The RockShox Lyrik has long been considered one of the best enduro forks money can buy. But the competition is getting fiercer each year and it was time for RockShox to step up their game and make a great fork even better. We tested the new RockShox Lyrik RC2 and will tell you why there’s a good reason to rejoice even if you own one of the older models.

The new RockShox Lyrik features a Charger 2 RC2-damper and an optimised DebonAir air-chamber.
The new RockShox Lyrik features a Charger 2 RC2-damper and an optimised DebonAir air-chamber. Travel options 150-180 mm | Wheel sizes 27.5″ and 29” | Price € 1,109

When developing the new Lyrik the engineers at RockShox focused on three fundamental questions: How can we improve small-bump response? How can we improve performance under load (i.e. when braking). What can we do to reduce the rider’s fatigue?

In order to achieve their development-objectives, RockShox gave the Lyrik RC2 a major overhaul – and all of the changes happened on the internals of the fork. The result is a new friction-optimized DebonAir air-spring with a revised spring-curve and a Charger 2 RC2 damper with even more adjustment options. In addition, the new Lyrik is now available with a shorter offset in both 27.5” (37 mm offset) and 29” (42 mm offset) wheel sizes. The colour options are red and black. Interestingly: The Lyrik is also available with up to 180 mm travel for 29” wheels.

The decisive updates hide inside the core of the new RockShox Lyrik. The DebonAir air-spring and the new Charger 2 RC2-damper-cartridge.
The new RockShox Lyrik is available with 150 to 180 mm of travel…
… and different offset-options.
The casting of the Lyrik remains unchanged. The shorter offset is achieved by changing the fork-crown.

Less friction and more volume – the DebonAir air-spring

Most of us will associate the DebonAir name with RockShox’s rear-shocks. But behind this popular name stands a larger negative-air chamber with better response and an optimised spring-curve. With their latest update, RockShox increased the negative air-chamber of the Lyrik by a whopping 42 %. As a result, the new fork is now even more sensitive over small bumps and offers more support especially in the mid-stroke. We will come back to this later.

The new DebonAir logo on the stanchion tells us more about the inner life of the fork

All forks and shocks have one big enemy: friction. If this is too high your fork won’t absorb impacts effectively nor recover from compression the way it should. If you serviced your fork from time to time you’ll probably know how badly friction can affect the performance of your suspension. In order to reduce friction inside the new Lyrik RockShox introduced an updated CNC’d-aluminium seal head with integrated bushing to replace the previous plastic-version. This apparent small update is said to reduce friction significantly. According to Rockshox the new seal head glides inside the airshaft 73% smoother in the initial stroke. This figure is said to reach 86% with directional changes such as the transition between compression and decompression stages (Stick Slip-Friction). And of course you can adapt the spring-curve to your personal liking by playing around with the air-settings and by adding or removing tokens.

Left old, right new: thanks to the new machined-aluminium seal head with integrated bushing RockShox reduced friction significantly.
Two small air-intakes let the air flow directly into the air shaft. This allows for an increase in volume of the negative air chamber

The new DebonAir air-chamber is also sold separately as an upgrade for previous Lyrik, PIKE and Yari models and costs € 47.

More adjustment options for a perfect setup

With the new Charger 2 RC2 cartridge RockShox customers and riders will be able to tune their fork with even more precision. The new Lyrik RC2 features an external dial that allows you to adjust the rebound and the low/high-speed compression settings. By turning the high-speed-dial you preload the shim stack in the internals. You have five clicks at your disposal where the middle-click corresponds to the setup of the previous non-adjustable Charger 2 cartridge and two more clicks each side allow you to set the fork either firmer or plusher. The low-speed compression dial has 20 clicks.

An upgrade many riders have been waiting for: the externally-adjustable high-speed compression dial on the Charger 2 RC2-damper

  The new RockShox Lyrik offers coil-feel with the adjustment options of an air spring.

