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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title states, I'm a relatively new rider (started in October of last year), and have enjoyed getting more into the sport these last few months. I purchased a Kona Process 153 29er in January, and have been riding that ever since. Its the base model aluminum model, as it was all I could afford.

One of the things I liked about this bikes spec, was that it came with a Yari, which I discovered I can upgrade pretty easily, as it shares the chassis with the Lyric.

The problem... is even after a bit of research, I'm confused by the array of options available and which would be the best for me. I was originally going to wait until the first maintenance period, and then upgrade the Yari with a new Debonair air spring, and Charger 2 damper.

Now as I keep researching, I see that there are a huge number of other options. Rockshox added the Charger 2.1 option for essentially the same price as the Charger 2, which reportedly may, or may not be an upgrade. There are third party/aftermarket air springs and dampers, as well as custom tuning available on... what appears to be everything. Then I hear that some are easy to maintain, while others are hard, just to add some additional complexity.

Now, I'm a frugal person by nature, and I usually do all the work on my own cars/bikes/etc. I don't feel the need for the absolute best (I'm not, and will never be a professional), but now having demo'd some bikes with better forks (lyrics, Fox 36) I know that I can enjoy the ride more with something a bit better than the motion control damper.

So with those things in mind, out of all of the options available...

What in your opinion are the best value combinations of upgrades for someone with a Soloair Yari with a Motion Control damper, but would rather do things on the cheaper end of the scale?

Thanks for any/all input :).
 

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The Yari is a great chassis. I believe the Charger 2.1 has incremental HSC where the Charger 2 has a three position HSC platform. If your Yari is not Debonair a Debonair air shaft might not be an improvement. From what I understand the equalization dimple on Debonair forks is in a different place in the stroke compared to non Debonair forks kind of negating the Debonair feel. If you ride big gnarly stuff you may want to consider a coil in the air side.
 

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I went with the Debonair and Charger 2.1 RC2 route on my Yari a couple of weeks ago, and couldn't be happier.

Stock, the fork couldn't react fast enough to keep from skipping off of bigger rocks at speed which made bombing rock gardens a bit nerve wracking. With the upgrades, the fork is more sensitive to small chatter and easier on the hands. Medium hits feel like they use more travel, but actually don't. The handlebars don't get kicked as hard, yet my o-ring shows less travel used. Big hits are the biggest improvement, though. The damper doesn't choke up, so the fork is free to soak up the harshness of the hit and keep the tire firmly planted on the ground. The change overall has been very confidence inspiring and I've been able to really let loose and let the bike fly downhill like it was intended. It's also quite nice to have ridden the bike park for 3.5 hours yesterday and not have aching hand joints today.

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I went with the Debonair and Charger 2.1 RC2 route on my Yari a couple of weeks ago, and couldn't be happier.

Stock, the fork couldn't react fast enough to keep from skipping off of bigger rocks at speed which made bombing rock gardens a bit nerve wracking. With the upgrades, the fork is more sensitive to small chatter and easier on the hands. Medium hits feel like they use more travel, but actually don't. The handlebars don't get kicked as hard, yet my o-ring shows less travel used. Big hits are the biggest improvement, though. The damper doesn't choke up, so the fork is free to soak up the harshness of the hit and keep the tire firmly planted on the ground. The change overall has been very confidence inspiring and I've been able to really let loose and let the bike fly downhill like it was intended. It's also quite nice to have ridden the bike park for 3.5 hours yesterday and not have aching hand joints today.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Nice review.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Yari is a great chassis. I believe the Charger 2.1 has incremental HSC where the Charger 2 has a three position HSC platform. If your Yari is not Debonair a Debonair air shaft might not be an improvement. From what I understand the equalization dimple on Debonair forks is in a different place in the stroke compared to non Debonair forks kind of negating the Debonair feel. If you ride big gnarly stuff you may want to consider a coil in the air side.
This is the first I've heard of the potential difference between the soloair/debonair versions of the Yari/Lyric. I was under the impression that the CSU/lowers on the Yari/Lyric were the same, across all versions of the same generation.

Any idea where I can read up on this difference? I'd like to understand this facet a bit more.

Also, any idea on if the equalization dimple (sorry, still have to read up on what that is and what it does) also affects other air springs, like the luftkappe?

I went with the Debonair and Charger 2.1 RC2 route on my Yari a couple of weeks ago, and couldn't be happier.

