RockShox Pike - Review

Jul 3, 2013
by Mike Levy  
Available in a number of different travel and wheel size variations - our test fork is the Solo Air RCT3 model for 27.5'' wheels - RockShox's new Pike fork is aimed squarely at the trail/all-mountain segment. The Pike name might be familiar to riders who have been around for a few years, but the fork is entirely new both inside and out. Our 27.5'' wheel compatible Pike features 150mm of travel via RockShox's Solo Air spring (30mm of travel adjustment is possible by way of their Dual Air spring system found on other models), and like all of the Pike forks, it utilizes their brand new and highly touted Charger damper instead of the long standing Mission Control unit found in their BoXXer and Lyrik offerings. That will change in the future, though, with the Charger damper being spotted in BlackBox-spec BoXXer forks at recent World Cup races, meaning that we'll likely soon see it used across the board on RockShox's high-end products. Externally, the fork's chassis makes use of 35mm stanchions that receive a hard anodized black finish (this is different from the BlackBox-only DLC or limited BlackGold treatment), and sturdy looking lowers that feature more material on the disc side where the forces are higher. Casting details also include slightly less magnesium on the damper side as it does not require the same volume as the spring leg, shaving further grams, and a redesigned and much sturdier 15mm Maxle Lite thru-axle.

RockShox Pike Solo Air RCT3 Details
• Intended use: trail/all-mountain
• Travel: 150mm
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• New Charger damper (closed, serviceable)
• External adjustments: rebound, low-speed compression, pedal assist
• 35mm stanchions w/ black hard anodizing
• Redesigned 15mm Maxle Lite axle (no 20mm option)
• Steerer: taper only
• Colours: black, white
• Weight: 1861g/4.10lb
• Availability: June, 2013
• MSRP: $1,005 USD (other models: $980 - $1085 USD)

Charger Damper

RockShox's previous damper design utilized an emulsion-based layout that made allowances for air in the system, with the air gap acting as a compensator for shaft displacement as the fork was compressed, and this includes their high-end Mission Control damper that they use in their BoXXer and Lyrik forks. The reason for the air is that oil does does not compress, meaning that the fork would not be able to absorb impacts if the leg or cartridge body were only full of oil. This design is often simpler but can mean that the oil and air can mix enough to cause the resulting air bubbles to pass through the damping circuits, resulting in a loss of damping and control.

However, a closed and pressurized damper like the Charger system is completely full of oil and has essentially no air within it, meaning that there is far less chance of it foaming during hard, extended use. How does the damper compress if it is completely full of oil? In order for a closed damper to work, it must employ some sort of compensator that allows for expansion under compression - picture the internal floating piston in the piggyback of a rear shock that pushes against the air trapped on the opposite side of the oil, thereby allowing for displacement. Rather than an IFP, the Charger damper uses an extruded rubber bladder to accomplish the exact
same task, with the bladder expanding as the damper shaft travels into the cartridge as the fork compresses. This is far from a new idea, but it is one that makes a lot of sense within a fork because a bladder does not present any of the friction and packaging issues of an IFP design.

RockShox Pike

The Charger damper's compression assembly that is hidden underneath its extruded bladder.


RockShox isn't claiming that the concept behind the Charger damper is new - they are very aware that bladders have been used in FOX's FIT cartridges for years, as well as squeezed within the piggyback of many moto shocks - but they have gone to great lengths to improve on the design. Reliability was paramount during development, we were told, and it is for this reason that they chose to go with an extrusion process rather than molding to manufacture the damper's bladder. Their thinking is that molding results in seams and geometry changes in the bladder that can lead to weak points, whereas an extrusion technique produces a long and seam-free section of rubber tubing that is then cut to the correct length. When asked how long a rider could expect the bladder to last, RockShox product manager Jeremiah Boobar answered with "years."


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The bladder at rest when the fork is fully extended (left), and the bladder expanded when the fork is compressed (right)



Simplified Air Spring

All Pike models will be air sprung, with riders able to choose from either a Dual Position Air (DPA) system that allows for 30mm of travel adjustment by way of simplified internals compared to previous iterations, or the fixed-travel Solo Air option that is tested here for those who don't feel the need to lower the front of their bike for climbing or tamer terrain. The spring rate on all versions of the Pike can be tuned by way of RockShox's 'Bottomless Tokens', plastic spacers that are threaded by hand into the underside of the top cap. Multiple Bottomless Tokens can be stacked up in order to increase the progressiveness of the fork throughout its travel.

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Some Pike models use RockShox's Dual Position Air travel adjust system (left), although our test fork employs their non-adjustable Solo Air spring. Volume spacers (right) can be used to adjust the fork's progression, if required.


RockShox Pike



New Chassis

The Pike's Charger damper isn't the only thing to talk about, though, with it sitting inside of a completely new fork chassis that features 35mm stanchions, a new crown and steerer assembly, and impressively detailed lowers that contribute to the fork's relatively light 4.05lb weight. A revised 15mm Maxle Lite ties the legs together, with it forgoing the sometimes fragile lever catch of the original design. While the previous version depended on expansion to tighten up, the new axle's simpler thread-in and clamp system uses compression to accomplish the same task. Clocking the
quick release lever to the proper angle is done by removing the axle from the fork, pushing the lever-end into the axle, and turning until it sits in the proper place, a job that should only need to be done once. The new lowers are also home to simpler fork seals that combine both dust and oil duties into one single-lip unit, something that is possible thanks to the new closed Charger damper cartridge that separates damping and lubrication oils.

Sag gradients on the right side stanchion allow for quick and easy spring rate setup. Compression adjustments are made at the top of the right fork leg, with the large dial offering full open, pedal, and lock settings. The smaller inner dial adjusts the amount of low-speed compression damping when the fork is set to full-open, and low-speed rebound is tuned via the red aluminum knob at the bottom of the same leg. The dial is captured, meaning that it can't rattle out during a ride like as on some older RockShox forks, and its detent ball bearing and spring are also trapped within the dial for the same reason.

RockShox Pike

The Pike's new Maxle Lite 15mm thru-axle looks much sturdier than the older expansion dependent design.





Performance

One thing became clear even before we hit the dirt with the new Pike under us: the fork is strikingly smooth at the top of its stroke. That slippery feel is also apparent when the fork changes direction in its travel, moving from compression to rebound, and certainly added to the Pike's animated ride. There are a few things that contribute to this, but RockShox's new single-lip seals are likely the biggest factor - previous forks used a more traditional dual dust and oil seal layout - and the action is very much akin to an open bath fork. While the fork's stiction-free stroke might not carry as much weight as a dialled spring curve or well behaved damper, the smoothness of the Pike, even when brand new, was a sign that we should be expecting good things on the trail.

While we've often found manufacturer's recommended air pressure settings to be well off for real world use by a competent rider, and that's including previous RockShox forks, the pressure chart on the Pike's left leg turned out to be close to spot on. At 170lb full geared up, we began with 75psi (RockShox says that 65 - 75psi is ideal for a 160 - 180lb rider) pumped into our Solo Air spring, and actually ended up dropping that down by 5psi, not something that we often find ourselves doing with an air sprung fork. We believe that the Pike's Charger damper, with its ability to properly control the fork's compression stroke, is one of the major reasons for the slightly lower air pressure than we were expecting to have to use, as well as RockShox's spring rate that ramps up just right when pushing the fork hard. In fact, we didn't find the need to use RockShox's 'Bottomless Token' volume spacers, which was surprising given that we tested the fork on relatively steep terrain with some good sized impacts.

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The chunkier, the better. The Pike dealt with everything that we threw at it in an impressively controlled manner. Photo: Adrian Marcoux


It is clear that RockShox has been listening over the last few years. The Pike's Charger damper offers a supportive feel that doesn't translate to harshness when the rider isn't charging hard, somehow striking a great balance for those times when you are really on it, but also for days when you are dialled back a bit. This aligns with our earlier impressions of the Pike when we first rode it in Sedona, Arizona, with it continuing to impress us on our home terrain in southwestern B.C.. Low-speed compression moments - rolling down a steep rockface, landing on a nice transition, and heavy braking - all showed that the fork remained very composed and stable, leaving both more travel available for when it was needed and also preserving the geometry of our Ibis HDR test bike. We found that it was possible to dial in a bit too much low-speed compression via the dial atop the right fork leg, though, and that six clicks out of twelve was more than enough for our liking. Even with it backed completely off, there was still a considerable amount of control.

