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  1. #1
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    Pike versus Fox 34: Pros/Cons?

    Likely need a replacement fork for my much loved 2012 Stumpy FSR Comp 29'er. Looking at either the Pike or Fox 34 in 140 mm.

    Anyone have an opinion on which might be a better fit for a moderately aggressive (frequent 3 to 4 foot drops, low to medium speed rock gardens) 200 lbs with gear rider? If so, what are your reasons?

    Related question: a lot of the Pikes I'm seeing on line have Boost spacing. Will these work with non-Boost hubs? Do you need some sort of spacer and how would that affect rigidity?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    There's always next year.
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    Can't address the Fox 34 vs Pike, but I've seen 'regular' Pikes both at JensonUSA, Universal Cycles, and Worldwidecyclery off the top of my head rescently.

    I actually just picked up a boost Pike from Worldwide, and used adaptors from Velofuze to mount the 15x100 hub to the 15x110 Pike. There are a ton of different adaptors out there, depending on the model of hub you have. I will probably go out and pick up the specific adaptor for my hub when I have some extra cash, but the spacers will let me get a little more use out of my fork mount on the car rack.

    I don't have the frame yet, but the adaptor and hub seem just fine compared to my old Pike/hub combo. I'm maybe missing some stiffness because I don't have the wider hub, but honestly, I've rarely felt 15x100 wasn't stiff enough for a wimp like me. I went Boost for futureproofing (as much as possible) and for possibly running a 27+ wheelset in the future if the mood ($$$) strike.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    Likely need a replacement fork for my much loved 2012 Stumpy FSR Comp 29'er. Looking at either the Pike or Fox 34 in 140 mm.

    Anyone have an opinion on which might be a better fit for a moderately aggressive (frequent 3 to 4 foot drops, low to medium speed rock gardens) 200 lbs with gear rider? If so, what are your reasons?

    Related question: a lot of the Pikes I'm seeing on line have Boost spacing. Will these work with non-Boost hubs? Do you need some sort of spacer and how would that affect rigidity?

    Thanks.
    Why do you need a replacement?
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  4. #4
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    I own both and to be honest I really feel like you can't go wrong on either. Both were used forks, which is always a gamble but I'm okay with that. If you're particular about the "feel" of the fork, they do feel different than one another. The Pike was my first high end fork and I still really like it. I got the Fox for my wife's bike used and then had it rebuilt and updated when Fox was running a special last year. I have swapped forks between bikes just to feel them out. My experience is that the Pike seems to ride higher in the travel than my Fox 34 despite playing with the spacers/tokens and psi. The Fox tends to be more supple with the small bumps. I plan on putting new seals and possibly trying out the Volsprung Luftkappe on the Pike. If I can get the Pike to be as supple for the small bumps as the 34 and still offer up the mid/end stroke performance that I like with the Pike I will probably leave the Pike on my bike for good. Honestly if I didn't like to tinker I could just leave them both alone because they both perform fantastic and will easily handle the riding that you've described. I'd say find the best deal you can and go with it.

  5. #5
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    IME, with your criteria, it would be Pike RCT3. I went from Fox 34 to Pike (and now Lyrik) and it was such a better performing platform in small bump and big hits. With that, the latest series of Fox 34 is more like a Pike since they changed the air side when they trickled the Fox 36 tech down the line. That tech made it more like a Pike.

    You could buy a Boost fork if you plan to keep it when you change bikes as Boost is kinda-sorta the next standard it seems. You can "Boostinate" your front hub with the spacer but you will also need to have your wheel re-dished to center it in the fork. I actually ran mine un-dished for a week and it didn't really bother me but dishing can be done pretty quickly by a competent wheel guy. The boostinater adapters I got were from Wolf Tooth and the front ran somewhere around $20, IIRC for my Hope Pro4. The rear is more because it uses a rotor spacer and re-dish, too. You won't need to be bothered with that, however. You won't really get any "Boost" benefit (more rigidity) since your hubs aren't boost spaced but you'll see no lack of performance, whatsoever.
    Always ride with a purpose.

  6. #6
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    StumpyandhisBike's experience mimics mine. Both are adequately stiff. Fox is more supple but rides lower in it's travel. Can't seem to get the pike to offer the same small bump compliance regardless of where it is in it's travel.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Why do you need a replacement?
    Lower is cracked near the arch, LBS is looking for replacement lowers but isn't sure they'll be available for a 2012 vintage fork. We'll see.

