When you’re trying to cut corners on a bike build, cheaping out on the suspension is never a good idea. But affordable doesn’t always mean inferior – and that’s what RockShox is hoping to demonstrate with its new Yari suspension fork.
Unveiled earlier this summer, the Yari can be thought of as a Lyrik for riders on a tight budget. It’s available now and retails for $700 / £560 / AUS $1,190. While it’s not exactly cheap, it becomes more palatable when compared with the Lyrik, which goes for $1,030 / £824 / AUS $1,776.
More importantly, the Yari fills a hole in RockShox’ OE line. It will come stock on a wide range of more affordable trail and enduro models in 2016. Until now RockShox lacked an affordable fork with 35mm stanchions. This should be a plus for many riders – allowing them to get nearly the performance of a Lyrik or a Pike on a much more affordable mountain bike.
So how similar is the Yari to the Lyrik? Very.
In fact, its magnesium crown and lowers are identical to the Lyrik.
Unlike high end forks from rockshox, the yari makes due with a simple compression adjuster and an open-bath motion control damper:
Unlike high end forks from RockShox, the Yari makes do with a simple compression adjuster and an open-bath damper
The key difference is the damper. Both the Pike and Lyrik use a cartridge damper system, known as the Charger damper, while the Yari makes do with the open-bath Motion Control damper.
The Motion Control damper is a proven design that RockShox has refined over years of use in forks such as the Revelation and SID. I’ll be doing back-to-back tests on a Pike and Yari to see if I can feel any meaningful difference between the two dampers on the trail.
As the name implies, the Yari RC offers externally-adjustable rebound and compression damping. There’s no option to fully lock out the fork, but when the low-speed compression dial is set to the firmest position it feels solid once it hits the 25 percent sag point.
The Yari is designed to cover a wide range of uses and its many travel options reflect this. RockShox offers the Yari in 10mm increments from 120mm all the way up to 180mm for 27.5in wheels. The 29er version – which is also touted as 27.5+ compatible – goes from 120mm up to 160mm. There’s also the Solo Air and adjustable-travel Dual Position Air version to choose from. As you may have already inferred, there’s no 26in option.
In keeping with the current flux in front axle standards, RockShox makes the Yari in 100mm and 110mm ‘Boost’ front axle spacing, with both versions relying on the 15mm Maxle to secure the front wheel.
Our yari is a 29er fork with 110mm front axle spacing:
A sign of the times: 29/27.5+ compatible with 110mm front axle spacing
Our test fork is a 130mm 29er version with 110mm front axle spacing. With an uncut steerer it weighs 4.76lb / 2.16kg with Maxle.