The Pike's capabilities when ridden over fast, rough ground were a revelation, with it offering a sense of calmness usually reserved for forks sporting an extra 50mm of travel. Let's not get too carried away, though, because the Pike doesn't pretend to be anything close to a true downhill fork, but the level of control on tap from the Charger damper is like nothing we have felt before from fork in this travel bracket. Controlled and relaxed, it did well to take out much of the harsh spiking that we would expect to upset the bike, and the interesting thing is that it did it in an very uncompromising way. What we mean by that is that setting up a fork to perform well in one or two aspects can be pretty straightforward, but you will often sacrifice performance in other aspects to get what you're looking for. We didn't see that imbalance with the Pike, with it able to level out everything from small chatter, fast and hard repeat hits, and large bottom-out impacts.

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What impressed us most was the fork's ability to be set up to iron out not only the roughest sections of trail, but also tamer bits that we might have expected it to feel harsh on. Photo: Adrian Marcoux


Our Solo Air Pike doesn't feature the 30mm of adjustable travel of the Dual Position Air (Levy prefers the set and forget approach - ed.), but its three-way adjustable compression damper atop the right leg allowed us to firm up the fork's stroke for when we were faced with a commute to the mountain or a long access road climb to get to the goods. While the low-speed compression dial controls the amount of damping when set to the full open position, the larger dial underneath offers two more options: pedal and lockout. We didn't get much use from the prior though, preferring to simply lock out the fork's travel for any extended, smooth climbing.

While we could ramble on and on about how well the Pike's damper performed, the fork's revised Maxle Lite axle is also a huge improvement, especially for the more ham fisted home mechanics out there. No longer are riders forced to leverage the Maxle lever against the thin outer walls of the older axle's lever catch, a setup that often led to damage when a rider either over-tightened the axle or was in a rush and didn't have the lever fully engaged in its slot. The Pike's Maxle Lite does away with all that, now being a much more solid feeling thread-in and clamp design instead of the previous expansion dependent design.

Much to many riders' protests, the 20mm axle featured on many mid-travel forks from years past won't be making a comeback anytime soon, although there is still a clamor when a new all-mountain or trail fork is released with a 15mm thru-axle. This was true of the initial Pike launch a few months ago, with many comments centered on the fork's 15mm axle. While we would be inclined to agree that 20mm across the board does make a lot of sense, we have to admit to the Pike feeling as rigid as we would ever require from a fork of its travel. In fact, it can boast of having a much more torsionally rigid chassis overall than a 150mm travel Revelation with a 20mm thru-axle, another fork that we've put countless hours of trail time on. Cross-compatibility with other wheelsets in your stable of bike parts might be a whole other argument, but rigidity is the sum of a fork's entire chassis, not just its axle, and the Pike's crown, lowers, and 35mm stanchions offer more than enough for any rider, 15mm axle included.


Issues

We have zero complaints at this point in our time aboard the new Pike, with it performing well in all regards. Having said that, the key to the fork's success will be RockShox's ability to produce a consistently reliable product that won't give consumers trouble a year or two down the road. RockShox is claiming that the Charger damper requires an impressively lax 200 hour service interval (they say 100 hours for BoXXer damper), and that the design's extruded bladder should be essentially trouble-free for a very, very long time. If the Pike's longterm reliability can match its performance, RockShox will have hit a home run.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe new Pike ticks all of the boxes when it comes to outright performance: a dialled spring curve, plenty of adjustability, and a damper that offers incredible performance for both a pro-level rider and a weekend warrior out for a casual rip. Factor in both its weight and overall chassis rigidity and you have a fork that we believe is best in class.- Mike Levy


www.sram.com/rockshox

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214 Comments

  • + 123
 taper only... now they're just pissing people off ..
  • + 54
 I think they've slightly missed the point of the old pike, a do it all fork, 20mm, not tapered, easily adjustable travel ect. But above all it was affordable to everyone
  • + 104
 Then buy the old pike on ebay...
  • + 110
 So buy a sector?

The new pike isent designed to replace the old one, its dedidgned to do head to head with the fox 34
  • + 23
 I had to shag my brain out for a week to find a headset for tapered head tube on my new frame that would accept straight steerer on my old fork. Tapered head tubes are not going anywhere, straight ones are almost dead, and for good reasons - so I'm all for tapered steerers and nothing else.
  • + 41
 This whole ridiculous debate could have been avoided if they'd used a new name. Just forget about the old Pike for a minute, imagine this is a whole new fork (which it is). Suddenly the 'no straight steerer/no 20mm axle' arguements look silly.
  • - 1
 brit-100 - no, name is 100% irrelevant: it is a fork for 650B and 29" wheels (read longer leverage of the force) that has more than 120mm of travel. Current 15mm axles are for XC racers period. Fabien Barel complained about it, even Curtiss Keene in the past when comparing Revelation to Lyrik. Bike handling depends a lot on fork stiffness which is mostly about the nr of braces (crown, arch, axle) then their constuction: crown is the most important, then the axle, then arch. Axle clamps are already flexier because of that tool-free crap, and now you get a thinner axle. And Fox goes totaly mad with 15mm axles, by having no proper clamp what so ever on non-drive, rotor side. This thing is just slid in there and soft magnesium uppers are perfect to deform and develop play. Then the axle screws into an element that is separate from uppers - WTF?! RS has at least an expanding collar on drive side and threads in directly to magnesium.

20mm axles for anything used in aggressive riding - period.
  • - 24
flag vmedchagr (Jul 3, 2013 at 2:17) (Below Threshold)
 It can be used with old frames with special adapters. It will work great. I like the new pike, looks promising.
  • + 48
 @vmedchagr Forgive my ignorance, but how is there an adapter to make a BIGGER steerer go in a SMALLER hole??!??!?!?
  • + 147
 Just train repeatedly and deliberately and you'll fit a fist in there... shit wrong forum
  • + 19
 So, I take it no-one read this bit then...
Much to many riders' protests, the 20mm axle featured on many mid-travel forks from years past won't be making a comeback anytime soon, although there is still a clamor when a new all-mountain or trail fork is released with a 15mm thru-axle. This was true of the initial Pike launch a few months ago, with many comments centered on the fork's 15mm axle. While we would be inclined to agree that 20mm across the board does make a lot of sense, we have to admit to the Pike feeling as rigid as we would ever require from a fork of its travel. In fact, it can boast of having a much more torsionally rigid chassis overall than a 150mm travel Revelation with a 20mm thru-axle, another fork that we've put countless hours of trail time on. Cross-compatibility with other wheelsets in your stable of bike parts might be a whole other argument, but rigidity is the sum of a fork's entire chassis, not just its axle, and the Pike's crown, lowers, and 35mm stanchions offer more than enough for any rider, 15mm axle included.

....seems so given the comments above and below.
Why not give the professional product developers, engineers, designers and their sponsored pro-riders a bit of benefit of the doubt. As Levy says, the issue for many is not stiffness, but compatibility. Novatec 4 in 1 hubs anyone?
  • + 21
 A 20mm hub converted to take a 15mm axle outways any weight saving on the axle. So you just end up with a less rigid fork and the extra cost of the conversion kit. As most hubs are manufactured to be adaptable to 9mm/15mm/20mm, how will there ever be any benefit as you are always going to need an extra bit of metal to get back to 15mm?

