Rock solid, super stiff chassis with naturally supple start but simpler damper obvious in hard hammer situations
Buy if, You’re a big, hard hitting rider who wants a tough, reliable, upgradeable and affordable fork
Pros: Seriously stiff, tough, reliable yet affordable big hit fork with supple stroke and massive range of wheel size and travel options
Cons: Motion Control damper struggles to stay smooth on faster, rougher trails
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 forkMick Kirkman / Immediate Media
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 SRAM wheel 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.