Ask Pinkbike: Kickers, Spoke Protectors, and the RockShox Pike vs the Fox 36 fork

Nov 11, 2014 at 11:14
Nov 11, 2014
by Pinkbike Staff  
 
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Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.



Getting Kicked

Question: Pinkbike user mmjohnson asked this question in the Freeride and Slopestyle forum: I ride a Specialized Enduro EVO Expert and am finding that I'm getting bucked forward quite a bit when hitting any sort of kicker. I did realize that the coil spring in my FOX 36 fork was too soft for me, so I've changed that out to a stiffer one. Could that have been the problem? What causes the bucking that I'm experiencing?

bigquotesA ''kicker'' is what I'd call a jump with quite a steep lip to it, and they're made to send you up higher than a mellower take off would. These types of jumps are a lot harder to ride well because they take both more skill and a proper bike setup compared to a gentle takeoff that you can just point it off and go out further but not as high. The latter point, bike setup, is much easier to get right: it's all about balance when talking about both damping and spring rate. A good bike shop can help you dial this in, and it's key to having a bike that flies predictably. Start with spring rate, then fiddle with rebound speed for your fork and shock until they feel very close to the same. Balance also comes into play when talking about your technique... if your arms are loose but your legs are stiff, and your body is too far back or too far forward, you're going to be on on a flight plan that won't end well. For now, forget about tricks and going high or far, and only focus on being relaxed and in control. - Mike Levy

Nicholi Rogatkin backflipping a double tailwhip on his first run.
Steep lips send riders up higher into the air, as Nicholi Rogatkin demonstrates. Photo Colin Meagher.




Plastic Protector Behind Cassette?

Question: Pinkbike user SaarKoren asked this question in the Beginners forum: I have a plastic protector behind my cassette, probably for mud. It's making a lot of noise and really annoying me. Can I take it off, or is it important?

bigquotesThat plastic piece is designed to protect the spokes just in case your chain drops over the top of the cassette. With a properly adjusted drivetrain this shouldn't be an issue, and you can take off that unsightly, noisy contraption without any worries. However, before you go about removing it, there is a quick test you should perform. Shift up into the largest (easiest) cog on your cassette, and gently push your rear derailleur, as if you were trying to get it to shift up one more gear. Does the chain remain on the cog? If it does, you're all set - remove that spoke guard and get out for a ride. If your chain does shift off and over the top of the cassette, there's a little work to be done first. Start by checking your limit screws - those are the two Phillips or hex head screws that prevent your derailleur from shifting too far in either direction. If it still shifts off, your hanger may be bent, which may be a job for a bike shop if you're not comfortable tackling that at home.

Once your drivetrain is operating smoothly, now you can remove the protector. Sometimes this is possible without removing the cassette, but if it's especially stubborn you'll often need a chain whip and a lockring tool to take the cassette off and remove it.
- Mike Kazimer

Spoke guard

There's no need for the plastic spoke protector with a well-adjusted drivetrain.





Upgrade my RockShox Pike to a Fox 36?

Question: Rocky-mtn-gman says in the All-Mountain and Cross-Country Forum: I need help picking out a Fox fork and I'm not much of a suspension guru. I'm getting a Kona Process 153 and it comes with RockShox Pike RC Solo Air 160mm. I'm going to immediately swap out with the highest-end fox fork I can find, no factor on cost. I do a mix of all-mountain riding and days at the bike park in Colorado. I need a big beefy fork that also can handle some hours of pedaling. I'm assuming something within the 160mm - 180mm range is going to cut it, but I can't find an adjustable fork on their site with that range (i found an 130mm to 160mm though). Also, I don't know sh*t about damper systems, which system should I go with? Their site has FIT, iCD, FIT Terralogic, FIT CTD Remote, FIT CTD w/Trail Adjust, FIT RC2 - no idea what the hell any of these do. I'd like to get into a damper system that can be adjusted for low/hi speed compression damping. I don't need a remote lockout, though.

So far on their website, I've come up with:
- 36 160 FIT RC2 27.5
- 36 170 FIT RC2 27.5
- 36 160 FIT RC2 27.5 (adjustable between 130mm - 160mm)
Any suggestions?


bigquotes The new 36 would be an excellent upgrade for park riding on your Process because it is a more capable fork for maximum travel events. I'd suggest that you stick with the 160 Fit RC2 and forego the dual-travel option. For reasons unclear, the dual-travel version seems to ride a little more harshly over the chatter, and the benefits you may get while climbing in reduced travel mode are minimal. The Process' geometry is best in class, so switching to the longer, 170mm option might compromise perfection in the quest for some unnecessary big-hit insurance that the new 36 is already famous for. FiT refers to the bladder-sealed damper cartridge that Fox developed to ensure that the oil circuits are not compromised by foaming or cavitation. "RC2" refers to the fork's external high- and low-speed compression, and low-speed rebound adjustments, which you also specified. Fox switched from a 20-millimeter to the more common, 15-millimeter axle as standard equipment on the new 36, so you are all good. - RC


Fox 36 FiT RC2 2014 fork

The new Fox 36 has a revised, adjustable air spring and a reconfigured FiT damping cartridge that together, have established it as the fork to beat for maximum-impact trail and all-mountain riding.




Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.
Must Read This Week






161 Comments

  • + 166
 I prefer the pike over the 36
  • + 23
 Yeah, but the Pike RC Solo does have the cheaper compression damping, and a 15mm axle. I'd also stick with the Pike, and spend my money in other places, but I can see his logic. Sort of.
  • + 105
 Seems kinda dumb switching over for no reason. I have only heard reviews say that the Fox is now as good as the Pike. I have not read anything saying it is better. And when it is for somebody who is "not a suspension guy" it just seems like stupidity. Especially as the Fox is new and more likely to suffer from quality issues due to that. The Pike has been tested for over a year now, is reliable and a great fork.

Fools and their money are soon parted though.
  • + 12
 As a Pike owner, I can say from experience that Pike's have their fair share of problems. Bad crown steerers, bladders,oh and the negative chamber will get blocked and will prevent equalization.
  • - 2
 Or you could go with a Lyrik over the 36 and put the Charger damper in it. You could also just leave it alone as even stock I prefer it to the 36 as it's lighter and more reliable
  • + 99
 Ride the Pike until is dies, then lets have this conversation.
  • + 29
 I've done the Fox thing...I'm over servicing my fork once a week when I ride everyday. Fox is living off of their reputation in my opinion. They cost more and have nothing over their competitors
  • + 70
 You mean downgrade to the 36?
  • + 7
 Just returned my Pike due to cracking sound from the steerer and its been 3 weeks with no response. Had my fox 32 develope the same problem after 6 months usage. Wish Marzo made a 15mm option
  • + 35
 A lot of shit talk from people that have no experience with the new 36.
  • + 22
 When you don't know a lot about suspension you definitely wont be able to tell the difference between the two. With the Pike being one of the best well rounded forks on the market I could think of a lot of other things that would be better to upgrade. Wheels being where I would start first, some carbon bars, tires or maybe suspension school. Sadly all of that would probably be cheaper than a Fox 36...
  • - 23
flag Nicb22 (Nov 11, 2014 at 12:39) (Below Threshold)
 I would rather the nice machined internals of the Fox. All this "Hype" about the pike is trash if you ask me.
  • + 5
 Get an avalanche upgrade for the pike... or for any other fork you might have simples...
  • + 10
 @chrisclifford you cannot add a charger damper to the lyrik.
  • + 6
 Not to mention if you service your Fox fork the way they prescribe you'll be broke and spending more time in the shop than the trail.
  • + 10
 Im just curious how many people stroking the Pike have seriously tried both in legit riding conditions. I have tried both; and while the Pike is a great fork, it pales in comparison to the stiffness, tracking and big-hit capabilities of the new 36. The new 36 is on par with the supple small bump compliance the Pike is famous for. But big hit performance is way more critical of a feature than small bump suppleness. 15mm x 100 axles are flaccid for bigger or more serious riders. Next year, RS is going to stick it half way in again when they introduce their new 15x110 standard while Fox is already ballz deep and sticking to their guns with 20x110.

Zee girly men who are worried more about what the scale says will probably say differently - and that is fine.
  • + 6
 the new MRP stage!! is a legit competitor with the Pike for all mountain supremacy. try one and you wont be disappointed!
  • + 9
 I believe it was Fox that stated the entire 15mm axle in the first place. Rockshox already had the 20mm Maxle dialed.
  • + 0
 The lyrik has travel and damper options that might suit your needs, but if you are bent on fox at least the new one is super nice. I would also look into the revel since money is no issue. They say it is stiff and think of the bling factor!
  • + 29
 If you're this clueless about suspensions and need to ask this question, you probably won't see the difference between the pike and "the highest-end fox fork I can find, no factor on cost"
  • + 14
 lol what are upgrades? I just ride whatever component it is until it breaks.
  • + 5
 Why not just change the guts of the pike instead? RCT3 damper and the dual air assembly.
  • - 27
flag mountainbiker929 (Nov 11, 2014 at 15:31) (Below Threshold)
 I just replaced my pike with a 36 couldn't be happier with the change, the pike is rubbish imo it has a terrible top out knocking feel and has no HSC adjustment. Sram in general makes un-polished products, xx1 for example.
  • + 2
 In the parking lot test, a pike feels smoother than a new 36. That being said, the adjustments on the 36 I believe go a bit further.
  • + 16
 I've been dodging the fork debate for a bit but it seems ridiculous to replace something that isn't broken without at least riding with and getting a feel for it. I would feel the same way if it was the opposite swap from Fox 36 to RS Pike, industry hype and consumer herd mentality aside, at least try the thing out before wasting money.
  • + 6
 somehow this is gonna move on to the wheel size debate hahaha
  • + 4
 X-fusion sweep, marzocchi 350ncr, manitou mattoc, mrp (white brothers) all make 160mm 650b forks that are awesome, or get ab avalanche upgrade damper for the pike as someone else mentioned. 90% of people would get on fine with all of those
  • + 9
 The Pike RC has the Charger damper. The only difference is the T3 bit which is RS term for a CTD switch. There's no damper upgrade going to RCT3.