    Even if I can get the lowers, I might just use this as an excuse to upgrade from the Float 32 that's on there. Wife doesn't need to know replacement parts are available, does she?

  8. #8
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    Thanks, everyone, for your input. What I'm hearing kinda mirrors what I've read on line. What's got me concerned, albeit mildly, is the history of the two forks. Specifically, the Pike has been the benchmark in forks for several years now, whereas the Fox 34 has only recently been redesigned so the performance is equivalent to the Pike.

    I like tried and true, but could be convinced to go with new if the reliability and ease of maintenance are there. Realistically, from what I'm hearing, it'll probably come down to what I can get the best deal on.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    Thanks, everyone, for your input. What I'm hearing kinda mirrors what I've read on line. What's got me concerned, albeit mildly, is the history of the two forks. Specifically, the Pike has been the benchmark in forks for several years now, whereas the Fox 34 has only recently been redesigned so the performance is equivalent to the Pike.

    I like tried and true, but could be convinced to go with new if the reliability and ease of maintenance are there. Realistically, from what I'm hearing, it'll probably come down to what I can get the best deal on.
    Well the 34 internals aren't recent and the Pike hasn't been the benchmark for a while now.

    You can read through the long Fox 36 thread. The internals on the 34 are trickle down from the 36 that has been out a while.
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  10. #10
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    My opinion is that the FOX is just a more comfortable every day fork for normal trails. The PIKE is a little more firm and rough riding for intermediate or smooth flowey stuff. But the PIKE is in its element when you point the bike downhill. Im a PIKE guy now for sure. I tend to ride a bit aggressively and the pike delivers when things get rowdy. A recent test ride on a new FOX 34 re confirmed this 2 weeks ago, FOX forks are really plush. Im sticking with the PIKE.

  11. #11
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    Check out the Rock Shox Yari. Despite being value-priced, it has the best air spring out-of-the-box (shared with the Lyrik), is proportionally more rigid for its weight, and has a damper that doesn't perform unlike a Charger.

    If you weighed less, and didn't huck, I would've recommended the 34. Being a lighter rider, I appreciate the 34's lack of stiction and having more damper tuning range on the lighter side, compared to RockShox. Unfortunately for me, Pike's full open setting was a bit firm for me (adding any more makes it feel worse), but changing to a lighter oil and pretty much flipping the HSR shim stack solved my problems, making it the best feeling fork in my garage, as it should've been when I got it. The 34 out-of-the-box just needed a little dialing to feel at least as good, using the Open mode adjust.

    Regarding rigidity, the lower weight of the 34 is offset by being less rigid than a Pike. I don't think it's a good idea to put a super rigid fork on a frame that doesn't have an equally rigid head tube, or vice versa, preferring them to be matched instead. A larger frame tends to have a stiffer front end, so if you're about 6' 2" and ride a L or XL, I think you'll find a more rigid fork to feel more suitable.

    Regarding being "time-tested", the Pike and 36 both had early issues. The 36 had a tune revision and the Pike's damper needed a better sealhead. The 34 and Yari/Lyrik both got designs that benefited from the revisions and manufacturing refinements, plus they had to a bar to exceed, set by the competition. They're the newest forks out of R&D, besides the XC race forks, and I'd rather go with them than the Pike and 36.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    Lower is cracked near the arch, LBS is looking for replacement lowers but isn't sure they'll be available for a 2012 vintage fork. We'll see.

    Even if I can get the lowers, I might just use this as an excuse to upgrade from the Float 32 that's on there. Wife doesn't need to know replacement parts are available, does she?

    Replacement Pike lowers are readily available. If your shop says otherwise, they might just be trying to upsell a fork to you.

  13. #13
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    Good info by all. I'm looking at a 120mm and deciding between the RCT3 and 34. Both on sale for $637 to $670 in a 51 offset non-Boost. Weigh 155 and race XC, but the bigger fork would be for the dozen or so rides I take into gnarlier terrain or when I have 3 day weekend at resort (currently riding Float 32SC on 100mm frame). The 2017 34 Performance Elite is oem and a good option, but very difficult to find, and I'm not keen on the Pike RC. Decisions, decisions.

