A stiff fork with plenty of travel options and setting it up is child's play
RockShox’s Pike RCT3 is available in three wheelsizes, 100mm and 110mm Boost dropout spacing and a ton of travel options, from 120mm to 160mm.
However, the chassis remains the same across the travel range, which means you’re carrying a little bit of extra weight in the shorter forks, but also means that by purchasing a different spring assembly (about £35), you can change the travel to suit a different category bike if you wish.
Like the Yari, the Pike is air-sprung and can be custom tuned using Bottomless Tokens, RockShox’s name for volume reducers.
One is fitted as standard, but if you ride harder we’d recommend adding at least one more, maybe even two.
The Pike RCT3 has rebound adjustment, a low-speed compression dial and three-position pre-set compression (Open/Pedal/Lock) adjuster.
The dial can be adjusted on the move, but we reckon a lever would make this easier.
The Pike is one of the simplest forks to set up, and once we’d dialled the sag and sorted the number of tokens we never touched it again — it’s totally fit and forget.
Due to a smaller volume negative spring, it isn’t as plush off the top as the Yari, but the small-bump sensitivity is still very good.
It’s stiff too, and that makes a big difference when hammering rough terrain or making dramatic direction changes.
We’ve tested loads of Pikes over the years, and we’ve had a few issues with air building up in the lowers and crown/steerer creak, especially when ridden hard and, ahem, suffered the odd harsh landing.
The oversized Torque Cap-compatible dropouts are great if your wheel has them, but a bit of a pain if not, as getting the Maxle centered is far from easy without them.
Last time we tested the Pike against a Fox 34, we rated the Pike a 10 but this year it’s seen a price increase, so it’s not as good value.
There are more travel options in the Pike platform, it’s a stiffer fork, and setting it up is child’s play but the Fox 34 is lighter, closer in price and, crucially, has the edge when it comes to damping performance.