Rock Shox Pike RCT3 – Review

The Pike first surfaced back in 2013, and has since spawned a whole family of trail forks for all sorts of gravity abuse. On test, Tom’s had the 160mm travel RTC3 fork. This boasts external low speed and rebound adjustment, as well as a three position high speed compression adjuster. As well as tweaking the air pressure, it’s super-easy to add “bottomless” tokens to reduce the volume and tune the spring rate. Indeed it’s so easy you can pretty much do it in the car park between rides.

rock shox pike

The black lowers and stantions will go with pretty much everything, and you get a “stealth” set of graphics to fit if you wish. I went full pimp and added a set of Invisi-Frame graphics to match the bike – worth checking out if you are a bit of a poser! Aesthetically they look awesome, no weird shapes or needless faffery, just clean, simple lines. The rear of the arch is waffled which would collect mud if you weren’t running a guard – easy fix, run a guard!

Out of the box and onto the bike they immediately felt a plush, and setting them up was a pleasure. I spent a while fiddling about with bottomless tokens and air pressures, eventually settling on one token giving the right balance of plushness in the start of the stroke while still offering enough support through the rest. After a few hours riding I dropped the lowers off. As with all Rock Shox products I’ve had recently they were pretty dry inside, so I added plenty of fluid and SRAM butter in all the right places. Since then I’ve only just got round to servicing them again, about six months down the line they were still in great shape internally.

Out on the trail they deliver a really precise ride, stiff and strong through even the fastest and roughest of descents and wonderfully plush. The small bump sensitivity makes long days out on the bike a pleasure, as well as delivering oodles of grip. The Pike has been a flagship trail bike fork for the last few years, and for 2018 it gets a whole new damper that promises to take it up yet another level, and means there will doubtless be deals to be done on older models… get shopping!


TRAVEL 150/160mm – 26″ , 130/140/150/160mm – 27.5″ , 120/130/140/150/160mm – 29″
WHEELS 26″, 27.5″, 29″
AXLE TO CROWN 542mm – 26″/160mm travel, 542mm – 27.5″/150mm travel, 551mm – 29″/140mm travel
WEIGHT 1835g – 26” , 1861g – 27.5” , 1876g – 29”
DAMPING Charger Damper (RCT3)
AVAILABLE SPRINGS Dual Position Air, Solo Air
ADJUSTMENTS External rebound, low speed compression, 3-position compression (Open/Pedal/Lock)
STEERER OPTIONS Tapered aluminum
CROWN Forged, hollow 7050 Aluminum
UPPER TUBES 35mm tapered wall aluminum, Fast Black
LOWERS Magnesium, 15x100mm Maxle Ultimate, disc only
OPTIONS 26″, 27.5″, 27.5″ BOOST™, 29″, 29″/27.5″+ BOOST™, 29″+ BOOST™
RECOMMENDED REAR SHOCK Monarch, Monarch Plus, Vivid Air
COLOR OPTIONS Black, Diffusion Black, White
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