  14. #14
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    Why not a RC? It just ditches the 3-pos threshold adjuster (open, pedal, lock), and the associated parts (extra dial, extra parts that need to be removed to access bleed port). On the RC, the big dial becomes your LSC and you can still lock out, though it might take practice to return it to your desired level of LSC if you like it set to the middle.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    Why not a RC? It just ditches the 3-pos threshold adjuster (open, pedal, lock), and the associated parts (extra dial, extra parts that need to be removed to access bleed port). On the RC, the big dial becomes your LSC and you can still lock out, though it might take practice to return it to your desired level of LSC if you like it set to the middle.
    I thought about it, and maybe it's anecdotal based on the handful of RC reports, but I read too many shortcomings about the RC valving or shim stack. Maybe it's their way of justifying selling the RC (many for sale new or like new) for the RCT3. I asked a few and was told "my new RCT3 is more plush and handles the big hits better." Again, not scientific and I've never ridden an RC to compare. My SID 100 was RCT3 and was flawless in terms of fine tuning and my 32SC is even better which lead me to the indecision of 34 vs Pike RCT3.

    addendum: did more searching and there are plenty of RC owners who report exactly what you wrote. Of course finding a 120mm RC with 51 offset in non boost isn't very easy. I've found new in box RCT3 for less than the $700 dealer. If an RC in my specs appeared for muuuuch less I'd be all over it.

  16. #16
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    TwoTone: I'm going to claim ignorance in the purest sense of the word. If the Pike isn't the benchmark fork in the mid-travel market, what is? Not a challenge, just a question.

    Zooey: Damn you. Now I have a third option to consider. Being near Clyde status, the 35 mm legs on the Rockshox forks have definite appeal. Getting that rigidity for a couple hundred $$ less even more so.

  17. #17
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    There's ways to "unboost" a frame and fork.

    Examples:

    https://www.amazon.com/VeloFuze-Boos...dp/B01MYPSSRU/

    There may be more elegant solutions that don't fall out and get lost when you remove the wheel (unless you glue them on), but this should open up your options.

  18. #18
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    I'd take a Pike over a Fox 34 any day. In my experience I have NEVER been able to utilize full travel on a Fox fork ( I've had a few). The newer Fox stuff is supposedly better, and riding my buddies bikes with a 2017 Fox 36 feels insanely good. All of that being said, I REALLY like my new MRP Stage fork, feels stiffer than my old Pike, VERY plush, it has external ramp control, and travel can be adjusted internally which is nice. Its also made in CO, and when you call the company a real life person picks up the phone!

  19. #19
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    Honestly it's an awesome decision to have to make, having to choose between two world class forks. It's almost like being a millionaire and having to choose between a Ferrari or Lamborghini. You can't go wrong with either but each have their own personality.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    TwoTone: I'm going to claim ignorance in the purest sense of the word. If the Pike isn't the benchmark fork in the mid-travel market, what is? Not a challenge, just a question.

    Zooey: Damn you. Now I have a third option to consider. Being near Clyde status, the 35 mm legs on the Rockshox forks have definite appeal. Getting that rigidity for a couple hundred $$ less even more so.
    There isn't one, just depends on what you like. There are plenty of people in the long 36 thread that switch fromed a Pike and like it better.

    As mentioned the 36 tech had trickle down to the 34's

    Here's another choice for you.
    Review: X-Fusion McQueen Fork | BIKE Magazine
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    There isn't one, just depends on what you like. There are plenty of people in the long 36 thread that switch fromed a Pike and like it better.

    As mentioned the 36 tech had trickle down to the 34's

    Here's another choice for you.
    Review: X-Fusion McQueen Fork | BIKE Magazine
    Understood regarding a benchmark fork, kinda like asking what the best saddle is. Just seems like every new fork gets compared to the Pike.

    Reading between the lines a bit, it seems like you have at least a small preference for the Fox line. I'm leaning that way at the moment, but like what I read about the X-Fusion. LBS thinks Fox *may* give some consideration for crash replacement. While I think that's unlikely, and if true pretty darn generous given the age of the fork and the fact that I've never hidden what it's been through, I might as well wait and see what they say.

  22. #22
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    I should add to above post. I really like FOX customer service through the years. I switched from FOX to PIKE after owning about 8 FOX forks. They were great, until 2012 CTD that alot of people had a problem with, they eventually fixed, now replaced with more modern fork. I love the fox rear shocks since 2001, and run them on all bikes. I would not be surprised at all, if I loved the new FOx 36. I have only one ride on that fork (PIVOT FIREBIRD, my favorite test ride this year so far, but its alot of bike!). I also like FOX new maintenance schedule of 100 hrs between services I believe(?). Anyway, FOx dropped the ball in 2012, Rockshox just happened to offer PIKE. I am happy. I do not think that Rockshox has very great support for rear shock service like FOX does. FOX raised service prices, so that was a surprise this year at $145 for Nitro charge/service. Bummer. But I would have full confidence in a FOX 36.

