RockShox Pike gets a major refresh

New Damper, DebonAir air spring, and chassis

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RockShox Pike 2017

The new RockShox Pike seeks to disrupt the industry again by introducing a slew of new upgrades.

When RockShox reintroduced the Pike four years ago in all its murdered glory, it set a new benchmark for suspension performance. It forced competitors to step up and it made black stanchions sexy again.

Taking what they learned from that seminal product, RockShox has since launched several (arguably) class leading products. That includes the enduro oriented Lyric, the ridiculously light SID, and the inverted RS1 fork. With each product line, Rockshox introduced new improvements. Now, they’re taking all that technology and bringing it to the Pike.

RockShox 2017 Charger Damper 2 Cutaway

RockShox has also improved the ease of serviceability by changing the bleed location. The port now uses a reverb fitting, which makes things super simple.

Charger Damper 2

Let’s start with the heart and sole of the fork, the damper. In their premium product line, RockShox uses a closed cartridge system with an expanded bladder. This system was first used by RockShox in the Pike. They called it the Charger Damper. The sequel, which has been imaginatively named the Charger Damper 2, relies upon the same basic principles.

The difference is that the bladder now has an hourglass shape, similar to what’s found in the new SID. That allows the piston to displace more oil, without requiring a larger stanchion.

RockShox OneLoc Remote

The force required to shift between the various platforms has also been greatly reduced. This adjustment makes the fork compatible with the OneLoc remote. That’s not a big deal here in America, but it is for Europeans.

The tuning has also been adjusted. The Pike now has a wider range of low-speed compression adjustment in the open mode. The firmness of the middle (or pedal) setting has been backed off, making it more usable for all the riding that occurs between steep fire road climbs and gnarly descents.

RockShox Pike 2017 Side Profile

Another feature borrowed from the SID is that the air spring top cap is removable using a cassette tool. No more fumbling around with a crescent wrench or grinding down a socket.

DebonAir Air Spring

Now that we’ve covered one fork leg, let’s move over to the air side. For the new Pike, RockShox borrowed the same tech as their DebonAir equipped shocks. In short, they’ve increased the negative air volume, which enhances small bump sensitivity – particularly in the first third of the stroke.

This new air spring will also be featured on the Lyrik, Revelation, and Yari.

Updated Chassis

In addition to the internal changes, RockShox also made significant modifications to the chassis. With burlier and lighter options in the line, they wanted to optimize the Pike for trail oriented pursuits. So max travel is now capped at 160mm for the 27.5” version and 140mm for the 29er. Both are built exclusively around boost spacing and will clear up to a 2.8” tire. Although if you’re plus curious, the 29er fork will accommodate up to 27.5×3” rubber.

Feeling upgrade-itis?

If the new fork has you feeling upgrade-itis, there are some things you can do to spruce up your existing Pike. The first thing we’d suggest is the Luftkappe air piston assembly from suspension tuner Vorsprung. This little doohickey increases the negative air chamber, which gives you that ultra plush feel at the top of the stroke. It also replaces the mechanical top out bumper with a pneumatic one.

And when it’s time to service your Charger Damper, you can simply order a new Charger 2 Upgrade kit instead. The non-remote version will retail for $240, the remote kit will be $300.

Availability/Cost

The new forks are available now. Retail is set between $875-1000 depending on options.

To learn more, visit www.sram.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

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