I absolutely hate my Pike - what are my alternatives?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I absolutely hate my Pike - what are my alternatives?

    I've got a V4 Commencal with a 160mm Pike and am, at this point, pretty sure that the fork and I have irreconcilable differences.

    The problem: it's harsh. Unforgivingly harsh. It didn't seem so bad at first, and I have repeatedly thought that I've fixed it, only to feel like it stiffens back up into a giant turd halfway through the first ride.

    I have done multiple oil changes, and confirmed that the stanchion/bushing interface is good. No binding, no visible scoring or anything like that; everything seems good with the basic structure of the fork. It had very little oil and bone dry foam rings; however, like any other minor issues I've found, addressing this has had no lasting impact.

    I've bled the damper. It has the updated lower seal head. It moves smoothly through its travel.

    I've changed to SKF dust seals; the stockers were sticky as ****.

    I've tried various setups. Anywhere from 55-85psi for 15-35% sag, tried tokens, all combos of LSC and rebound. Nothing makes a major difference, and I always come back to no tokens, fairly high pressure (don't like the feel of riding low in sag) and zero LSC and almost zero rebound.

    I'd like to think I'm a mechanically-inclined guy and would have, by now, found a problem if there was a problem. I'm just accepting that the fork sucks and I cannot drink the Pike kool-aid.

    ...now, when I say that, I will clarify: it sucks for me. I could see this fork being effective for someone else...maybe. It seems to take big hits well, and can behave okay if minor obstacles are hit with enough speed keep its lazy ass floating freely. Like, crazy speeds. Enough speed that your hands are going to hurt, period, and the fork is simply taking the beating as well as it can while still offering support.

    But I'm not a world class racer. I'm a shitty recreational mountain biker riding very rocky/rooty trails at moderate speeds...and I'm sick of this turd.

    Essentially, the high speed damping is just terrible. If you hit a two inch tall tree root at 10mph, it feels like my bars rise two inches. Nothing is absorbed by the fork until you start going over drops.

    LSC is useless...even though it's named 'LSC' it seems to have just as much effect on HSC. For that matter, dialing in more rebound stiffens the fork up, too...which sucks, because I like lots of rebound...but not if it comes with additional compression (which it does).

    So, I have two options- upgrade the Pike's damper (...hard to believe I paid extra for the Pike over a Yari to get the 'awesome' Charger damper...not sure I can stand to put more money into this fork), or jump ship to a new fork. DVO Diamond? Fox 34 FIT4? Manitou? MRP?

    I've seen enough similar complaints to mine to suspect I'm not just going crazy...but not a lot of solutions. And for every person that says 'oh, get 'X' fork, it's buttery smooth,' there are five people who will say the same about the Pike. 'It's so supple!' ...my ass.

  2. #2
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    Avalanche cartridge. That's the answer.

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  3. #3
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    This.
    I absolutely hate my Pike - what are my alternatives?-01677ba3a36d15fde4383d90c06d4354d3a672e20d.jpg
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  4. #4
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    I had similar issues with my Pike, though not to the same degree. In my case, using a lower viscosity oil in the damper got me most of the way to where I wanted, and redoing the shim stack in the damper got me the rest of the way. Replacing the damper fluid with Rockshox 2.5W or Redline Extra Light oil should make things better without spending much money, and if it's still not good enough then it's time for a new fork. Can't really help you out on forks unfortunately, I'm in the process of looking for a new one myself since I'm fed up with the creaking crowns on the Pike.

  5. #5
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    So that's two quick votes for the Avy cart, eh? I want to believe in it...I don't think I've heard a bad thing about their products, and the price tag doesn't bother me too much...if it works. I mean, $400 is a heck of a lot less than a new high-end AM fork.

    I might try the lighter shock oil. I had previously been sure to use the Rockshox 3w shock oil and 0w30 fork oil...but at this point, I don't really give a crap about warranty and am going to do what it takes to make me happy with the thing.

    For that mater, I wasn't aware the Charger's shim stack could be modded...? I thought that was the purpose of the previously-available 'charger mod' from Avalanche...to simply revalve the stock damper and/or give more tuning options. If I can pull some shims to wake the high speed up, I'm damn sure all for that!

  6. #6
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    See if you can get a test ride on a mattoc.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  7. #7
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    Do the zip-tie thing past the dust seals to bleed the lowers = new fork:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspen...sa-929695.html
    The Charger damper's constant expanding and contracting causes air to be sucked into the lower and creates the harshness. It's also why Avy's open bath system solves the problem tho at a cost way higher than it should as this isn't exactly rocket science.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  8. #8
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    I hated my Pike as well. I sold it and bought a new manitou mattoc and it solved every issue I had with the pike. Was pretty much an even trade cost wise to, sold the pike for 550 and bought a new mattoc for 580 shipped. My only issue was small bump with the mattoc, but switching to fox gold bath oil solved that. Highly recommend it

  9. #9
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    I've had two Pike forks and a MRP Stage. Sold the Pikes. Love my Stage and their new Ribbon looks even better.
    Function in disaster, finish in style.

  10. #10
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    Another shout out for the MRP stage. I love this fork. It pretty much feels perfect out of the box with just the default settings. The performance is so much more consistent compared to my Pike. The pike seems fine when I'm just taking it easy but gets very harsh on extended rough descents.

    As a bonus there has been no issues with creaky crowns which I have experienced on two pikes and my last two fox forks as well.

    I am most definitely going to get the Ribbon when they release it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Do the zip-tie thing past the dust seals to bleed the lowers = new fork:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspen...sa-929695.html
    The Charger damper's constant expanding and contracting causes air to be sucked into the lower and creates the harshness. It's also why Avy's open bath system solves the problem tho at a cost way higher than it should as this isn't exactly rocket science.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    The avy cart also solves:
    -Making oil changes simple without the need to bleed a cartridge
    -Having to replace crush washers during oil changes
    -Having the valving tuned to your weight, style and preferences
    -Adding a hydraulic bottom-out cone to slow the fork down for huge impacts
    -Giving useful low-speed compression where you can run a bunch to make it stable/prevent dive and not turn the fork into a jackhammer
    -Generally allowing more compression and rebound damping to be used, without making the fork harsh, especially as speed and impacts increase
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  12. #12
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    If you like the Pike chassis and you're not the type to change suspension forks every year or two, definitely look at the Avalanche cartridge. Go to the website and read everything you can to learn about it. If you're one of those people that changes forks and suspension, the Avalanche cartridge isn't readily adaptable to other forks without putting more money into it.

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  13. #13
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    Short answer: MRP Stage or Ribbon.

    Long version: I had one of the first MRP Stage forks and loved it. I had ridden a Pike a bunch on an Enduro 29 but wasn't in love with it. I rode the Stumpy with the Stage on it mostly, including 100-milers and bike park weekends and it always felt amazing. As soon as it didn't, I would drop the lowers, refresh the oil and she was back to 100% amazing.

    I sold that bike a year ago and got a new bike. I had a year of experience with the Stage and wanted to spend more time on a Pike as we were selling a lot of bikes with Pikes. It took me a few rides to get the token/pressure situation where I wanted it and was ok with that end of things. I never got the LSC to support me the way I wanted. I didn't like the transition from LSC to HSC at all. The fork still was a bit dive-y but felt harsh on high-speed successive hits. It didn't chunderplow like the Stage did. That fork felt better the harder and faster I rode it. It didn't work as well on actual pro-level dh trails due to lack of stiffness but on 10' drops to transition, 20' gaps and just normal-ish super-rocks stuff it was amazing. The compression settings on the stage didn't really come alive until I was pinned. The first 8 or so clicks were nearly identical until you are really moving. That took me a while to figure out.

    Last month, we signed up as a FAST dealer and I got their Pike Charger damper upgrade dealio. The FAST damper replaces every damping part, save the rebound piston rod and cartridge architecture, in the Charger. I was desperate for an improvement before I scrapped the Pike.

    Thankfully, the FAST upgrade really fixed the fork for me. I did my baseline set-up and was very happy with the improvement. I got my ShockWiz joint and plugged that sucker in. The Wix told me to dial down the LSC (I like a lot), turn up the rebound (I like a little) and remove a few psi but keep the tokens. These last small changes REALLY made me happy. I love the fork now. Finally. After a year. And I'm totally buying a Ribbon for my next bike...

    SKF green seals, FAST upgrade, two tokens, 60(!) psi and I'm finally good. FAST damper is $375 installed, which is nuts and I wish I didn't have to do it.

    I have the dnyo data from Brennan as well. The main thing I like is the ability to dial down the HSC and go up on the LSC. It fits my riding style very well. I haven't had the air in lowers issue that others complain about. I haven't had a creaky Pike (personally) but we have replaced a few through SRAM warranty.

    I really *want* to like Manitou but their dealer customer service is really inconsistent. When it's good, it's good. That's all I can say about that. It's better to be a consumer when you call them, which sucks for us. And we are a service center! We've seen some mechanical as well as QA/QC issues that keep us from promoting them. If I wanted to ruin more rides, I would probably get one but we just don't have demand for them or see very many of them. Simple business decision. By 'ruin more rides' I just mean I don't feel like learning another fork right now...

    How's that for an answer! If you are in the Mid-Atlantic, swing your fork by so we can check it out. Maybe there's something you are missing? I don't know.

    Good luck.

    mk
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  14. #14
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    I have a very nice 27.5 Stage sitting in my basement looking for a new home. Best fork ever just doesn't play well with my new plus bike.

  15. #15
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    I'd sell the pike and get a MRP stage or wait for the Ribbon. I'm waiting for the Ribbon. They also have 200 hour service interval which is twice what the other big two have (RS & Fox).

  16. #16
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    All forks honestly have the same service interval for lower leg lube. In summer I do mine once a month. It costs me a few pennies and 10 minutes or so. I do dampers once a year even if that goes over or under the recommended service time. Your fork will feel brand new if you keep up on the lower lube before it gets a chance to get sticky.

    I wouldnt worry about service intervals or let that sway you either way.

