New chassis, spring, damper and dropout spacing for RockShox's all-mountain Pike fork for 2018
When it was launched in 2013 the RockShox Pike pretty much redefined the trail and all-mountain suspension fork category.
Four years is a long time in the fast-moving fork market, and the latest Fox 34 has arguably eclipsed the Pike in performance and price terms, making it high time for an update.
The 2018 RockShox Pike
Well here it is, the 2018 RockShox Pike. It gets a new chassis, spring and damper, but the most significant change is actually to the dropout spacing. The company is no longer producing this fork with 100mm spacing – the new Pike is Boost only.
One of the immediate benefits of the wider fork is it can now accommodate a bigger or Plus tyre —the 27.5in model can take a 2.8in, the 29er a 3.0in.
We know what you’re thinking — a Boost fork will be heavier right? Not so, RockShox has managed to cut 150g out of the new Pike without any loss in stiffness. You can see the extra machining around the dropouts and fork brace, but a good chunk of the 150g weight has been saved by simply switching from a Maxle Ultimate QR to the slender Maxle Stealth bolt-thru axle.
To go with the lighter chassis, the Pike also has upgraded DebonAir air spring. This is similar to the spring in the RockShox Lyrik fork and has an increased negative volume, which according to RockShox offers a better small-bump ride, but with increased mid-stroke support. This negative volume is the same for both the 27.5in and 29in models, but unfortunately the spring isn’t backwards compatible with the older fork, due to the position of the channel that allows air to pass between the negative and positive air chambers.
There was also a strong demand from Germany for a Pike fork with a remote lockout. Unfortunately, due to the original Charger damper having a pretty heavy action, fitting a lockout proved problematic, so RockShox redesigned it. Charger 2 has a much lighter action, and is now offered with a cable activated OneLoc remote. It also has an increased range of low speed compression in the Open mode, and there’s a wider range of rebound adjustment too, which is great news for lighter weight riders.
To improve the crown/down tube clearance, the compression adjustment dial and air cap on the new Pike are now low profile. RockShox has also ditched the hex flats on the air cap, replacing them instead with a spline fitting. This is then removed with a standard cassette lock-ring tool.
Landing the Pike
The four Pike models range in price from £825-940, more info at zyrofisher.co.uk
We spent a couple of days riding the new Pike and, while it was on unfamiliar terrain on an unfamiliar bike, it was definitely a lot lighter off the top than the old fork, and had improved mid-stroke support. The fork has not lost any of its big-hit versatility, but now seems a lot more composed. Interestingly though, the travel is now limited to 140mm travel on the 29er version. We’re not sure why, but our guess is it’s to create some clear air between the Pike and the longer-travel Lyrik.