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Experience on the new 2021 Fox forks?

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5/27/2020 9:42 AM

Hey guys up until now I’ve been a Rockshox guy. I’m currently on a MY19 Pike RCT3 150mm 29 fork. Haven’t had any complaints as far as performance goes. The paint on the crowns and lowers is starting to look awful but besides that it has been a pretty good fork. I’m looking for a little more adjustability up front and a little more stiffness because I like to ride pretty hard. My original plan was to upgrade to a Lyrik ultimate becauseI’ve heard that fork is amazing, plush and supportive and stiff but now that Fox has updated the 36 and improved the internals I’m wondering how the new 36 feels compared to the Lyrik ultimate in terms of those qualities I just listed. I’m looking for anyone’s opinion that has had experience with both to help guide me in buying my new fork. Cheers!


5/27/2020 6:00 PM

I have about 3 weeks on the new 2021 Fox Factory 38. Before it I had the 2020 Fox Factory 36, and before that I had a 2019 Rockshox Lyrik RCT3. Going from the Lyrik to the 36 was night and day. The 36 stayed up in its travel much better than the Lyrik and was a lot more supple on the chattery desert terrain I frequently ride. Moving from the 36 to the 38 was a bit more of a subtle change. Firstly the 38s stiffness is definitely noticeable it feels noticeably more stout in janky sections and around awkward turns. The 38 has awesome sensitivity off the top, but it's only marginally better than the 36. I am 6'4, 180lbs kitted, and a skilled rider (race enduro in the pro men category). Not sure this is helpful but it's my experience so far on the 2021 Fox product!


5/28/2020 8:42 AM

Mtbforlife4 wrote:

I have about 3 weeks on the new 2021 Fox Factory 38. Before it I had the 2020 Fox Factory 36, and before that I had a 2019 ...more

Awesome! Thanks for the reply! I’ve just heard so many reviews about people saying the Lyrik is so plush right out of the box. How’s the compression settings on the newer Fox products? Is there a good amount of compression damping for your weight? I’m about 180-185 so around your weight. I’ma pretty aggressive rider and like to keep a fairly firm setup.


5/28/2020 8:56 AM

I just got a bike with a brand new 38 180mm. It rides so well, and that is with me on standard settings. I am going to get it actually tuned by a guy in the shop I bought it at on Friday, and it should be even better.


2020 Specialized Enduro w/ 38 + X2, XT 12s
2020 V10 29 CC

5/28/2020 9:04 AM

I am hoping to hear from someone who has experience with the Lyrik Ultimate and the new Fox 36 specifically.


6/19/2020 2:41 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/9/2020 2:59 PM

I also have a 180mm 38 and I have to say when you first get it it takes some time to get used to it! It feels quite stiff but in a way you wouldn’t expect, like switching to a dual crown from a trail fork! It is noticeably beefy but it never feels uncomfortable on the hands or shoulders. The thing I like about the new 38 is how well it tracks and how supple it is. I had a 2018 Lyrik and that always felt like it was in the last third or so of the travel while the 38 feels like it stands up more and uses its travel very efficiently! With the floating axle and the air bleeders they added some novelty features which are definitely not needed but are nice to have, especially the bleeders. If you’re a RS fan you might want to wait until the 7th because they have a new fork coming with 38mm stanchions.


6/19/2020 11:28 AM

Philip_Rossetti wrote:

I also have a 180mm 38 and I have to say when you first get it it takes some time to get used to it! It feels quite stiff but ...more

What I’m looking at is the 36. Wondering how those compare to Lyrik ultimates. Thanks for sharing tho man!


6/19/2020 5:23 PM

I have a new 36 and before had multiple lyriks.
I find the fox is setup with faster rebound and stays in the mid range better. The compression is a bit firmer but I could tinker with a few things. The Lyrik is more soft initially and sits down a bit. All in all no complaints with either.
I think that the fox tracks better, stiffer, and could be pushed a bit harder with a similar setup to a Lyrik.
Both are really good


6/19/2020 8:35 PM


6/20/2020 7:56 PM

38 is the best fork I’ve ever ridden. I’ll have my 36 up and running pretty soon here too.


