Reestablishing trail dominance.
Back in 2013, the RockShox Pike asserted its dominance by offering aggressive trail riders the best of stiff-tracking support and fine-tunable settings with its 35-millimeter chassis paired with an excellent Charger damper. It was so good, RockShox left it virtually unchanged over the past four seasons, simply adding different sizes to accommodate new standards in tire and wheel sizes. However, as you're probably aware, the industry is rapidly evolving, threatening to leave the original Pike behind if RockShox didn't update its already excellent riding characteristics. Seeing the need to update the original, RockShox revamped the Pike RCT3 DebonAir 120 Boost 27.5in Fork to assert its dominance on the market for riders desiring increased tuning options and 2.8-inch tire compatibility (also clears 27.5 x 3.0-inch tires) without sacrificing its stiff, supportive feel.
At first glance, the new additions to the Pike RCT3 aren't immediately noticeable, which is a good thing if you prefer the sleek and stealth aesthetics found on past models of this fork. However, upon further examination, you'll find its lower legs are cut-out to reduce weight by approximately 20 grams while maintaining the legendary stiffness you've come to love from Pike forks. Since it's available in Boost spacing only, you'll not only reap the benefits of increased front wheel stiffness, but also find this fork works with the high volume tires up to 2.8-inches wide. Another update, the brake mounts only accommodate rotors in the range of 180 to 200 millimeters, seeing as how aggressive trail bikes now use larger rotors for increased stopping power.
You'll be pleasantly surprised to find its new Charger 2 damper unit retains the Open, Pedal, and Firm settings of the previous model, but with a wider range of low-speed compression adjust in Open mode, as well as re-tuned damping in Pedal mode for better support on long climbs and smooth-buffed trails. Firm mode gets an update as well, allowing for compatibility with RockShox OneLoc remotes. This is helpful if you're a competitive racer using RockShox rear shocks, as you can lock out the front and rear simultaneously to gain efficiency while sprinting for the finish or pedaling up smooth climbs. One more thing to note, the new Charger 2 damper gets a bleed port for easier servicing at home.
We'd be amiss to forgo mentioning the addition of RockShox's DebonAir spring for 2018. This update overhauls the previous Pike's SoloAir spring by increasing the negative air spring volume, thereby improving small-bump sensitivity without sacrificing its support across technical sections and bigger hits. The addition of DebonAir makes it all the more sensitive when you're pedaling across root and rock-infested sections of trail, giving you greater traction over bumps without feeling like it's overly harsh.
- Aggressive trail fork with greater sensitivity
- Stiff 35mm stanchions with lighter cut-out lowers
- BOOST spacing only, with clearance for tires up to 2.8in
- DebonAir increases sensitivity without sacrificing support
- Charger 2 damper offers greater range of adjustment in Open mode
- Pedal mode re-tuned for improved feel while climbing and pedaling
- Firm mode provides a stiff, locked-out feel over smooth terrain
- 51mm offset for nimbler 29er handling at slower speeds