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Simply put, the Lyrik is the best in class. The Fox 36 GRIP2 is the only fork to come close, but it costs significantly more
Pros: The best off-the top sensitivity and small-bump compliance on the market makes for great turn-in traction; sensitivity and useable damping options mean you can ride faster for longer without hand pain becoming an issue
Cons: You may want to remove the pre-installed volume spacers and increase pressure relative to the setup chart
In 2019, RockShox introduced the new Debonair spring to its 35mm forks. The Debonair offers reduced friction as well as greater negative air volume to soften the beginning stroke and provide a more linear build-up of spring force throughout the travel.
The Charger 2 RC2 damper gets low- and high-speed compression adjustment. The Lyrik is also available with an RCT3 damper, with low-speed compression and lockout modes.
The Lyrik chassis has remained unchanged for years and boasts among the best tyre clearance in the business.
RockShox’ trademark sag markings make setting up the fork that bit easier. Less obviously, the fork pushes the O-ring all the way to the top of the stanchion when you use full-travel, which makes it much easier to see how much travel you have used when compared to other forks that stop short of the top of the stanchion.
This fork was tested as part of a group test including ten of the best enduro forks. All forks were tested back-to-back on the same tracks, keeping all other variables as consistent as possible to ensure our findings are as reliable and accurate as they can be.
RockShox Lyrik RC2 setup
The RockShox Lyrik RC2 has a Charger 2 RC2 damper but is also available with an RCT3 damper.Steve Behr
I found the two factory-fitted volume spacers made the fork too progressive: it sagged too low into its travel yet wouldn’t use all its travel.
I prefer the 160mm-travel Lyrik with one or both spacers removed, along with significantly more pressure than RockShox recommends. Weighing 86kg, I ended up with 110psi in the spring, while the chart on the fork suggests 85 to 95psi.
This resulted in 34mm (21 per cent) sag and the fork bottomed out only once when set up like this, where it was entirely appropriate to use full travel.
RockShox Lyrik RC2 performance
In the all-important first part of the travel, the Lyrik boasts best-in class sensitivity. This means the front wheel feels stuck to the trail when treading lightly through roots or turning into a rough, flat corner. Yet the support builds quickly after the sag point, which allows for a more forwards riding position because it maintains its ride height so well.
There are five high-speed compression settings, where the middle setting matches the feel of the RCT3 damper. I preferred the two most open settings, and this option goes some way to explaining the increase in comfort over the older RCT3 fork.
On the longest, roughest test tracks the Lyrik offered the most comfortable ride of any fork I’ve tested, which translated to less hand pain and allowed for a more aggressive riding stance towards the end of long runs.
The 2019 Lyrik is a top performer, making for a comfortable and calm ride.Boris Beyer
How does the RockShox Lyrik RC2 compare to its main rivals?
The Lyrik’s only close competition, the Fox 36 GRIP2, was a little more composed when hammering through big holes, where the Lyrik sometimes returns surprisingly fast from deep in the stroke.
Despite its narrower (35mm) stanchions it feels every bit as precise as the Fox 36 when loaded hard into rough berms. The damper offers a more useable range of compression adjustment too, with the most open settings offering a little more forgiveness for long runs with lots of harsh chatter.
Also, the Lyrik offers a little more front wheel traction over flat, bumpy corners thanks to its softer beginning stroke. As a result, I’d pick the Lyrik over the Fox 36 GRIP2 purely on performance terms. The fact it’s £150 cheaper is simply a bonus.
I have since ridden the MY2020 RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, which has reduced friction and offers the option to go lighter still on high-speed compression than the MY2019 fork, thereby helping it to use more travel on big hits and provide an even more comfortable ride.
The Lyrik Ultimate has the same RRP and is the only fork I’d recommend more highly than the 2019 Lyrik RC2.
RockShox Lyrik RC2 options
27.5in: 150mm, 160mm, 170mm and 180mm
29in: 150mm, 160mm, 170mm and 180mm
This video shows how we tested the forks and how they compare.
Seb's been riding and racing mountain bikes for half his life. Since getting hooked on mountain bikes aged thirteen riding a tiny 24Seven Crosser, he's raced downhill, enduro and cross country, and while no athlete, still enters the occasional race. Seb studied experimental physics at university, and he's now happily using (wasting) his degree experimenting with different bike setups, trying to work out what works best and why. You'll often find him riding the same track ten times in a day, changing just one thing to pin down the differences. Seb's much happier back-to-back testing suspension on a wet Welsh hillside than riding the latest five-figure bikes on some sunny press trip - although he quite likes that too!