RockShox have not only reworked the model names of the new PIKE Ultimate, Lyric Ultimate, BoXXer Ultimate and SID Ultimate but also improved their performance. At the heart of it are an updated damping unit and further reduced friction. We’ve summarised the most important details.

With the new PIKE and Lyrik Ultimate, RockShox has further improved its performance thanks to reduced friction and a new damping unit

Following the release of the new Charger 2 cartridge and the enlarged DebonAir air chamber last year, RockShox have updated their suspension forks once more. The central focus: improved damping and a reduction in friction for an even more sensitive and defined ride.

RockShox Charger 2.1 – adapted damping, better rebound and new oil

The RockShox Charger 2.1 cartridge isn’t completely new, but it has undergone some major changes compared to the Charger 2. RockShox have changed the compression setup: the high-speed compression is tuned a little softer overall for more comfort, while the low-speed compression has been made slightly firmer so that the fork remains higher in its travel. Both settings can be adjusted externally, of course – but the adjustment range has shifted.

The new Charger 2.1 cartridge features reworked low and high-speed compression and improved rebound damping. On top of that, the friction has been further reduced.
Old left, new right – the revised rebound valve is supposed to provide more consistent damping. The so-called Wearband gets shrunk on, optimising the oil flow.

The rebound piston has been optimised to improve oil flow and guarantee even more consistent performance. On top of that, RockShox have developed a new damping oil in cooperation with Maxima and they’ve developed new seals together with SKF for reduced stiction. By further reducing the stiction, the new forks should stick to the ground even better, and it should also result in less hand fatigue.

RockShox have developed the new Plush damping oil in cooperation with Maxima
…as well as friction-optimised seals

Ultimate, Select+ and Select – the new models in the RockShox Signature Series

In addition to the new Charger 2.1 damping unit, the new Maxima Plush Suspension Fluid and the new SKF seals, RockShox have also presented a new structure to their product range. The so-called Signature Series includes the PIKE, Lyrik, BoXXer and SID models. These four high-end forks now each have a new model structure. They come in three different levels: Ultimate, Select+ and Select. The Ultimates are the flagship models. If you are looking for the top-end model, this is it. The Select+ models are only available to manufacturers. The Select models are the entry-level Lyrik and PIKE models. You can optionally upgrade them to the Ultimate standard.

Sexy – the new silver PIKE looks fantastic

Ultimate – the new flagship range

The PIKE and Lyrik Ultimate both feature the new Charger 2.1 damping unit, Maxima Plus oil and new SKF low friction seals. You still have a choice between the RC2 or RCT3 damping variant. The PIKE Ultimate gets a stunning new silver or black colour scheme, whereas the Lyrik Ultimate continues with the familiar red or black options.

The new PIKE and Lyrik Ultimate are available in two colour options
  • Charger 2.1 RC2 or RCT3 damping
  • new low friction SKF seals
  • new Maxima Plush damping oil
  • silver (PIKE) or red (Lyrik)
  • new graphics
  • DebonAir air chamber
  • price: € 1,030 (PIKE) | € 1,110 (Lyrik)

Select+ – more variety for manufacturers

Coming in beneath the Ultimate is RockShox’s Select+ range. However, they are only available to manufacturers, leaving aftermarket customers with a choice between the Ultimate or the Select. The Select+ range also features the new Charger 2.1 damping, but without external high-speed compression adjustment. The Select+ forks are only available in black.

The Select+ range also features the new Charger 2.1 damping cartridge, but without externally adjustable high-speed compression
  • Charger 2.1 RC damping
  • new low friction SKF seals
  • new Maxima Plush damping oil
  • new graphics
  • DebonAir air chamber
  • price: available only to manufacturers

Select – the entry-level PIKE and Lyrik

The Select range features the DebonAir air chamber presented last year and a closed Charger damping unit – but not the new Charger 2.1. They come with the new Maxima Plush oil, but you’ll have to do without the new SKF seals.

The Select version also has a closed Charger damping unit, but not the brand new Charger 2.1 version
  • Charger RC damping
  • new Maxima Plush damping oil
  • new graphics
  • DebonAir air chamber
  • price: € 775 PIKE or Lyrik
We’ve already had the opportunity to test the new PIKE Ultimate at the launch of the new SRAM AXS drivetrain. But our time on it was too short for an initial assessment – we were completely focused on the drivetrain anyway.

Our opinion on the new RockShox Signature Series

The improvements make perfect sense on paper. We were already convinced of the performance of the old Lyrik and PIKE, but we’re obviously happy to welcome any little improvement. And the fact that all the updates are backwards compatible is a big plus. We’ll have to wait and see how much better the new Lyrik Ultimate performs compared to the predecessor – fortunately, there’s one already on its way to us.

More information at sram.com

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

About the author

Christoph Bayer

Christoph loves to be kept on his toes – both on the bike and in his role for ENDURO. He’s known as the guy in charge of the bi-monthly magazine and masquerades as both its editor and photographer. You’ll usually find him tearing up the mountains on his bike, soaking up the flow or tackling technical, narrow trails.