In this review, one of our good customers, Jake, talks about how his new Rockshox Pike RCT3 fork compares to both the Fox 36 and Fox 34. Those three forks kill the trail bike marketplace. Let's see how the Rockshox Pike sizes up against it's biggest rivals.
I purchased the Pike RTC3 27.5 for the Santa Cruz 5010 I recently built. This was part of my dream build and my goal was to find a fork that could cover my riding style which straddles the line between trail and enduro.
First off, a little background. Over the past 2 seasons I've been riding on the Fox 36 and Fox 34 extensively and was hoping the Pike could fill the gap I've discovered between these forks. For me, the Fox 36 has been an excellent fork that I am very happy with. It has excellent small bump compliance and rides high in its travel. I have no complaints about this fork other than it's a bit burlier than what I need for a bike with 130mm of travel (and not available in 130mm of travel). My Fox 34 on the other hand leaves something to be desired. The fork has excellent small bump compliance, but I never liked how the fork rides lower in it's travel and was never able to find a good balance between small bump compliance and the ability to ride it aggressively. Because of this gap I started looking at other options and eventually ended up with the Pike.
I've been on the Pike now for a little over a month and am already impressed. The fork was a breeze to tune compared to my Fox 34 and the recommended PSI from RockShox was right on. What really stood out to me is how well the Pike rides high in it's travel. Not only did this help keep the head angle of the bike slack on aggressive terrain, but also made the fork feel like there was a bit more travel up front than 130mm. It also performed well with standing pedaling as well; I never noticed any excessive bob even with the fork fully open while sprinting. As for the downsides, I would say the fork does not have the small bump compliance compared to either of the Fox forks. The high speed compression dampening is also a bit firmer than I would like. In both cases these ride characteristics weren’t terrible, just noticeable from the forks I was riding.
Overall, I have to say I am happy with the fork so far. It's the perfect option for anyone who is looking for a fork that straddles the line between enduro and trail riding. Just keep in mind there is a small trade off with small bump sensitivity and high speed compression dampening compared to Fox.
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