[Long Term Follow Up] RockShox Lyrik



Not too long ago we published our review on the RockShox Lyrik, to our surprise we received a fair bit of flak for testing it in a 160mm travel version.  A handful of the comments on social media were calling for us to ride the fork with 170 or 180mm.  So, we decided to do some more dabbling and ordered some different air springs.  We ended up spending quite a bit of time on it in both 170mm and 150mm to get a broader idea of how the fork performed.  The original point of this was to see how it did ride in a longer travel setting.  However, we didn’t end up actually riding it in 180mm as it really doesn’t make sense to do so on our 150mm bike; it would simply be too imbalanced.  In the process of dabbling with different travel settings we learned a few things…_DSC3749We aren’t quite sure why some people thought it was so important to gain feedback on a longer travel version of the Lyrik.  Perhaps there were concerns that as the fork reaches the limits of its travel it might become flexy. In any case, here are some interesting musings and things to keep in mind when changing travel in your fork.


tokenWhen we first made the switch from Pike to Lyrik, we felt a noticeable difference in the feel of the air spring curve.  The Lyrik features a larger volume negative spring than Pike so it naturally had a bit more progression and was lighter off the top compared to a Pike with the same settings.  In a tuning sense, this means that you may not need quite as many volume reducers, or “Bottomless Tokens” in RockShox speak.  In our 160mm travel Pike, our go to setting was 83 PSI with 3 Bottomless Tokens.  When we received our 160mm travel Lyrik we basically copied over the settings.  It felt a bit more sensitive and lighter off the top, but after a few rides we realized that we never used full travel and since the fork was already very soft in the initial travel, we didn’t want to reduce pressure in order to do so.  Therefore we increased the positive spring volume by using less Bottomless Tokens, thus making the fork more linear and easier to bottom.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 5.16.22 PM

Photo : Adrian Marcoux

Something else that we found very interesting was that this effect seemed to be more dramatic as travel increased.  When we swapped to the 170mm air spring we realized that it was even harder to get full travel and that we had an even greater amount of unused travel.  Conversely, when we swapped to 150mm with the same settings it was easier to attain full travel and bottom the fork.  Our short travel 120mm 29” Pike requires even more reducers to get enough bottoming resistance and ending stroke support.  We use a full 5 tokens in that fork.

In the long run, we ended up finding the perfect spring curve within each travel increment for Lyrik as follows :

• 150mm travel – 3 tokens

• 160mm travel – 2.5 tokens (hacksaw required)

• 170mm travel – 2 tokens


A few people in our audience were asking how the fork rode at the longer end of the travel.  To be completely honest, we didn’t really notice all that much change aside from the effects that the increased travel had on ride height, head angle etc.  After we corrected for this with headset spacers and got to riding, the added travel gave our fork an extra bit of cush for the rowdy bits but didn’t feel wallowy at any point.  The relevant part is that terms of handling we thought the Lyrik’s chassis was beyond sturdy enough to handle anything that anyone could throw at it with 170mm of travel.  Bumping up to 180mm puts the fork in a bit of a fringe category that isn’t quite DH, isn’t really Enduro and probablyly more than you need fork Park riding.  However, we did see a couple of racers bump their forks up to 180mm of travel at La Thuille so it’s nice to know that is an option.  Then again, that race seemed to be a bit of an anomaly which pushed the technical aspect of Enduro as a discipline.  In short, if you’re curious if the Lyrik can handle longer travel beyond 160mm, it certainly can…


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