ROCKSHOX PIKE SELECT FORK REVIEW
Review by Ryan Ackerman
Since the RockShox Pike fork was released back in 2013 it has gone through numerous iterations and updates throughout the years. The latest chassis saw the Pike drop almost 160 grams while also increasing ride quality. When we received the Canyon Stoic to test we were stoked to see how the new 140mm RockShox Pike Select would perform. Would the new Pike Select comply and handle all the various terrain this aggressive hardtail was built to handle? We certainly had expectations for it to be a perfect match, so let’s see how it did.
One of the things I really like about RockShox is if you go to trailhead.rockshox.com you can punch in the serial number on the fork and it will pull up all the specs on your particular fork along with a tuning guide, documents, service kits, and upgrades. The serial number is just below the steerer tube on the backside of the crown.
RockShox offers a full line up of Pike forks, the Select is the base model for those looking for a reputable trail fork without breaking the bank. The next model up is the Select + which has the new Charger 2.1 damper featuring a low speed compression adjust and at the top of the line up is the RockShox Pike Ultimate, offering the Charger 2.1 RCT3 with a 3- position compression adjust translating to open, pedal and firm for those who are looking to maximize and get the most out of their ride. RockShox even offers a dirt jump or DJ version of the Pike for those who like to send it off dirt jumps and rip through the slope style courses. We think the Select + is probably the best bang for the buck.
The Canyon Stoic we received to test was equipped with a Pike Select. The Pike Select comes with a 1.5” tapered steerer tube and a stanchion diameter of 35mm. Something I really like about RockShox forks is that they put the sag measurements on the fork so you can easily adjust the sag where you want it. The stock fork comes with a Charger RC damper which is adjusted on top of the crown and the ability to adjust the rebound speed on the bottom. It also has a Debonair spring with 1 out of the 5 available spaces to alter the volume of the spring, allowing more tokens to keep from bottoming out when bombing big drops.
This particular fork has an offset of 51mm but the Pike is also available with a 49mm offset in the 29” version. Holding the wheel in place is a 15x110mm Boost Maxle that is Torque Cap compatible to keep your front wheel secure when riding the burliest of terrain. The Pike is capable of fitting a plus size tire of 2.8 width for those who like to rub big rubber up front. The minimum rotor size for the Pike is 180mm with a maximum of 220mm. RockShox uses Maxima Plush Fluid, which they claim reduces friction and quiets the damper down too. Maxima Plush fluid is designed to protect the suspension from wear and help silence any damper noise, which we certainly like. The Pike isn’t the lightest fork on the market but far from being the heaviest coming in at 1,837g and is offered in diffusion black or gloss black.
As mentioned before we had expectations for this fork to be awesome. So we got right to it and rode everything from the local pump track to rocky downhill lines to see what the Pike Select was capable of. Our first impression wasn’t the greatest so we rechecked pressures, and made sure we were where we needed to be.
Turns out the air pressure was a bit off so we added some more air, adjusted the fork to our weight and riding style and we quickly started to like the stable feel. It was nice to have the ability to quickly change how plush or firm the fork felt on top of the crown, although it doesn’t have a full lockout or the three-position compression adjustment it did stay pretty firm and allowed us to maximize efficiency on our hardtail shredder. Whether we were at a paved VeloSolutions pumptrack, climbing fire roads or sending it off drops to flat, the fork would adapt to the task.
While shralping through some more technical and treacherous sections at higher speeds our testers were impressed how quiet and stiff the Pike remained. On the downside we felt like the Pike had trouble staying compliant and wanted to wander a little bit while ripping through the chattery sections. We’ve dealt with much worse forks in this manner but we were really wishing this fork was equipped with the Charger 2.1, which would have probably made all the difference. For our testing we had a rider who almost exclusively rides hardtails beat on this bike and fork as he’s got a solid barometer on how hardtails track and ride.
If you’re a more aggressive rider or weigh more than those 165lb string beans, you should plan on running some volume reducers. Our primary tester for this weighs in at a little over 200lbs so he found himself using full travel a few times. During our testing we took it everywhere from XC and trail rides to pumptracks and dirt jumps. We also hit a few jump lines and flow trails where we could take a few decent-sized drops. We never felt the fork truly bottom out harshly after installing a few reducers, which is great. It’s always nice to be able to remedy issues and fine tune a stock fork to your specifications and riding style.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Overall the RockShox Pike Select performed well in all applications and never gave us any mechanical issues while testing it. After rallying this fork on paved pump tracks, dirt jumps and blasting DH lines with some chunky sections, we’re pleased to say it held up and never once let on like we were pushing it too hard. As a stock fork on a complete bike or a hardtail I would not be disappointed receiving this fork. With the ability to add a few tokens and handle just about anything you throw at it, this fork does pretty well. However, if you are looking at upgrading your current fork I would confidently recommend paying the extra $230 for the Pike Ultimate to have the Charger 2.1 damper to gain more confidence and reduce hand fatigue while ripping through the bumpy sections. The Maxima Plush oil seemed to live up to its hype and keep the fork noise down and remain smooth as butter. At the end of the day if you are looking for a fork that will be reliable and perform well in all disciplines or equipped on a complete box bike, the Pike Select might be worth checking out.
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