***'20mm across the board does make a lot of sense'***
  • - 1
 Orientdave - yes that makes sense. I will still btch on clamp design: Give me a 12mm axle and a 25mm bore for it, clamped with 2 bolts each (or solid QRs like Fox 36) and it will be a stiffer brace than Fox 15mm tools-free stuff and most probably stiffer than Maxle-lite on that Pike. If you look at clamping on 36 series it is damn robust.
  • + 4
 Yeah, although I am usually in the progress is better camp, and there is surely no reason to make straight head tube bikes anymore- I own one, and it's nowhere near dead yet. The fork is though... and that leaves me looking for a used one to rebuild...
  • + 19
 So why doesn't everyone stop whining and buy a fork with 20mm instead like the Lyrik?
  • + 1
 fair, think all the new stuff is good but a name change would make sense as the pricing completely changes the kind of fork it is as does the inability to change the travel like I can on my 08 pikes
  • + 4
 clarky78 - because we all want it to be a lighter Lyrik. We believe in the magic of innovation and development - 300g chopped off with no side-effects, the crown half of the size yet just as stiff, somehow... somewhere... something... something, something... daaark siiiiide
  • + 3
 clarky78, because the lyrik is longer travel, making it an entirely different fork.
  • - 1
 if it came in a straight steerer I would buy this
  • - 1
 still better then my suntours though...
  • + 40
 As someone who used to ride DH with a 9 mm qr, stop complaining. Just go ride your bike, I guarantee its plenty stiff
  • + 4
 I hope you have a big trunk because I am sticking my pike in it!
  • + 2
 I hardly think 10mm is worth crying over, and if your refereing to the travel adjust model, then I consider that fork lightweight enough to justify the 15mm axle. the Marzocchi 44 also has a 15mm, so it's safe to say this class of fork is not intended for the use requiring a 20mm.. On the flipside, I agree that 20mm is far superior and for compatibility reasons would also benefit. But you ain't getting a 20mm in this fork so quit bitching about it and buy something with a 20mm. Same reason I won't ride anything with less than 36mm legs, I hate spaghetti on my bike, on my plate it's great though!
  • - 4
flag 3lfd3wd (Jul 3, 2013 at 10:19) (Below Threshold)
 10mm is absolutely worth 'crying' over, because it easily falls on a boundary for certain bikes. I might get away with fitting a 150mm fork to my 140mm bike, but a 160mm would be too much. The lyrik is a fork designed for another type of bike, not the same as the pike. I just wish the pike came in a straight steerer personally, as I don't have a tapered head tube.
  • + 8
 "I think they've slightly missed the point of the old pike, a do it all fork, 20mm, not tapered, easily adjustable travel ect. But above all it was affordable to everyone"

I think you've slightly missed the point of the word 'new'...
  • + 7
 Did no one catch that the bike is an Ibis 650B? I'm the only one that cares? okay im gonna shut up now.
  • + 4
 Patiently waiting one single photo of a Pike or a Revelation in a test stand w/ a lever mounted between the dropouts measuring torsion under known loads from the "In fact, it can boast of having a much more torsionally rigid chassis overall than a 150mm travel Revelation with a 20mm thru-axle, another fork that we've put countless hours of trail time on" crowd.

One pic. Otherwise shennanigans. Your subjective ride experience across multiple years, bikes, front wheels, terrain, is not a substitute for data. 15QR might turn out to be fine, CSUs might be more important than axles, engineers might actually be trying to make products better and not just cheaper, but you can't simply _assert_ this stuff. Blogging for f-ing Pinkbike doesn't make you a calibrated instrument. (But you might be a tool. Zing! I'll be here all week, folks. Try the veal.)
  • + 20
 Can't fit 650B on a Lyric either (Fox did this to the new 36 too proving they're trying to cram their POS 34 down the 650B wheel crowd's throat). If the Lyric would fit 650B I'd take the weight penalty for an already known to be great fork with a 20mm axle, but it doesn't fit 650B.

Companies are trying to "define" this new Enduro craze just like they were trying to define "Freeride" and Downhill before it... Eventually we'll get the smart products, but it'll take a few years of this forced regression and pointless engineering. LemonadeMoney makes THE most solid oint, MOST quality hubs are 20MM compatible so you're just paying to convert to a smaller axle and that's pointless. I'm glad it;s stiff, but I'd rather have a 20mm axle and have ONE axle standard for the front end for anything over 130mm of travel. XC race bikes use 15mm axles AM bikes should use 20mm end of story. Currently X-Fusion are the only company that heavier/harder riding 650B guys can look to for a 20mm/650B option for 2013. Fox's 36 WAS able to fit 650B but for some reason they changed that...

This shouldn't have been called the "Pike" plain and simple, It's an all new fork, it looks SICK, and I'm guessing it's a very nice ride. I AM glad to see them get at least 35mm stanchions on it (34 is regression, not progression) And if the overall stiffness is there, that's hard to argue with. I see potential for longevity issues with the 15mm axle, but we shall see. I'm guessing once the team riders start coming in asking for a 20mm option we'll see one... and they are/will be asking for it.
  • + 1
 +1 for the medic Smile
  • + 2
 +1 for the medic from me as well
  • + 1
 Truesay.

Equally people getting all hung up on a name is a bit silly. I mean we managed to get over "Shimano Zee" because the product is awesome.

I still think I'm on the other side of the fence with regards to the axle size debate, but The-Medic puts forward the most eloquent counter case I've seen. It's my opinion that with the advances in chassis and steerer stiffness negate the need to for a 20mm axle for anything below 150/160mm. We might as well enjoy the other advantages in terms of weight etc.
  • + 3
 jackclark89 - apart from the fact that medic spoke of anything above 130mm should have 20mm with what I agree. There are no advances in chassis made what so ever it is same material and production method used. You need meat for the crown, meat for the clamp and bushing spacing (watch Fox 180). Sektor drops 500g and Rev 700g off of old Pike, not because of any advancement, innovation or R&D miracle, but because there's less material on the crown, then with Maxle-lite clamping is simplified, nearly removed. All of that at the win of weight and cost of rigidity. Sure there is optimization, old Pike was probably too burly, but because weight win is so little with 15mm axle (clamping surface and tolerance) and accompanying poor clamping design, the trade off might be too big.

Most importantly, that weight win (which is the only argument for 15mm existence) is not in the fork itself, where as far as I am concerned we are talking 20g or less - but in the front hub. Such hubs use smaller bearings and bodies hence weight saving (and increased wear). We are talking of saving by average 50g on a hub (comparing to 176g Hope), so we get 70g in total, 90g at best if you lash out a fortune for 106g Tune Princess hub! But wait - If you are actualy using a 20mm hub with conversion kit, you win next to nothing! Most factory wheelsets, aiming at the same market segment, Enduro, use bearings fitting 20mm axles, and come with conversions kits. To name the few: Crossmax SX and ST, Sram 90, Easton Haven.

So kadong! in such arrangement with 15mm axle you only win those 20g - a rim tape, a seat clamp, not even a half of one lock-on grip - as simple as that, ring a bell?
  • + 4
 your still focusing on function.. this is just the decoy..
the deal is that we keep buying stuff // all over again.. sell sell sell .. hence the term.. "marketing"
this is new...
your fav racer is riding it
(we say) this is better..
look .. new colours.. etc
  • + 2
 yes I've written about it excessively many times, also under that article. But then that is considered "trolling" so I wanted to give a few "true facts", "actual knowledge", you know - numbers - stuff that "engineers" are able to comprehend Big Grin
  • + 3
 I think the biggest reason to go with the 15mm axle is to reinforce this is an Enduro/trail fork, not a lightweight replacement for the Lyric. They removed a lot of material to hit that weight. I remember a review of a Nixon that was used in Whistler, and it eventually blew up. The Nixon was not designed for that level of use, but the overbuilt Travis was. ( still have a 2005 Travis. Heavy, but bombproof. It has been revavled and works as well as any of my modern forks.) This is the same reason the DT Swiss 1500 forks dropped the 20mm, and went 15mm only. They had too many warranty claims from people using them as lightweight freeride forks.
  • + 1
 But if you designed a proper clamp for a 15mm axle, you could probably run it on a freaking Totem. BTW Travis with TPC+ or that first Intrinsic damper was a gem indeed!

