Reconfigured for trail domination.
RockShox's Pike was so stunningly capable, it was left virtually unchanged over the past four seasons. Seeing the industry is rapidly evolving, the RockShox Pike RCT3 29 Charger DebonAir 130 Boost Fork updates an already capable chassis for 2018 with the introduction of the Charger 2 damper. This newly introduced damper provides an increased range of low-speed compression tuning and a reconfigured Pedal mode for climbing competency. Additionally, you'll find this particular Pike RCT3 offers 2.8-inch tire clearance on 29ers and up to 3.0-inch tire clearance on 27.5+ bikes, so you can gain loads of traction and bump-smoothing compliance.
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 of past models. 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 clears higher volume tires up to 2.8-inches wide on 29ers (3.0-inches on 27.5+ bikes). Another update, the brake mounts only accommodate rotors in the range of 180 to 200 millimeters, seeing aggressive trail bikes now run larger rotors for increased stopping power.
You'll be pleasantly surprised to find the Charger 2 damper 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 racing with RockShox rear shocks, as you can lock out the front and rear simultaneously 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 RockShox's continued use of the DebonAir spring for 2018. DebonAir 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. Ultimately, 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.
- RockShox's leading trail fork is more tunable than ever
- 35mm stanchions for stiff, precise tracking on rough trails
- DebonAir increases sensitivity without sacrificing support
- Charger 2 damper retains 3-position adjust: Open, Pedal, Firm
- Wider range of low-speed compression adjustment in Open mode
- Pedal mode re-tuned for improved feel on climbs and smooth trails
- Firm mode is compatible with OneLoc remote (available separately)
- Clears higher volume 29 x 2.8 and 27.5 x 3.0-inch tires