But on the main point: this fella clearly has money and no engineering interests, so put aside the need for regular servicing as I'm sure his LBS will be well employed.

The 36 RC2 has two bike park advantages over the Pike: external HSC and a stiff chassis anchored by 20mm axle.

Whilst the Pike is great, if we hark back to its launch the PB readership slammed it for going 15mm and rightly so. In a world where rims, rear axles, bottom brackets, frame tubing and even God damn handle handle bars are getting fatter, some twat decided that the front axle should get narrower and thinner. Not lighter or stiffer, just less good than before. And then RS stuck it on this otherwise brilliant fork. At least Fox have seen sense on the 36 not to go there. But then the Pike never was a 36 competitor and perhaps it's the products outperformance which even puts it in consideration as such
  • + 5
 So I am curious,Why compare the fox 36 to the pike? It's apples to oranges. the 34 is the pike's unworthy competitor. And why is the lyrik not a competitor in this conversation? I had one and loved it, and until the pike came out it was one of the most beloved forks out there. It has the much lauded 20mm axle, a fairly stiff chassis, a great dh damper, and a singularly unreliable travel adjust (which lets face it, the travel adjust stuff just messes with geo and makes bikes ride wrong so soloair is the better option). If you do like the pike's damper option you can put it in a lyrik.

So why does it not even get a mention in this discussion?
  • + 2
 "The updated 36 sees a complete redesign that entails lighter lowers, a lower crown, and a new air spring that’s smoother and more tunable than the previous FLOAT springs. Adjusting the crown architecture lowered the fork by just shy of 10mm, and brought the fork’s geometry into line with a 34 chassis of equal travel and wheel size." - GARSON FIELDS
  • + 2
 And the Lyrik was not universally loved. I really liked mine when it wasn't exploding. Early vintage in all fairness but still not the most reliable fork I ever owned.
  • + 2
 I did not say it was universally loved. I understand the 36 will work on any bike a 34 works on. The same goes for the lyrik and pike. It is a little bro big bro relationship. The 34 has the 15mm axle and goes on trail specs. This is also true of the pike. Trail forks are a similar but different breed.
  • + 14
 "Fox switched from a 20-millimeter to the more common, 15-millimeter axle as standard equipment on the new 36, so you are all good. - RC"

