Over the last year, our writers have tested a bucketful of bikes, a barn load of clothing and gear, and attended a bookcase full of cycling events. Which of these, though, have tickled their fancies enough to warrant the bestowing of a coveted Singletrack Editors’ Choice Award?
Ross – Advertising Sales
I have spent most of this year chopping and changing bikes and being very, very hard on wheels. One thing that has stayed steady, though, is my choice of fork.
RockShox Lyrik Ultimate
I’ve been lucky enough to ride quite a few top-end forks over the past year or so from a lot of big brands – Fox, MRP, RockShox and X-Fusion to name a few. Bar a couple of exceptions they’ve all been good, but for me there’s one that has always stood out and that I’ve always just ‘got on’ with – the RockShox Lyrik, and in particular the new Lyrik Ultimate.
For me, a good fork can basically make or break or ride. It’s the difference between the best ride ever and a couple of hours of terrifying frustration. It’s the first thing that gets smashed into rocks and roots and ensures that you get around that near vertical tyre width rut of a turn. Having a good fork, one that you can trust and have faith that it will do its job and deliver the goods rather than being a noodly bendy one that wants to give up its travel and help fund your dentist’s next Yeti, makes all the difference.
I’ve tried the past three iterations of the Lyrik, and been impressed by all, but the new Ultimate version is the best of the bunch. While it may not be the perfect fork for everyone – it’s certainly no lightweight cross-country squish stick – for the riding I do it’s perfect.
While some other forks have endless dials to turn and settings to tweak, the Lyrik is reasonably simple. It does have plenty of adjustment but the dials are straightforward and intuitive to use and have a real, tangible effect on how the fork feels. Getting it set up is quick and easy and straight away you can get it feeling great without too much faff. The Lyrik Ultimate feels amazingly plush straight out of the box with no bedding-in period needed. This initial set-up is aided by the fact that RockShox has a handy app to give you guideline pressures and rebound settings which I’ve found to be pretty close to the mark.
Once you get riding though is when the Lyrik Ultimate really shines. Straight out of the box the fork feels great – really plush with great small bump sensitivity, yet loads of mid-stroke support for smashing turns and dropping into steeps. The fork is stiff and holds a line through the roughest, steepest tracks and gives you the confidence to push on in really chunky terrain. But it is also really supportive and forgiving and helps stave off arm pump on mega-rough tracks, feeling as good at the bottom of a five-minute rocky descent as it did at the top. Basically, it’s a fork that is easy to set up and get feeling good and performs faultlessly. It inspires confidence. For me, it’s the best fork on the market at the minute and if I had to splash my own cash, it would be going on a RockShox Lyrik Ultimate.