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Survival of the stiffest.
It seems like just yesterday that RockShox's Pike was the hottest thing going in the off-road world. These days, Boost axles are the rage, and the 27.5in Pike RCT3 Solo Air Boost Fork combines those two pieces of trail weaponry for an all-mountain axe stiff enough to chop through any obstacles an enduro course may drop in your path. Since the Pike's reinforced Power Bulge bushings are already pushing the fork into nuclear-grade anti-deflection territory, pairing it with a 110mm Boost axle only makes sense.
The Solo Air fork ditches the adjustability of the Dual Position Air version in favor of a single 150mm travel position. You lose the ability to drop the front end of your bike by a couple of centimeters to make it more aggressive on the climbs, but for some, the extra weight saved (about 50 grams) and the complexity saved is worth it. While still a comfortable climber, thanks to the Charger damper's adjustability, the Solo Air really shines on the steepest and most technical downhills you can stomach.
Of course, the Pike wouldn't be in the pole position of the six-inch travel game if it were rigidly un-adjustable. Depending on the terrain you're climbing up or dropping in to, the fork's settings can be dialed by the three-position RCT3 switch, which lets you choose discreet amounts of lockout for bigger hits, trail terrain, or cross-country speed. RockShox's Rapid Recovery feature indulges the Pike's terrain-gobbling tendencies by keeping recovery between hits short, so you'll always have that cushion, even during multiple successive bumps.
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have had this fork on my last 2 bikes, one in 140 and another in 160. Overall, I'd say I like it more than my current Fox 36. The 36 may be a bit stiffer, but I honestly don't think thats a difference I would notice too much.
What I do notice is that the Pike was easier to setup to my preference, and I really like the adjustments. The 36 is still beating the crap out of me as I try to figure out my settings
How wide of a tire can this fork handle?
I had 2.8 Nobby Nic's on my 140 version with room to spare. I'd say it would fit most 2.8's but not all. And probably not any 3.0's