Did nobody else read that part of the article?
  • + 4
 If moneys not an issue as he said why not go with
a B.O.S. Shock? most people say they are the best.
though i have no experience with B.O.S. most people
who spend the money are pretty happy with them.
  • - 4
flag steezus (Nov 11, 2014 at 19:28) (Below Threshold)
 "I prefer thee pike over the 36" said no one ever. Seriously, just try and read that statement without laughing. I sure as hell can't.
  • + 4
 ^^^ I cant, i prefer products that work well and have some thought put into them by engineers not marketing guys
  • + 0
 mountainbiker929 which exactly why you prefer fox. case in point.
  • + 5
 As if you never had a problem with your Fox fork.
  • + 3
 Actually I never have. Not even once. Where as when I had my boxxer I had to send it in twice...
  • + 0
 never have, the pike on the other hand the pike's neg air chamber is easily blocked preventing the fork from equalizing, it tops out and clunks, the seals have poor tolerances, crown creaks, 15mm axle, ect. Neither fork is perfect, and both forks perform well, but I am willing to put up with the 36's flaws, like its need for rebuilding every 30 hours and bolt through, pinch bolt axle for a more polished and functional product.
  • + 2
 The pike is by no means a bad fork it does perform well, and have its advantages, but I personally prefer the 36
  • - 1
 now I get it, at first I thought you were arguing for rockshox. haha. I agree with you.
  • + 6
 let him buy the fox of his dreams and then he will sell the pike to one of these RS lovers for cheap-win win
  • + 5
 For Sale: brand new RS pike takeoff. bike shop told me fox is better so make me an offer.
  • + 3
 I Luv my 36!
  • + 3
 i luv mine too!
  • + 1
 I got to ride a pike, I was really expecting to be mind blown after reading all the reviews and honestly I think I prefered my 2012 F36. To be fair, its custom tuned and I didn't have enough time to fiddle with the pike but even knowing this, if I bought a bike with a pike, I'd seriously give the pike a good shot before considering switching over to fox again.
  • + 2
 X-fusion vengeance or metric are also very solid options. both have rebound, high and low speed compression and the 20mm axle. the metric has a few more dh oriented features like neutra valve and flux piston which would help for park days. they are slightly heavy though by 200 grams more or less. Still very solid options though.
  • + 3
 I've been done with fox for years.. one ride on a lyric vs my float, talas, and other fox's is all it took. I now ride x-fusion and a pike..
  • + 1
 The X-fusion metric was my second choice it has some awesome features, but fox is easier to get rebuild kits for and companies like Push, Ohlins, and Avalanche are more likely to make aftermarket upgrades for the 36.
  • + 43
 "I'm going to immediately swap out with the highest-end fox fork I can find, no factor on cost." If only this was always the case. Frown
  • + 21
 Probably some council kid in dreamland dude.
  • + 10
 Personally I would have responded "why don't you ride it first?" At least something could be learned from this... The OEM Pike is not the highest end possible sure but it's a fairly capable fork.
  • + 96
 I have not tried this fork but I'm like super gnarly so I know I will need to swap it out immediately with another fork I haven't tried. I also don't know much about suspension but I'm confident spending another $1000 on a brand new bike will make me significantly gnarlier.
  • + 11
 Thank you for the comment @westwardho. Glad to see at least someone has more sense than "product knowledge".
  • + 25
 Recently I've bought a new Fox 36 (160 FIT RC2) and as I came back home, my girlfriend kicked me in the ass and thrown my stuff through the window. How can I protect myself from it happening again, when I find a next girlfriend? Why was she acting so unpredictably? I need to find my balance back, otherwise it won't end well. Now every loud noise I hear is annoying me.
  • + 23
 I would send that Pike Cartridge over to Craig at Avalanche and have him install his magic rebound and compression piston. Save a good $700 over a new 36 and it'll still be working in nine months time...
  • + 1
 best suspension about, been riding it since late 90's and makes forks soo nice..
  • + 23
 If you know nothing about the range if forks and nothing about damping why are you looking to switch straight away?! (Unless the bike us used and you know the fork is crackered already.)
  • + 55
 Because gold stanchions looks cooler. And it's easier to write "Fox" than "Rock Shox".
  • + 2
 Aaand Öhlins will be surely making a cartridge for 36 so Pike ain't gunna be the top bees knees Big Grin
  • + 5
 IF, and WHEN that happens....... then we can have that conversation. I've heard both good and bad about the Pike. I've got a Pike. I love my Pike..... opinions are like assholes
  • + 2
 They have already made cartridge for 34. Quite honestly I was a bit sarcastic against lords of the shims. That discussion is barely necessary between Pike and Lyrik. Arguing between Pike and 36 is extremely unnecessary although I feel that PIke is overhyped.
  • + 3
 I sometimes have that feeling too. Wish the Mattoc would get some more coverage. Really aching to give one of those a try.
  • + 1
 after getting a fox 36 van FiT RC2 180 i can say that kashia is my new favourite colour and the extra 1mm stanchion diameter looks phat
  • + 17
 "I'm going to immediately swap out with the highest-end fox fork I can find, no factor on cost."
&
"Also, I don't know sh*t about damper systems, which system should I go with?"