If to take a marketing view at it, then it is quite clear to me that back in 2005 all those die-hard XC bikers wanted to ride mid-travel bikes but the peer pressure did not allow them to make such move. It was a time when people still thought that bike that could do everything is bike for nothing. It was a time when you had huck-to-flat 3.0 Gazza, Bulky armors on one side of "big-wallet-big-ego-but-no-clue" spectrum (read: buying force), and 560 bars with 140 stems and 1.75 tyres on the other. The first part got long travel single crown forks (66 with 888 lowers, Travis 200 - eee hello...) while the other got 15mm axles. Both needed a delicate incentive to move into the right direction. A thing that still had sense of belonging to their own precious world, but borrowed definite advantages of the other teams gear. Just as Enduro finaly grabs both to make an ultimate blend - I think that transformation will be complete by the end of this year. At least in my "peer group" people accepted do-it-all bikes no earlier than 2010, when Dirt Earthed / Sam Hill induced DH hype burned out.
  • + 2
 i dont think a 20mm axles makes people use it as a FR fork.. i can even grasp the idea that the axle makes the difference..
peeps will abuse products unrelated to their specifications.. (maybe weight ?)
its what they CAN afford or allready have.. or just has to do..
convert your hub.. and you can still use it for your choice of riding with the 15mm axle..
but if you look back at the bikes of the last rampage.. there were very few bikes build up for that kind of abuse... light front wheels.. and SC forks.
as for your Travis willy.. thats the precise thing they want to eliminate.. forks that last en dont break down.
those products dont make any money,,
  • + 1
 The 150mm Travis is almost 6lbs though. It would be nearly impossible to sell now at that weight.

The 15mm axle on the fork is probably strong enough for FR, but how many wheels built with 15mm specific hubs can be used for FR? The wheel will likely break before the fork. You can't just bolt your old 3000g MTX's on to this fork and have at it.
  • + 1
 ehrr.. that last part.. really doesnt make any sense ... hubs .. wheels.. 3kg mtx >???
  • + 1
 Willie has a point. I remember it was the same when Banshee was put off with full on 1.5 head tube with the first Spitfire - they realized it would make one part of people to trash the bike senslesly and the other part, more importantly, who wouldn't buy it because it would think the bike is useless for XC since it has a headtube to fit a 180mm single crown. Nevertheless I was refering the utter pointlessness of the existence of 15mm axles in Newtonian universe that got us into that trouble in the first place...
  • + 5
 You can count on the PB warriors to downvote any challenge to what they like, be it rider, writer, or brand. But the fact remains that nearly every review posted to this site is peppered w/ technical and psuedo-technical language that the authors don't seem to understand brings their writing out of the safe zone of subjective opinion and into a place where they are making factual, testable claims.

**And they haven't actually done the testing**

You bloggers eat sleep and breath cycling industry marketing, and for many years now that marketing has focused on technologies, either real, superficial, or fictional. So you adopted the talk. It makes you sound serious and knowledgeable. Like there is some science in cycling and bicycle reviewing.

And it is serious, and there is some science--that's exactly the problem. You are using the language of science without acknowledging--let alone applying--the rigors of science. You are using big boy words you might understand but should know you can't actually back up. To make yourself sound more plugged in. And you get away with it because kind-hearted readers are willing to give the benetfit of the doubt, that you really did get some dyno numbers and datalogging from SRAM, saw the graphs on your laptop, and then wrote your little piece on fork rigidity. Or on brake system heat management. Or on damping oil cavitation. Or on mainframe, swingarm and pivot stiffness. Or on handlebar vibration damping.

But we both know you didn't measure anything. So why do your opinions about what might be happening sound so much like assertions of what is happening? Do you have to write as if you know more than you truly do? We value your opinions as a rider. Something for the journalists among us to consider.
  • + 6
 Journalist: "SRAM claims the new fork is 15% stiffer torsionally than the old fork"

Really good journalist: "SRAM claims the new fork is 15% stiffer torsionally than the old fork. Torsional stiffness is the fork' s resistance to twisting motion around the steering axis, and comes into play in precise front wheel tracking through technical terrain or under high loads, like hard cornering. We are doubtful that the average rider will be able to percieve such a small change (15%), but we think added stiffenss is always a good thing."

Shill: "There is a massive increase in torsional stiffness!"

What is A? What is B? What is the difference? And how does the difference matter? (That one is very important). Lastly, who did the work, and with what methods? That's science. If it's too much work, stay home. "I thought the bike handed great" will always be yours to use as you please.
  • - 1
 Snfoilhat: very true... I enjoyed your text indeed. Too bad when we talk "science", apart from mr Newton, mr Doppler, or mr. Adam Smith there was mr.Freud. And then there was mr. Plato and a couple of other people who were quite smart to realize that "reality" and "laws of physics" can be quite irrelevant depending on a situation. In fact all those great Scientists (apart from mr Richard Dawkins off course!) are or were quite loose headed, the establishment did not like them too much... Does one need to go through all this experience to be able to say something? How would any real invention be possible if we just took our hands into something we know down to the bone, if we related only to what's already been done? You talk of marketing and where else is the utter ridiculousness of every human more vivid?

You see, you are fully aware of all this, and you still wrote that text. What for? And you did want to sound knowledgeable to cut it, haven´t you? You created an aura of being an industry insider. I've been writing with few of the "industry insiders" - they just write their full name and company under the message...

We all play some game, it is just too hard to be ourselves - everyone can be fooled - we fool ourselves way too often. So just sit back and watch it passing by
  • + 2
 And if you haven't noticed, few people here: Willie, seraph, kramster, deeight, protour, darkstar, spaced seem to enjoy arguing with each other as each of us wrote more words than fkng Dan Brown did in all his books. After deeper consideration none of us just like won't be able to explain why he did it. Maybe some psychologist can, after she finishes arguing with her teenage daughter with the sentence "I don't know what is wrong with you!"

Facts? f*ck facts - entertainment man, entertainment...
  • + 1
 Ya I agree the 15mm axle belongs in the xc circuit. Pike was more aggressive fork so 20mm axle should have been used. I could convert my mavic hub to 15mm in a ny minute but refuse to. Its 20mm or nothing, guess I pick up a lyric instead. Saving 10 grams not so important to me as having burly front end. They also better keep producing 26" compadible forks or you going to see alot of people switching off rock shox.
  • + 1
 @snofailhat, I agree with most of what you said. On the other hand, there are some things that don't require repeated testing, because they have been tested repeatedly before. When discussing certain principles, we can expect certain accepted ideas to remain true.Some of us do have advanced education in certain scientific fields, whether formal or informal. We can make intelligent inferences, and compare them to experience. To date, I have not seen a single picture of a failed 15mm axle/dropout. To me this suggests it is strong enough, yet we see repeated posts that it isn't strong enough as all of the people here are so hard on equipment that it will fail. The "scientific" number that people can feel differences in is actually 5%.
  • + 3
 This is not about failing.. its about flex and compatibility ... The second one the most i think for greater part of peeps.. and the weight saving on 15mm is minimal...
  • + 1
 Just picked up my warrantied S-Works Stumpy FSR. I got a 4 yr newer version that had a tapered headset. Spec supplied me with an FSA headset to fit my older TALAS straight steerer tube. They are out there. I am glad my new frame is tapered so I can upgrade to this fork.
  • + 2
 Compatibility is only an issue if you are recycling old parts. This product is not geared at that market. Not everything will be manufactured to your specifications. In terms of flex, I seriously doubt anyone will feel the difference. I certainly didn't, and I am VERY picky about my equipment.
  • + 0
 Old parts are a good thing, that means it was designed properly. If you go out and buy everything they want you to then your a tool of the industry. I guess that would make you a real picky toolbag right.
  • - 3
 Motor cycles use 1 1/8 steer tubes. People were flexing the steer tube? Ya right. Tapered steer tubes suck!
  • + 3
 So where are those single crown moto forks? It is mainly about frames tapered head tube, larger contact for larger downtube. No need for gussets.
  • + 2
 Motorcycles use 1" steerers. They are thick and heavy. The double clamps distribute the forces over several points, rather than just one. Tapered steerer is stronger. No way around it.

@Sshredder: have you noticed frames and forks don't come with v-brake mounts anymore? At a certain point, the backwards compatibility goes away. This is the same here.
  • + 3
 Every snapped steer tube I have seen. I have seen plenty. The steer tube snaps at the race. This is the shear point from a shear load. Nothing you can do about it.
Make the steer tube extra strong and the head tube cracks. Kind of like a dog chasing its tail. Funny to watch.
Note first comment gets over 100 reps. Why. No one is going to buy a new frame to accommodate a fork. There was never anything wrong with 1and 1/8 steer tubes. No one ever complained about the 1and 1/8 steer tube. Bet ya I have friends that can rip that tapered steer tube off no problem!
As for flex???? ......Tapered head tubes look cool and you fell for it ha ha.
  • + 1
 Only seen a few catastrophic front end fails. Mostly at some real ass dirtjumps on older forks. Case a huge landing and old fork go booyaaa. Seems like modern ht's and steerers have good weight to strength ratio. The old timers had to deal with snapping parts, I remember the bad old days when at the shop every week with a failed part.
  • + 27
 20mm sh!ts all over 15mm. Its funny how everyone wants 20mm but then no one listens. Lucky BOS Devilles are still 20mm which is partly why they got my sale.
  • + 8
 Because people on forums are no buying force. We are next to irrelevant. Buying force reads only press releases fast, barely looks at the comments under and definitely has no time to consider pros and cons. They need fast numbers they can study on producers website, 1650g vs 1690g - sounds good to me! Eventualy they can process a review on Bikeradar kind of site where it says: "we felt it to be slightly less stiff" in a sea of text describing many more features.

