By Adam Newman and Eric McKeegan.
The Pike name has been absent from the RockShox lineup for the past few years. First used on a 140mm travel 32mm chassis fork, the Pike was a favorite for hard chargers and even showed up on some dirt jump bikes. As the market evolved, other forks, such as the Revelation and Argyle took over and the Pike quietly disappeared.
In recent years the Fox 34 platform has been eating up market share in the heavy-duty trail and all-mountain markets, and RockShox didn’t quite have an answer. The Revelation was a little too skinny and the gravity-focused Lyric was a little too heavy. The Pike returns to fill that gap, a completely new 35mm platform that should go head-to-head with the Fox 34.
The new Pike has little in common with the fork first introduced nearly a decade ago. RockShox claims it has the stiffness of a Lyric with the weight closer to the Revelation, and its 140mm to 160mm of travel puts it square in the range of the rapidly exploding trail bike market.
With all three wheel sizes contenting for the top spot in that market, the Pike will be available for each—including a 150mm 29er version, a perfect match for bikes like the boundary-pushing Specialized Enduro 29.
Along with the larger stanctions, the lowers are asymmetrical to put more strength where it’s needed on the brake side and less on the damper side. Securing the wheel is an updated 15mm Maxle Lite. No 20mm Maxle version will be available. Has the 15mm standard finally won out for anything short of downhill and freeride bikes? Seems so, unfortunately.
The damper is complelty new as well. Aptly named the Charger, this new damper uses a bladder system to separate oil and air. The bladder is not a new idea, it’s been used in motocross forks for years, the FIT damper in FOX forks, and the newest Marzocchi forks. It also employs RockShox’s Rapid Recovery rebound circuit, first seen on the new Vivid DH rear shocks. The damper is available in either Dual Position Air or Solo Air versions. While those larger stanctions have a black anodized finish, it’s worth noting it is not the same as the pro-only super slick coating. The lowers will be available in black or white.
Stay tuned for more info and actual ride impressions. I know of a certain Enduro 29 that would be a great place for a 150mm 29er fork.
- Model: RCT3
- Wheel size: 26-inch, 27.5-inch, 29-inch
- Weight*: 26-inch – 1,835g (4.05 lb); 27.5-inch – 1,861g (4.10 lb); 29-inch – 1,876g (4.14 lb). *Weight based on 265mm, tapered aluminum steerer, 15mm Maxle.
- Travel: 26-inch and 27.5-inch – 150mm, 160mm; 29-inch – 140mm, 150mm
- Steerer: Tapered Aluminum
- Axle: Maxle Lite 15mm
- Adjustments: External rebound, low speed compression, 3-position compression (Open/Pedal/Lock)
- Spring: Dual Position Air, Solo Air
- Crown: Forged, hollow 7075 Aluminum
- Lowers: Magnesium, disc only
- Max rotor: 200mm
- Colors: Black, White
- MSRP: $980-$1,085
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