment at the top of the fork
Simple Motion Control damper provides compression adjustment at the top of the fork

The Yari RC comes in a vast range of formats including the super rare 29×3in 29+ format, and there are travel adjust options too. It comes standard with the super user-friendly Maxle Ultimate 15mm axle (some OEM forks now come with a bolted axle).

Unless you’ve got a SRAMwheel with stiffness increasing ‘Torque Cap’ hub ends, the cutaway dropouts make axle location a pain, but with tough paint and a neat brake hose guide that’s the only physical niggle.

The same long negative spring and SKF seals as the Lyrik also mean a really sensitive initial stroke for excellent traction on rough, chattery surfaces and it's stiff enough to stay fluid even under heavy braking.

Dual speed ‘Rapid Return’ rebound means it stays alert and poised without topping out harshly through multiple hit situations, and reliability on countless sets I’ve used has been excellent.

Progression of the relatively linear default stroke can be increased simply by unscrewing the valve cap and adding the Bottomless Tokens included with the fork and fresh seals on your first service.

The relatively simple Motion Control compression damper can slap and spike on bigger, faster impacts though and a long run down a demanding descent will definitely be apparent in your arms and palms.

The much more forgiving, controlled and adjustable Charger damper of the Lyrik will screw straight in when you’ve got the cash to upgrade though.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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