The Lyrik has been a favorite amongst riders for some time now. For 2012 it gets a few tweaks making it an even more solid choice for trail riders and all mountain bikes.
Lyrik RC2 DH Solo Air (click to enlarge)
RockShox sent through this vibrant red Lyrik RC2 DH 170mm fork to us to check out. While you can’t purchase it in this same color, they offer the Lyrik lineup it in Black, White, or Diffusion Black. The RC2 DH Solo Air model is only available in White this year however.
We’ve checked out the 2010 Lyrik as well in the past and the 2012 Lyrik lineup shows some very nice improvements. Out of the box the fork had smooth actuation, discernible audible clicks in the compression and rebound adjustments, and was ready to roll.
Key updates to the 2012 lineup would primarily in our opinion be the revisions to the air system on the Lyrik. The previous oil-based 2-Step fork option changes to an air only Dual Position Air system for improved reliability.
Naming convention on the Lyrik series has also been simplified a bit to quickly discern the external adjustments through R(rebound), C(compression), C2(Compression hi & low), and L(lockout).
- 160-130mm (Dual Position Air)
- 160/170mm (Solo Air, Coil)
- 160-115mm (Coil U-Turn)
Steerer Tube / Axle:
- 20mm (Maxle Lite)
- 1 1/8 or Tapered (pictured)
Lyrik Spring Options: (4 spring choices for 2012)
- Dual Position Air – The dual position Air is able to reduce the travel by 30mm at the flip of a switch. This can help make for easier climbing or extending the travel all the way for descending.
- Coil U-Turn – The Coil U-Turn has an external adjuster that allows the rider to incrementally reduce the travel by up to 45mm giving the rider a range between 115mm and 160mm of travel. As the travel is decreased the spring rate is automatically compensated so it does not change across the range of travel for a consistent ride at any height.
- Solo Air – Uses the RockShox Dual Air system. It features a floating negative chamber to optimize the spring curve to help provide a consistent feel throughout the travel. Positive and negative chambers are independently adjustable for greater tuning capabilities.
- Coil – The coil spring is a simple time-tested design with a smooth feel and linear spring curve. It comes stock with Red (medium) spring but comes with Yellow (soft) and Blue (firm) extra springs to help the user fine tune for their weight and riding style. Additional springs can be purchased to help riders at extreme sides of things.
Material reinforcement in the lower leg at the bushing increases stiffness and bushing durability.
Bushing and Power Bulge right above the RockShox logo (click to enlarge)
Measurement gradients indicating the current travel setting are conveniently located on the upper tubes so that you always know how much sag you are running. Located on the front and back of the stanchion.
sag gradients on the front and back of the stanchion (click to enlarge)
Allows for quick removal of the 20mm axle without any tools.
Maxle Lite (click to enlarge)
SRAM claimed a weight of 2180g for the Lyrik RC2 DH Solo Air and we verified ours uncut at 2181.1g. You can see the other Lyrik models claimed weights in the specifications list.
Additional Lyrik 2012 details:
- 555mm axle to crown (@170mm of travel) – 545mm axle to crown (@ 160mm travel)
- Brake mount: 74mm post mount (6? standard) (210mm maximum brake rotor)
- Lowers: magnesium construction with decals under the clear coat
- Uppers: 35mm 7000 series aluminum (travel gradients)
- The 160/170mm-travel 20mm Maxle lite Lyrik single-crown forks retains the same 35mm stanchions as before but receive some improved compression dials much like the BoXXer.
Lyrik RC2 DH Solo Air External Adjustments:
- High and Low Speed Compression (DH Mission Control). They are easier to turn than previous versions and are less abrasive on the fingers. Positive clicks were also felt easier and quite audible.
Hi and Low Speed Compression (click to enlarge)
- External beginning stroke rebound (red knob at the base of the right leg). The positive detentes give feedback in audible clicks that help discern settings much easier.
Lyrik rebound adjuster and post mount brake (click to enlarge)
air knob (click to enlarge)
- see the 2o12 spec sheet to see the other Lyrik model’s adjustments
Lyrik damping options:
- (Lyrik DH damping) Mission Control DH – The updated Lyrik Mission Control DH damping setup offers a bit more control compared to 2009 and earlier Lyrik forks. While both had external high and low speed knobs, the Mission Control DH offers more to the end user in controlling the ride even more. The Mission Control DH was introduced in 2010 and is focused on descending. The floodgate is removed in the Mission Control DH and is replaced with a new high-flow compression piston that is designed to help the fork perform better in rough terrain.
|high flow piston | credit: RockShox
||compression piston cut away | credit: RockShox
- (Lyrik Standard damping) Mission Control – consists of high and low speed compression with floodgate adjustment. The floodgate adjustment is present to help dial in the platform threshold to offer better climbing performance (less pedal bob) while still allowing bump performance when descending.