Aand this is how I feel about most folks coming up to me saying "duude why the f*xk don't you ride fox?! Fox is teh best dum**ss!!1!1" Frown
  • + 5
 I agree... also, all of those abbreviations are on the FOX website. Doesn't take much to figure that all out. Seems like the dude just wants assurance that he needs to part with $1000 USD. "Pinkbike told me so." Meh.
  • - 1
 Well abbreviations don't bother me much as long as there's an explanation somewhere. I didn't mean it as a hate on Fox (though I have a 36 on my XC and I can't say I'm a big fan of it), but the fanboi party around it insults my brain :-/
  • + 13
 If this guy is "No suspension Guru" how/why does he know he needs all the adjustments and will be able to dial it in . Plus if money is no problem why not get a coil fork for the big hit plushness for park days and an air all mountain fork. According to the PB review of the 153 it already has a "Top End Fork" in the Pike, maybe whack a charger damper in if it's not fitted already. Is RC a Fox fan boy ? makes no comparison to the fork already on it that every man and his dog is raving about.
Being the most expensive doesn't neccessarily equate to being the best.
  • + 6
 I second all this shit right here. ride your bike first, if you really can't live with a pike (idk why, everyone has one, no one can complain about them) then switch it, don't just switch it out without riding it. I don't think there is really much of a difference between the pike and the new fox 36. oh, you get 170mm on the 36... so a third of an inch more, you'll for sure feel that travel difference haha. and at the price of ruining what is considered the most dialed geometry of the current season. good idea man.
  • + 1
 I have the 153 and it comes with the lower in pike but still has a charger. Just not the three position lockouts. Now the plushness as far as parking lot test beats the 36. But on the trail the 36 is stiffer which I prefer. Also the pike tops out a lot. Even with the right adjustments it still tops. Which is the biggest downfall in my opinion
  • + 8
 I have not ridden the new 36 and I am sure they are quite good. However, based on experience I would wait a while for consumer reviews before switching from what is in my experience the best fork out there (PIKE) to what (from previous Fox forks use) is an "ok" fork. I would even consider the x fusion metric before going to the new 36. Also, in my experience adjustable travel on forks is a big compromise on downhill performance.
  • + 3
 I would agree with you in every aspect of that comment, the pike is absolutely amazing!
  • + 7
 I don't know about the dual-travel Fox's ability over "chatter" bumps, it always seems fine to me, but I will say that round here, where every track Is a nest of switchbacks, I find the short travel setting really helpful going uphill. Hardly "minimal"...
  • + 7
 Lefty > *

Honestly...."cost no factor" why in the hell is your only consideration a Fox? Oh....that's right, cause you have no f*cking clue and just buy whatever the interwebs says.
  • + 1
 This. While I haven't ridden the new SuperMax, I know that the old 130mm Lefty I used was stiffer than anything on the market a few years back, to include a 36. I'd imagine that, with increasing the diameter of the leg even more, it hasn't hurt the Lefty in that regard.
  • + 1
 The new Supermax is NICE. Hell, the Lefty PBR on my wife's Lexi is WAY stiffer than a Fox 36, especially during braking let alone tracking in the corners.

It's not for everybody (mostly because of price and aesthetics) but it's WAAAAAAAYYYY better than any Fox out there. this video explains it well:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WlRqcAQr2w
  • + 1
 actually he won a drawing for any fox fork of his choice so he is stuck w/ fox.
  • + 0
 Suntour > You
@rupintart
  • + 0
 your mom
  • + 0
 I resisted commenting this time until I came to this and the one below this as a bike mechanic I've seen four and heard of nine Leftys snapped in the two shops I've worked at let alone tons from the other Portland and tacoma stores near where I worked before, I've ridden 36s and Leftys and I don't see any comparison in stiffness one is Is at best an allmountain fork and one is a light free ride fork, I'm really disappointed in the drop of quality in fox in the last few years they used to be considered the best now it's mostly hype I've always been a marzocchi guy but servicing a fox is a pain compared to rs and marzocchi. Also the pike is not the same as the 36 the 36 as others have said is more like the lyric, who would pick a fox 34 over a pike? Honest question
  • + 5
 HIGHLY disagree with the benefits of travel adjust on a 160mm+ fork being minimal..

Ive had a 36 talas and a Pike dual position and on both bikes lowering the front end on steep climbs is night and day better..

Stick with the Pike...the performance difference between solo air and dual position is nonexistent..cant say the same for talas forks
  • + 1
 Yup...the "hockey stick" spring rate curve on the TALAS forks is common knowledge by now, they have tried to reduce it somewhat but its still present, and a TALAS really never feels as good as even a plain-Jane Float. I've tried multiple generations of both (except for the latest 36) and the sharp ramp-up at the end was always there.

Riding a Pike Solo now and it feels great, was wondering about the performance difference with the Dual position though.
  • + 2
 The new 36 Talas is different, you should try one. The other nice thing about the Talas vs. dual position, is that you can ride the Talas in the lower position, it's not just for climbing. Lower position on the RS is climb only

So on a bike like my Lenz, I have a 130/130 and 160/150 with one bike, a flip of the switch and a rocker change.
  • + 2
 thanks i will try the new one sometime
  • + 2
 Mmmm not in my case. I rode Dual position air on Sektor in lower mode and it was perfectly fine, it held up for some minor spanking. Talas biggest problem is serviceability. According to my mechanic most people who service forks themselves are quite ok with giving love to outer legs and to the damper. But they bever service Talas unit. You need special tools, or money for service up to twice a year.
  • + 3
 You can do what you want Waki- I called RS directly and they said lower position is climb only and if you ride like normal in the lowered position you can damage the shock.

