Never content resting on its laurels.
Seeing that the previous version of the Pike drew widespread acclaim for its stiff 35-millimeter chassis and excellent Charger damper, the engineers at RockShox didn't have to build an entirely new fork for 2018. However, the suspension gurus at RockShox weren't content with resting on their laurels, overhauling the Pike RCT3 DebonAir 120 Boost (51mm Offset) 29+ Fork with heightened levels of sensitivity, as well as increasing its adjustability range. Realizing that the ever-evolving complexities of the bike industry meant they couldn't just offer up the same chassis, RockShox designed the 2018 Pike RCT3 to accommodate BOOST axle standards and clear 29+ tires up to 3-inches wide.
Shaving a bit of weight from the previous Pike, RockShox slimmed down the lowers of the newest Pike RCT3, saving about 20 grams in the process (estimate based on 27.5-inch version's weight for 2018). Since it retains the 35-millimeter stanchions of the previous version, it doesn't sacrifice one ounce of stiffness or precise handling you've come to love from Pike forks. Another update, the brake mounts only accommodate rotors in the range of 180 to 200 millimeters, since modern bikes are increasing their stopping power to handle aggressive riding styles.
You'll be pleasantly surprised to find the new Charger 2 damper, which retains the 3-position adjustability of the previous fork, but with a greater range of low-speed compression tuning in Open mode. Another update over the original Charger damper, the Pedal mode is re-configured to offer a better pedaling platform on long climbs and smoother trails where reducing motion is warranted. One more overhaul, the Firm lock-out setting is now controllable with the separate purchase of RockShox's OneLoc remote. This is nice for competitive racers seeking to lock out the front and rear ends simultaneously while sprinting for the finish line or powering up smooth roads.
We'd be remiss to overlook RockShox's addition of the DebonAir spring for 2018. Borrowed from the Deluxe and SuperDeluxe rear shocks, this technology increases the negative air spring volume in the fork, thereby increasing its suppleness and sensitivity at the top stroke. This equates to a plush ride with greater traction when you're hammering away on trails with lots of tiny rocks and speed-robbing roots. Best of all, this DebonAir spring addition doesn't sacrifice support deeper in its travel, meaning you'll be able to push the newest Pike RCT3 to the absolute limit on rowdy sections of trail and high-speed descents.
Please note, this particular version of the Pike RCT3 has a 51-millimeter offset/rake, which reduces the "dead space" between the steering axis and hub. This makes 29ers with relatively slack geometries more nimble when you're riding at slow speeds and negotiating technical climbs that are notoriously hard to clean.
- Aggressive trail fork updated with heightened sensitivity
- Stiff 35mm stanchions with cut-out lowers for weight savings
- Available in BOOST only with clearance for 29+ tires up to 3in
- DebonAir spring 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 is OneLoc remote compatible with RockShox rear shocks
- Comes with 15 x 110mm Maxle Ultimate quick-release