  17. #17
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    the PIKE is a great fork if you know how to set it up
    how much do you weight? maybe we can help you set it better?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    I really *want* to like Manitou but their dealer customer service is really inconsistent. When it's good, it's good. That's all I can say about that. It's better to be a consumer when you call them, which sucks for us. And we are a service center! We've seen some mechanical as well as QA/QC issues that keep us from promoting them. If I wanted to ruin more rides, I would probably get one but we just don't have demand for them or see very many of them. Simple business decision. By 'ruin more rides' I just mean I don't feel like learning another fork right now...


    mk
    As someone who deals with Manitou on many levels, I know what you are talking about. When I deal with them as a consumer, they have the best customer service I have ever experienced. But I have also had to deal with them through dealer channels and it has been extremely frustrating at times. It's even more frustrating because the Mattoc with IRT is amazing, but the company seems to suppress it with poor marketing and shops tend to steer customers away because hayes is such a pain to deal with. Sad to me that such a great product is rarely considered for these reason.


    Never tried a stage, but have always heard good reviews. If I ever switched from manitou, it would be for a stage or a dvo diamond.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    The avy cart also solves:
    -Making oil changes simple without the need to bleed a cartridge
    -Having to replace crush washers during oil changes
    -Having the valving tuned to your weight, style and preferences
    -Adding a hydraulic bottom-out cone to slow the fork down for huge impacts
    -Giving useful low-speed compression where you can run a bunch to make it stable/prevent dive and not turn the fork into a jackhammer
    -Generally allowing more compression and rebound damping to be used, without making the fork harsh, especially as speed and impacts increase
    I won't argue that but with the cost, need for tools to adjust, and added weight... I think you're better off craigslisting the Pike and getting a Lyrik. Mine has been very good right outta the box. I'll definitely look at the Ribbon tho for my next bike. Not only does it do away with the expanding and contracting bladder of the Stage fork, but it also employs air-bleed valve buttons on the lowers essentially making the "air in the lowers" a non-issue. Noah certainly seems to be learning from the Pike's shortcomings! Add the ability to adjust both the positive and negative air springs separately (eliminating the grease plugging bleeder port problems of the Pike), and their genius Ramp Control and I think they have a real game changer coming!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    All forks honestly have the same service interval for lower leg lube. In summer I do mine once a month. It costs me a few pennies and 10 minutes or so. I do dampers once a year even if that goes over or under the recommended service time. Your fork will feel brand new if you keep up on the lower lube before it gets a chance to get sticky.

    I wouldnt worry about service intervals or let that sway you either way.
    Do you have kids, wife and or a mortgage with a house to maintain. For me anything with a slightly longer maintenance schedule is helpful.

  21. #21
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    I absolutely hate my Pike - what are my alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    All forks honestly have the same service interval for lower leg lube. In summer I do mine once a month. It costs me a few pennies and 10 minutes or so. I do dampers once a year even if that goes over or under the recommended service time. Your fork will feel brand new if you keep up on the lower lube before it gets a chance to get sticky.

    I wouldnt worry about service intervals or let that sway you either way.
    I'd have to agree that there is way to much emphasis placed on the service interval aspect. Bath oil refresh is such an easy service to do and with o-rings on the lower leg bolts of the Stage vs RS crush washers makes things even easier. The Stage and the new Ribbon use quite a bit more bath oil than the Pike and Lyrik which is always better in my book.
    The Stage damper also uses more oil and it has none of the seal head issues of the Pike.
    Function in disaster, finish in style.

  22. #22
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    I absolutely hate my Pike - what are my alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    I won't argue that but with the cost, need for tools to adjust, and added weight... I think you're better off craigslisting the Pike and getting a Lyrik. Mine has been very good right outta the box. I'll definitely look at the Ribbon tho for my next bike. Not only does it do away with the expanding and contracting bladder of the Stage fork, but it also employs air-bleed valve buttons on the lowers essentially making the "air in the lowers" a non-issue. Noah certainly seems to be learning from the Pike's shortcomings! Add the ability to adjust both the positive and negative air springs separately (eliminating the grease plugging bleeder port problems of the Pike), and their genius Ramp Control and I think they have a real game changer coming!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    The three new features of the Ribbon you mention; IFP in the damper replacing the bladder, lower leg air bleed ports, independent posi and neg air chamber control improve on the the great qualities of the Stage and take it to the next level. Don't forget the Ribbon also gets 35mm stanchions and the out cast arch which enhance the fork even more. Love, love the ramp control of the Stage, tune the fork in the middle of the range then adjust it on the fly as needed for the terrain, it's simply brilliant! The Ribbon also specs out even lighter in weight than the Stage but I can't verify that as I don't own one,,, yet!
    Noah is the face we see on mtbr but he's the marketing guy, yes I'm sure he wrote or had a big part in the product brief on the Stage and surely contributed to the improvements of the Ribbon but they have a solid product team at MRP and Noah is just one cog in that wheel.
    Out of the box the MRP forks are far superior than most anything out there.
    Function in disaster, finish in style.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddiesconfusion View Post
    Do you have kids, wife and or a mortgage with a house to maintain. For me anything with a slightly longer maintenance schedule is helpful.
    Yes to all, plus a full time career. It takes me a few seasons to use up a ~$7 quart of oil. Plus I take a few hours to myself every weekend to play in the garage anyway.

    But again, I dont believe there actually IS a longer service interval. If you want to go 200 hours, do that, but it wont be ideal, and no brand is going to actually work well that long.

    Its a cheesy marketing strategy. Ever see people so amazed after they do a regularly scheduled maintenance, because their fork is so butter smooth afterwards? Thats a dead giveaway that you went waaaaaay too long. After a full service, your fork should feel nearly the same, like nit-picky the same. If it doesnt, you went too long.

    People will pay more for a printed piece of paper telling you to run your fork until its dried out and harsh. I think thats weird!

  24. #24
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    I am not a Pike user myself but a lot of riders whose opinions I trust swear by them. So I am guess there is either something wrong with your fork or there is something wrong with your set-up.

    Taking a look at your set-up notes I couldn't help but notice your rebound settings. 0 clicks of rebounds is not right (unless of course your fork is not working properly). I find that getting the rebound setting right is the most critical adjustment you can make. Have you tried a bracketing approach? (Tune It Up: How to adjust your Front Suspension | ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine)

    And as other have said frequent overhauls are key. You do it enough and you can do it quick. I change bath oil in about 10 minutes.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Wow. That's a lot of replies.

    I'ma go a bit out of order here...

    LMN- I really don't know why so many people praise it. There seem to be enough people that share my opinions of it that I don't think it's just me; the fork's not broken and I'm not a special snowflake. The damping is just terrible for where I ride; rocks and roots are not landmarks...smooth patches of dirt are.

    If someone says their Pike is super-smooth, I would ask them when the last time they rode down a hill over loose bible-sized rocks was. Because I've got sections like that and it beats the absolute piss out of me.

    I said that I don't like fast rebound; but the Pike's is counter-intuitive. Dialing in more rebound to prevent pogo-sticking just seems to increase compression...which increases pogo-sticking. So I've just learned to live with the fast fork, as too little rebound throws me off line less than too much compression (which there's still plenty of)


    That said: I just got done opening up the Charger and moving the compression shims around. I think it's pretty telling that the stock Pike stack is obviously stiffer than what Rockshox recommends for extra stiff on the Boxxer...

    Unfortunately, I seem to have jacked up my LSC adjuster. The adjustment is there, but the knurled bit that sits under the top cap will spin infinitely in either direction...not sure how this happened...yes, I put the needle back in it.


    I'm not sure that I can consider the Avy cart an option anymore, since I don't want to lose an extra $400 when I eventually burn this fork and dance naked around it.

    The MRP seems to be getting a lot of votes...biggest reservations there: 1) Small company. Ditto with DVO...kinda worry that they could go under and leave the fork with no support 2) Spendy...hard to even find a Stage, let alone for less than MSRP. And would would probably want to wait for the 2017, anyway...which won't be on sale, 'cause it's new. 3) Lack of HSC adjustment. I kinda feel like I want this...opening up my damper to play with shims is reinforcing that I want this...


    The Mattoc Pro 2 can be had for about $600 delivered. I am very very strongly leaning this way...

  26. #26
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    Pretty much sums up my experience on my Pike RC. Rebound open, no tokens, way too harsh. Had Dougal remove half the compression stack and it was still too firm for me (80kg ready to ride). I thought it was fine on any gondola or pure DH riding but way too harsh for trail. I bought a Mattoc Pro. I still have the Pike actually.

  27. #27
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    I think it's a combo of rider weight, riding style, and terrain that is leaving some of us aggravated with the Pike's damping.

    I'm about 185 and ride with a pack. Usually start with ~3L of water...so I'm probably an average of 190-195 total. Not exactly light...but I'm also 6'3 and all torso; subsequently, I use a riser stem and tall bars to keep from being hunched over all the time.

    Lack of weight on the fork really seems to fit- it feels the worst when I'm cruising on flat (but rough) ground, pedaling while seated. When I go into attack mode, it doesn't seem as bad until the ground gets super choppy...hell, when I'm just pumping rollers, the fork feels downright wonderful.

    Kind of a vicious cycle- the fork acts better when I'm leaning on it...but I don't wanna lean on it, because sometimes a sudden lack of compliance leaves you hinged on a square-edged rock and then you're OTB...

  28. #28
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    If I remember correctly the reason the Stage is supposed to have a longer service interval is that they use more oil in the lowers than there comparable competition.

    But here's a link to the Stage's maintenance schedule, 50 hours for the oil bath but 200 for the dampener oil. And like you said One Pivot it would probably be smart to do it prior:

    https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...rint_draft.pdf

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post

    I'm not sure that I can consider the Avy cart an option anymore, since I don't want to lose an extra $400 when I eventually burn this fork and dance naked around it.
    Even though you probably have a sour taste in your mouth when RockShox is mentioned at the moment, but you should consider the Lyrik. I am still running the Lyrik that came on my 2011 bike. I put the dual flow rebound and a Mission Control DH cartridge on there.... lots of adjustability. The Lyrik is a breeze to work on and seems pretty well proven at this point. Sounds like you've had practice taking the RS design apart by now. I'm sure there are more experienced riders who can give you better information on nicer forks, but I have to mention that this fork has treated my very well. FWIW I'm ~155 lb geared up. Run 50psi.

    I don't feel I have any of the complaints you have about your Pike. I've never had air in the lowers become an issue, but I've heard of it happening on the Pikes.

    They can be found used very cheap. Someone out there would probably trade. Good luck on your search.
    2011 Specialized Enduro Comp - Lyrik RC2DH
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    I think it's a combo of rider weight, riding style, and terrain that is leaving some of us aggravated with the Pike's damping.

    I'm about 185 and ride with a pack. Usually start with ~3L of water...so I'm probably an average of 190-195 total. Not exactly light...but I'm also 6'3 and all torso; subsequently, I use a riser stem and tall bars to keep from being hunched over all the time.