  23. #23
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    UPDATE:

    Fox has offered an incredibly generous discount on a new Fox 34 as part of a crash warranty program, so that's the direction I'll be going. This is on a 5 year old fork that's been through hell and back. This is unexpected to say the least. To say the most, this is Fox REALLY stepping up to service their customer. I am impressed beyond belief by Fox Customer service. Also full props to my LBS, Fraser Bikes in Utica, MI for going to bat for me.

    Way to go Fox!
    Last edited by Fairbanks007; 03-28-2017 at 06:29 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    UPDATE:

    Fox has offered an incredibly generous discount on a new Fox 34 as part of a crash warranty program, so that's the direction I'll be going. This is on a 5 year old fork that's been through hell and back. This is unexpected to say the least. To say the most, this is Fox REALLY stepping up to service their customer. I am impressed beyond belief by Fox Customer service. Also full props to my LBS, Fraser Bikes in Utica, MI for going to bat for me.

    Way to go Fox!
    Great choice!

    I have your exact bike to the year. Put a 2017 140 Fox 34 on it. Love it! I weight the same (210 geared) – I think I run two tokens –*get full travel on the bigger jumps. It's a phenomenal fork and puts that noodley 32 Performance to shame. It really brings the bike back to life. Enjoy!

  25. #25
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    Semi-noob,Building my first "dream bike" ( new Tallboy xl ) after riding for two years on a Tallboy 2a XL. Mostly rock gardens / uphill old fire roads/ occasional 2-3 foot rock drops/ dont plan on any fast DH or really big jumps. 200lbs geared up .
    What's the diff between the Fox 34 / 36? .

  26. #26
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    Massive increase in stiffness (more than the weight increase suggests), RC2 option, 180mm rotor PM. RC2 option allows for conversion between 20mm axle and 15QR, more cost effective travel adjustment with spacers. Due to the increase in stanchion diameter, it will have a bit more stiction due to the increased surface contact with seals.

    At 200 lbs geared up, a 34 on a 29er is your XC fork and 36 is your trail/AM/Enduro fork. I'd choose between 34 and 35mm forks if I were you.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    Massive increase in stiffness (more than the weight increase suggests), RC2 option, 180mm rotor PM. RC2 option allows for conversion between 20mm axle and 15QR, more cost effective travel adjustment with spacers. Due to the increase in stanchion diameter, it will have a bit more stiction due to the increased surface contact with seals.

    At 200 lbs geared up, a 34 on a 29er is your XC fork and 36 is your trail/AM/Enduro fork. I'd choose between 34 and 35mm forks if I were you.
    very helpful, thanks for the reply

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    At 200 lbs geared up, a 34 on a 29er is your XC fork and 36 is your trail/AM/Enduro fork. I'd choose between 34 and 35mm forks if I were you.

    I guess at 200lbs on my 32 SC, i'm doing it all wrong
    Too Many .

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    I guess at 200lbs on my 32 SC, i'm doing it all wrong
    At 190 my Pike feels XCish compared to my 36.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  30. #30
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    I hate to hijack the thread but I read through and there seems to be a wealth of knowledge here. I literally decided last week to buy a bike again after several years off. After a bit of reading and test riding I chose the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 6Fattie, $3,000.

    My question is regarding forks. IT has the Revelation RL fork and I noticed for $3,200 I could switch to the Enduro fattie frame that comes with the Yari Fork. I would just need to buy Fattie tires but would have slimmer as well for long rides...

    I am really new into this hobby and don't know enough about geometry between the two frames. They look identical with the Enduro having slightly less rear travel, is this true? I test rode the Stumpjumper FSR comp 29er and the geometry felt literally like the custom made it for me which was part of my decision.

    I put the order in this afternoon at LBS so Specialized has not shipped yet.

    I am also wondering if one can ask for a better fork and pay more? Like ask for the Yari on my Stumpjumper?

    Thanks ahead for any input.

    Edit: Oh and I weigh like 205 currently but usually stocky 190-195, 5'11"
    And I know the Yari is better but am I getting into 'Analysis paralysis'? I mean the Revelation RL will be a damn great fork yes? Will a Yari really make my experience that much better or are we talking slim margins that the hardcore enthusiasts love to chase that last 10% of performance?

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