Travel 140mm / Axle to crown height: 515mm / 32mm stanchions / Spring: Dual Air / Damping adjustment: rebound, compression and flood gate with PopLoc (not pictured) / Weight 4.5lb
The only change to the Pike range for 2007 is that the Maxle has been upgraded to a 360deg version that allows you to choose where to position the quick-release lever. It is still super-easy to use and is by far the best 20mm QR system to date.
Our fixed-travel fork had RockShox’s Dual Air spring. Its main advantage is, as you adjust the positive air spring for different rider weights, you can set the negative air spring to match. Forks like the Fox 32 Float have fixed coil negative springs, which can’t cope so well with very light or heavy riders.
Additionally the Dual Air spring can be used to tweak the set-up. For example, if you want the fork to ramp up more you can put more air in the positive then pull the fork down to the correct sag position with the negative. That way you maintain good small-bump sensitivity and the correct ride height. But the fork resists bottoming better. Basically the Dual Air system allows you to manipulate the spring curve and it’s easier to understand than Marzocchi’s triple-air system. If it’s all too much to get your head around, the Pike has guide pressures printed on the back of the left leg.
Atop the right leg is the Motion Control damper. The remote PopLoc lets you flick to lock-out mode without taking your hand off the bars, while the floodgate allows you to choose the level of lock-out.
Out on the trail you notice the classic RockShox feeling of riding more on the spring instead of the damping. This isn’t a bad thing as the fork is plush and back to back with the Fox it’s hard to separate the two in terms of comfort, even if the Fox has the edge on traction. For an average weight rider steering precision isn’t that different to the 9mm QR Fox but the 20mm dropouts and Maxle definitely reduce deflection under braking — especially when running bigger rotors.
At 0.7lb heavier than the Fox, the Pike is a great fork for bigger riders, or harder hitting guys that don’t mind a bit of extra weight and want the added security of a 20mm front axle. We’re still not convinced that you need the PopLoc on a fork like this and, in hindsight, the slightly more expensive Dual Air U-turn would be a better option.
MBR RATING: 9/10