    Lack of weight on the fork really seems to fit- it feels the worst when I'm cruising on flat (but rough) ground, pedaling while seated. When I go into attack mode, it doesn't seem as bad until the ground gets super choppy...hell, when I'm just pumping rollers, the fork feels downright wonderful.

    Kind of a vicious cycle- the fork acts better when I'm leaning on it...but I don't wanna lean on it, because sometimes a sudden lack of compliance leaves you hinged on a square-edged rock and then you're OTB...
    This is my experience as well. The only time the Pike feels pretty good is at full-bore, and its pretty good. But that's only about 15-20% of my time on the trail. The rest of it is slow technical up or down, or bumbling along through some chunk, and this is where the Pike really sucked for me.

    Two other things I can't stand are the few mm of play at the top of the travel and the lower dropouts. I have the updated seal head and have done all the maintenance, tips, and tricks and there's still a couple mm of free stroke at the top of the travel. Not a big deal until you start the technical climbing, and that dead feeling just messes with the response and makes the tech even more difficult. And when this makes about the other 20% of your ride, it gets old. Quick.

    The other thing I hate (and this is nitpicky for sure) is the Maxle and lower drop out. On every other fork I've had, placing the front wheel in the drop out aligns the axle with the fork. Not on the Pike . . . I have one of the earliest 110mm forks and its like they shaved WAY too much metal out. If I just put the wheel in the dropouts, its misaligned by 2-3mm, which then necessitates a lot of fiddling to get things lined up. And the Maxle just doesn't work well. I've done all the adjusting I can and to get it so that the front wheel doesn't bind, the tension is just barely tight.

    All this coupled with a recent seal failure and I've had enough. I got a pretty awesome deal on a 2017 Fox FIT 34 . . . though now am wondering if I should have looked at the MRP.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  31. #31
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    Have my Stage over a year on a Canfield Riot, excellent fork.

  32. #32
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    Here's another option from mrp for pike. - Dial in your ride with Ramp Control and enjoy FREE SHIPPING* in November!

    The critically acclaimed Ramp Control upgrade cartridges for Rock Shox forks are in stock and shipping. Add speed-sensitive ending-stroke control and bottom-out force adjustability to your fork and quit stacking tokens.

    Use code: THANKSRAMPING
    http://www.mrpbike.com/rampcart/

    *Free standard domestic (U.S.) shipping only.
    http://www.mrpbike.com/rampcart/

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Wow. That's a lot of replies.

    I'ma go a bit out of order here...

    LMN- I really don't know why so many people praise it. There seem to be enough people that share my opinions of it that I don't think it's just me; the fork's not broken and I'm not a special snowflake. The damping is just terrible for where I ride; rocks and roots are not landmarks...smooth patches of dirt are.
    Not doubting your experience at all. From your post it sounds like you know what you are doing. Just looking at alternative to spending $600 on fix that you might not need or might not work.

    How steep are your trails? I did a quick look at your bike and noted the 65.5 degree head angle. I find bikes with head angles that slack tend of have very harsh forks on low and moderate grade descents. Particularly when you paired with a short stem.

    I have a large range on bikes and am constantly riding different styles of bike. I am amazed on just how superior the forks on XC bikes are to those on my trail bikes on low grade descents.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    All this coupled with a recent seal failure and I've had enough. I got a pretty awesome deal on a 2017 Fox FIT 34 . . . though now am wondering if I should have looked at the MRP.
    I think the Stage is comparable to the Fox (although I am on the 2016 model), kind of skeptical the Ribbon could get much better than either of these forks. They both just work beautifully and are super easy to adjust on the fly. If I got a new fork today I would go MRP, but just to support a local company, not because I think one is better than the other.

  36. #36
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    So many bits and details that differ for each bike, rider, and trails that there is no perfect answer. First off, I am not a manf's fanboy nor an expert but with 2 full seasons on Pike RTC3:
    1. Replaced leaking seal head with SKF 1x after noticing increased harness (creeps on you).
    2. Changed lower oil when stanchion feels dry (never replaced w/new crush washer) ~ 3 months each
    3. Add slick honey when oil is changed.
    4. Never had a creak.
    5. Never had a clunk (no motion at top).
    6. Never had to burp with zip tie.

    I ride an HD3 @67deg HA on 150mm RTC3 with 2 tokens mid rebound and love it, especially with 2.5" DHF tire at about 23psi (tire P makes a big difference on setup). I weigh maybe 210# kitted up.
    Primary trails:
    Demo Forrest (steepish, light chunk, roots, flow, small boulder sections)
    Henry Coe type XC fire-road and single-track
    Occasional Tahoe, Pinecrest, Downiville chunk, ledges, boulders - I reduce compression 3-5 clicks in that terrain.
    Never have been to DH park or do large drops.

    Guess I'm lucky, or wimpy, or myopic or just love to ride enough not to notice how much better a fork can be, but I like the setup I have right now. It takes enough time to settle on a setup, I cannot image how to really do a Fork A - Fork B test properly.

    Good luck!

  37. #37
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    Topout knock is very easy to solve.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Draper View Post
    Topout knock is very easy to solve.
    Please how?

  39. #39
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    The best way to make your pike feel amazing is to spend more time on a hardtail with a fox 32 or old reba. Then you'll have no question that it's great.

    I'm as much of a suspension nerd as almost anyone, but do have to inject some perspective into my riding once in awhile. I agree that dialing up LSC on a pike makes it harsh real quick, but you have to do it anyway for support on some trails. I also think the rebound damper is too digressive; i can't get the beginning stroke/LSR fast enough for my taste (bunnyhop everything) before the ending stroke gets pretty loose.

    Had two pikes in two years and have never had any reliability problems. I do service the lowers fairly often though. they're wonderful to work on and after doing a full charger rebuild at work, I'd even consider trying something like a FAST upgrade because the charger architecture is something i could see servicing and living with for a long time.

    Had a Stage and would agree with Trailbldr's take. The damper came alive and was amazing when pinned through the rough or hanging on for dear life, but I couldn't get on with it for the other 90% of the time. Also had some warranty issues with the air spring bleeding negative into positive (first gen) as well as bushing sizing issues, which they were good about supporting, but it was super frustrating to send it back twice in the first 6mo. I know they made some changes to the air spring so that's probably fine now. The bushing sizing thing is kind of hilarious because that's one of the main selling points of their american assembly operation.

    I think the take-home point is how unenviable a job it is to be a suspension tuner who has to try to find one stock tune that works for all riders on all trails.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    The Mattoc Pro 2 can be had for about $600 delivered. I am very very strongly leaning this way...
    Great fork but if you can find a Mattoc 1 (the first version) you might be able to get it cheaper and pick up an IRT kit, which completely transforms the fork, for well short of $600. While the IRT really impacts the fork, you can get almost the same exact ride with the compression settings (and just air pressure). Manitou has great information on each setting. The IRT just makes it so easy to get to a perfect place.

    I do wonder if you have a Pike Lemon as the ones I have ridden felt very smooth off the top. If I remember correctly, you really need to get the tokens right to hit the sweet spot. I don't think it is possible to ride that fork without tokens.
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  41. #41
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    No tokens and high pressure makes the fork ride how you're describing... poorly. But if you're just over it anyway, the mattoc is a great option. If you want to dump the pike cheap, send me a PM

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by cadoretteboat View Post
    Please how?
    This is my solution. A couple of plumbing parts from the hardware store that fit the air shaft, and a foam ring from a reverb post. When gently compressed the stack height is the same as the old top out bumper. The foam ring contacts the seal head instead of the bumper so no more top out clunk. I've done it on my Pike, and a Lyrik so far with no issues. Probably not sram approved but it is worth it for me to get rid of the annoying clunk.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I absolutely hate my Pike - what are my alternatives?-img_2531-2.jpg  


  43. #43
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    Do you have the RCT3 or the RC model? Because more and more people are starting to realize that the RC damper configuration sucks, and needs a different shim stack to be able to compete. My own RC sucked as well, even though everyone around me said "But it's a pike, so it must be good"... shows what they know.

  44. #44
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    Does anyone have a picture of the RCT3 shim stack? I have one of my RC.

  45. #45
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    Put fox gold fluid in the air spring (above the seal separating lowers/spring), couple ml and you won't have to burp the supid thing till next service

  46. #46
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    A very surprising amount of replies here! Go team!

    Sell the Pike and cash out for ~$500. Buy a Stage, Diamond, or Mattoc. We have the Stage and Diamond on closeout. It's a pretty easy choice given their current prices.
    2015 DVO Diamond 27.5"/29", black/green! BRAND NEW!! For Sale
    2016 MRP Stage forks on CLOSEOUT!! 26"/27.5"/29" For Sale
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtMerchantBicycles View Post
    A very surprising amount of replies here! Go team!

    Sell the Pike and cash out for ~$500. Buy a Stage, Diamond, or Mattoc. We have the Stage and Diamond on closeout. It's a pretty easy choice given their current prices.
    2015 DVO Diamond 27.5"/29", black/green! BRAND NEW!! For Sale
    2016 MRP Stage forks on CLOSEOUT!! 26"/27.5"/29" For Sale
    That diamond is tempting.

  48. #48
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    I bought my DVO for $599 at Jensen. But if you're after boost deals are a bit harder to come by.

    I 2nd Gman's Lyrik recommendation. For off the shelf that is a pretty darn good fork.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    I bought my DVO for $599 at Jensen. But if you're after boost deals are a bit harder to come by.

    I 2nd Gman's Lyrik recommendation. For off the shelf that is a pretty darn good fork.
    I had a lyrik as well. Great fork when converted to coil. Such a pig though.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post

    I've tried various setups. Anywhere from 55-85psi for 15-35% sag, tried tokens, all combos of LSC and rebound. Nothing makes a major difference, and I always come back to no tokens, fairly high pressure (don't like the feel of riding low in sag) and zero LSC and almost zero rebound.
    Yeah, that's a harsh setup.
    T275a

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inter71 View Post
    Yeah, that's a harsh setup.
    This. High pressure, no tokens and no rebound will make a very poor performing Pike.

  52. #52
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    To the OP; I had a LOT of problems with my Pike. Found it harsh and never could get it setup in a satisfactory way. Basically what you are finding.

    I got a Lyrik and notably, requested a 'soft rebound tune' from Rockshox. I'm very happy with it.

