Best described as the Pike's burlier sibling, the 27.5in RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Solo Air 170 Fork gets a bit of a facelift for 2016. Newly tapered legs and an elongated brace make for a lighter, stiffer overall package with 170mm of plush travel to venture further and faster than ever before.
The key differences between the Pike and the Lyrik lie in the latter's 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. 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 runs an updated Solo Air spring with a larger negative chamber and a new SKF cartridge seal that nets claimed reductions in friction and increases in intervals between servicing. That seal and chamber combination is 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.
RockShox preserved certain elements of the original Lyrik that made it the favorite to begin with, including the RCT3 Charger damper and 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 through multiple successive bumps.