Long live the king.
When RockShox first unveiled the Pike, the previous iteration of the 27.5in Lyrik RCT3 Solo Air 160 Boost Fork met an ignominious end at its hands. After the dust settled, it was clear that the Pike was king. But the Lyrik is back, and it's brought a host of chassis updates and a Boost axle in a bid to supplant the upstart Pike as RockShox's go-to for enduro and all-mountain applications. The king is dead; long live the king.
The key differences between the Pike and the revived Lyrik lie in the body, which enjoys a general reinforcement throughout. The 35mm stanchions are similar to the Pike's, but they beef-out more at the crown. The crown itself is also sturdier, as are the lowers, and the overall effect is a noticeable gain in stiffness that takes full advantage of the robust Boost axle standard. If you often find yourself questioning the prudence of your line selection, then you'll appreciate the Lyrik's stiff, confident tracking as an alternative to constantly correcting lines in the middle of terrain features.
The Lyrik also has a larger negative chamber than the Pike and a new SKF cartridge seal that nets claimed reductions in friction and increases in intervals between servicing. Since it's running the same Solo Air spring as the Pike, we can only assume that the seal and chamber changes are responsible for the Lyrik's smooth initial stroke. It's got an uncanny ability to stay on top of successive, small bumps and alleviate brake dive — both of which it does better than the Pike.
Despite the fact that we see the Lyrik bumping the Pike from the all-mountain throne, RockShox was wise enough to preserve certain elements of the ousted fork model that made it the favorite to begin with. These include the Pike's Charger damper, Fast Black coating, and Solo Air shock design. Depending on whether you're climbing up or dropping in, the fork's settings can be dialed by the three-position RCT3 switch, which lets you choose discreet amounts of lockout for bigger hits, trail terrain, or cross-country speed. RockShox's Rapid Recovery feature indulges the Lyrik's terrain-gobbling tendencies by keeping recovery between hits short, so you'll always have that cushion, even during multiple successive bumps.