7/5/2020 11:02 PM

Jon_Angieri wrote:

I am hoping to hear from someone who has experience with the Lyrik Ultimate and the new Fox 36 specifically.

I have a 2021 160mm Lyrik Ultimate RC2. This model has the new C1 Debonair spring. I used to have a 2018 B1 160mm Lyrik with the new C1 Debonair spring and Charger 2 RC2 damper.

To start, I think it's important to understand how I explain things.

I use a 1-6 rating to describe terrain.

1-2: very small, mild chatter (mostly involves the initial stroke zone)
3-4: bigger roots, rocks and moderate chunk, mild jumps and drops (mostly the mid stroke zone)
5-6: gnarly terrain, landing from big drops, nasty rock gardens, etc. (upper mid to end stroke zone)

OL = Old Lyrik, Charger 2, new C1 Debonair Spring
NL = New Lyrik Ultimate, Charger 2.1, C1 Debonair Spring

For the 1-2 range, I don't notice much of a difference between the OL and NL.

For the 3-4 range, the OL with the older Charger 2 damper, even though it's RC2, it was much harsher over repeated, fast and hard hits. The impact was very noticeable at my hands.

For 5-6 range, the NL feels a lot more tender and forgiving as the fork compresses.

Note 1: Charger 2 RC2 users should run the HSC at the lowest. Rockshox tuned the Charger 2 damper with a HSC range way too high (too much damping) and it feels too stiff over repeated its.

Note 2: Charger 2.1 RC2 feels a lot nicer on the hands, the HSC range has shifted down (less damping) and it's much more compliant over repeated hits.

My experience: The best way to explain the differences between my old and new Lyrik is, with the old fork, I sometimes used to look for different lines for a smoother ride, trying to avoid some stuff along the way or hopping over sections.

The new fork is a much more plowable fork, it's almost like I can just ram stuff I used to avoid before without penalty. I know this sounds silly, but it does. I also noticed that the fork seem to be much more active. I've been struggling to explain this but if you watch some Baja race cars where they're flying over bumpy terrain, the suspension is moving up and down, but the body of the car seems to not move too much and appears like it's floating over the terrain. That's the new Lyrik Ultimate.


7/5/2020 11:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2020 11:21 PM

I have no experience on the new 2021 Fox forks but I'll admit they look pretty damn cool and I like some of the new features.

Where I am, elevation is not a factor, temperatures are constant throughout the year. However if you ride in areas where temperatures and elevations change a lot, I really like the idea that Fox have included the lower leg purge valve (on the Factory models I believe) and no longer have to shove a zip tie down the fork seal anymore.

The lower leg channels look interesting but I'm not convinced that it's necessary (perhaps a nice just to have feature). Fork foam rings don't go dry because gravity is pulling oil down to the fork lowers. They go dry because dirt gets past the fork seals and onto the foam rings and ends up absorbing some of the oil over time.

As long as there's oil left in the fork lowers, you can flip the bike upside down or stand it up vertical for 15 seconds and it should be all the lube you need for those foam rings for quite a while.

That said, I've always noticed that Fox forks seem to have a much more supportive mid stroke than the older Rockshox forks. The reason for this is because of the older Debonair spring. The new C1 model solves this and moves the stroke range up around 8-10mm, and in my testing with the 2020 Fox 36 Grip2, it now feels about the same.

I can't speak on the 2021 Fox forks but 2021 Lyrik Ultimate vs 2020 Fox 36 Grip 2:

Lyrik is more compliant, small bump is a tiny bit better, mid stroke support is very close, more planted feeling.
Fox 36 Grip 2 is a little more firm feeling overall, very good mid stroke, a little more poppy feeling than the Lyrik.


7/6/2020 6:26 PM

Right on guys! Thanks for your feedback. I’ve ordered a new 36 but it won’t be here until later this month. I will give a report on what I think coming from a RS Pike 150mm