Travel: 115/160mm / Adjusters: rebound, low-speed and high-speed compression, floodgate / Steerer: aluminium 1.5 or 1 1/8in / Weight: 5.44lb (1 1/8in) / Spring: 2-STep Air / Axle to Crown: 550mm / Disc Mount: 6in post
Everyone knows that RockShox has had a travel-creep issue with its 2- Step adjuster. So much so, that the Totem isn’t offered with it this year. The good news is that we have had two sets of ’08 Lyrik 2-Steps running side by side on test bikes and have not experienced any problems with the forks creeping down to the short-travel setting. That’s not to say that the system is 100 percent reliable though, as we have heard of ’08 forks sinking after just one ride.
A less obvious problem with the Lyrik is that the seals are inadequate for UK riding conditions. Dirt ingress dramatically reduces the performance of the fork, so it needs servicing regularly over the winter months. One way to assess the internal condition of the fork without pulling the lowers off is to attach your shock pump and inspect the lubrication fluid left in the nozzle when you remove it. If the fluid looks like pond water, then chances are it is.
When it comes to 20mm QRs, the 360 Maxle from RockShox is easily the best. You can position the lever wherever you want, and because the axle expands at both ends, it adds more stiffness than the basic Marzocchi design. It does, however, have a couple of sharp edges that need rounding off as we’ve cut ourselves on it more than once.
On the trail, the Mission Control damping offers very predictable handling, but the 2-Step spring curve seems to have less progression in the mid-stroke than the Solo Air. To compensate, we ran the high-speed adjuster on the Mission Control damper one click from fully open, with the low-speed adjuster five clicks in, to prop up the fork under braking. With these settings, it felt controlled but not harsh.
Having ridden both versions of the air-sprung Lyriks, we are convinced that the Solo Air Lyrik is the one to go for. Granted, you don’t have the option to reduce the height of the fork to improve geometry for climbing, but the Solo Air has a better spring cure, it’s almost half a pound lighter, it’s less expensive and it’s more reliable than the Lyrik 2-Step.
MBR RATING: 8/10