Keeping up with the times.
The previous Pike was so stunningly capable, RockShox left it virtually unchanged over the past four seasons. However, the industry's push towards progression threatened to leave the Pike behind if the engineers at RockShox didn't improve upon its already capable chassis and damper. Seeing the need to remain relevant in an ever-changing marketplace with more options than ever, RockShox revamped the Pike RCT3 29 Charger DebonAir 140 Boost Fork with an increased range of low-speed compression tuning, a reconfigured Pedal mode for climbing competency, and 2.8-inch tire clearance without sacrificing its stiff, supportive feel when you're plunging into steep, rock-strewn lines.
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 higher 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 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.
This particular Pike fork is available in Boost spacing only for greater wheel stiffness over rocky trails where a larger 29-inch wheel would normally suffer from torsional deflection. It's available in either 42 or 51-millimeter offset options, so you can tailor it to your 29er's geometry, depending on your frame's overall length and head tube angle, among other figures.
- RockShox's industry leading all-mountain and trail fork
- Stiff, precise-tracking 35mm stanchions with cut-out lowers
- DebonAir increases sensitivity without sacrificing support
- Charger 2 damper with 3-position knob: Open, Pedal, and Firm
- Wider range of low-speed compression tuning in Open mode
- Pedal is re-tuned for improved climbing and pedaling feel
- Firm prevents excess motion over smooth terrain and roads
- Available in Boost spacing only, 42 and 51mm offset options