  53. #53
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    You guys might want to hold on to your Pikes for a bit longer...

    An interesting upgrade is coming soon.

  54. #54
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    Do tell

  55. #55
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    so many solutions... for a problem that doesn't really exist.
    the PIKE is a great fork. if you dont like it, you probably just dont know how to set it up.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by J: View Post
    Put fox gold fluid in the air spring (above the seal separating lowers/spring), couple ml and you won't have to burp the supid thing till next service
    About a month after I had a full service on my pike I brought a new frame and needed to change my travel from 140 to 150.
    When I pulled the air-shaft to pop the seal head out I got splashed with some oil, I was not expecting that in the negative air chamber.
    The guys that done the service said they did not have any new version seal heads at the time, but would do something to help with the air getting sucked in.
    I guess they put a small amount of oil in there to.
    When I put the new shaft back in, and reassembled I did not add any oil, but I still have not needed to burp my fork for the past 3 months.
    Does it need to be gold oil or can you use the normal stuff?

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by saruti View Post
    so many solutions... for a problem that doesn't really exist.
    the PIKE is a great fork. if you dont like it, you probably just dont know how to set it up.
    There are only three settings. Air pressure, rebound and LSC. It's not rocket science, nothing gets round the fact the RC fork I have has a very firm compression stack. Sure it felt good in a bike park but way too firm for my normal trail riding.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notched View Post
    Does anyone have a picture of the RCT3 shim stack? I have one of my RC.
    You can find some technical info about the damper here (in German): Radtechnik für Profis - http://radtechnik.awiki.org

  59. #59
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    I still think you didnt set it up right.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by saruti View Post
    I still think you didnt set it up right.
    Time to put out some details then.

    The Pike RC has a very firm shim stack with a LSC/Lockout dial on the bypass, then air pressure and rebound.

    It requires a revalve to be any good at all for the majority of riders.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by two-one View Post
    You can find some technical info about the damper here (in German): Radtechnik für Profis - http://radtechnik.awiki.org
    Good find. Their restackor plots show the RC compression damper to be twice as stiff as the RCT3. Same flow area requires double/half the force depending on your point of view.

    The info I have on shim stacks matches theirs mostly. I have a face shim 0.3mm thick in my notes. I might have to check that again some day.

    Interestingly there has been only one of about 6 Pike RC's I've ridden which wasn't harsh. I wasn't able to get the fork for investigation as it was warrantied for something unrelated. Not sure how the replacement is getting on.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  62. #62
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    how much do you weight?
    but now after you played with the damper and changed it, it might not work as it was supposed to...

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notched View Post
    There are only three settings. Air pressure, rebound and LSC. It's not rocket science, nothing gets round the fact the RC fork I have has a very firm compression stack. Sure it felt good in a bike park but way too firm for my normal trail riding.
    I'm not disagreeing with you here but don't forget air spring volume/ tokens.
    Function in disaster, finish in style.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacubaya View Post
    You guys might want to hold on to your Pikes for a bit longer...

    An interesting upgrade is coming soon.
    Someone stepping in w/ delete kit for all air spring's on the market? Will there be a coil option for 36s?? do tell NOW

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    I'm not disagreeing with you here but don't forget air spring volume/ tokens.
    The whole volume or "token" movement going on today is an absolute JOKE.


    What we need, and it's shocking there's still nobody offering an option by now...GIVE US ADJ. HSR !!!

  66. #66
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    IME, Rockshox forks are more firm than Fox. They just ride that way.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootsboy View Post
    Does it need to be gold oil or can you use the normal stuff?
    It's just what I use in these crumby air spring units for focks / rox shocks...Anything that is compatible w/ the seals, and will at least "flow" a little

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by saruti View Post
    how much do you weight?
    but now after you played with the damper and changed it, it might not work as it was supposed to...
    It's just shim restacking, we're not taking a Dremel to the pistons or reshaping the valve needles & ports. Adjusting the shim stack to fit the rider's needs is something that every suspension tuner does, and some fork manufacturers such as Manitou will even sell you the kits and give you a bunch of charts & suggested presets for tuning the shim stacks in their forks.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacubaya View Post
    You guys might want to hold on to your Pikes for a bit longer...

    An interesting upgrade is coming soon.
    Interested.

  70. #70
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    I absolutely hate my Pike - what are my alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by J: View Post
    The whole volume or "token" movement going on today is an absolute JOKE.


    What we need, and it's shocking there's still nobody offering an option by now...GIVE US ADJ. HSR !!!
    It's still a component of tuning an air-sprung fork whether you like it or not. Air-springs don't work as one size fits all.
    If you want HSR adjustment then you'll also want HSC adjustment.
    Function in disaster, finish in style.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by J: View Post
    The whole volume or "token" movement going on today is an absolute JOKE.


    What we need, and it's shocking there's still nobody offering an option by now...GIVE US ADJ. HSR !!!
    Is this a safety thing? Companies thinking if people really mess up their set-up, they could hurt themselves?
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    It's still a component of tuning an air-sprung fork whether you like it or not. Air-springs don't work as one size fits all.
    If you want HSR adjustment then you'll also want HSC adjustment.
    No, "tokens" are barely half the equation...a serious question, why would you like to ruin your rebound respose in the bottom half of your travel by only throwing a bunch of tokens in there??

    The fact here is that you still need to take apart the rebound valving inside the damper to match any changes to the air spring for your rtr weight...you shouldn't think hsr just magically matches your weight just cuz u "tune" yur tokenz
    video=youtube;][/video]...

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Is this a safety thing? Companies thinking if people really mess up their set-up, they could hurt themselves?
    That question could be thought about both ways...I've seen someone land a drop after they "tuned" some extra tokens in there to stop bottoming, closing lsr adjuster is not going to help when ramp up causes hsr to open at bottom out
    video=youtube;][/video]...

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by J: View Post
    The whole volume or "token" movement going on today is an absolute JOKE.


    What we need, and it's shocking there's still nobody offering an option by now...GIVE US ADJ. HSR !!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Is this a safety thing? Companies thinking if people really mess up their set-up, they could hurt themselves?

    Yes tokens and volume spacers are the easiest way to completely ruin the ride. They are only supposed to be used to match ride height to natural frequency. They are not supposed to be used to create insane air pressures deep in the stroke.

    Anyone attempting to do that ends up with a fork with a wallowing top end, short mid stroke and deep stroke that is hard to access yet stores and returns far too much spring energy.

    HSR with external adjusters is difficult to design and package and expensive to manufacture (number of parts and detail on those parts). You basically need a twin tube damper and there's not much room inside a fork for that. Especially when you're already packaging a cartridge damper seperately within the stanchion leg.

    You're better to simply leave HSR to the shim stack and give people the option to change them during damper service.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by J: View Post
    No, "tokens" are barely half the equation...a serious question, why would you like to ruin your rebound respose in the bottom half of your travel by only throwing a bunch of tokens in there??

    The fact here is that you still need to take apart the rebound valving inside the damper to match any changes to the air spring for your rtr weight...you shouldn't think hsr just magically matches your weight just cuz u "tune" yur tokenz
    I don't know about you but I'm not setting my rebound adjustment based on just the top half of the forks stroke. I also don't tune my forks to use all of the travel all of the time. I want to use all of the travel some of the time but I also want some insurance for bigger highs and high speed g-outs. I set the rebound based on the spring characteristics and the whole usable stroke of the fork.
    It's also more important to adjust the air volume with the Pike when using the shorter stroke 120-140mm air springs.
    I don't own a Pike any longer. I found the Stage to be a much better overall fork and I'll most likely buy a Ribbon next year.
    Function in disaster, finish in style.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    I don't know about you but I'm not setting my rebound adjustment based on just the top half of the forks stroke. I also don't tune my forks to use all of the travel all of the time. I want to use all of the travel some of the time but I also want some insurance for bigger highs and high speed g-outs. I set the rebound based on the spring characteristics and the whole usable stroke of the fork.
    It's also more important to adjust the air volume with the Pike when using the shorter stroke 120-140mm air springs.
    I don't own a Pike any longer. I found the Stage to be a much better overall fork and I'll most likely buy a Ribbon next year.
    It's compression damping that is your insurance for high speed impacts and G-outs.

    Damping dissipates bump energy so it doesn't come back. More progressive springs store that bump energy and fire it back at you. This is not a good thing and makes for big (and ugly) compromises in rebound damping.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  77. #77
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    I absolutely hate my Pike - what are my alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    It's compression damping that is your insurance for high speed impacts and G-outs.

    Damping dissipates bump energy so it doesn't come back. More progressive springs store that bump energy and fire it back at you. This is not a good thing and makes for big (and ugly) compromises in rebound damping.
    I know the compression dampening has to control that side of the movement but the rebound dampening has to control the opposite side of the movement. They are both dampening of the suspension. Action, reaction and trying to balance them as best as possible.
    I actually like pop out of the suspension of my trail bike. It makes for a lively ride. If we were talking about a DH bike that would be another discussion.
    I currently have an RS-1, 120mm on my Following for more of an endurance build with a rowdy nature. If I was to follow the RS guide to set up this fork, I would be running no tokens with 15 psi higher pressure than I am now, with little small bump compliance and blowing through all of the travel frequently with harsh bottom outs. Instead I'm running two tokens with 15psi less pressure and I'd bet I'm running probably the same or more rebound dampening that I would be with no tokens and 15 psi more air pressure but now the fork is able to handle pretty much anything I want to ride including drops of 6-10' to trannies and flat and it sucks up most of the trail chatter.
    You guys can tune and set up your bikes the way you like, I don't really care but don't tell me what works for me is bunk, I've been doing this stuff way to long to know it's the same prescription for every rider. To each his own!
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    I know the compression dampening has to control that side of the movement but the rebound dampening has to control the opposite side of the movement. They are both dampening of the suspension. Action, reaction and trying to balance them as best as possible.
    I actually like pop out of the suspension of my trail bike. It makes for a lively ride. If we were talking about a DH bike that would be another discussion.
    I currently have an RS-1, 120mm on my Following for more of an endurance build with a rowdy nature. If I was to follow the RS guide to set up this fork, I would be running no tokens with 15 psi higher pressure than I am now, with little small bump compliance and blowing through all of the travel frequently with harsh bottom outs. Instead I'm running two tokens with 15psi less pressure and I'd bet I'm running probably the same or more rebound dampening that I would be with no tokens and 15 psi more air pressure but now the fork is able to handle pretty much anything I want to ride including drops of 6-10' to trannies and flat and it sucks up most of the trail chatter.
    You guys can tune and set up your bikes the way you like, I don't really care but don't tell me what works for me is bunk, I've been doing this stuff way to long to know it's the same prescription for every rider. To each his own!
    The rebound and compression damping aren't related in that way. If you use volume reduction instead of more compression damping to prevent bottomout then you store more energy which results in a faster, almost uncontrolled, rebound from the bottom of the stroke.

