RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork - 27.5" 150mm MaxleLite15 $1,005.00
The high water mark.
If you're anything like us, you remember where you were when you heard that RockShox was discontinuing the Pike. After all, it was the archetypal, aggressive-use single crown fork that was just as home on big jumps as it was on all day rides. Needless to say, we were ecstatic when RockShox brought back the Pike RCT3 fork in an all-new 27.5-inch flavor. Far from being content to simply reissue the classic, the engineers at RockShox went back to the drawing board, and the result is a fork that comes in at just over four pounds, yet is sufficiently strong for the most aggressive enduro racers on the planet. As the first commercially available fork employing the new Charger sealed damper, the Pike shoulders a heavy burden of expectation. However, with a handful of Enduro World Series wins, not to mention the overall title under its belt, we'd say the pressure is off the Pike and onto the competition. Welcome to the next generation of mountain bike suspension.
Most noticeable is the redesigned chassis. While the original Pike chassis has since found its way into the Argyle lineup, the current version of the Pike has been completely reevaluated in the pursuit of a lighter, stiffer setup. That makes the tapered steerer tube an obvious choice. By increasing the diameter of the steerer tube at the crown, stiffness is greatly improved, especially under hard braking. Affixed to the oversized crown are similarly oversized 35mm diameter stanchions. Like the tapered steerer tube, the extra-large stanchions fight deflection under hard braking and aggressive cornering. As you work your way down to the lowers, the Power Bulge is immediately noticeable, and it's not just for looks either. It's there to increase the amount of room for oversized bushings, yet again improving stiffness. The resulting chassis tracks so well that RockShox felt confident in outfitting the Pike with a lighter weight 15mm Maxle Lite quick-release thru-axle. It all adds up to a four pound fork that's proven its mettle at the highest levels of competition.
The brand new chassis is exciting, but what has really piqued our interest is the sealed Charger damper. Unlike previous iterations of RockShox's dampers, the Charger damper uses a seamless extruded bladder to create an airtight seal for the damper fluid. This minimizes the chances of air bubbles entering your damping oil, and as a result, providing unparalleled damper consistency, especially on long runs. The same reliable Solo Air spring that has become a RockShox staple finds its way onto the Pike. The rebound circuit uses SRAM's Rapid Recovery technology, which employs a finely tuned shim stack that keeps the fork riding high in its travel, only without sacrificing a controlled rebound stroke. This blend of technologies has proven to be a high watermark for the suspension performance that we've come to expect from RockShox. And this is no gimmick either.
In addition to a stunning breakout season with the Pike on the EWS, the Charger damper was tested in the Boxxer chassis by SRAM's Blackbox athletes on the World Cup Downhill circuit. The result was Blackbox riders taking home the overall titles in both the EWS and World Cup Downhill for the 2013 season. In other words, the Pike has the competition scrambling to catch up.
The RockShox Pike RCT3 27.5 Fork with 150mm MaxleLite 15 is available with a tapered steerer tube, a 15mm QR axle, and in the color black.
Reviews & Community
Blew me away
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I've been a loyal Fox customer for quite a while. I loved the bombproof quality of the forks, but I always thought they required a bit more tuning and maintenance and a much longer break in before they really felt optimal.
Enter the Pike. I had heard about this fork, and after demoing it at a local event, I was blown away by the smooth, buttery feel of the travel. My initial thought was "well, these are demo bikes, so they've had tons of time to let the oil cycle and the seals break in, which is why they feel so awesome". Even so, I decided to give it a go on the new Ibis Mojo HDR 650b I was building up.
I went with the 27.5 inch 150mm SoloAir platform, because I've never used a travel adjust and never found it necessary. I installed it, and was shocked at how good the fork felt right out of the box. Cycled it a couple times, set up the sag and compression, and got moving.
The 35mm stanchions give such a precise, stiff platform, that the fork really only moves in an up and down manner, there's no tweaking or torsion side to side. The action is buttery smooth, and with 20% sag, there is no brake dive or hyper squishiness when standing up and mashing on the pedals. Rebound is easily tuneable, and it's super simple to get the fork dialed, it took me about 3 rides whereas it took me an average of about 5-10 for the fox forks.
Maintenance is super easy, simply drop the lowers with a 24mm socket and a 8mm socket. The oil change intervals are also less frequent than with fox, which I like.
Overall, super super impressed, I would recommend this fork for any all mountain/trail/enduro rider, it really is a game changing fork like Nate said below.
Game Changing Fork
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Believe the hype about this fork. It is the new girl on the block and has come in with some new flair to the game. With 35mm stanchions, this fork is very stiff and tracks amazingly well on descents. The small bump compliance is incredible it smooths out the trail very well. Sram made this fork very user friendly with markings on the lower part of the stanchions to indicate 15%, 20% and 30% sag you can easily set up the PSI just how you like it. I like to set up my suspension so it has an active feel that allows me to utilize the suspension to help move the bike around. This fork is great at doing that while at the same time provides a plush enough to eat everything you can throw at it and then ask whats for dinner. If you have any questions about this or any other fork feel free to give me a call.
Here is my contact information: My direct line 801.736.6396 ex. 4389. Feel free call to me anytime, I?m always happy to talk about bikes or gear or the weather. Whatever works! I?m here Mon, Tues and Friday 1:30-10pm MST and Saturday 9-5:30 as well as Sunday 10-7. I look forward to speaking with you.