The RCT3 damping allows the choice of three settings, adjustable with the flick of a switch. Open, Threshold (extra resistance in the beginning of the stroke but not locked out), and Lock-Out. The Lock-Out setting is not a complete locked out and only serves to firm things up. Low speed compression can be tuned with eleven clicks of the black dial on top of the blue Motion Control switch, while high speed is pre-set.
Rapid Recovery rebound damping, first introduced on the Monarch shock, helps increase the fork's ability to track the terrain by riding higher in it's travel. By speeding up the end of the rebound stroke, Rapid Recovery allows the fork to recover faster from bigger hits keeping the fork from packing up over continual bumps. A slower beginning rebound stroke keeps the fork from "bucking" as it returns to full extension. Incorporated in this is independent damping circuits, allowing separate rebound speeds for big hits and small ones. A user-adjustable, bottom-mounted red knob controls the beginning-stroke (small-hit) rebound, and a factory-set ending-stroke (big-hit)
With Rapid Recovery rebound damping comes the new Dig valve. Dig is short for digressive tuning, which means there are lower flow rates at lower speeds, with an increase in the rate as the speed rises. This offers a pedal friendly damping rate at lower speeds and smooth damping curve on bigger hits, which should greatly improve the damping out on the trails. Leaving no stone unturned, the Dig valve’s shaft is crafted from aluminium rather than the previous chrome steel saving 5g in the process.
Damping is taken care of by the new Charger cartridge, a fully sealed design that uses an extruded bladder to avoid air mixing with the oil, instead of the long standing Mission Control unit found in the BoXXer and previous generation Lyrik. The success of the Charger has seen it added to the new Lyrik and it has also been spotted in BlackBox-spec BoXXer forks at World Cup races, meaning we'll likely see it used soon across the board on RockShox's high-end products
On top of all that, RockShox include their Bottomless Tokens – plastic spacers that reduce the air volume to create a more progressive spring rate. Bottomless Tokens allow riders to easily custom tune their RockShox fork’s air-spring performance to best match their own riding style and preference. Adding the easy-to-install Bottomless Tokens changes the air-spring curve to resist bottom-out after a big hit, giving aggressive riders the power to attack the trail harder. Removing Bottomless Tokens makes the air-spring curve more linear, enhancing suspension feel for certain types of terrain or trail condition and ensuring riders who are less front-end aggressive benefit from 100 percent of their fork’s travel.
The updated Maxle Lite now features a thread-in and clamp design instead of the previous expansion dependent design. This makes it much easier to use and comes with an added level of assurance.
- Travel150/160mm - 26", 130/140/150/160mm - 27.5", 120/130/140/150/160mm - 29"
- Wheels26", 27.5", 29"
- Axle to crown542mm - 26"/160mm travel, 542mm - 27.5"/150mm travel, 551mm - 29"/140mm travel
- Weight1835g - 26” , 1861g - 27.5” , 1876g - 29”
- DampingCharger Damper (RCT3)
- SpringsDual Position Air, Solo Air
- AdjustmentsExternal rebound, low speed compression, 3-position compression (Open/Pedal/Lock)
- SteererTapered aluminium
- CrownForged, hollow 7050 Aluminium
- Upper tubes35mm tapered wall aluminium, Fast Black
- LowersMagnesium, 15x100mm Maxle Ultimate, disc only
- Max rotor size200mm
- Colour optionsBlack, Diffusion Black, White
- Suggested retail pricingR17,500 (depending on model)
On the Trail
When I first rode a Pike, I was amazed at how good it felt straight out of the box. Even on the first ride there were zero signs of stiction and I managed full travel without knowing where or when it happened.
Hammer it through chattery, rough, rock riddled sections and you'll be surprised by just how much the Pike can deal with, and the amount of composure and support it does it with. Trails like these highlight just how smooth and supple the beginning stroke is.
Thanks to the Rapid Recovery rebound circuit, the Pike tracks well on hits on quick, successive hits, using only the necessary amount of travel and recovering well even after big, fast compressions. This makes rutted or loose rocky trails easy to navigate at full speed.
The Pike shows no sign of flex on full throttle or with a fist full of front brake, but I'm sure there are several riders out there who can push a 160mm bike hard enough to run the Pike into the red, but for those the new Lyrik should do the job.
The hard anodized black finish has proven itself to be as tough as nails and holds up very well to wear.
Over the last 2 years we have ridden several different models in the Pike line-up, on several different bikes. Each and every time it was only a joy, whether on a 29" or 27.5" bike, anything from 130mm to 160mm, fixed or dual position.
Take some time play around with the settings and you will have a fork that will get you through and over any terrain. Its reputation as the go-to fork is well-deserved.
- There isn't a bad model in the range, regardless of travel, settings and wheel size
- The current benchmark
- Changing settings to get it to your liking takes a couple of minutes
- Service kit included in the box is a nice touch
- Servicing is easy enough to tackle as a DIY
- Needs some tweaking and playing around with tokens to get it to your liking
- The stock progression will be too linear for most
- The competition is snapping at its heels
From the Manufacturer:
DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
A comeback has never been so amazing. After taking a few years off, PIKE comes back in the RockShox lineup, as the ultimate trail fork. Your trail could be a silky smooth ribbon of single track, or a rock-infested goat trail in the Alps. Either way, there is a PIKE for you. All wheel sizes, with 26”, 27.5” and 29” options, and 160mm and 150mm travel models, plus a 140mm version for the 29” platform. The RCT3 damper is available in either Dual Position Air or a Solo Air version to complete the offering.