    To control this extra rebound energy you need more rebound damping. This then gives you too much rebound damping for the rest of the riding. Result is a deadened suspension. Which sounds like exactly what you've done above.

    Who buys a RS-1 for jumps and drops?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
    This. High pressure, no tokens and no rebound will make a very poor performing Pike.
    You read the part where I said I've run it with tokens at stupid-low pressures, and everywhere inbetween, right?

    Two important things here:

    1) The static pressure in the fork without any weight on the bike is a useless metric. Changing this pressure is, for the most part, only changing sag. Once you actually get on the bike, the air spring is going to compress and the air pressure is always going to end up pretty similar

    2) Tokens suck. If you're not using all the forks travel, even when running ~30% sag, there is zero reason make the air spring more progressive, and it's certainly not going to make the fork feel less harsh.

    So, basically, again- I've tried these suggestions. As a reasonable person would suspect, running more sag can, at best, result in a tiny bit less spring at the very top of the stroke...which does nothing noticeable. In actuality, riding at higher sag, even without tokens, is already making the spring rate more progressive...you're starting with a smaller air chamber.

    The only argument that could be make for more sag or tokens is that maybe this allows you to run different, less harsh damper settings...but it doesn't, because we're all already wide-open.

    Sheesh.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Good find. Their restackor plots show the RC compression damper to be twice as stiff as the RCT3.
    Well that's interesting as hell.

    Why would they do that? And why not TELL PEOPLE, rather than claiming RC/RCT3 performance should be similar?

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    So help me understand if I went down a rat hole. On an RTC3, my rebound damper was best for me set wide open. Full travel was used on most rides and while I was happy, I wanted more rebound action (*less dampening). I added a token (1- 2) and now have middle'ish rebound damper (range to play with), a ramped compression (odd feeling at first), and rarely bottom out. I feel that I am better off with the added token for most of my riding.

    The question is if there is there a better way to get to a more centered rebound by having to add a token? I am not unhappy with the non linear feel of the extra token, but after reading the comments on reduce air spring volume, it has got me thinking if there is a better way.
    Thanks

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    I think that, for you, the token sounds like a good option....you're not running counter to your goal (i.e. adding tokens to make the ride more plush). You're intentionally ramping up the spring rate to reach what you feel is optimum rebound, which is outside of the adjustment window of the rebound knob. It makes sense.

    Seems weird that you would feel like the rebound is too slow when wide-open, though.


    In other news, though...I got my fork back together. The source of the spinning LSC knob was the piston nut not being quite tight enough...they should really index the piston to the rod...also index the damn LSC knob, while they're at it...everything about this fork just seems to scream 'SRAM gives no ****s...just throw it together.'

    Oh, and I crammed a not-right O-ring onto the piston (old one was ripped)...should be okayish for a little bit, since the compression piston isn't actually moving...will track down the correct one for future installation.

    Anyway....HOLY TITBALLS, BATMAN. This fork is finally getting somewhere.

    I'm just riding around my backyard and I can tell that there is a massive difference. There's a spot where my driveway drops about 6" into the grass, and I can pedal right up that 90* curb like it's not even there. I'm not even shifting my weight...previously, if I had pedaled into that without unloading the front wheel, it would've stopped me cold.

    Concrete stairs are feeling like a flat ramp.

    I split the stack of four large shims with the four little spacers. LSC knob is about halfway up...it honestly feels okay in any position...open is a little noodly, but not that horrible. Closed is very supportive, but (gasp) still has actual bump dampening.


    Why in the hell would they ever ship a fork with that stock valving???

  83. #83
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    Mattoc is nominated for suspension product of the year from pink bike..... just saying.....

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    It's "damping", not "dampening". No one is "wetting" the suspension.

    Carry on.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    So help me understand if I went down a rat hole. On an RTC3, my rebound damper was best for me set wide open. Full travel was used on most rides and while I was happy, I wanted more rebound action (*less dampening). I added a token (1- 2) and now have middle'ish rebound damper (range to play with), a ramped compression (odd feeling at first), and rarely bottom out. I feel that I am better off with the added token for most of my riding.

    The question is if there is there a better way to get to a more centered rebound by having to add a token? I am not unhappy with the non linear feel of the extra token, but after reading the comments on reduce air spring volume, it has got me thinking if there is a better way.
    Thanks
    Yes. A lower viscosity oil and/or changing the shim stack on the rebound side will get you closer to the middle of the adjustment range without having to use tokens. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but if I understand things correctly, reducing the preload on the shims and using a less stiff shim stack will give your desired results. A lower viscosity oil will as well but it will also affect the compression side and there's a good chance you'll have to retune it as well to get it back to where you like it.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekraft View Post
    It's "damping", not "dampening". No one is "wetting" the suspension.

    Carry on.
    But if the forks leaks? Maybe leeks? (:
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  87. #87
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    My suggestion to try would be the Yar-Valanche+Ramp.

    Take a Yari, put the Avalanche damper in it, and then get an MRP Ramp Control unit. Lots more external adjustment, and better raw performance - basically end up with a really tuned Lyrik chassis.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    The Pike RC has a very firm shim stack with a LSC/Lockout dial on the bypass, then air pressure and rebound.

    It requires a revalve to be any good at all for the majority of riders.
    I have a Pike RC, and I love it... but I somewhat regularly have to use a zip tie to depressurize the lowers (every 4 months on average), and most importantly I'm 240+lb geared up, so the first five clicks of the LSC accomplish basically what I'm after.

    I run it (a 150mm 29er version) with three tokens, and fairly low air spring pressure (82psi - but for sag normally am at just under 25%), and it's pretty adequate. Not world-beating, but I can just barely bottom it on the stupidest of hucks to flat, it does soak up squared edged stuff remarkably well, and it does make small trail imperfections and braking bumps negligible when I'm going fast.
    I end up with the rebound a bit overdamped so it's controllable deeper in the stroke - but it's in the +/- 2 click range, and it doesn't really want to pack in - I have found that the compression wide open actually works better for climbing, and I'll actually dial in some LSC for when I'm pointed downhill again. Probably mediocre bike fit coupled with sitting nice a far back while spinning up technical singletrack makes this work - but being able to lean on the fork a bit more with a few clicks of LSC dialed in has been a big help traction-wise.

    For lighter riders, I suspect lower viscosity oil, slick honey everywhere, and running lower air pressure with at least one token above stock is probably the best start. Probably end up a bit far towards Mr. Turtle on rebound damping, but I really feel that for forks, the compression is what matters the most for confidence in rougher terrain as long as the rebound isn't way far off.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    You read the part where I said I've run it with tokens at stupid-low pressures, and everywhere inbetween, right?

    Two important things here:

    1) The static pressure in the fork without any weight on the bike is a useless metric. Changing this pressure is, for the most part, only changing sag. Once you actually get on the bike, the air spring is going to compress and the air pressure is always going to end up pretty similar

    2) Tokens suck. If you're not using all the forks travel, even when running ~30% sag, there is zero reason make the air spring more progressive, and it's certainly not going to make the fork feel less harsh.

    So, basically, again- I've tried these suggestions. As a reasonable person would suspect, running more sag can, at best, result in a tiny bit less spring at the very top of the stroke...which does nothing noticeable. In actuality, riding at higher sag, even without tokens, is already making the spring rate more progressive...you're starting with a smaller air chamber.

    The only argument that could be make for more sag or tokens is that maybe this allows you to run different, less harsh damper settings...but it doesn't, because we're all already wide-open.

    Sheesh.
    how much air is in your fork? Could your Pos-Neg air chamber seals be damaged? I've seen a reba react like this when all the neg air ends up in the pos chamber. Basically feels like crap forever, and super stiff even at 40psi. 0 small bump compliance.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Well that's interesting as hell.

    Why would they do that? And why not TELL PEOPLE, rather than claiming RC/RCT3 performance should be similar?
    The only reason I can fathom is they wanted a firm lockout with the LSC dial closed. The dial does have a padlock symbol on it!

    lHard Lockout or good suspension. Pick one.
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    Right...but the whole reason the hard lockout is there is because the shim stack is so hard that it is allowing zero compliance...I was guessing that was the answer, but it just seemed like such an absurd 'throw out the baby with the bathwater' fix. I mean, why even HAVE the compression piston and shim stack? Seems like >90% of your compression damping (all speeds) is going to come down to the needle and orifice of the 'LSC' adjuster.

    It's just baffling and also mildly infuriating that this information is not more widespread, leaving Pike PC users (victims?) to think that they have either a broken fork or a setup issue, which they may spend weeks or months troubleshooting, never to find out that the factory ruined the cheapest and easiest part of the damper.

    In fact, I've heard multiple accounts where people kept sending their Pikes in until Rockshox finally sent them back with an RCT3 damper...which I never thought much about, since they were purported to be internally the same...but I'm guessing RS knows that the RC damper is shite...so why not just start selling them with a different shim stack, or at least advising a modification in the service manual?

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooterman View Post
    how much air is in your fork? Could your Pos-Neg air chamber seals be damaged? I've seen a reba react like this when all the neg air ends up in the pos chamber. Basically feels like crap forever, and super stiff even at 40psi. 0 small bump compliance.
    I've heard of such a thing but am not sure how it would happen. My fork definitely pressurizes the neg air chamber...I got a lovely shock the first time I pulled the air spring apart, thinking it was empty (didn't compress the fork to let it vent back to the pos chamber).

    Come to think of it, there really should be published sag settings for each travel option on the Pike. Since the ports for the negative air chamber never move (and are in the same place, independent of what travel the fork is set up for), is there not an exact amount of sag that you should aim to ride at, in order to have an equalized positive and negative chamber, with the ports being covered/uncovered after a certain amount of stroke?

