Rockshox has announced a massive overhaul of its 2023 suspension platforms, with complete redesigns of its best mountain bike forks for trail and enduro riding plus expanding its range of best rear shocks for mountain bikes which now includes a budget coil over option!
While the catalog of forks stays the same, RockShox says it has completely redesigned the Pike, Lyrik, and ZEB. That means new chassis', a new Charger 3 damper, a new DebonAir+ spring, and a bunch of extra features and additions aimed at making them smoother and more controlled on the trail.
The rear shocks get a similar make-over with a new RC2T damper, increased tunability, and five new shocks; two Deluxe level shocks, one Super Deluxe, and two Super Deluxe Coils.
For a verdict on how the shocks perform, check out our review of the new Super Delux Ultimate shock.
That said, there's a lot to unpack here too, so let's get stuck in.
RockShox Pike, Lyrik, and ZEB
It's RockShox' trail and gravity forks that are getting the spruce up, so XC riders can skip this bit. All the forks receive the same chassis and internal updates – although their air-spring and chassis stiffness are each tuned for the forks use case.
All three forks have received a lower chassis update, with the Pike and Lyrik getting a stiffness to weight ratio improvement and increased bushing overlap for smoother performance. There has been a reshuffle of travel options too. The Pike's travel has been reduced to 120mm, 130mm, and 140mm. The Lyrik's 140mm, 150mm and 160mm while the ZEB's start at 160mm and go up to 190mm in 10mm increments. All forks come in 27.5 and 29er wheelsizes and have 37mm (27.5in) or 44mm (27.5in, 29in) offsets, apart from the ZEB which has a 38mm (27.5in) or 44mm (27.5in, 29in) offset.
There are bolt in hub end cap adapters for those not running RockShox’s Torque Caps and Pressure Relief valves on the back of the Ultimate and Select+ forks – the base models and Select versions can be upgraded aftermarket.
Rockshox has completely updated the internals on all the forks too – which should see a marked update in performance, not that the outgoing forks were lacking in that department.
The new Charger 3 damper has a new design that separates the high-speed and low-speed compression to isolate adjustments and simplify tuning processes. This was achieved by replacing the bladder internals of the previous damper with a new Internal Floating Piston (IFP). By using a coil-spring opposite the piston, RockShox claims it has been able to improve responsiveness and consistency, the whole system is said to be silent as well.
The air-spring has also been reworked with RockShox tweaking the positioning of the positive and negative air chambers. The new Debonair+ claims to have been designed to increase small bump plushness whilst offering more mid-stroke support to help keep the fork sitting higher in its travel.
We have already touched on the increased bushing overlap, but the Ultimate versions of the fork get considerably more overlap than the other models. The Ultimate bushings are 53 percent longer to improve load distribution and reduce friction and are specific to the Ultimate fork lowers.
One of the exciting new features of Rockshox's Flight Attendant last year was the addition of Buttercups, and the addition of this tech in RockShox's MY23 fork ranges was one of our 2022 MTB predictions. These small rubber pucks are claimed to reduce high-frequency trail chatter by up to 20 percent and from our experience when previously riding them, they make a noticeable difference.
We're currently testing the new Ultimate versions of the Pike and Lyrik, so check back for the full reviews very soon.
RockShox Deluxe, Super Deluxe, and Super Delux Coil rear shocks
If the proposition of new forks wasn't enough, RockShox has been working hard on its rear shock range. Not content with simply updating the Delux and Super Deluxe range, RockShox has broadened the range to include new Ultimate versions of the Deluxe and Super Deluxe air shocks. Coil over fans will also rejoice with two new Ultimate versions of Super Deluxe Coil and a budget Delux Coil Select – a shock that we suspect will feature on a lot of budget gravity bikes next year but more on that in a minute.
Just like the forks, RockShox has introduced a new damper for its shocks, the RC2T. RC2T stands for Rebound, Compression (high and low-speed), and Threshold – all of which can be tuned by the rider to find the perfect setting for their riding style.
Shocks get a base tune to suit the frame manufacturer's kinematics and the independent high and low-speed adjustments each offer five clicks of adjustment. RockShox has opted to give riders fewer clicks of adjustment as it gives a more meaningful and noticeable change.
The threshold adjustment of the RC2T acronym refers to the Hydraulic Bottom Out feature on the Super Delux air and coil shocks which softens the bottom out blow on big hits and landings, kicking in through the last 20 percent of travel. On the Super Deluxe Coil you have five levels of bottom-out compression tuning to customize the feeling of the shock at full travel.
Rockshox now offers progressive and linear air can options and volume spacers can be used to further control the feel of the shock, both in the positive air chamber and negative air chamber.
While there are plenty of new goodies from RockShox, we think the most exciting is the Deluxe Coil which offers a big hit budget option for those looking for coil performance at a lower cost. Coil shocks usually also suffer from fitment issues too, but as the Deluxe Coil doesn't have a piggyback reservoir it should be compatible with more frames.
We have already been putting the new Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate through it's paces, check out our RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate review to find out how it performs on the trail.
RockShox MY23 availability and pricing
Information on pricing and availability is a little thin on the ground. RockShox hasn't offered any confirmed dates as to when we are likely for the new ranges to be available to buy or when they will start featuring on new bikes.
For the full product details and technical specifications, check out Rockshox.com.
Pricing is limited as well with only a few models featuring confirmed price tickets:
- Pike Ultimate: $1,054, €1,139, £1,017
- Pike Select+: TBC
- Pike Select: $ 790, € 855, £ 763
- Pike: TBC
- Lyrik Ultimate: $1,107, €1,196, £1,069
- Lyrik Select+: TBC
- Lyrik Select: $843, €912, £813
- Lyrik: TBC
- ZEB Ultimate: $1,159, €1,253, £1,119
- ZEB Select+: TBC
- ZEB: Select: $896, €968, £864
- ZEB: TBC
- Deluxe Ultimate: $399, €431, £385
- Deluxe Select+: TBC
- Deluxe Select: TBC
- Deluxe Coil Select: TBC
RockShox Super Deluxe
- Super Deluxe Ultimate: $599, €648, £578
- Super Deluxe Ultimate DH: TBC
- Super Deluxe Select+: TBC
- Super Deluxe Select: TBC
RockShox Super Deluxe Coil
- Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate: $549, €594, £530
- Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate DH: $499, €539, £482
- Super Deluxe Coil Select+: TBC
- Super Deluxe Coil Select: TBC