RockShox Lyrik RCT3 - 2016 Fork (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Spectacular)
Views:
Discontinued
RockShox Lyrik RCT3
Create New Tag

Compare to other Forks

Need more info? View our MTB Forks buyer's guides.

2016 Rockshox Lyrik RCT3 160mm Review

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Stiffer Crown, Stiffer Lowers, Small Bump Sensitivity, Supple Initial Stroke, Charger Damper

The Bad:

Torque Caps, 15mm Axle Only

Overall Review:

Initial Thoughts

When Rockshox announced the new Lyrik I was excited. I wanted a fork that could compete with Fox’s 36 FiT4 but feel more active. After reading the initial launch notes and reviews I began to get sad..  I admit I was not excited about “Torque Caps” or that it looked like a beefed up Pike but I decided to save my concerns until I got my hands on it.

I decided to get a Lyrik RCT3 27.5 because I found a great deal on it.  I got it from www.worldwidecyclery.com for $787.95 with a 10% coupon code “bomber10”.  Most places I saw it for ranged from $900-$1000+.  This was for a full retail version not OEM.  Pump, tokens and rebuild kit where all included.  Since this review is 100% personally funded I thought I’d pass find on to others.


2016 Lyrik RCT3 160mm

At first glance the Lyrik looks exactly like the Pike, but as most say, a little beefier.  The initial extra weight is noticeable right away by picking them up side by side.  The crown is a few millimeters taller and the arch is thicker as well as the bottom part of the lowers.  The most noticeable thing that separates the Lyrik from the Pike is the Torque Cap slot.  It's hard to miss the machine cut section.

Speaking to the shop folks I bought the Lyrik from they assured me I could use the Lyrik without the Torque Caps and still receive all the stiffness except what the caps provide.  That was good enough for me.  Plus as I googled around I couldn’t find a maker that had some for purchase.

Setup

For my height 5’ 6” and weight 140-150 lbs, I am running my Lyrik at 60 PSI with 0 Tokens,  10 clicks of rebound, 6 clicks of low speed compression.  I find this is the best feel for me for a broad range of trails I ride when I use the open position.  Setup was really easy to do.  It's exactly like the Pike.  For those that like to tinker the Lyrik does have the option to adjust its “Rebound Shim Stack”.  I have not messed with it yet nor have I found to the need too.

The Lyrik would be replacing a 2016 Pike and a 2016 Fox 36 FiT4 fork on my Evil Insurgent.  So it had serious competition.

Climbing

I am not one to nit pick weight to much in my older age, but for those who are you will notice the extra 100-200g ( 27.5 version ).  For me it wasn’t much of an issue.  The Lockout setting kept the fork stiff.  The Trail mode provided great stiffness but enough give as well.  In open I found my settings felt good enough for everything minus the long fire road climbs.  Being able to leave the fork in open is a huge plus for me, as I like to just focus on the trail.  With a lot of quick ups and downs for my local trails I don’t change the modes when I am riding very much.

Descending

Doesn't matter, had Lyrik.

It doesn’t take much to get the Lyrik to move into its travel.  It has a very supple initial stroke which was very welcome.  This is what I was missing when I was on the Fox 36.  The small bump sensitivity also felt better on the Lyrik then the Fox 36 and the Pike.

I noticed right away when riding down Geronimo the Lyrik was built for this.  The extra stiffness even without the Torque Caps was instantly noticeable.  I am curious to see if it feels stiffer than the Fox 36 when I get my hands on some Torque Caps.

Hitting fast long rock sections over and over the Lyrik held its own.  It never felt overwhelmed with the consecutive hits or square edge bumps.  At speed it felt like a mini dh fork and tracked nicely.  I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed very little amount of flex when riding down Geronimo.  I figured I would experience plenty given the style of trail it is.

Slow corner speed through tight switchbacks was simple so long as I had my lines.  It stayed high in its travel thanks to the low speed compression adjustment.  In high speed corners it would soak up the force but spring back to its initial travel without harshness.  Give a nice pop feeling when exiting.  A feeling most riders love.