Stock, the fork couldn't react fast enough to keep from skipping off of bigger rocks at speed which made bombing rock gardens a bit nerve wracking. With the upgrades, the fork is more sensitive to small chatter and easier on the hands. Medium hits feel like they use more travel, but actually don't. The handlebars don't get kicked as hard, yet my o-ring shows less travel used. Big hits are the biggest improvement, though. The damper doesn't choke up, so the fork is free to soak up the harshness of the hit and keep the tire firmly planted on the ground. The change overall has been very confidence inspiring and I've been able to really let loose and let the bike fly downhill like it was intended. It's also quite nice to have ridden the bike park for 3.5 hours yesterday and not have aching hand joints today.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Thank you for your feedback/review :). One quick question, did you start from a Soloair with a Motion Control damper as well?

What you're describing is a bit what I'm after. I've noticed the Yari is a bit harsh over the squarer edged hits, and small bump sensitivity isn't super amazing. I'm also after some LSC, as it dives a bit when braking, and I'd like it to stay a bit higher up in the travel.

If it helps any, I'm about 200lbs all kitted out for riding.

Also, I'm having a really hard time keeping track of which charger damper does what. There is at least an RC, RC2, and RCT3? I've read that they're the same, but with different parts being adjustable. But I've also read that some of them have different "tunes" from the factory, and, even more, I've read in a few threads that the "adjustments" don't actually adjust anything on a few of them.

Anyone able to straighten me out on this particular point of confusion?

Thanks again for your help everyone :).
 

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Best resource for Yari upgrades would be below thread:
https://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspension/super-yari-1069974-2.html

I have the same fork as you. I recently put a new Debonair air spring in it and bumped the travel up to 170mm. Big improvement and it the cheapest upgrade you can do to your fork. Better small bump sensistivity. Well worth the $45 (assuming you can install yourself). If you are riding in areas where there is a lot of chunky stuff, try to run only a few clicks of rebound, as any more than that and you can really start to see the limitations of the MoCo damper. I will be putting a Charger 2.1 in it soon, but will prob just ride it as is for the remainder of the year.
 

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I'm about your weight with a full pack, and started with a same Yari in 140mm travel. You should see the same improvements in small hit comfort and big hit spiking once you get the fork settings dialed in.

RC is rebound/LS compression adjustable.
RCT3 is the same, but with a top cap adjuster that basically adds a firmer mid setting and a lockout for climbing. It also offers LS compression when in the Open mode.
RC2 has rebound, LS compression, and HS compression.

For my riding, I picked the RC2. Most trails I'll run the high speed full open for maximum plushness, but if I'm on smoother trails like bike park flow lines and jump lines I'll dial in a click or two for better support when landing jumps. I knew already I wouldn't use the lockout of the RCT3; I seldom if ever ride paved or gravel roads and prefer my suspension active 100% of the time.

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Thank you for your feedback/review :). One quick question, did you start from a Soloair with a Motion Control damper as well?

What you're describing is a bit what I'm after. I've noticed the Yari is a bit harsh over the squarer edged hits, and small bump sensitivity isn't super amazing. I'm also after some LSC, as it dives a bit when braking, and I'd like it to stay a bit higher up in the travel.

If it helps any, I'm about 200lbs all kitted out for riding.

Also, I'm having a really hard time keeping track of which charger damper does what. There is at least an RC, RC2, and RCT3? I've read that they're the same, but with different parts being adjustable. But I've also read that some of them have different "tunes" from the factory, and, even more, I've read in a few threads that the "adjustments" don't actually adjust anything on a few of them.

Anyone able to straighten me out on this particular point of confusion?

Thanks again for your help everyone :).
The SoloAir is the air spring, and the Motion Control is the damper. Your fork has each of these. As for Charger 2 and 2.1 dampers, the RC2 has a bigger range of compression damping adjustment clicks, whereas the RCT3 just has three settings: open, pedal, lock (sort of). That is just the basic stuff. Hope that helps.
 

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you have the 2018 process right? i bought the same bike from jenson earlier this year. i am pretty sure you have a debonair air spring on that fork. if you look at the info tag just above the air pressure chart on the fork you will see what type of airspring it has below is the one from my 2018 yari rc on my process 153

Product Text Lens Photograph White


i think for 2018 the yari got the debonair air spring. also you can download the rockshox trailhead app and put in your serial number from the back of the crown and it will also show what spring you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
you have the 2018 process right? i bought the same bike from jenson earlier this year. i am pretty sure you have a debonair air spring on that fork. if you look at the info tag just above the air pressure chart on the fork you will see what type of airspring it has below is the one from my 2018 yari rc on my process 153



i think for 2018 the yari got the debonair air spring. also you can download the rockshox trailhead app and put in your serial number from the back of the crown and it will also show what spring you have.
Yeah, the 2018 Kona Process 153 AL (base model), I also bought it from Jenson (it was a sweet, sweet deal :)).