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    It's just baffling and also mildly infuriating that this information is not more widespread, leaving Pike PC users (victims?) to think that they have either a broken fork or a setup issue, which they may spend weeks or months troubleshooting, never to find out that the factory ruined the cheapest and easiest part of the damper.
    My cynical side says it's the same reason Fox had a useless Trail setting on their CTD forks, they inadvertently admitted that they tuned it so that people could feel the difference when pushing on the fork in the parking lot, and that it was actually garbage on the trails. I'm thinking RS wanted to create a noticeable difference between the Pike RC (which is mostly an OEM fork) and RCT3 (main aftermarket fork) so that they could upsell their customers, and they did it in the easiest way possible by crippling the shim stack on the cheaper RC model. If RS is claiming that both forks should feel the same, then I don't know WTF they're doing.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    My cynical side says it's the same reason Fox had a useless Trail setting on their CTD forks, they inadvertently admitted that they tuned it so that people could feel the difference when pushing on the fork in the parking lot, and that it was actually garbage on the trails. I'm thinking RS wanted to create a noticeable difference between the Pike RC (which is mostly an OEM fork) and RCT3 (main aftermarket fork) so that they could upsell their customers, and they did it in the easiest way possible by crippling the shim stack on the cheaper RC model. If RS is claiming that both forks should feel the same, then I don't know WTF they're doing.
    They didn't cripple the shim stack per say. The RC is the oem model, so they made it less expensive. To still keep the lockout while not utilizing the damper internals to preload the shim stack mechanically, they preload the crap out of the shims. The majority of oil flow is now through the low speed bypass.
    The RCT3 has a mechanical shim preload, so the shim stack can be made softer.
    Blame the masses for "needing" a lockout on their 6" all mountain fork. What the masses want, the manufacturers provide.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    I've heard of such a thing but am not sure how it would happen. My fork definitely pressurizes the neg air chamber...I got a lovely shock the first time I pulled the air spring apart, thinking it was empty (didn't compress the fork to let it vent back to the pos chamber).

    Come to think of it, there really should be published sag settings for each travel option on the Pike. Since the ports for the negative air chamber never move (and are in the same place, independent of what travel the fork is set up for), is there not an exact amount of sag that you should aim to ride at, in order to have an equalized positive and negative chamber, with the ports being covered/uncovered after a certain amount of stroke?
    Sag numbers are useless. You need to tune by frequency.

    Too slow and wallowing - Increase pressure.
    Too harsh and jiggly - Decrease pressure.
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    What I'm saying is that it would seem to me that to get the fork to function properly, sag needs to be set to a precise number.

    I was thinking the link between the negative/positive air chambers was two ports, but it looks like it's actually just a single dimple in the side of the air cylinder.

    Ideally, said dimple needs to sit just below the piston that seals the bottom of the positive chamber. So when the fork is compressed less (i.e. you get off the bike), the pos/neg chambers equalize. When you get on the bike, you're just past the point where the chambers have been sealed off.

    If you ride particularly deep into the sag, the difference between the positive and negative chambers is going to be that much greater, which defeats the point of even having a negative chamber...

    Feel free to point out if my logic is flawed here.

  96. #96
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    You can go round and round because everything in shocks/forks is interrelated. The main purpose of neg air is to reduce the force necessary to compress the fork at full extension...making it close to zero. So, the port to equalize pressure connects pos to neg chambers is near full extension because that's where you want ~0 force to compress the fork and need the chambers to have equal pressure. Effective piston area and any negative coils springs will effect this to varying degrees. Anyway, equalization should occur near full extension, not near the sag point.
    Do the math.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    What I'm saying is that it would seem to me that to get the fork to function properly, sag needs to be set to a precise number.

    I was thinking the link between the negative/positive air chambers was two ports, but it looks like it's actually just a single dimple in the side of the air cylinder.

    Ideally, said dimple needs to sit just below the piston that seals the bottom of the positive chamber. So when the fork is compressed less (i.e. you get off the bike), the pos/neg chambers equalize. When you get on the bike, you're just past the point where the chambers have been sealed off.

    If you ride particularly deep into the sag, the difference between the positive and negative chambers is going to be that much greater, which defeats the point of even having a negative chamber...

    Feel free to point out if my logic is flawed here.
    As rager said. The purpose of negative air is to negate top out and make the top of the stroke more linear to near zero force. It's not something that needs monkeyed with for different sag.

    Negative air equalisation also makes for a dead spot in the stroke. You don't want this in the usable range.
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    One point on sag:

    As you add tokens the sag point changes to get "equivalent" performance. So 20% in linear (no tokens) might be 25% with tokens (non-linear). This equates directly to having in less air with tokens. Going further with this; if the sag gradients make sense in linear mode, then they cant make sense in non-linear, or vice-versa.

  99. #99
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    I just wish I could get my 29er RCT3 140mm pike more linear feeling without turning into a board over the small stuff and having to rely on tire pressure to pick up the trail chatter. My 160 RC I could run with zero tokens and 3 clicks of LSC and 20% and it was great. I cannot get this other fork to play nice.

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    Well here's an update on my saga:

    Went for my first ride with the modded damper today. This...this can be a good fork. It just needs a LOT of work.

    The difference is already substantial. I had thought that 'big hits' were all that the Pike did well...turns out, it was capable of doing them waaaay better. Pretty much everything is improved...but the small bump compliance is just not quite there yet.

    Mid-sized hits are where you really notice the difference. Especially while climbing...getting up an 12" (give or take a few) drop is now just effortless...it no longer feels like a technical obstacle. And the unflinching speed that you can hit that kinda stuff at now is pretty crazy. On my way back from the trail, I decided to just barrel at a 6" curb without doing anything to help myself clear it. At a 45* angle, no less. If it weren't for my back wheel, I swear to god I would not have known it was there. The tire didn't ram it and grab on...it just floated right over.

    Rolling a big drop, though...hard to even describe. Went over a good four-footer and it's like you can feel the bike just plop down into a big squishy hammock.

    I'm running the rebound wide-open...going to need to do the 'light rebound' tune, it looks like. I'm down to about 55psi on air. LSC about halfway up and still not exceptionally divey or anything. I think the compression shims can also go lighter.

    Anyone got any suggestions on what I should do with the compression side?

    Stock was:

    18 x 0.15
    18 x 0.3 ring
    16 x 0.1 center
    18 x 0.2
    18 x 0.2
    18 x 0.2
    18 x 0.2
    8 x 0.4
    8 x 0.4
    8 x 0.4
    8 x 0.4

    I moved two of the 18x0.2 shims to the end of the stack. Probably need to drop in some replacement shims and get something a bit less unusual going on, but this is all new to me. Is there a reason they wouldn't just use a more standard progressive stack? E.g. One 18 shim, one 16 shim, one 14 shim, ect?

    All I'm after is that last little bit of smooth small bump damping. It seems awful weird right now that I can feel a 1" tree root way more than a 6" rock.

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Well here's an update on my saga:

    Went for my first ride with the modded damper today. This...this can be a good fork. It just needs a LOT of work.

    The difference is already substantial. I had thought that 'big hits' were all that the Pike did well...turns out, it was capable of doing them waaaay better. Pretty much everything is improved...but the small bump compliance is just not quite there yet.

    Mid-sized hits are where you really notice the difference. Especially while climbing...getting up an 12" (give or take a few) drop is now just effortless...it no longer feels like a technical obstacle. And the unflinching speed that you can hit that kinda stuff at now is pretty crazy. On my way back from the trail, I decided to just barrel at a 6" curb without doing anything to help myself clear it. At a 45* angle, no less. If it weren't for my back wheel, I swear to god I would not have known it was there. The tire didn't ram it and grab on...it just floated right over.

    Rolling a big drop, though...hard to even describe. Went over a good four-footer and it's like you can feel the bike just plop down into a big squishy hammock.

    I'm running the rebound wide-open...going to need to do the 'light rebound' tune, it looks like. I'm down to about 55psi on air. LSC about halfway up and still not exceptionally divey or anything. I think the compression shims can also go lighter.

    Anyone got any suggestions on what I should do with the compression side?

    Stock was:

    18 x 0.15
    18 x 0.3 ring
    16 x 0.1 center
    18 x 0.2
    18 x 0.2
    18 x 0.2
    18 x 0.2
    8 x 0.4
    8 x 0.4
    8 x 0.4
    8 x 0.4

    I moved two of the 18x0.2 shims to the end of the stack. Probably need to drop in some replacement shims and get something a bit less unusual going on, but this is all new to me. Is there a reason they wouldn't just use a more standard progressive stack? E.g. One 18 shim, one 16 shim, one 14 shim, ect?

    All I'm after is that last little bit of smooth small bump damping. It seems awful weird right now that I can feel a 1" tree root way more than a 6" rock.
    Tapered shim stacks offer very little change in damping on dyno charts compared to straight stacks, this is why most manufacturers use straight stacks.

    I would not recommend removing shims to solve your problem. Doing so will help, but will also cause the fork to be under damped when shaft speeds are high. You are much better off moving the ring/nest shim up the stack to reduce preload on the stack. If you are not interested in a lock out, move it up 3 shims making only a single 18x.2 shim preloaded. That should give you a useful lsc adjustment, and a shim stack that is supportive without feeling harsh.

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by saruti View Post
    so many solutions... for a problem that doesn't really exist.
    the PIKE is a great fork. if you dont like it, you probably just dont know how to set it up.
    Very possible I'm that guy. Got any good references/videos/tutorials on how to setup a pike?

    So far I'm only finding it OK and just living with it until I can decide on what to replace it with, but I'm open to it being an awesome fork, if I can learn how to make it so.

  103. #103
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    pump up your fork ride it around, the stick a small zip tie down the stanchion under the fork seals on the air cart side. If air comes out after a short ride the seals on the air piston are messed up. My buddies Reba did this the other day, it was crap it felt like a POS with no damping and some messed up spring. I rebuilt it and it felt like a normal fork.

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucifuge View Post
    One point on sag:

    As you add tokens the sag point changes to get "equivalent" performance. So 20% in linear (no tokens) might be 25% with tokens (non-linear). This equates directly to having in less air with tokens. Going further with this; if the sag gradients make sense in linear mode, then they cant make sense in non-linear, or vice-versa.
    That's exactly what volume change should be used for. Matching sag and natural frequency.

    Unfortunately marketing took over and every clown thinks they need them to not bottom-out. Suspension tuning has been set backwards. Again.
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    I absolutely hate my Pike - what are my alternatives?-sag.jpg

    70psi (3 tokens) gives me 23% of sag. To get the same performance with linear (no tokens) I have to pump 110 psi. Maybe 85-90psi will be ok with some LSC added. Have to try.