I never really bottomed out the Lyrik like I did the Pike.  Even in the biggest rock staircase gap it resisted bottoming out nor did it spring back up to fast to throw me off my line.  When the big hits came you could barely notice it with the Lyrik.  The 36 soaked it all up quietly while the Lyrik did as well but you could tell it was working at it.

In the chunky stuff the Lyrik shines.


Cons

I do have some gripes about it.  Obviously the first being Torque Caps.  I understand the idea behind them be couldn’t there be another way like universal caps included with purchase?  I feel like a paid for an Ice Cream sundae but don’t get to taste its full potential unless I buy the rare sprinkle topping as well.

Torque Cap Machine slot without Torque Caps.  It’s a small issue but if you're like me and have to take your front wheel off to fit your bike in your trunk.  Lining up the wheel axle to the fork axle can get annoying.  Since there are no slots for your hub end cap to sit you have to make sure the holes are aligned to put the thru-axle in properly.  Yes I do have a rack but when I go run errands after I ride I prefer my bike be locked up in my car.


Conclusion

What the Fox 36 was lacking was small bump and initial stroke sensitivity for my liking, the Lyrik provided.  The new SKF seals provide smooth movement while keeping the oil in.  I have experienced no leaks after 2 months of use.

The extra weight penalty isn't something you should worry about as its minimal.  You don’t need 10,000ft of elevation either to make use of the Lyrik..  All you need is the idea you want a plush ride during your travels.

If you're asking yourself if it's worth upgrading from a smaller fork to the Lyrik or even from the Fox 36 FiT4.  It is.  The charger damper is on another level.  The Lyrik is a plush mini dh fork with great initial stroke and supple small bump sensitivity.  With its 3 modes it opens itself up to being a big hitting fork that can climb.  Although it is overkill for my daily trail riding, it does help make my bike one step closer to the one bike to rule them all and that's the ultimate goal.

From Pike to Lyrik, Never going back

Rating:
The Good:

Stiffer than Pike Plusher than Pike Good price right now with the 2018 models coming out ($700ish)

The Bad:

Little heavier than Pike

Overall Review:

In order to properly review the Lyrik, a comparison to the Pike is necessary. Why buy a Lyrik when everyone already loves the Pike so much? For a while I was running a 160mm Pike up front on my Santa Cruz Nomad. It never felt quite right, coming from the old style (non-black stanchions) Lyrik on my previous bike. Smashing through rough rocky lines at high speed didn't feel right to me (in terms of how the front wheel got knocked off line). I read all the reviews online (of the 2017 Lyrik), which said that the Lyrik is more of a mini Boxxer than a beefed up Pike. This was exactly what I was looking for, so I went for it. The first thing I noticed was how much better the Lyrik held a line with the added stiffness over the Pike. This is a big deal for me and translated directly to more confidence on the trail. Next thing I noticed was the softer initial stroke of the Lyrik (due to the larger negative air chamber over the Pike). For me, these two characteristics made the Lyrik exactly what I was looking for, something for rough, burly trails, and something I could take to bike parks as well. Why upgrade? It may seem that the Lyrik wouldn't be much of an upgrade over the Pike, it sure looks similar, has some more stiffness, a little plusher, big deal right? I disagree, this fork has an entire different personality than the Pike, and rides much much better. It truly feels like a downhill fork on a trail bike, which is a great feeling!

The best in class

Rating:
The Good:

Smooth, controlled, easily tuned, supportive

The Bad:

Slightly awkward if your wheels aren't torque cap compatible

Overall Review:

After trying a buddy's Lyrik, I replaced a 160mm Pike with a 170mm Lyrik on my Norco Range late last season. Not that the Pike is a poor performer in any way, but the Lyrik simply does what the Pike does just a little bit better in every way. The Lyrik definitely feels smoother and more plush off the top than the Pike and it has some added stiffness even without using the torque caps (more on those later). In the 170mm version, there is also the option of putting up to 3 tokens in instead of just 2 in the 160mm Pike. I find this makes it possible to run the pressure slightly lower, allowing for a smoother beginning stroke, but for it to ramp up and feel more controlled and supportive as it moves through its travel than even the mighty Pike did. Having an added 10mm of travel also slackens my head angle by half a degree and makes me feel better riding DH and bike parks trails, though it raises the bottom bracket slightly. The SKF seals so far have been impressive and contribute to the plushness felt in the beginning stroke. After 500 km, they still look and feel brand new with zero oil leaks or play.