The high-speed compression dial of the new Charger 2 RC-2 cartridge has five clicks. The central position corresponds to the setting of the old non-adjustable damper. The new version of the damper now features two additional clicks in each direction to set the fork either firmer or plusher.
The new Charger 2 RC2-damper cartridge is also available as an upgrade for all 35 mm RockShox Lyrik and Yari models. Its price: € 259-349.
Dialling-in the new RockShox Lyrik is quick and easy but the settings are different from the previous version. Throughout our test we ran the fork mostly with one less token than with the older version.

The new RockShox Lyrik RC2 on the trail

Despite the cold German winter we had a chance to test the new RockShox Lyrik RC2 thoroughly. We escaped to the sunny mountains of South Tyrol and tested the new Lyrik on the dusty, rocky trails of Latsch. Straight after we jumped on a plane and flew to the southern hemisphere where we put the new Lyrik through one of the toughest, most fun enduro races in the world – the NZ Enduro in New Zealand. In our opinion this was the best way of testing a brand-new enduro fork! We tested the new Lyrik on a RAAW Madonna. Thanks to its aggressive downhill-oriented geometry we were able to push the new Lyrik to its limits.

Our work-horse: the RAAW Madonna with the brand-new RockShox Lyrik and the overhauled Super Deluxe RC3 shock

We started off with the kind of setup we would normally use with older Lyrik models: more or less 15% of SAG, very little compression-damping and two tokens for good progression. But it only took a few downhill-runs to understand that the new Lyrik needs a different setup. With the settings we were running so far we were never really using all of the travel. So we changed the SAG to about 25 %, removed one of the tokens (the new 160 mm version comes with two) and increased the damping. Once the changes were made we moved the high-speed compression knob in its middle position and left it there for almost the entire test (three clicks from closed). The low-speed compression was almost completely open with 14 clicks from closed.

Long and challenging stages were the perfect scenario to test the new Lyrik

After the changes the Lyrik literally blossomed and unfolded its full potential. What is truly remarkable are the huge amounts of comfort the Lyrik offers. Even after 18-minute-long stages at the NZ Enduro-race we didn’t have to deal with stiff fingers or aching hands. The fork literally sucks up any kind of small bumps and feels much more defined than its predecessor.

The new Lyrik is very defined and offers good feedback with a sensitive response
Even on long 18-minute descents the Lyrik totally convinced us. Aching hands anyone? Nope!

Thanks to an increased mid-stroke support, the new RockShox Lyrik only ever uses the exact amount of travel you need and generally sits higher in its travel. The damper works efficiently and its broad spectrum of very defined clicks allows you to tune the fork with precision. Both hard-core racers and less experienced riders should be able to their perfect setup. While the previous model of the Lyrik required a high degree of progression to deal with hard trail-sections with lots of compressions the new Lyrik generally requires fewer tokens.

After the race we were fully convinced: the new RockShox LYRIK is better than ever!

The front wheel has tons of traction and never sinks into holes, while recovering quickly from hard compressions. The rebound damping is very well tuned and works well in all scenarios. To what extent the enlarged negative air chamber has a positive influence on the rebound damping, we cannot currently say. We are looking forward to further tests.


RockShox literally nailed it with their new Lyrik! The previous model was already a hit but the revised version is on a different level in all aspects. The new Lyrik is way more sensitive, sits higher in its stroke and feels much more stable than its predecessor. The overhauled version also gives you more feedback and can be easily adjusted to your specific needs. One more detail we really like is that you can upgrade any your older forks with the modern technology of the new Lyrik. We say: Chapeau RockShox – great Job!

Travel 150–180 mm
Wheel size 27.5” und 29”
Color Red & Black
Availability in April
Price € 1,109

Also new: RockShox Super Deluxe 2019

For more information head to

Rumble in the Jungle – the Rock Shox Lyrik proved its full credentials in the New Zealand enduro race.

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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer, Boris Beyer