Until your name is on the shock, I'll take the techs at RS word over yours.

People are such blind fanbois it's sad. I'm in the process of building a Ripley to replace my Lenz- I was able to change my Talas from 160/130 to 140/120 with just some spacers and a new bumper. Can't do that on a RS dual position.
The 36 Talas is such a flexible fork, its ashame people are missing out because old outdated mindset like yours.
  • + 3
 I told you what worked for me aaand maybe it was a bad advice then... but I think you are assuming too much... blind fanboi, outdated mindset ahahahahah. What else? I ride RS and I am masterbating too often, I can't ride, I listen to Beatles, I am am bisexual racist? Just throw in whatever you have hahahaha uhhh... Too bad I own two Fox forks... but I am not on your side of the fence - do you find that confusing?
  • + 9
 I find it confusing that your name pops up in EVERY comment section...
  • + 5
 i get confused when his name doesnt pop up.
  • + 8
 slope style 101 with @mikelevy
  • + 1
 #levylovesslopestyle
  • + 4
 Mmjohnson, I have some advice on not getting bucked, making some assumptions. Firstly, learn to bunny hop with flats. You don't have to bunny hop over anything, just get about a foot off the ground. Once you have mastered that, try landing the hop rear wheel first and front wheel first. This will teach you dynamic control of the bike, making quick adjustments mid air. Second, try some style. Just a tweak to relax you mid flight. Often someone will stiffen their arms and dead sailor over a jump and this can lead to a rider slowly pitching forward. A bit of a bar turn or small kick out of the rear wheel will loosen you up.
  • + 3
 Beginners to jumping tend to forget to push before take off. So they don't unload the suspension which leads to their body weight continuously pressing the bike down as if it were on the ground. Since the front wheel is in up in the air first, it drops quickly and you are likely to go over the bar.
  • + 7
 Right. And beginners are more likely to stiffen up. So many mountain bikers blame setup/equipment before they look at technique. I mean, we've all heard "I could do that drop, if only I have more travel!" yet we see Danny MacAskill drop twenty feet to flat concrete on a hardtail. Look at this article in its entirety - nearly two hundred comments about Pike vs 36 and no-one but us talking about how not to get bucked. MTBers LOVE talking about gear.

Unless the rider's shock rebound is superfast, suspension won't buck the rider (especially not the fork!). I think the rider is being dominated by the rear wheel on take-off - that's why I suggest learning to bunny hop on flats. This will teach the rider to push the rear wheel into the ground, and applying this technique with appropriate force on take-off will eliminate being pitched forward.
  • + 1
 great advice thanks!
  • + 4
 Ive had a pike and now a new 36 on my nomad , once i set the fox up with less compression and only a few clicks of low speed compression mid rebound and about 56 psi ( im about 170 pounds ) it feels basically the same as a pike ie invisible it just works you dont think about it . The reason i got it over the pike is I wanted the longer travel option and slightly slacker HTA , currently running my 36 at 170mm and it puts me at 64 deg hta on the 2014 27.5 Nomad . In my opinion if your ok with less travel the Pike is rad if you want more like me get the Fox .
  • + 1
 here's a review that shows the Kona Process models with Fox forks www.bikemag.com/gear/bike-exclusive-konas-2014-process-line

Personally I feel the Pike is an amazing fork, but I'd change it too if I wanted more travel.

Other than decreasing the head angle, the Fox will raise the bottom bracket height. Both the Nomad and Process have really low BBs so non-issue.
  • + 2
 ya totally agree also just for fun im switching the 170mm to 180mm today to see how that feels if you buy a 170 it comes with the 180 spring internally . HTA will be a little slacker hopefully it still climbs decent I cant imagine 10mm is going to make the geo too wacky .
  • + 4
 Got my 2015 fox 36 float 160mm and I love it, can't complain works great, and finally using, full of travel, and mattoc works great too, can't say bad word about it, money well spent.
  • + 3
 There's a reeeeeeeaaal easy way to remove those plastic spoke guards if you're sure you don't want it on there: a mallet, #1 flathead, and a couple well-placed impacts that will only break the guard. I actually really enjoyed when customers would request them being removed Smile
  • + 0
 I'm fairly sure you're legally not supposed to remove them, at least on bikes that you have sold at the store.
  • + 6
 Only in the land of lawyers. In canada, they and reflectors are among the first to go to recycle bins. If you ride at night a reflector is only good if by some miracle you find a car aimed directly at it (and you). A $2 blinky led makes you more visible and will keep you from getting run down better. Filing off lawyer tabs on forks is next on the list.
  • + 0
 Removing lawyer tabs from a fork will void its warranty. Frown
  • + 2
 haha...aka: a Fred plate. and yes, it should go immediately.
  • + 3
 If you don't know sh*t about damper system as the guy claims, he has no business getting anything with an RC2 damper, unless it's going straight to PUSH or ava for tuning...if he doesn't know the difference between terralogic and an RC2 damper with no platform, he's in for a bad time with that complex of a fork.
  • + 7
 Send him a CC DB for a good time.
  • + 4
 The $1000 fork that I bought is definitely the best one, and anyone who bought the other one is an idiot, and the universe will unravel if I'm not a dick about it.
  • + 2
 While everyone is gesticulating over their fork preference I'll give a thumbs up to spoke protectors. Sure, a well adjusted drive-train will avoid the need for a spoke protector but as soon as the hanger gets a bit bent then your chain will fall into the crack of no-return which is a pain in the arse to get out. Also when that happens it chews out spokes real quick so you get unexpected snaps.
  • + 2
 Mtbr just had an article talking about how being fashionable and removing this guard is pretty stupid. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
  • + 2
 Its so sad.

