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  1. #1
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    Lyrik vs Zeb forks

    I need a fork for a slack 29er hardtail, in the 150mm-160mm range. There's some decent sales on RockShox now, and am considering either:

    1) Buy a Lyrik Ultimate, put it on the hardtail, or -
    2) Buy a Zeb Ultimate (about $50 more than the Lyrik) and put it on another bike I already have (Salsa Blackthorn, a 160mm/140mm bike), which came with a Lyrik Select Plus -- and then swap the Lyrik Select Plus over to the hardtail.

    Now that the Zeb has been out for awhile, does its performance justify the weight penalty over a Lyrik? I am totally happy with the Lyrik Select Plus on the Salsa. My understanding is that the Select Plus is an OEM-only fork, that has the same Charger 2.1 damper as in the Ultimate, just with fewer external adjustments.

    I read this, but it's not that helpful:
    https://blisterreview.com/gear-revie...rk-comparisons

    A less expensive option (by about $170) would be a Lyrik Select (Charger RC damper) for the hardtail, and call it good. This would probably be just fine too.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  2. #2
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    Note that Rockshox just unveiled its 2023 forks, which includes a heavily re-vamped Lyrik. Lyrik prices might continue to drop (with the risk that when they sell out, you'll be paying full pop for the new one).

    -Zeb is quite a bit stiffer than the Lyrik.
    -I like the feel of the Lyrik better - I never got along with the bigger air chamber in the Zeb.
    -Damping performance is similar in both forks.

    Personally, I'd go with a Lyrik for anything 160mm or less. Zeb (or better yet, 38) for 170+.

  3. #3
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    I agree with what toast said. The chassis on the Zeb is impressively stiff - I remember the first time I pointed it through a fast, slightly off-camber root section and how well the bike held its line compared to the Lyrik I came off.

    I also agree on the air spring differences. I found the Lyrik felt good with both Debonair B1 and C1 air springs. I had trouble setting up the Zeb with the stock air spring. It either felt harsh if set up for support or divey if set up for good tracking. The Luftkappe is a nice upgrade that has completely changed the fork for me, but that's more money you'd need to spend. The new Rockshox air spring announced today with the 2023 fork could have similar impacts to the Luftkappe, but we don't know enough about it yet based on what's out there.

    Another thing to consider - I had really good luck with Lyrik CSUs remaining creak-free. In contrast, I am on my 4th Zeb CSU from warranty for creaking, though this one is creak-free to date (fingers crossed).

    How much do you weigh? I'm about 170 lbs and had no issues with stiffness with a 170 Lyrik, though the Zeb is definitely stiffer.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. I'm about 195#, generally keep my wheels on the ground, but like going fast through rocky trails.

    I saw the news on the revised RockShox suspension products for next year, and figured that might explain the sales happening now on the soon to be obsolete forks.

    I've been pretty happy with current RS forks, so that's why I'm targeting one for this hardtail build. Seems like I can get a Pike or Lyrik set up to my liking pretty easily with just some token adjustment and the usual external settings.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    I've been pretty happy with current RS forks, so that's why I'm targeting one for this hardtail build. Seems like I can get a Pike or Lyrik set up to my liking pretty easily with just some token adjustment and the usual external settings.
    For whatever it's worth, I like the Lyrik and Pike a lot. Slight preference for the Lyrik over the 36. The Zeb is the only RS fork that I really didn't get along with. Definitely prefer the 38 over the Zeb.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Thanks. I've heard lots of good things about the Mattoc and Mezzer, but I think I'm going to stick with familiar for this one - I know I'll like the Lyrik, so leaning heavily towards that fork.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  8. #8
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    FWIW, I heard at the shop today the Canadian distributor dropped wholesale prices by 35% on current RS products, new stuff should be showing up in a month.

    Admittedly RS has not been on the radar for a long time but this new iteration looks really good. Vital's review sounded amazing. I'm tempted by a Zeb front/Coil rear on the Arrival, especially the rear with the progressive tune. Anything negative these days on RS? Didn't realize their CSUs are just as bad, if not worse than Fox, although at something like a 150gram weight drop it makes sense.

    Interesting how a similar mechanical change (increased air volume) makes such a positive difference on the 38 vs 36, yet according to some of you guys, worse on the Zeb vs Lyric.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Thanks. I've heard lots of good things about the Mattoc and Mezzer, but I think I'm going to stick with familiar for this one - I know I'll like the Lyrik, so leaning heavily towards that fork.
    The Mezzer has the overall stiffness of a 38 but weighs significantly less, and you combine that great chassis with smoove damping and a design intended for home mechanic repairs…what’s not to like?
    Improve your AT boots with the StrapOff. Itís Maggot Approved.

  10. #10
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    when i had the fox 36 i thot it was awesume

    the new bike came with a ZEB E fork and I think its awesume

    reading that artical it sounds like they are all pretty awesume
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnow View Post
    Interesting how a similar mechanical change (increased air volume) makes such a positive difference on the 38 vs 36, yet according to some of you guys, worse on the Zeb vs Lyric.
    38 has a tube in a tube for the air chamber, so volume is lower than the zeb. Also part of the reason the 38 weighs a bunch more.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    38 has a tube in a tube for the air chamber, so volume is lower than the zeb. Also part of the reason the 38 weighs a bunch more.
    Just to understand, why would the overall volume of the air spring be whatís causing the problem?

    I was thinking the challenges with setting up the Zeb were more related to the negative spring characteristics (which is what the Luftkappe mainly addressed). But the Lyrik with C1 air spring, in theory, should be similar to the Zeb, yet I was able to find a good setup on the Lyrik.
    Last edited by D(C); 05-27-2022 at 09:03 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Personally, I'd go with a Lyrik for anything 160mm or less.
    Apparently for the new line up, RS agrees

    From PB: As it stands, the Pike comes with either 120, 130, or 140mm of travel, the Lyrik has 140, 150, or 160mm, and the Zeb goes from 160mm all the way up to a whopping 190mm of travel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    Just to understand, why would the overall volume of the air spring be whatís causing the problem?