Should you buy a Lyrik over a Pike? I do notice improvements in nearly every aspect when compared to a Pike, but if there's nothing wrong with your Pike, and you aren't looking for more travel, I'm not sure I would switch. The Pike is still an excellent fork and won't leave you wanting in any way. Just don't hop on your buddy's bike with a Lyrik on it, and you'll be happy. However, if you are building up a bike that will be headed up, up, up, and then down, down, down - the Lyrik is the way to go, even with the small weight penalty.

Now with the Pike, I used to have to stick a zip-tie under the seals in order to equalize the negative air chamber every so often or the stanchions would get sucked up about 10 mm or so and I would lose travel. So far, this has not been a problem on the Lyrik. Rockshox says they made a larger negative air chamber which improves small bump compliance and takes less force to get the fork moving, and it is noticeable in many ways, including not having to do the annoying zip-tie trick.

Personally, I have always preferred Rockshox forks to Fox ones. I liked the Boxxer over the 40, the Pike over the 34, and now the Lyrik over the 36. I find Rockshox easier to tune than Fox forks, and they just feel smoother and more controlled than Fox forks do throughout the stroke. I feel like Fox forks sometimes move quickly through travel in some spots at the beginning of the stroke and then really stiffen up to prevent brake dive and such. There will be amany that disagree with me, and I'm not taking anything away from a Fox 36, it's a fantastic fork, but I much prefer the feeling that the Lyrik provides on the trail.

Now if only they could figure out something to do for those of use who don't have Sram torque caps on their hubs. It is a bit of a pain to line of the wheel when installing it now. Its something small, and maybe takes an extra 3 or 4 seconds, but it is annoying and I wish there was a way to do something about it other than buy wheels with torque caps.

Overall, I find the Lyrik to be a worthy upgrade over the Pike. Small, but noticeable improvements in how smooth, supportive, supple, and tune-able (3 tokens instead of 2) the fork is make it the best in class. It is lighter than the Fox 36 and I feel like it is also easier to tune, and a bit smoother in its travel. Stick with your old Pike if there's nothing wrong with it, but if you are looking for an upgrade, this is the best you can get.

Smooth as a Marvin Gay pickup

Rating:
The Good:

Smooth, light-ish, range of adjustment, stiff

The Bad:

questionable top cap adjustments

Overall Review:

The hype surrounding these forks is well founded, I have a set on my Stumpjumper and they are awesome! The small bump sensitivity is great, and the range of adjustment is insane helping these forks to excel in many different situations, but they really shine when hauling the mail down your favorite trail, even after all the braking bumps and potholes have appeared. My only complaint is about 20 hours into owning them the dial on the right side leg has gotten really difficult to turn, even after multiple rebuilds this problem still persists, but it doesn't stop me from really enjoying myself on these forks!

Specifications

Product RockShox Lyrik RCT3 - 2016 Fork
Riding Type Trail, Freeride / Bike Park
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29"
Travel
  1. 27.5"
    • 160mm
    • 170mm
    • 180mm
  2. 29"
    • 150mm
    • 160mm
Spring Type Dual Position Air, Solo Air Available Springs
Damping Charger Damper (RCT3) with SKF Cartridge Seal
External Adjustments External Rebound, Low Speed Compression, 3-Position Compression (Open/Pedal/Lock)
Crown Single
Front Axle 15mm x 100mm, 15mm x 110mm (Boost)
Brake Mounts Post Mount, 200mm Maximum Rotor Size
Steer Tube Diameter Tapered
Steer Tube Construction Aluminum
Stanchion Diameter 35mm Tapered Wall Aluminum, Fast Black
Colors Diffusion Black, Gloss Black, White
Weight
  • 4 lb 6.7 oz (2,005 g)
  • 4 lb 7.7 oz (2,032 g)
Miscellaneous 15mm x 100mm or Boost 110 Options with SRAM 15mm Torque Cap Compatibility
Axle to Crown: 572mm - 27.5"/180mm Travel, 571mm - 29"/160mm Travel
Price
  • $1,110
  • $1,030
More Info

RockShox Website

More Products