Rocky-mtn-gman " I'm not much of a suspension guru " "I'm going to immediately swap out with the highest-end fox fork".

Sure, a guy who knows nothing about forks needs FOX top of the line fork, immediately.

But, why?

1st Question! - What is wrong with the stock fork?
2nd Question! -Why limit your self to only 2 brands of choice?
3rd Question! -Did you ride the bike you want to buy with the stock fork?
4th Question! - Have you spent enough time riding this bike to feel its stock characteristics, in order to improve upon them?
5th Question! - Why upgrade, just to upgrade, if you don't know the difference?
  • + 1
 The man asked specifically about purchasing a Fox 36 fork because he was planning on stepping up his game. He also stated that money was not an object. His question was legit' and it was answered directly. It's his choice and his money, why all the tears?
  • + 2
 AS the owner of a bike store, in the rocky mountains, I wouldn't switch the pike for the 36. I have both. If my bike came with either one that one would stay on there, at some point i would probably sell the Fox 36 and buy the Pike RCT3. In the USA at least, Rock Shox has way better warranty service and customer support. I have more than one customer at this moment that cannot ride because his fox fork or shock or both has had to be sent in to Fox and they have had the product for more than 2 weeks. Where as with Rock Shock, you can send into QBP which is easy or if I call Rock Shox they send out the new product that day, we put it on the bike, take the old one off put it in the box with the pre-paid shipping label they send you and thats the end of the process. I ride a lot of park (wish I only rode park) and the Pike is the most capable, via the bottomless tokens, single crown fork Ive ridden, I would say the new 36 is as good in the park but not better. And as far as crown noises, creaks and issues, we have two fox fork at this very moment under warranty for that reason. If money is not an option and you want to step up your game, pay for lessons at your park, or go to a kovarik or whoever else racing school, and that will make a way bigger difference in your riding that swapping one good fork for another good fork. That being said, I still do sh*t like that all the time haha. I have a Bike with an Emerald, and a FOX 40 just because i want to try both 2015 offerings.
  • + 0
 Well Richard, no tears here and all the respect to you.

So than, shall we all just shut up and limit our selves? The man asking a question and does not know much. Are we going to use that to up-sell or shall we help the guy? Or really find out what matters here and what could be of benefit to other beginners as well?

Sure some might be sponsored, but most are not, we gotta make right choices that worth it.

I just can't justify it as 2 option game for the rest of us. It has to relate to all of us riders if its posted for all. Just my opinion, don't be hating.
  • + 2
 Okay people - why is no one making fun of the Korean guy who asked about the stupid plastic choad spoke protector disk? That is way more intriguing then this stupid Pike vs Fox 36 debate.
  • + 1
 The fox 36 is a better option for the park abuse and the 20mm bearings on the wheels will outlast the smaller 15mm if you use the pike. The correct question is if the Pike will be a better fork than the new fox 34 for next year .
  • - 4
flag Brzzi (Nov 11, 2014 at 11:41) (Below Threshold)
 Fox switched from a 20-millimeter to the more common, 15-millimeter axle as standard equipment on the new 36, so you are all good.