    PS IRT from Manitou could help this out I need to make some calculations to compare its curve with springs

  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikon255 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	sag.jpg 
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    70psi (3 tokens) gives me 23% of sag. To get the same performance with linear (no tokens) I have to pump 110 psi. Maybe 85-90psi will be ok with some LSC added. Have to try.

    PS IRT from Manitou could help this out I need to make some calculations to compare its curve with springs
    Forget sag. Tune by frequency. Too soft = too slow and wallowing. Too firm = too harsh and jiggly.
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    Frequency means - faster you go firmer suspension you need?

  108. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikon255 View Post
    Frequency means - faster you go firmer suspension you need?
    Frequency is how fast the suspension cycles up and down with you on the bike.
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    everything is "go on feeling"

  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikon255 View Post
    everything is "go on feeling"
    Yep. Unless you have telemetry or high speed video.

    Humans are pretty sensitive to jiggle and wallow. When you've got neither it's about right.
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    I got HS camera and Kinovea. Continue please

  112. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikon255 View Post
    I got HS camera and Kinovea. Continue please
    Excellent. Go make some movies.
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    On this movies, should I use rebound or turn it to min? What about tokens? Leave it for now and make movies with full spectrum of pressures?

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    Well, I'll be damned. The recent Pike manual clearly describes rebound damper shim stack tunes, my copy of the manual skipped this section.
    Anyway, it looks like Ill be heading back to a "soft" damper tune and remove my added token. I'm 200#neked on a 150mm Solo RCT3; would love to hear confirmation from experts that am I headed in the right direction from a technical perspective.
    thanks

  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    Well, I'll be damned. The recent Pike manual clearly describes rebound damper shim stack tunes, my copy of the manual skipped this section.
    Anyway, it looks like Ill be heading back to a "soft" damper tune and remove my added token. I'm 200#neked on a 150mm Solo RCT3; would love to hear confirmation from experts that am I headed in the right direction from a technical perspective.
    thanks
    You know those rebound tunes are intended for people who are currently on the limit of their adjuster range, right?

  116. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by two-one View Post
    You know those rebound tunes are intended for people who are currently on the limit of their adjuster range, right?
    Yes, and at 154lbs I was and hence got it done. But at 200lbs I think it wouldn't be a good idea

  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikon255 View Post
    On this movies, should I use rebound or turn it to min? What about tokens? Leave it for now and make movies with full spectrum of pressures?
    Tune as best you can and go ride some different terrain. Small bumps, big bumps etc.
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    I subscribed this thread on very beginning but stil have issuea with Pike.
    At 180LBS it's either stiff on small bumps making my wrists hurt or too soft when pedalling.
    Of course i play with adjusting knobs but their reactivity brings the result only on edges.
    Do you also have similar feelings, is there a way to fix that and achieve perfect small bump sensivity, good pedal efficiency and effective mid stroke support.
    I just can't make it supple, soft on beginning and stiffer later on.

    Would you still keep playing or it's pointless and i should look around for new one.

  119. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Placek View Post
    I subscribed this thread on very beginning but stil have issuea with Pike.
    At 180LBS it's either stiff on small bumps making my wrists hurt or too soft when pedalling.
    Of course i play with adjusting knobs but their reactivity brings the result only on edges.
    Do you also have similar feelings, is there a way to fix that and achieve perfect small bump sensivity, good pedal efficiency and effective mid stroke support.
    I just can't make it supple, soft on beginning and stiffer later on.

    Would you still keep playing or it's pointless and i should look around for new one.
    if you've tried maxxing out tokens and it still feels like this then yes, move on

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Tune as best you can and go ride some different terrain. Small bumps, big bumps etc.
    my major problem was to slow rebound. I used 70psi, 22%sag with 2 tokens and 13-14 rebound from open. But it was too soft and slow. Now I use 85 psi, 17-18% sag, 2 tokens, 13 rebound and thats great. Least vibrations on handlebar at rockgardens, not bouncy at jumps and dont kick back at g-outs. My weight 75kg - ready to rock.

    BTW 85psi 2tokens and 70psi 3tokens got the same bottomout force. Imo 85psi got better midsupport and you dont rush through it. Better midsupport gives you less hands fatigue.

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    I went for a ride the other day after a sudden 30* temperature drop.

    My Pike RC was back to feeling harsh as hell, TBQH. If a little temperature change is enough to take it from 'getting somewhere' to 'blech, this sucks again,' then there is surely MUCH work to be done to really dial it in...


    ...I caved and ordered the Mattoc 2. $590, shipped.

    I hate to start over with a new platform, but I feel a little more confident that I'm going to be able to get what I want without any internal modifications to the fork.

    P.S. what kind of gnar are you guys riding that you can bottom a fork with 70-80psi or more???

    I was down to 50psi with no tokens, and at 190lbs I never managed to get that last inch of stanchion. When I was dialing in the pressure, I was repeatedly rolling a ~4ft drop and it seemed okay.

  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikon255 View Post
    my major problem was to slow rebound. I used 70psi, 22%sag with 2 tokens and 13-14 rebound from open. But it was too soft and slow. Now I use 85 psi, 17-18% sag, 2 tokens, 13 rebound and thats great. Least vibrations on handlebar at rockgardens, not bouncy at jumps and dont kick back at g-outs. My weight 75kg - ready to rock.

    BTW 85psi 2tokens and 70psi 3tokens got the same bottomout force. Imo 85psi got better midsupport and you dont rush through it. Better midsupport gives you less hands fatigue.
    Which fork exactly are it using? RC or RCT3? And how much travel?

  123. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    I went for a ride the other day after a sudden 30* temperature drop.

    My Pike RC was back to feeling harsh as hell, TBQH. If a little temperature change is enough to take it from 'getting somewhere' to 'blech, this sucks again,' then there is surely MUCH work to be done to really dial it in...


    ...I caved and ordered the Mattoc 2. $590, shipped.

    I hate to start over with a new platform, but I feel a little more confident that I'm going to be able to get what I want without any internal modifications to the fork.

    P.S. what kind of gnar are you guys riding that you can bottom a fork with 70-80psi or more???

    I was down to 50psi with no tokens, and at 190lbs I never managed to get that last inch of stanchion. When I was dialing in the pressure, I was repeatedly rolling a ~4ft drop and it seemed okay.
    Pike RC got stiff compression shimstack. Maybe your pike has changed oil to some shitty one, which VI index is low. Then low temperature kills it. Another situation, you got dried in your lowers. Low temperature makes your seals harder. Before complaining you have to be sure your forks is serviced properly.

    BTW buy an IRT system to your mattoc. That creates great spring curve!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Notched View Post
    Which fork exactly are it using? RC or RCT3? And how much travel?
    RCT3, 160mm, 0 click of LSC. I will add it on steep fast trail which need a lot of breaking.

  124. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikon255 View Post
    RCT3, 160mm, 0 click of LSC. I will add it on steep fast trail which need a lot of breaking.
    That's interesting, that's much higher pressure than I ran, and I had the rebound open full, and we are the same weight. But RC vs RCT3. I'm guessing the rebound stack is different on the RCT3 as well.

  125. #125
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    I was struggeling with mine a long time. First leaking soloair, then this stupid idea to zip tie and create vacuum in lowers, then too slow rebound - everything caused hands fatigue. Long story

    Whats your problem with RC?

  126. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucifuge View Post
    if you've tried maxxing out tokens and it still feels like this then yes, move on
    I removed all tokens also, pike felt linear but diving too easily on every root. Achieving all travel with no problem.

  127. #127
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    try with sag 20% in standing position and add some LSC

  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikon255 View Post
    try with sag 20% in standing position and add some LSC
    Nikon. I try to collect all good advices-thanks for that.
    Actually i do have one problem with that.
    When i put the Sag20% i means i increase the pressure. Is that resonable to still increase LSC and make the fork even more dull?

  129. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Placek View Post
    I removed all tokens also, pike felt linear but diving too easily on every root. Achieving all travel with no problem.
    Then you need more LSC. Which ultimately means a revalve because the stock tune doesn't do that well.
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  130. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikon255 View Post
    Whats your problem with RC?
    This was my issue: On a 160mm Pike RC 26". From over a year ago.

    Dougal removed the pre-load ring and split it to about half the shims.

    I did mean to update this. As mention, Dougal took apart my fork at my request. I've felt that fork was too stiff and required lower and lower pressure to get more travel. I'm 75kg (165lb) and can only bottom the fork at lower than useful pressure (around 30psi). Even at 45psi and about 30% sag I cannot bottom this fork.
    Any by bottom, I want to use maybe 150mm per ride, I haven't tested it's bottoming ability by wheelie dropping to flat or anything insane, just normal trail riding.

    NB. For high speed bike park, DH riding, 55-60psi works really well, but I'll still only use 130mm.

    So Dougal removed some of the shims. I still can't bottom the fork, but will be testing it within an inch of it's life this Saturday (as will Dougal's Mattoc!)

    I guess my point is that I want a trail fork that can handle some tough riding, but be used for general trail riding. I've no doubt I could bottom the fork doing something stupid, but I've never seen the o-ring at the top of stanchions for normal trail riding. So I'll have Dougal play with the shims again.

  131. #131
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    Guys I cannot scan your forks. For me:
    1. Service your fork properly
    2. Use only RS oil for charger - for comparisons. If you used other dont compare your fork to another
    3. Lube lowers
    4. Make sure your SoloAir doesnt leak
    5. Zip tie both legs when fork fully extended
    6. Set sag MAX 22% or less in attack position
    7. Do not overdamp your rebound, it kills sensivity
    8. If you bottom out, put tokens
    9. Then reset rebound
    10. Diviey? Put some LSC
    11. Dont care about bottoming out. Its better to have high performance fork in 60-75%, than floppy shit which cannot extend properly under your weight. When you ride too deep in stroke your fork feels harsh.

    Cannot help more, sorry

  132. #132
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    Vorsprung made a tech video this week about LSC. very informative the part about the correlation between low and high speed. Plus informative discussion in the comment section.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Placek View Post
    I subscribed this thread on very beginning but stil have issuea with Pike.
    At 180LBS it's either stiff on small bumps making my wrists hurt or too soft when pedalling.
    Of course i play with adjusting knobs but their reactivity brings the result only on edges.
    Do you also have similar feelings, is there a way to fix that and achieve perfect small bump sensivity, good pedal efficiency and effective mid stroke support.
    I just can't make it supple, soft on beginning and stiffer later on.

    Would you still keep playing or it's pointless and i should look around for new one.