You may think that an average customer moved from "how many gears it has", "how heavy it is", "how much does it cost" or lately - but no they never did, they only added one more question "what wheel size is it".

BOS on the other hand, or a company like Yeti, cannot compete with big guys, so they aim for a niche, for a conscious customer: hence their forks work and are designed as they should be and frames like Yeti have "radical" geometry.
  • + 4
 OEM buyers (the real buying power in cycling) care only for their product's weight vs price, 20mm is perceived to be heavier, so they don't spec it. Same reason you see 150mm+ bikes specced with stupid single ply skinny tyres, shave some precious grams and get to shout ONLY 28lbs! on your website.
  • + 2
 I believe everyone needs to own up to the fact that Shimano and Fox won the war. 15mm is the standard for quick release skewers. Now let's move on to better and bigger things.
  • + 10
 Bigger and better things? Like 20 mm?
  • + 2
 20mm axle, clamped both sides, is best.
A 15mm, clamped both sides, would be next best.
I don't want to squeeze my wheel bearings together harder than is ideal for them in order to ensure that my axle will not twist, vibrate loose, develop play etc.
The Fox/Shimano 15mm front axle is the worst of both worlds IMHO. I can tell from the binding wear on my 150mm Talas32 that there is unwanted movement. My Talas 36's, with axle clamped both ends, shows no such duress.
My only experience of Maxle Lite is a rear 12mm axle in my Mojo HD. It is a better design than that Fox/Shimano front axle - but it is not as secure/ideal as being clamped both ends. IMHO
  • + 5
 I go through a shit ton of reviews and buy a shit ton of product and yes...it makes me ride better. I'm of the belief that manufacturers ARE trying to make better shit all the time. Take the last 10 years for example, or even Rampage...guys can do more shit cuz the bikes ARE better, in particular the suspensions. Seals, bladders, CTD, 15mm, pinch bolts, kashima, Black box...bring it on!
  • - 10
flag WAKIdesigns (Jul 3, 2013 at 12:54) (Below Threshold)
 Oh so you have also read that article? How nice that you are repeating someone elses thoughts for us. Well that is one of many opinions and as with many I kind of agree and kind of not... Kazingaaaa!
  • + 5
 huh? I refer to the last ten years because I have actively been riding again for about 8 and have watched an explosion of growth and tech during that time that makes me giddy. Bender just might have landed all that crazy suff way back if he'd had kashima!!! lol
  • + 3
 I have RS' 15 and 20mm axles. The 20mm is on a straight steerer and I believe it's stiffer. I'm not saying 15mm is better. I'm just saying that the trend by everyone ended up following the Fox/Shimano marriage to get 15mm as a standard. It's just what we have to live with now.
If anyone is REALLY against it just buy another brand. There's plenty of smaller ones out there.
  • + 7
 @bkbroiler: I have been around MTBs since 1992. I remember people complaining that suspension forks were a bad idea, disc brakes were going to fail from hitting rocks and bending, hydraulic hoses were going to be ripped off, aluminum wasn't strong enough, suspension was only needed by old lazy people with no riding skill- it made riding too easy, carbon is too weak, it'll snap from falling over, air springs were going to leave people stranded at the bottom of their travel, 29" wheels are too heavy/weak, and will never take off......

I see a pattern. I personally like my 10 speed carbon MojoSL with hydraulic brakes, 650b wheels, and air suspension. It weighs less than my 1992 full rigid 21 speed cantilevered bike did.
  • + 1
 Well said
  • + 17
 SRAM needs to release alternate versions of the Pike that don't cost over $1000. A grand for a fork — regardless of how nice it is — is a crapton of cash.
  • + 26
 who actually pays msrp though.
  • + 17
 $800 or whatever is STILL a lot of money.
  • + 3
 I bet they will though. In the same way that the Sektor followed the Revelation, the Domain followed the Lyrik, there'll be a budget version of the new Pike within 12 months.
  • - 6
flag ride360 (Jul 3, 2013 at 2:16) (Below Threshold)
 The Sektor and Domain are both crap. There will be no budget Pike. This is a marque trail fork that retails for a number recently reserved only for truly exotic options and downhill forks. Welcome to the New World Disorder?
  • + 11
 I actually love my Sektor. 20mm axle, 150mm of travel, its extremely light and I paid under $500 shipped.
  • + 8
 I'm quite happy with my Domain, sure it's heavy, but if you're strong and fit and not on a race programe, is bike weight that important?
With the correctly weighted spring in it, it's plush right off the start line (but i think that is the advantage of coil over air). It's a true set and forget fork and in over 2500km of only trail and all mountain, I've given it one service and oil change, bombproof.
  • + 5
 @circes, Sorry? You what? I am not sure where you get your Sektor and Domains from, but the ones I have had, and still have, are a) so easy to maintain and make adjustments to yourself b) pretty straitforward, which explains a) and c) reliable as (unless you don't look after them) and have given just as much fun on my trails as a Revelation or Lyrik at lower cost, leaving me more cash for another HT frame to build up, play with and learn from.
  • + 4
 The old Pike still exists, it's just been renamed Argyle RCT. Seriously it's the same fork bar a slightly firmer compression tune. 140mm travel, 20mm, 1 1/8th steerer, retail around £450 here in Englishland (roughly similar to old Pike, a lil bit more). You can even get them PUSHed, which I suggest you do, a Pushed Pike (or Argyle or Sektor, Rev here in UK) absolutely destroys any stock fork I've ever ridden, probably this new Pike too.
  • - 1
 Fix-the-Spade yes the Argyle RCT is basically the old Pike, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a 32mm stanchion. The Pike is a 34mm stanchion which would obviously be ideal to most DJ riders, as you can commonly see them with lowered Fox 36s and the like.
  • + 2
 Stanchion diameter is irrelevant, bushing overlap, the crown(s), arch and dropouts are what make a stiff fork. However wide the stanchions are, they're still tubular, a fat lot of good a circular object does trying to stop rotation. If you want a practical test, find a 20mm Minute and put some miles on it, then find a 34 and ride it, the difference is pretty humbling, for the Fox.
  • + 1
 If stanchion diameter was irrelevant, the Boxxer would still have 32mm stanchions and the SID would still have 28mm stanchions.
  • + 0
 Part 1: Seraph, you got me, I lied, wider stanchions are actually much weaker than smaller ones. Second practical test for you, roll a sheet of paper into a tight tube and try to bend it, now roll it more loosely and try to bend it. The wider tube resists bending initially then crumples and compresses more easily. Whilst it's an overly simple test the principle applies to all tubes of any material, including your fork's stanchions. The manufacturers get around this by using thicker walled tubes for more rigidity and to stop them folding in half when you brake hard, but they can't change the basic physics of a tube. If they used the same amount of aluminium in a 35mm and a 40mm stanchion the 35mm would outlast the 40 in a stress test. The net result is you get a heavier part that's not usefully stiffer or stronger.
  • + 0
 Part 2: So why do manufacturers use wider stanchions? Physically fitting a good/reliable damper/spring damper inside the fork is part of it. The old Boxxer needed a lot of maintaining, it also had weedier crowns. The Sid was just noodly in every respect (including it's innards), but had double it's original travel by the time it was replaced with the all new 08 model. If you take them apart the new Boxxers have noticably beefier internals than the old ones did, which is nice because they don't need stripping down every other run either. Wider stanchions, more space for seals and pistons than can move a decent amount of oil through them. More volume for better behaved air springs as well.