Can't you read?
  • + 14
 He can read but he also knows his shit unlike so many other posters on here. The new 36 can use either 15mm or 20mm axles.
  • + 8
 Fox did not switch from 20mm to the "more common 15mm." The 36 chassis uses a convertible 20mm/15mm dropouts... i.e. you can run either on the same fork. See: www.ridefox.com/help.php?m=bike&id=462

It's a smart move on the part of Fox. Personally, I prefer 20mm for the kind of riding I do and max compatibility with the wheels I have.
  • + 1
 The plastic protector is one of first things I get rid of in a new bike...when it's on it offers a tighter fit for the fallen chain to get stuck in, and that's actually much more dangerous for the spokes...sometimes I even had to take out the wheel to reposition it. When it's off I just grab the chain and reposition it in 10 seconds...
  • + 1
 I have to agree with a lot of you guys on here, I don't see why he wants to replace the pike already hasn't even ridden it not saying that the 36 is a bad fork its amazing i have ridden both the pike and the 36, but in my opinion he should at least ride the pike for a good 2-3 months before he decides to get rid of it for a 36.
  • + 1
 Anyone adjust the travel on the new fox 36 float 170? Per fox's website a 170mm fork can be increased in travel to 180mm or dropped to 130mm internally.

www.ridefox.com/help.php?m=bike&id=412
"The 2015 36 FLOAT uses an all new air spring system that can be adjusted down to lower travel settings in 10mm increments. To shorten travel you will need one Neg Plate Spacer (PN: 234-04-627) for each 10mm reduction in travel desired. "

"2015 36 FLOAT 170mm and 180mm forks can be reduced in travel down to 130mm."

I didn't see any differences in weight between the 160 and 170mm version so why not get a 170 and adjust to what you want to use it for? If you get a 160mm option 160mm is your max travel option. vs a 170mm maxing out at 180mm.
  • + 2
 I have and it's very easy. There is a slight difference in weight but it's very minimal. Both chassis are exactly the same, the only difference is the spring assembly. The 160mm fork can go from 110mm to 160mm while the 180mm fork can go from 130mm to 180mm.
  • + 1
 I have a Pike now and love it but my next fork will be a 36. It's the stiffness (which will help the guy in the article at the bike park) and adjust ability that have swayed me. Also I think you can feel the trail more on the 36. I like to know what my tires are doing.
  • + 3
 Having ridden about 100 miles or so on the new 36. I'll keep my Pike. Not that the 36 isn't good. It just isn't as good as my Pike.
  • + 1
 While I do like Rockshox. I currently run a set of Fox 36 Floats on one bike a set of BOS Deville 160's on the other. Both those forks are fantastic. Im starting to like the BOS's more however Smile
  • + 1
 Why not get the process 153dl that comes with the pike rct3. As good if not better than the 36. It will cost the same as upgrading to the 36 but you'll also get 1x on the 153 and other component upgrades.
  • + 3
 Pick your favorite fork company and be a dick about!
  • + 1
 I have 2014 COIL converted 160mm pikes I can report they kick ass over any fork ive ever rode . Much better than when they was air .
  • + 2
 My friend just went flying over the bars off a kicker this morning, he should read this article.
  • + 1
 ...
  • + 4
 Stick with the Pikes.
  • + 1
 come on changing a rock shox pike for a fox 36 ... both of them are already good forks..... It isn't like your are upgrading to fox from rst fork
  • + 4
 marzocchi coil
  • + 1
 Ive used the pike and i have to say its awesome but i would want to try out the fox 36 before making my final decision
  • + 1
 If this guy wants the best money no object fork he should get a BOS Deville. Obviously.
  • + 2
 Could always try an X fusion Metric. Or a Bos Deville
  • + 2
 or a mattoc? Maybe my next fork. Seems a good fork.
  • + 2
 That would work if people realized there were other suspension companies besides the Fox and RockShox money hogs.
  • + 3
 Get a metric. Best $700 I ever spent.
  • + 0
 Revel?
  • + 2
 Second the metric. Closest thing to a single crown DH fork on the market right now-even shares it's internals and lower chassis with the RV1. Not perhaps the best option for long trail days, but goddamn is it plush and stiff as hell.
  • + 2
 And the 36 isnt just 15mm its interchangeable with shims..
  • + 1
 CAN I HAS YOUR PIKE WHEN U HAS SWAPPED IT OUT PLEASE? OKAY THANKS
  • + 1
 All the cool kids are doin' it.
  • + 0
 I love a good old fashioned debate, which relies completely on opinion. I say "Lyrik". Smile
  • + 0
 Pull each branded fork in question apart, and it's easy to see which builds a better quality fork together.
  • + 0
 The new Fox 36 170 is the best upgrade I could have made to my new SC Nomad!
  • + 4
 The 180mm X-Fusion Metric begs to differ....

j/k, run what ya brung. Can't really go wrong these days.
  • + 1
 I wanna try the revel. If cost is no factor then why not?
  • + 1
 TALMBOUT BIKE PARTS!
  • + 0
 X-Fusion Metric........
  • - 2
 Everyone just hold tight. DVO Diamond is coming in January.
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