RockShox has released their new MY20 (Model Year 2020) line with some new products, changes to existing products, and a new naming hierarchy. The changes to the products have been all about reducing friction and making the smoothest, best suspension RockShox possibly can! RockShox now has the new Signature Series, which includes their premium line of suspension products: SID, Pike, Lyrik, Boxxer, Deluxe, Super Deluxe & Reverb. Within the Signature Series, there are now sub-tiers that determine the technology in each product, from the top level to the entry level, and include Ultimate, Select+, and Select.
Most of the products have remained similar, with some internal changes, but the new product on the market is the MegNeg air can. The MegNeg is a new air can that works with Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks, increasing the negative air space up to 211%. The MegNeg is an awesome product to go deeper into tuning your shock for your bike and riding style, and we will get more into the details in a bit.
Within the Signature Series, the fork models have remained the same with the premium offerings being SID, Pike, Lyrik, and Boxxer. All these forks are offered at the Ultimate level, which is their full premium level fork packed with all the tech and features you would expect. The Ultimate series forks also have two colors each and updated graphics. Below the Ultimate we have Select + and Select. Select + is similar to Ultimate but is only offered in black, and will mostly be found on OEM models. Select is the entry-level tier for these premium forks, but don't let that fool you on how it performs.
Charger 2.1 Damper:
The Charger 2.1 damper has been completely redesigned to give you the most confidence on the trail while reducing as much unwanted friction as possible. While the Charger 2 was an amazing damper and felt great, the 2.1 has been tuned further to help the fork keep a higher ride height. This has been accomplished by re-tuning the low and high-speed compression circuits. The low-speed compression has been refined to allow the fork to ride higher in its travel, while the high-speed compression has been re-shimmed to help with big hits, repetitive chatter and reduce overall rider fatigue.
RockShox is now using new SKF seals inside the damper on the rod seal to help reduce friction, providing less unwanted rider fatigue. The SKF seals along with the use of Maxima Plush fluid has helped reduce friction by a great amount. The Maxima Plush fluid has been developed by the fastest, hardest riders currently riding mountain bikes, and if it’s better for them, I’m sure it will be better for us normal riders.
Along with the SKF seals inside the damper, new SKF dust wiper seals have been made for the new 2020 Ultimate forks. These are another small piece of the puzzle to help reduce friction on the fork, and the new wiper seals do a better job of keeping dirt on the outside where we want it so that everything else can remain buttery smooth.
As mentioned above, Pike Ultimate is now available in two colors: Silver and Gloss black. Select + is black only with silver graphics, and Select is black with stealth black graphics. The Pike gets the new Charger 2.1 damper and new SKF seals. For the damper, there will be the option to have the Charger 2.1 RC2 with independent LSC and HSC, or the more classic RCT3 damper featuring the open/pedal/firm compression with the LSC tune option.
We have been riding the new pike for a few months now and we really love it. At first, we set it at 140mm travel and tossed it on an Evil Offering. After just a few runs the new fork and damper felt dialed in. The new Charger 2.1 damper does the job its supposed to. The re-tuned damping, while it’s really only minor tweaks, make big differences on long descents. I noticed the fork seemed to ride higher in its travel while still being very plush and having great small bump compliance. I even found myself running a few more PSI in this Ultimate fork with the RC2 damper than last year’s Pike with the RCT3 damper. The Debonair shaft hasn’t changed for this year, so we are able to really feel the improvements in the damper alone!
The main change in the Lyrik is the new Charger 2.1 damper and SKF dust wiper seals. As it had the Charger 2 RC2 damper before, it gets the new improvements and experiences a reduction in friction, helping it both ride higher and smoother in its travel. Colors will remain the same with the Red and Gloss Black for Ultimate series, while Select + is Black with silver decals, and Select forks are Black with black decals.
While we don’t have much time on the new Lyrik, we have ridden the Charger 2.1 and if it rides anything like the Pike, it's sure to have the same benefits and be an amazing fork. From talking other riders who were lucky enough to get time on the new Lyrik, they are overly stoked and felt many of the new characteristics felt in the Pike, namely higher ride height and smoother actuation.
Boxxer receives all the same damper and seals upgrades that Lyrik and Pike did. Boxxer is also now available in Boxxer Ultimate and Select models. The Ultimate comes in Boxxer Red and Gloss black, both with silver decals, while Boxxer Select comes in black with black logos and silver crowns.
While the SID might not always get the love it deserves, there is a reason it has the most XC race wins out of all XC forks. The SID combines plush damping with a light and efficient package. The SID gets a new color for the Ultimate series, Sid Blue but still comes in Gloss Black with new foil graphics. There is a SID Ultimate Carbon that has the lightest carbon crown and steerer to cut all grams possible. At 1,481g for a 27.5 fork, it’s damn light. The SID Ultimate uses an aluminum crown and steerer and is 100g heavier than the Ultimate Carbon. Both Ultimate forks get the new Maxima Plush fluid to help reduce friction inside the SID. SID is also available in Select + and Select models.