Then there's market pressure, people seem to have got it into their head that bigger equals better. Buying 34mm forks when they could have existing 32mm models that are noticeably stiffer (like the old Pike and current Minute). It makes sense on a psychological level too. Regardless of it being correct or not companies want you to buy their stuff, if they see the public clamoring for something they're going to make it. But, if bigger stanchions really were better, why is no one besides Fox still building a 40mm tubed DH fork?
  • - 1
 Yes and no. Old Pike was stiff because of the massive crown, comparable to Lyrik or Totem. Then it had Maxle with expanding collars on both ends. Larger diameter helps with tolerances on bushings and internals, then for damping and for air sprungs as you say. My current Sektor is one of flexiest forks in it's class.
  • + 5
 Strength of a tube comes from diameter, not wall thickness. So thicker is not stronger, necessarily. Lets stay in the realm of reason. Contrary to popular opinion, a solid bar is not stronger than a tube in rotational or torsional axises. Your paper example, while a decent example; is inaccurate because the tighter you roll the paper, the more times it overlaps, creating a finite number of new axises for the stress to be distributed. To be more accurate, you would have to trim the paper so that neither the tight or loose roll overlap.

Otherwise, carry on. Both my bikes have 32mm stanchions and I know 35 or 34 or 36 or 40 wont make me better. Just technique. They bigger ones will survive a nasty crash with less damage however.
  • + 3
 Increasing diameter makes the tube resist bending. Thinning it to make it lighter makes it dent easier. The other disadvantage to larger diameter is friction in seals and bushings. Advantage is clamping area. This is why Moto went inverted. Since most flex happens at the crown, clamping the larger tubes there increases rigidity. Moto forks could not get the steering rigidity of a 46/47mm inverted fork under 52-55mm with a conventional design, but they had so much friction, they lost their advantage in small bump compliance.
  • + 16
 i bet everyones going to put them on the DJs like the old ones
  • - 13
flag seraph (Jul 3, 2013 at 0:32) (Below Threshold)
 Except that you can't lower the Pike below 140mm due to the design of the lowers.
  • + 14
 Dual air spring 150-120mm,
or am I missing something?
  • + 5
 Jared... not so sure there mate. The old ones you could get built like a tank and U-turn coil from 95 to 140mm, and at not crazy money... made a lot of sense on a DJ and there were loads (still are!) round here. These new ones? I am not so sure given the price that you will see too many.
  • + 3
 Zink had his solo air pike lowered to 100mm at x games, there's probably a spring in the works that the slope guys are trying out but it is doable by the looks of it.
  • + 0
 I can't come up with any reason why the current solo air could't be lowered, other than marketing bs and warranty stuff. Put some spacers in and there should be no problem.
@seraph If the fork can't be lowered more than 1 cm because of the lowers, how can it then travel more than 1 cm? That just makes no sense at all.
  • - 1
 What I meant was that the Solo Air model (which is what a DJ rider would be using) will not go below 140mm of travel due to its design. I have asked the SRAM guys about this. Also the 650b model cannot go down to, say, 130mm for use on bikes like the Santa Cruz Solo.

And kanioni I think you're confusing yourself. The design of the lowers doesn't disallow the stanchions from sliding down more than 10mm. Also the Pike doesn't use the regular All Travel spacers like the other Rock Shox models. Trust me I have already grilled our SRAM rep.
  • + 1
 Iteresting, I can't wrap my head around what in the design disables the fork to be lowered so a clear explanation by sram or PB would be cool. If I had an extra 1000$ laying around I'd deffo try lowering one just for the heck of it Big Grin
  • - 1
 kanioni all I know is that I asked my SRAM rep if it could be lowered and he said no.
  • + 1
 Still not 100% sold on it. I need some rock solid proof on this before I'm conviced. Yes, I can be quite stubborn at times, but after lowering many air forks (fox, rs, zocchi) the whole lowering issue sounds odd to me. Maybe lowering f*cks up the solo air valve or something, anyways, sounds odd.
  • + 0
 It's more about the fact that the lowering process for the Pike does not use the standard RS All Travel spacers like their other forks. Also supposedly the lowers do not allow for the stanchions to go below a certain point. Supposedly.
  • - 1
 I bet pvc pipe works just as well as it has worked with all the forks I've lowered Big Grin . You just need something (=a piece of a pipe) in the air spring to stop it before it tops out, should work with the Pike too unless there's something very special about the spring. The lowers then... well, the fork travels full 150mm. I think that's 'nuff said Wink
  • + 1
 PVC pipe "delete the sag" but don't really lower the forks, because they add preload. Unless you have a spacer like in some zocchi (on a coil sprung fork, but that don't work well in a air sprung fork).
And, on a air sprung fork, if the two air chamber balance with a machined hole in the stanchion, instead of a valve, you can't adjust your fork heigh that way, because the negative air chamber won't inflate.
  • + 1
 Anybody know if there is indeed a 120-150mm 26" dual air version? I NEED that! Well, want it... but basically NEED it.
  • + 1
 You are looking at a Revelation Dual Position Solo Air then at the moment since there is no Pike of that description.
  • + 1
 You can buy the Dual position air assembly in that 150-120mm length and have it installed in your pike. it is available as just the spring unit, just not as an aftermarket option in a complete pike unless it's OE spec on a stock bike.
  • + 1
 great point vpshore. That's an easy swap, too. Don't know why I didn't think of that, thanks for presenting the idea to me!
  • + 15
 "The Pike's capabilities when ridden over fast, rough ground were a revelation"

Lol I get it... Blank Stare
  • + 5
 "When we first recieved the new Pike and opened the packaging, we realised what a Boxxer tricks we were getting into."

Blank Stare
  • + 11
 Seems like a pretty sweet unit to me; I especially dig the black stanchions. But, like stated in the article, the fork doesn't have a 20mm TA. And after having ridden a Lefty for so long, any fork with less than a 20mm feels decidedly flexy, I don't think I'd be swapping my Marz 55 RC3 ti anytime soon, despite how promising new forks like the Pike seem. Then again...black stanchions :3
  • + 0
 "After having ridden a Left for so long, any fork with less than a 20mm feels decidedly flexy". I'm just going to repeat this.
  • + 5
 The Lefty forks are surprisingly stiff, amazingly so in fact!
  • + 3
 Why, never ridden one? BOY are you missing out!
  • + 3
 The lefty (all models) are as stiff as my fox 40, and I'm 200lbs.
  • + 1
 Could be. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief. However I will need to see someone bang out some of the gnarlier AM lines around Vancouver to recant. Cannondale has very little presence around here.
  • + 1
 I seen a guy rocking a lefty at Mountain Creek. All day and hitting drops!
  • + 1
 I have had several Leftys over the years. North Shore and FR are my discipline and they have never failed me.
  • + 1
 well, the seals on the old ones would fail.
  • + 10
 The complaints about no 20mm axle was not a stiffness issue, it was a compatibility issue. I'm sure that most people still have wheels with 20mm front hubs. They don't want to spend the money on the fork and then have to spend even more to convert to a 15mm setup.
  • + 10
 "Cross compatibility with other wheel sets in your stable" is a brilliant way to describe the very reason I'm out! It's all mix and match in our garage full of bikes. We go to France and take one spare front wheel, if we didn't have the same axle size we would have to think about taking two. The fork sounds mint though!
  • + 6
 I run the old Pikes and I love em- so much so I would like to get the newer version either this year or next. However, to run them I will have to get a new frame, new wheels and a new job to pay for them. I don't want to run a 15mm axle, nor do I want to buy a new frame. Sorry Rock Shox but on this occasion you can f*ck off.
  • + 4
 The fork looks great to me, better than Fox 34 with that CTD pish. I will have a tough time deciding next year whether to go for Bos Deville or this one. Deville must be better but I am affraid of spare parts availability and serviceability while I know RockShox for being top notch with it. Does anyone know whether this Pike has same distance between stanchions so you can use lowers from Lyrik? Just like you can shift lowers between all forks in 32 platform. I'd love it with 20mm axle.
  • + 1
 I'd go with the Deville, if only to try something new. You can probably service it yourself, as for spare parts, while you might not be able to go to any gas station and pick something off the shelf, you could certainly order something in advance for the yearly service.
  • + 1
 @ waki, I bet there going to shove the charger damper into the lyrick anyway,
  • + 0
 if it performs as well as Mi-Co DH or better and is as reliable - just throw it at me while I put money into your mouth.
  • + 2
 "its three-way adjustable compression damper atop the right leg allowed us to firm up the fork's stroke for when we were faced with a commute to the mountain or a long access road climb to get to the goods."