So, this got me wondering.

The spec sheet clearly says "solo air".

KONA BIKES | MTB | PROCESS | Process 153 AL 29

But when I go look at it in the garage, it says the same thing that yours does... Its weird that they wouldn't match. Maybe I'll try to look up the serial number (can you do that on the website, I've got an old phone that doesn't support the app).

Also, thanks for the feedback everyone so far. As I implied, I really don't want to waste money, as that "grinds my gears".

As far as tuning it? Do you mean "twiddling" the available adjustments until I like it? Or do you mean like custom tuning, with shim stacks, and all other manner of things I don't fully understand yet?

I've got compression (which I always run wide open), rebound, and air pressure. No LSC, or LSR adjustments on this fork. I spent a full day messing with rebound settings on the fork, and seem to prefer it a bit on the faster side. But beyond that... I'm not sure what else there is to tune it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The spec sheet also says specifications subject to change without notice... I think the spec sheet was created when the new model was introduced in 2017 and rockshox made a running change for the 2018 yari rc.

Here is the website for the serial number lookup. https://trailhead.rockshox.com/en/search/
Thanks for the info. I had just relied on the spec sheet, and embarrassingly, hadn't looked at the sticker that closely.

Well then, that's one "upgrade" I won't need to do then, which is some money back in my pocket. Thanks :).

Also, today I installed another volume spacer (finally got a cassette tool without a center pin). When I let the pressure out of the fork to do it, the fork "sucked down" almost all of its travel, and didn't return. I did a quick bit of research, and found that this is a somewhat common problem with them, and that the negative spring port sometimes gets clogged with grease. I pulled on it really hard with no air pressure, and got it to "un stick". Perhaps with that port un-plugged it will ride a bit better.

I'm headed to my first ever bike park tomorrow for a few runs. I'll see if the changes (extra volume spacer, perhaps the negative air spring port) make a difference.

Also, thanks everyone for helping me understand the model names. It sounds like RC is the base model damper with only LSC adjustment, then the RCT3 is the midrange with LSC adjustment, and 3 positions of HSC, and then RC2 is the high end, where its all adjustable.

At this point, I don't even touch my compression damping. So while the RC2 damper sounds nice, I honestly don't know if I'd use the extra adjustability.

Are there any other third party dampers that are as good, or better than the ~$250-280ish charger 2.1 RCT3 damper?
 

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Had a Yari on a 201 7 Enduro and didn't like it all. I pretty much only get along with Rockshox's RCT3 and Charger dampers. I had installed the Charger 2.0 damper and a Luftkappe air piston and the for was butter!!! Very nice upgrade's IMHO and cheaper than buying a new fork. Friends said my setup felt better than their own Lyriks. Value of these mods is subjective but if you plan to keep the fork for 2-3 seasons it would probably be worth it for you.
 

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Upgraded my yari to rc2. Money you feel every ride all the time. Came w the new debonair. It is a nice fork now. Spending more on full custom internals will make it better again im sure but i am not over riding the fork yet. The moco damper is just too basic. Like changing the stock shock on your f150 for some nice fox's. Do the same job. Just one does it better
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Followup here.

I serviced my fork lowers for the first time a week or so ago, and despite what the rockshox trailhead app says about my fork based on its serial number, I actually have a Soloair air spring installed (black color in the bottom of the airshaft, funny washers, etc).

I may end up throwing in a debonair spring as an upgrade now that I know that I'm on the solo.

I do have a damper question though (and again, I'm on a motion control damper).

I see lots of damper options. Of course the charger 2/2.1, but then I see things like Push, Novyparts, fast suspension, etc. Many of the damper upgrades seem to be upgrades on top of the charger though. And that seems like a pretty high price to pay to do the charger + another damper upgrade.

Are there other drop in damper options I should be considering? Or do they all really start with the charger as a baseline? Just exploring my options really.

Or maybe the smart play is to buy a used Lyrik, and sell my Yari (Yari's seem to sell for ~$300ish, while Lyriks go for ~$400-600ish)?
 

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As far as I have been able to find the novy and fast are the only drop in updates that don't require you to upgrade to charger 2. I actually just bought the novy and will be installing it this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As far as I have been able to find the novy and fast are the only drop in updates that don't require you to upgrade to charger 2. I actually just bought the novy and will be installing it this weekend.
Thanks for the heads up. I'm really curious to hear how you like it/how the installation goes.

Also, where did you find it, and how much did it cost? I'm so far not seeing any US based websites selling it (admittedly, haven't looked much).
 
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