RockShox introduced the Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks a few years ago alongside their new metric shock sizing specifically. The industry transition to metric has been slow, but now metric bikes are all around us and it should be really easy to get a Deluxe or Super Deluxe for your bike. All the air shocks will follow the same tiers as RockShox forks: Ultimate, Select + and Select. All Ultimate air shocks and the Super Deluxe Coil are offered in a remote model, so I think it’s fair to say that rear shocks are really badass these days.
Maxima Plush fluid:
Maxima Plush fluid also finds its way into the damper of rear shocks, helping do the same awesome stuff it does in the forks with the added benefit of reducing the higher temperatures that rear shocks typically see.
The Deluxe gets the most changes out of all the rear shocks. It now has five compression settings to tune your ride. It has both open and pedal modes, and also three low-speed compression settings, signified by -, O, + symbols. While the Deluxe finds itself on XC and trail bikes, this is a very capable shock and we have been going back and forth with the Deluxe and Super-deluxe on our SB130’s. We’re really impressed with the way the Deluxe is able to handle the hits it does. The Deluxe Ultimate is also available with a remote option for select bikes as well. Select + and Select will be available as OEM.
Not much has changed with Super Deluxe, but it does fall into RockShox new tiers of Ultimate, Select + (OEM) and Select (OEM) as well as receiving the Maxima Plush fluid upgrade. There is also a remote version for certain bikes for those looking to get the best climbing and descending out of their trail bikes.
Super Deluxe Coil also gets Maxima Plush fluid and new spring color, Boxxer Red, to match well with your red Lyrik or Boxxer fork. With more and more riders looking to add a coil to their trail bikes, the Super Deluxe Coil gives some trail riders the option to have an amazing coil shock for their bike. There are also some models available that can take advantage of a Super Deluxe Coil remote to really get the best of both climbing prowess and descending glory.
Last product but certainly not least, and I think my favorite new product here, is the new MegNeg. The MegNeg is an aftermarket air can you can screw onto your current or new Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks. With the MegNeg empty of spacers, you will get 211% more negative air space, really helping reduce the amount of force it takes to get into your bike’s travel. The MegNeg is tunable with bottomless rings, like you had in older Monarch Plus shocks to tune positive air space, except now the rings are used to tune negative air space. The MegNeg fits up to 4 bottomless rings, ranging from 211% down to 164%, which is as “closed” as the MegNeg can be. There are three sizes of MegNeg to fit the three eye-to-eye air cans that Deluxe and Super Deluxe use.
The MegNeg retails for $90 and is available aftermarket only, as it might not be the best for all bikes or certain riders. But if you are a suspension nerd like myself and love tuning your suspension, you will love the MegNeg. I've personally been running the MegNeg on a few bikes now and for my riding preference, I really like how the MegNeg rides. I found on my Evil Offering the MegNeg with two bottomless rings seemed to be my sweet spot at 188% more negative air volume than my stock air can. I was able to run more shock pressure that really REALLY improved mid-stroke support like no other! I had so much more small bump compliance without any sacrifice to ride height and mid stroke support. Also, with more pressure, the shock rarely bottomed out, except for big hits where I need all the travel and then some.
I’m a light rider at 150lbs, and trying to get my suspension dialed is always a sacrifice between the small bump and mid stroke support. Air tokens help prevent bottom outs but don't do much in the way of mid stroke support. So adding the MegNeg to my shock gave me all the best features I like in one shock without compromise. We tried the MegNeg on SB130 & SB150 bikes, and it really seemed to shine on those. Helping the bike into its travel and requiring less force to do so. Those bikes have such a great pedaling platform but sometimes aren’t the best in repetitive braking bumps. The MegNeg was able to retain the bikes pedaling performance while taking the hardness out of the braking bumps. Riders on those bikes ranged from 170lbs to 195lbs on the SB150 and our test rider wasn't super stoked when we asked to get the shock on another bike for the test. It really is that good!
So that wraps up the new RockShox MY20 lineup, with the big introduction of the Signature series, and Ultimate, Select + and Select tiers, there are some great improvements to the line without massive changes to confuse us, consumers. A new Charger 2.1 damper, SKF seals inside the damper and on the wiper seals and Maxima Plush fluid, with the goal to reduce friction has been accomplished. SID and Pike get new amazing colors, Blue and Silver respectively, as well as a new Red color option for the rear shock coil springs, bikes equipped with RockShox will have color combos galore!
Not to forget about the MegNeg, the only fully new product in the Signature series, it will really allow the suspension tuner to dial in their rear air Deluxe or Super Deluxe shocks, improving small bump compliance and mid-stroke support by opening up the negative air space by up to 211%!