Haha 3 way adjustable compression damper? Sounds alot like CTD to me! If you're gonna hate Fox for CTD, then you should probably get a Deville.
  • + 1
 Ppl hate fox CTD because it doesn't work, if the pikes work ppl will love it
  • + 4
 I was lucky enough to ride the new pike in the 650b 150mm form, and all you guys complaning about 15mm axles, its plenty stiff. This is indefinitely the best preforming fork i have ever ridden. as they said it is buttery smooth and seems to have endless travel. It is definitely worth the grand over the similarly priced fox 34 with kashima shit. If you have the money buy this fork.
  • + 4
 Theres sod all place for anything other than a tapered steerer on a modern mtb, why would they compromise the design of a spangly new fork so it can still fit into a pre-historic standard headtube?
  • + 6
 So how does it compare to the state-of-the-art-sub-2kg-trail-fork 44 rc3 ti?
  • + 2
 A lot of people wanting street cred by talking about how great old stuff was and bagging on what's new. I loved my old Pike back when but it doesn't hold a candle to the new Fox or even Revelation and I'm betting this Pike as well. Taper is the way forward. dont like it then stick with your old frame and old fork.
  • + 1
 I like the looks of these . A lot is going on inside tho more to go wrong. I was going to get these but budget held me back so I got the 2013 x fusion slant 160mm with 15mm axal . I've heard talk of forks with 15mm axal not being that good and being flexy. But I have to say these new x fusion forks feel just as good as a 20mm axal very little flex/twist .and at £410 then you can not go wrong. They ride high in the travel keeping you in the forks sweet spot of travel and don't suffer with brake dive. I'd love to try these new pikes but to be honest I'd rather have a fork with less going on inside . Downside to my forks is 2003mm rotor only .
  • + 1
 I have forks with both 15mm and 20mm axle. I weigh 265, and honestly can't tell much difference between them. I have noticed forks with strong crowns are typically stiffer than those with light crowns (Manitou Nixon vs Minute is a good example. Nearly identical except all of the weight reduction in the crown.)
  • + 1
 So the Pike has 3 on the fly compression settings just like Fox - without the CTD moniker...Where the haters at?

" but its three-way adjustable compression damper atop the right leg allowed us to firm up the fork's stroke for when we were faced with a commute to the mountain or a long access road climb to get to the goods. While the low-speed compression dial controls the amount of damping when set to the full open position, the larger dial underneath offers two more options: pedal and lockout. "
  • + 5
 lol its the new pike. theyre all too busy hating on the new axle
  • + 1
 I noticed this as well, and the lack of comments about it. If they haven't cocked up the middle (trail) setting as much as Fox, maybe it won't be that awful.

They do seem to have a full low-speed adjuster, but this open/pedal/lock on the 'overall'? I'm not sure about this fad, which is exactly why I bought a 2013 Fox 36 RC2 instead of the 34 CTD and love having the independent adjustment to dial it the way I want it.
  • + 2
 well i didnt read all of this review (cause im a fox guy myself), but i read the final thoughts at the end of the review, and he didnt mention anything about it being bad. so im assuming it works.

as for the the CTD deal, i only own fit dampers, but i am happy to hear that fox was listening, upped the compression and also made it a cheap retro fit for people who already have CTD forks/shocks. i remember a lot of people complaining it when they first dropped the info a month or so ago, but honestly it doesnt get much better than that.
  • + 3
 There is a big difference between how FOX's CTD functions on the compression system on the Pike. The Pike's full-open setting offers much more support, while the pedal and lockout are very pronounced, unlike the first-year CTD offers (the upcoming stuff is much improved, though). I appreciated the effectiveness of the LSC dial that controls the fork's action when set to full open, and left it there for the majority of the testing.
  • + 0
 i figured they were a different design (im assuming due to patent issues). although the concept is still the same on paper, correct..?
  • + 2
 Sort of, sounds like the open position gives you full LSC control.
  • + 3
 Pinkbike, have you guys had the chance to do your long-term review of the X-Fusion Slant yet? I'D love to read a head to head review of the 34, Pike and Slant...
  • + 2
 do they even do head to head reviews anymore?
  • + 1
 My 2012 Marz 55 Microswitch TA had to go back to factory for some work. I got a great price on a Slant DLA and threw it on my Knolly Endorphin. It's a great little fork, much better than the 2013 Fox 34 CTD I demo'd, but it's no replacement for the Marz in terms of straight ahead plow-ability. Is it the 15mm axle? Maybe. Slant is very tall AtC, with about 18mm of extra stanchion showing after using all 160mm of travel. Same AtC as Marz 55 (160 version). Adding 10mm of external cup headset slacked out my bike to about 66.25* Overall, Slant is great for its intended purpose - trail riding with moderate features and moderate chunk/rocks/roots. Oh - I weigh 210 un-kitted.
  • + 1
 Love my old 08 pike, iv raced both DH and XC on that thing and its still going without ever having a service, although I have to admit it does need one now. If this new one is half as good as the old one then it will be one awsome fork.
  • + 1
 It seemed like the older Pikes had a problem at where the steer tube met the crown. I know two people that had theirs snap there and mine almost did (on a dirtjump bike and setup) the new one looks and seems pretty rad though! Still not ever putting one on a jump bike though.
  • + 5
 Taper only , no 20mm Axel option ! F#ck that :-(
  • + 4
 Soooo, what happens now to the Lyrik? Does it stay only at 170mm and with 20mm Maxle? Smile
  • + 1
 So I bought the new Pike from my local shop a few weeks ago. Got it home, mounted it and rode down my driveway and BAM the air spring blew and let all the air out. I sent the fork back to Rockshox and rather than replacing it with a new one they insisted on replacing the air sleeve. So long story short two weeks later I still don't have the fork back and can't ride my bike. It seems crazy that I can spend $900 on a fork and the company is perfectly ok with leaving me stranded for two weeks. A reputable company would have rushed out a replacement and dealt with the faulty one on their own time.
  • + 3
 First paragraph, last sentence. Studier should be sturdier. Same with sentence underneath Maxle pictures.
  • + 1
 I got the 160mm 26" Solo Air one with my new 150mm trail bike. It rides smooth and the feeling is really plushy. Does a good job on the climbs too. It can never be fully locked out though.
  • + 1
 1 1/8th is a great option for those who want to run zero stack headsets on 44mm head tubes.
20mm is a great option for those who want more stiffness/compatibility.
Why not offer it?
  • - 2
 AARRGGHHHHHH!!!!- read some of the other posts, and the article. Its all explained there
  • + 2
 Did read it all. Nothing explained that adequately addresses what I brought up. You can't use a zero stack headset with a tapered steer tube on 44mm head tubes. 20mm is stiffer across the board. Most riders looking for this type of fork already have 20mm hence the compatibility comment.
  • + 1
 Sorry, my bad. The original introduction a few weeks back listed all the reasons. All the engineering went into making this fork almost as light as a 32mm chassis. To do that, the crown needs the support of the tapered steerer. The 15mm axle saves a LITTLE weight, and when paired with a 15mm specific hub, saves even more. There are plenty of tapered modern frames, and 15mm hubs on the market. This is the lightest over 32mm chassis on the market right now. Making the design compromises you ask for negates this advantage. Its a benchmark model. If you want the other features, there is the long travel argyle, the Lyric, the Domain, and the Sektor and Revelation have the features you want. Looking to the future, when carbon steerers become more common, only the tapered steerers have been able to pass the European testing so far. This is part of the reason even road bikes are using tapered steerers. If you want to use your old frame, and old heavy wheels, RS has you covered anyway.
  • + 1
 Love my 150mm Pike, it's torsionally stiff and tracks just as good as the Lyrik I had on my Nomad. It's buttery smooth, light and super simple to setup. It made my stumpjumper EVO a much better handling trail bike.
  • + 4
 Black stanchions need to GTFO. Hate the the look of them, so cheap IMO.
  • + 2
 They offer this fork in 3 wheel sizes and 2 rake offset options for the axle in 29er, but no 20mm? Rockshox....
  • + 2
 I just got one and am blown away at how smooth it is. The best from I have ever ridden.
  • + 0
 I've been running a new 27.5" Pike since early June on my Mojo HDR and concur with this review! It has super overall performance on the trail, blowing both my Fox Float 34 and Float 36 into the weeds.
  • + 0
 Pic of my sweet Ibis Mojo HDR 650b setup including new Pike fork at www.pinkbike.com/photo/9796877
  • + 1
 I'm sold on this fork. I would love to see the monarch plus shock get reviewed.
  • + 0
 Just finished my 29er Carbon Evo sj. The 150 dual pike is the perfect fit for this bike. I used my friends fox talas for a week waiting on the Pike. Glad I waited.
  • + 1
 I dont like that blader... I think I'll buy the Lyrics or even better the totem if I have to buy RS products...
  • + 2
 LOLOLOLOLOLOL

vimeo.com/69731624
  • - 2
 RockShox's previous damper design utilized an emulsion-based layout that made allowances for air in the system(...) and this includes their high-end Mission Control damper (...) resulting in a loss of damping and control.