- (Lyrik IS damping) Motion Control IS – Motion Control with the addition of high-speed compression control through an Integrated SpeedStack as well as a crown-mounted low-speed compression knob.
Out of the box our damper knobs were a bit firm, but loosened up after a few turns. It would be nice if the knob break in was done before we received the fork as it makes for a better experience for the end consumer. It would reflect a bit nicer on the investment and the end product as a whole.
Differences between the Mission Control and Mission Control DH
We asked SRAM about the differences between the standard Mission Control and the Mission Control DH to get a better idea their design philosophy. They provided with a lot of backstory on the development of the damper and explains why they offer both options for riders to choose.
When we originally designed the Lyrik we loved the idea of having an efficiency feature in the damper. The team designed in the pop-up Flood Gate button that allowed you to toggle between your favorite performance setting and a more pedaling friendly mode. As we started living with Lyrik and riding it we found that not everyone used that feature. Specifically while riding here in Colorado, none of us were even using that feature. A few of us at the shop decided to pull out the floodgate feature, which sits directly in front of the compression circuits. When we did that we had to re-shim the compression piston because there was more oil flowing straight to the shim stack. The guys here in the shop fell in love with bump performance of this tune. This new set up reduced the systems harshness on big hits. At the time we just kept running that system in our personal forks. We talked about putting it into production, but couldn’t justify all the work against other projects we had going on. – Jeremiah Boobar
Mission Control cut away | credit: RockShox
When the MY10 BoXXer project kicked off, it needed a new compression piston design that fit into the same size upper tube as a Lyrik. Since all the work was already being done on the BoXXer side of things we could just plug in the Lyrik and get this fork we’ve all been riding into production. The production version is dramatically more refined than the proto system we had been riding on. The new compression piston was focused on increasing the oil flow across the piston allowing us to control more of the compression load with the shim stack. This boils down to a controlled compression feel, without harshness and smooth transitions between high and low speed compression circuits. So, why do we have both systems still? A lot of users out there love the Flood Gate feature and use it on every ride. But, for those out there who don’t use that feature, the Mission Control DH provides superior bump performance. It really is a pretty big difference. – Jeremiah Boobar
Mission Control asembly | credit: RockShox
Differences between the Lyrik’s Mission Control DH and the BoXXer’s
“There are a few parallels between the two systems, but really they were developed independently. We use the same compression piston, but the valving is different. The new Lyrik uses a larger rebound shaft than the original, but it isn’t as large as the massive 19mm shaft on BoXXer. Lyrik does not have enough room in the upper tube to accommodate as much displacement at the BoXXer. The Lyrik rebound shaft is as large as we could make it without coming up short on travel. Both compression tunes were tested on the types of bikes with the types of riders who would be really using the product. If we just took the BoXXer compression tune and applied it to the Lyrik the Lyrik would feel horrible and vise versa. The Lyrik and BoXXer were both designed by the same team, but each project was run by a different designer. In the teams weekly meeting, the designers shared what they were learning from their test riders and sharing ideas to see what would make the best product tune for each application. This is one of the huge benefits to having a design team that is focused on long travel suspension.” – Jeremiah Boobar
Revised Rebound System
Perhaps just as important as the new damper, was the revised Dual Flow Rebound system in the Lyrik. This updated Dual Flow rebound circuit seems to take cues from the current BoXXer. The new Dual Flow rebound offers additional control over previous Lyrik rebound circuits and helps the Mission Control damper work better than before.
dual flow rebound
Both of the Mission Control forks (DH and Standard) have these updated rebound circuits that feature a larger displacement shaft and the removal of an internal tube, so a larger rebound piston can be utilized. The Dual Flow rebound incorporates independent damping circuits allowing separate rebound speeds for big hits and small ones. The adjustable rebound is the beginning-stroke (small hit) rebound while the ending-stroke (big hit) is factory set. We suspect this change is just as important as the updated Mission Control (DH) cartridge as it helps push more oil in the circuit and offer the end user a more controlled ride in all situations.
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