    I was thinking the challenges with setting up the Zeb were more related to the negative spring characteristics (which is what the Luftkappe mainly addressed). But the Lyrik with C1 air spring, in theory, should be similar to the Zeb, yet I was able to find a good setup on the Lyrik.
    Yeah, that's more or less it (as I understand it). Larger volume positive spring requires a larger volume negative spring, and apparently it's tough to get a good balance in the large diameter stanchions. Fox fixed that by making the tube smaller. Rockshox fixed it by waiting until an aftermarket company provided a solution.

  15. #15
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    Last edited by XXX-er; 05-27-2022 at 11:49 AM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #16
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    Trigger pulled. 160mm Lyrik Ultimate, $735 shipped from bobleisure.
    https://www.bobleisure.com/rockshox-...2-710845846427

    According to this thread, that site is legit. If it doesn't work.... I ran it through PayPal and a credit card, so I'm protected there.
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ure-com-anyone
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    The Luftkappe is a nice upgrade that has completely changed the fork for me
    Tell me more. I like my Zeb (Select) but if I set it up to prioritise midstroke support with no tokens (always my preference) I don't use as much travel as I like on biggish hits. Luftkappe + slightly higher pressure might do the job but the end stroke will ramp more, right? And I'm on zero tokens already, so might be back to square one.

    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    How much do you weigh? I'm about 170 lbs and had no issues with stiffness with a 170 Lyrik, though the Zeb is definitely stiffer.
    Pretty much this. I debated Lyrik and Zeb on my new Madonna last year, went with a Lyrik and first ride out regretted it as the bike felt so much much capable than my previous one. Changed to Zeb immediately. It feels more solid, that's about it, but in a good way. 80kg rider on mostly natural steep terrain. I tell local friends over 70kg to go with a Zeb next time but spend money on other things if they don't really need a new fork. For lighter riders it's probably wasted weight.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LC View Post
    Tell me more. I like my Zeb (Select) but if I set it up to prioritise midstroke support with no tokens (always my preference) I don't use as much travel as I like on biggish hits. Luftkappe + slightly higher pressure might do the job but the end stroke will ramp more, right? And I'm on zero tokens already, so might be back to square one.
    The Luftkappe mainly impacts the beginning of the stroke. Deeper stroke will be similar-ish in support to without the Luftkappe at the same pressure. But then the Luftkappe takes up positive volume, similar in effect to running two tokens.

    The main benefit for me is that I am able to run a higher pressure to get more support without the fork running overly tall. I was running tokens before the Luftkappe and I removed them. Between the higher pressure and the positive volume reduction, the Luftkappe will make it harder to bottom out the fork.

    One thing to look at - recently, my fork went from feeling good to being a bit too firm and difficult to use full travel. It turned out the issue was air in the lowers.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    The Luftkappe mainly impacts the beginning of the stroke. Deeper stroke will be similar-ish in support to without the Luftkappe at the same pressure. But then the Luftkappe takes up positive volume, similar in effect to running two tokens.
    Yeah I have a feeling that the Luftkappe will give me more ramp than I'd like. Increasing the negative chamber without decreasing the positive is what I think would get me where I'd like to be. So the Secus (very pricey, and kind of vulnerable on our loose rocky trails) or the Luft Fusion air spring (kind of does the same thing internally but still €200 and kind of an unknown entity). Looks like the 2023 Rockshox air springs add negative volume but I haven't seen any numbers on how much, and those are about €180 anyway. I'll speak to my mechanic buddy - he's going to do a full suspension service for me sometime over summer anyway.

    My Zeb is overdue a lowers service for sure - that's a job for a rainy day next week ahead of lifts opening, amongst other things. I can't remember it being much different in terms of unused travel immediately following a couple of lowers services last year but I'll see. And I'll experiment with a little lower pressure too just to see, but I settled in on my range that felt good pretty quickly on my initial setup days and don't really want to drop much especially for steep slow front-brake-heavy trails which would give me more brake dive. Maybe maxing out the LSC and playing with lower pressures is something to try. EDIT: forget that, no LSC on the Select model. The 180mm Zeb is 15mm longer than the 170mm Lyrik which Raaw spec on the Madonna so I wouldn't be averse to running more sag but want to keep good support in the midstroke.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Trigger pulled. 160mm Lyrik Ultimate, $735 shipped from bobleisure.
    https://www.bobleisure.com/rockshox-...2-710845846427

    According to this thread, that site is legit. If it doesn't work.... I ran it through PayPal and a credit card, so I'm protected there.
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ure-com-anyone
    Did that a little early. Universal has them cheaper now - $700 shipped.
    https://www.universalcycles.com/shop....php?id=102659

    Canceled that Bob order and reordered at UC.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    I am on my 4th Zeb CSU from warranty for creaking, though this one is creak-free to date (fingers crossed)..
    My 36 was clicking on the Yeti during the Moab trip so I mentioned it to the mechanic and he took a look while i was still a having a beer, he said ya I dropped the fork and there was shit in there but its all good now ... and it was

    so it happens again a year later, I drop the fork clean the shit out and put it back together, noise was gone

    same clicking noise coming from the zeb so I this AM I drop the fork, clean surfaces and dab a little phil woods grease around and it was quiet on todays ride

    I duno if its the same thing but this was my experiance with the fork clicking on a fox 36 and ZEB on 2 different brands of dentist-grade CF frame, something to try for people reading this
    Last edited by XXX-er; 06-02-2022 at 11:05 AM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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