RockShox Pike Ultimate

RockShox Pike Ultimate review

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The RockShox Pike Ultimate has had as big a revamp as RockShox’s other forks. Charger 3 damper, DebonAir+ spring, purging air bleed valves, the cutely named ‘Buttercups’ (anti-chatter elastomery bushings inspired by chainsaw technology of all things).

  • Price: £964
  • Options: 120mm, 130mm, 140mm, 27.5in, 29in, 37mm offset, 44mm offset
  • Weight: 1,890g
  • From: SRAM
RockShox Pike Ultimate

The Charger 3 damper is very different from the Charger 2. Basically it’s an IFP rather than an expanding bladder, if you must know. But it’s what effect this change has when riding that’s important. We’ll get on to that shortly.

The aesthetic and construction of the new Pike is super modern and impressively chunky and clicky. The range of damping – and air spring – adjustment is clearly wider than on previous RockShox forks. Pretty much every rider should be able to get the Pike set up to their tastes and requirements.

Small but important changes to the new Pike also include lower friction SKF seals and fancier fluids from Maxima.

Now then, out on the trail the Pike was a real surprise. Boiling it down to basics, the Pike feels much more ‘sporty’ than ‘supple’. Despite all the talk of Buttercups and low friction this and that, the Pike likes it rough and fast. It likes riders who get their shoulders over the front of the bike.

It’s a super accurate feeling fork. Super supportive. The Pike doesn’t fly through its mid-stroke whenever you sneeze. What the Pike isn’t is comfy. But this isn’t a huge problem. It’s more something that’s worth highlighting as a point of difference. Comfort can be addressed by playing with your tyre choice and setup.

The fact that the Pike rides high in its travel means it’s a good option for heavier and aggressive riders who want to maintain chassis handling consistency when really hurtling along tracks. It’s an exciting and efficient experience but definitely one that rewards fast and confident pilots.

To put a marketing tag on it, the Pike feels like a downhill racer’s trail fork. It’s certainly unfazed at big hits, harsh flat landings or general multi-directional inputs that have other trail forks twanging and binding a bit. Perhaps like good whisky its character might mellow with a little ageing.

We’d have expected it to be bedded in long ago in the testing process. Maybe it’s our imagination, but we’re tempted to suggest that our last couple of test rides may show signs of it loosening up a little. But then, like notes of seaweed and citrus, it’s hard to say for sure without even more time out on the trail.


The RockShox Pike Ultimate is an exceptionally well made and stylish looking fork with loads of adjustment on offer. Lacks initial sensitivity but also offers an extremely efficient and supportive ride for racers.

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Review Info

Brand: RockShox
Product: PIke Ultimate
From: SRAM
Price: £964.00
Tested: by Benji for Singletrack World Magazine Issue 147
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Cotic RocketMAXer. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

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  • RockShox Pike Ultimate review
  • joebristol
    Full Member

    Sounds like this revision of the pike is quite different to the last Pike Ultimate – I’ve got the charger 2 one and it’s a very supple / comfortable fork.

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