Throwing Mi-Co and Mo-Co to the same bag is far off. I am nowhere close to be a super fast rider that can take Lyrik or Boxxer to its limits, but after owning different big and small forks from Manitou, Marzocchi, Fox and RS, I can say that Mission-Control DH is the best thing I personaly have ever ridden. Then Motion-control is a cheapo crap, that does not deserve to be installed in anything more expensive than Tora while 800$ Revs are sporting it. On 120mm+ forks that thing is either a holy diver or a slugger, if you have it in air sprung fork, then just leave it full open and pump it to 10% sag, and your fork's gonna work way better. That thing reminds me of Manitou Fluid Flow.

So having said that, I'd gladly have "bubbly" Mission control DH in Pike, Revelation or even Reba for Xc/dirt hardtail
  • + 3
 At Least wait until you've tried the charger damper before making a statement like that, yes maybe mi co is the best you've tried, but charger could be even better ....
  • - 2
 I commented mostly on tossing Mi-Co and Mo-Co into the same bag as a reason to draw an argument to develop a new damper which is absurd. And if charger performs as well as Mission Control DH and is as reliable, and unlike Fox dampers requires no frequent overhauls involving buying service kits - then I'd love that. I think the reason they made it was that they needed a better damping to control the air spring. For instance Lyrik Solo-air felt more divey and less stable to me than Lyrik coil.
  • + 1
 RS Mission DH and Manitou TPC are the best dampers I have ridden on any forks. I know moto used bladders for a few years before abandoning them. I can't remember why offhand. I wasn't riding moto much in those few years. I think the charger looks like a great design, and appears to work well from the initial reviews.
  • + 0
 TPC or TPC+? I had a Nixon with TPC and it dived as fk under braking... it felt like it had no low-speed compression what so ever, only highspeed. But TPC+ in Travis 150 sat in mid travel quite nice and took big hits almost as well as Marzocchi RC2X. It's a shame MZ RC and RC2x were a tad divey as apart from the weight I have very good memories with those. Then I got Lyrik 2007 and thought - oh what a crap - then I removed the flood gate... I remember my first ride, "holy fk I can do this!" Then the second ride on which I was just going into shit at full speed completely not bothered with only one thing in mind: next time I'll do it even faster!
  • + 1
 TPC+ in the Travis for sure. I think the Nixon was TPC+ as well. I removed the flood gate from my Totem. Way better without it. I had a Travis and Nixon each with the Intrinsic. I liked them, but preferred the TPC+.
  • + 2
 MIKE- any comments on the new Michelin grip-r's?
  • + 1
 Should get mine next week. Waited long enough! Fork looks pretty good. We will see!
  • + 1
 Really? Damn I've been told 16th August... when did you last check?
  • + 1
 Fork looks fantastic, apart from that bladder. Hopefully it works a little better than Marzocchi's TST...
  • + 1
 Rock Shox, your graphics were way better 2 years ago-your asleep at the wheel, get to it!?
  • + 1
 It's funny how suddenly everyone's an expert, even without spending any time on this new fork. Just sayin'.
  • + 1
 I wonder if the new style seals will fit into a Lyrik. From the pictures I have seen of them, they use a foam ring and seal.
  • + 1
 It's so nice the PB deletes all the negative comments about new "pike".
  • + 1
 Comments rarely get deleted dude. If a comment disappears, it's because other members have neg propped it below threshold. Check the bottom of the comments section.
  • + 0
 Below threshold is set by default or by mods or depending on subject?
  • + 1
 May i have a cup off tea?
  • + 1
 Go to first comment. word!
  • + 1
 what's the recommended range of travel adjustment on the solo air?
  • + 1
 Can you lower these to 100mm or less?
  • + 1
 Cam Zink use new pike on x-games,as i saw,he lowered it to 100 or maybe 120 mm
  • + 1
 The new Revelation and SID have black stanchions too.
  • + 1
 Chamakazi the Revelation and SID only have 32mm stanchions though, whereas the Pike has 34mm. And tkeegan1 officially you cannot lower them to 100mm. What Cam Zink has and what we can have are two different things.
  • - 3
 Tapered steerer tube is a big limitation. cant see too many people buying new frames just for these forks. Plus the people who stick up for tapered steerer tubes is because you can get them way cheaper second hand than straight steerers and that is because no one wants them.
  • + 8
 To be fair, the kind of person that spends $1000 on a fork probably isn't using a 1 1/8th head tube frame anymore, neither are the big OEM customers. Straight steerers will probably turn up later, but they aren't the big seller anymore from a manufacturer's point of view.
  • + 2
 That's nonsense. I don't know a single person who runs straight steerer tubes, aside from DH bikes and a few couple-years-old steel hardtails. Are new bikes even coming with straight steerers? For sure it's in the manufacturer's best interest to shift people onto new gear - want the new fork? Oh I guess you'll need a new frame then. But on the other hand many of these new standards are good and worth having. I make a wholesale switch every few years and pick up all the latest standards once they've settled.

This is a young evolving sport and designers and manufacturers want to push forward (whether it's good or bad) so if you insist on riding a bike for more than 2-3 years then you have to accept that standards will evolve and you might get left out. Besides, if you're someone who rides a bike for 4 years then you're probably not frothing at the mouth to buy the latest $1000 fork are ya?
  • + 1
 My Evil Hardtails is screaming out for this fork (it's new)! But no love from Rock Shox! Hardtails and dirt jumpers are a pretty big market. it surprises me.
  • + 1
 Why not use a Lyric? Its not much heavier, and has the features you need. I see a lot of steel bikes going with the 44mm head tubes (its all I use now) to maintain compatibility with tapered steerers.
  • + 0
 in lovin memory of the real old-generation pikes... that was such a great fork we will miss you so much.
  • + 1
 Its still available. Its called the Argyle RCT.
  • + 0
 The only real problem with them is getting hold of a pair of them
  • + 0
 i want one but damn pricing
  • + 1
 where do I sign???!!
  • + 1
 Seems decent.
  • + 0
 You can call sram and put the 1 1/8 for you for a bit more SRAM Rocks
  • + 1
 waiting for mine
  • + 1
 buy x-fusion
  • + 0
 ....if you want creaking crowns.
  • - 1
 Of coarse the pike is the best! Cause rockshox paid this site for it. Wake up people!
  • + 3
 lol, first all you crazys think that PB is being funded by fox with suspension.. now that that this gets a good review, your switching it up on us to rock shox?!

c'mon dude, if your going to make absurd statements like that, at least show us some of your 'proof'.. or go back to dissing fox. (more fox stuff for me)
  • - 3
 Sorry I ride fox and they don't sponser pb and usually get bad reviews which is on par for this site so basically enjoy the vids and pics but don't read the reviews they are just paid advertisement. Never dissed fox they ride the best no doubt.
  • + 3
 fox doesn't get bad reviews on pinkbike... believe it or not they still have credibility, they do delete comments sometimes but they pump out negative reviews every so often as well, I know this seems impossible but manufacturers do try and make good products (well not crankbros but that's beside the point)
  • - 1
 You have no clue what your talking about if you say that fox doesn't get bad reviews on this site!
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