RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork - 29" 150mm MaxleLite15 $1,085.00
Long live the king.
Mountain bikers the world over mourned the day that RockShox discontinued the Pike. After all, it was the archetypal aggressive-use, single crown fork that was just as at home on big jumps as it was on all-day rides. So it goes without saying that we were ecstatic when RockShox announced the Pike RCT3 Dual Position Fork, and for 29-inch wheels, no less. And rather than simply issuing a slight revision to the classic, the engineers at RockShox went back to the drawing board. 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 nearly four pound fork that's proven its mettle at the highest levels of competition.
The Dual Position Pike makes use of RockShox's Dual Position air spring. This gives you the option of running a shorter 110mm stroke for improved climbing precision, or extending it to the full 150mm travel for rallying down gnarly descents. But the most interesting part of the new Pike 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 rebound circuit uses SRAM's Rapid Recovery technology, which employs a finely tuned shim stack that keeps the fork riding high in its travel 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 29 Dual Position Fork with 150mm MaxleLite 15 is available with a tapered steerer tube, a 15mm QR axle, and in the color White.