    I'm your weight and run just under 30% sag with no tokens or LSC applied.

  134. #134
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    I solved my Pike issues by getting a Fox. Hopefully its better . . . .

    I know the Pike is great for some folks, but it just wasn't for me or my riding. If anyone is interested in a pretty new Pike, let me know.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  135. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by cadoretteboat View Post
    Vorsprung made a tech video this week about LSC. very informative the part about the correlation between low and high speed. Plus informative discussion in the comment section.
    Any link?

  136. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Placek View Post
    Any link?
    Oups:
    the video: The Tuesday Tune 5 - High and Low Speed Damping (pt 1) Video - Pinkbike
    more tech: VorsprungSuspension on Pinkbike

  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by POAH View Post
    I'm your weight and run just under 30% sag with no tokens or LSC applied.
    Assume You put ~70PSI??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Placek View Post
    Assume You put ~70PSI??
    not a clue what the PSI is

  139. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by POAH View Post
    not a clue what the PSI is
    Pressure, how much you pump the shock

  140. #140
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    I think he meant he doesn't know(or care) what PSI he requires to get his 30% sag reading.

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    So here's a question for y'all smarter people: I'm 140lb, run my Pike RC at 50PSI with 2 tokens, 25% sag. I'm happy with it, but I gotta know: would modifying the shim stack make any difference if I always run with the compression wide open? Sometimes I'll turn it to full lock but that's it. I've lever liked how it felt with any amount of compression damping so I just leave it open.
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  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    So here's a question for y'all smarter people: I'm 140lb, run my Pike RC at 50PSI with 2 tokens, 25% sag. I'm happy with it, but I gotta know: would modifying the shim stack make any difference if I always run with the compression wide open? Sometimes I'll turn it to full lock but that's it. I've lever liked how it felt with any amount of compression damping so I just leave it open.
    How many mm travel is the fork? 160mm? If you use all the travel every now and then and it feels good then you're on the right track. I'm heavier than you but never got full travel.

  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notched View Post
    How many mm travel is the fork? 160mm? If you use all the travel every now and then and it feels good then you're on the right track. I'm heavier than you but never got full travel.
    It's a 160mm. I get pretty dang close to full travel and I can bottom it with a big enough it. Just wish it was a little more sensitive in the initial stroke without sacrificing sag. If the shim stack mod does the trick I may do that because like I said I never even use the compression damper.
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  144. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    So here's a question for y'all smarter people: I'm 140lb, run my Pike RC at 50PSI with 2 tokens, 25% sag. I'm happy with it, but I gotta know: would modifying the shim stack make any difference if I always run with the compression wide open? Sometimes I'll turn it to full lock but that's it. I've lever liked how it felt with any amount of compression damping so I just leave it open.
    Yes it would. Right now you're using the free bleed for almost all the compression damping. Which gives not enough low speed damping and too much high.

    The ride will be far better with the right shims working and the free bleed mostly closed.
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  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Yes it would. Right now you're using the free bleed for almost all the compression damping. Which gives not enough low speed damping and too much high.

    The ride will be far better with the right shims working and the free bleed mostly closed.
    Where do I find the information I need to make the mod?
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  146. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post

    Stock was:

    18 x 0.15
    18 x 0.3 ring
    16 x 0.1 center
    18 x 0.2
    18 x 0.2
    18 x 0.2
    18 x 0.2
    8 x 0.4
    8 x 0.4
    8 x 0.4
    8 x 0.4

    I moved two of the 18x0.2 shims to the end of the stack. Probably need to drop in some replacement shims and get something a bit less unusual going on, but this is all new to me. Is there a reason they wouldn't just use a more standard progressive stack? E.g. One 18 shim, one 16 shim, one 14 shim, ect?

    All I'm after is that last little bit of smooth small bump damping. It seems awful weird right now that I can feel a 1" tree root way more than a 6" rock.

    Are these the compression shims that you moved?
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  147. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    Where do I find the information I need to make the mod?
    Are you already able to strip and reassemble/bleed the charger damper?
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  148. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Are you already able to strip and reassemble/bleed the charger damper?
    You betcha. Got my own bleed kit too.
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  149. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    Are these the compression shims that you moved?
    Yes.

    Moot point (to me) now...Pike is sitting on the floor across the room right now. Mattoc is on the bike.

    Initial impression:

    Are you shitting me? The difference between the Pike and this is the most substantial difference I've felt between any two MTB components.

    If you've gotten into this stuff fairly recently (like me), there's a fair chance you started on something with a total garbage fork, then moved into an entry-level 'real' fork. E.g. Suntour XCT to an XC30/32/Recon.

    That difference between an undamped garage door spring and an RS fork with the TK damper?

    Didn't feel as substantially improved as this. No joke.

  150. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Yes.

    Moot point (to me) now...Pike is sitting on the floor across the room right now. Mattoc is on the bike.

    Initial impression:

    Are you shitting me? The difference between the Pike and this is the most substantial difference I've felt between any two MTB components.

    If you've gotten into this stuff fairly recently (like me), there's a fair chance you started on something with a total garbage fork, then moved into an entry-level 'real' fork. E.g. Suntour XCT to an XC30/32/Recon.

    That difference between an undamped garage door spring and an RS fork with the TK damper?

    Didn't feel as substantially improved as this. No joke.
    Nice! Given my college budget, I'll try modifying the Pike first.

    When you say "I moved two of the 18x0.2 shims to the end of the stack," did you put them next to the 8x0.4 or the 18x0.15? Small end or big end?
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  151. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    Nice! Given my college budget, I'll try modifying the Pike first.

    When you say "I moved two of the 18x0.2 shims to the end of the stack," did you put them next to the 8x0.4 or the 18x0.15? Small end or big end?
    Move the shims you don't want to the top of the stack (furtherest away from the piston). This takes them out of play but keeps the stack height the same.
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  152. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Move the shims you don't want to the top of the stack (furtherest away from the piston). This takes them out of play but keeps the stack height the same.
    How do I know which shims to move? I'm assuming the larger ones are closer to the piston and the smaller ones further out, so moving the larger ones to the end of the stack like phuchmileif did would reduce the amount of damping?

    I'm also going to assume that the more shims I move, the less effective the "full-lockout" position becomes.

    Heck, is there an article that explains shim stacks and shim sizes and their effects?
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  153. #153
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    To the small end.

    That was a compromise based on what I had available, though. I.e. I decided to fiddle with it on impulse and had no other shims on hand.

    I'll probably open it back up and try to dial it in better at a later date (considering picking up a cheap hardtail frame to use the Pike and some other spare parts on). I think the best bet is to have spare shims on hand, and to better mimic the RCT3 or Boxxer shim stacks. It's not quite the same (pistons are probably different, for one), but I think it would be closer to 'right.'

    Here's the Pike RCT3 compression stack:

    6 x 18 x 0.1
    6 x 16 x .15
    16.2 x 18 x 0.3 Ring
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4

    Boxxer medium tune:

    6 x 16 x 0.15
    16 x 18 x 0.3 Ring
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 18 x 0.2
    6 x 16 x 0.1

    Boxxer Light tune:

    6 x 16 x 0.15
    16 x 18 x 0.3 Ring
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.2
    6 x 16 x 0.1


    So, basically: The other charger damper's stacks have less preload (.15 center shim vs .10 center shim; same size ring) and the main stack is (per approximate napkin math) like 30-50% of the RC's stiffness (one .20 shim is actually a little stiffer than two .15 shims...).

    Were I to do redo mine, I think I would try:

    6 x 18 x 0.1
    6 x 16 x .15
    16.2 x 18 x 0.3 Ring
    6 x 18 x .20
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 16 x .15
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4

    ...but I'm totally just guessing at this shit.

  154. #154
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    So removing the preload from the stack (which means removing/relocating the larger shims) reduces the amount of damping/allows freer oil flow for better sensitivity?
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  155. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    Heck, is there an article that explains shim stacks and shim sizes and their effects?
    https://www.ohlinsusa.com/files/file..._Manual_p1.pdf

    ...good luck. Heh.

    I have only the most basic grasp of this. I haven't found any good articles that are specifically about the Pike or even MTB dampers in general.

  156. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    So removing the preload from the stack (which means removing/relocating the larger shims) reduces the amount of damping/allows freer oil flow for better sensitivity?

    Shuffling shims doesn't necessarily change preload. Moving ring shims are a common way to create preload, moving them away from the piston will reduce preload.


    Vorsprung's video is pretty good: The Tuesday Tune Ep 5: Low- and High-Speed Damping - Video - Pinkbike

  157. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Right now you're using the free bleed for almost all the compression damping. Which gives not enough low speed damping and too much high.

    The ride will be far better with the right shims working and the free bleed mostly closed.
    Ok. I think I'm understanding shims now. Last thing, what is this "free bleed" you speak of? Is that the circuit operating in the fully open position, and I have to turn the dial to feel the difference in the shim stack tuning? Or is "free bleed" related to how the shim stack is configured and it'll still affect the fully open setting?
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  158. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    Ok. I think I'm understanding shims now. Last thing, what is this "free bleed" you speak of? Is that the circuit operating in the fully open position, and I have to turn the dial to feel the difference in the shim stack tuning? Or is "free bleed" related to how the shim stack is configured and it'll still affect the fully open setting?
    Free bleed is the circuit controlled by the knob on top. It bypasses the shims.

    Shim preload has two components. One is the distance of preload, the other is the stiffness.
    Moving the preloading ring-shim up and down the stack creates the same distance of preload, but the stiffness is less as you're flexing fewer shims that same distance.
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  159. #159
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    Ok. So are the shims bypassed when the compression is fully open or when the knob is turned toward lock?
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  160. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    Ok. So are the shims bypassed when the compression is fully open or when the knob is turned toward lock?
    You have two parallel flow paths, the shims and the free-bleed. The oil takes whichever path is easiest and will flow differing amounts through each at different compression speeds.

    With a very stiff and preloaded shim stack (stock) the oil goes almost entirely through the free-bleed.
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  161. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    Ok. So are the shims bypassed when the compression is fully open or when the knob is turned toward lock?
    And if so, what is happening with the HSC

  162. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    You have two parallel flow paths, the shims and the free-bleed. The oil takes whichever path is easiest and will flow differing amounts through each at different compression speeds.

    With a very stiff and preloaded shim stack (stock) the oil goes almost entirely through the free-bleed.
    So I'm guessing the shim path is the high-speed path, and the low-speed free bleed path on the RC damper is controlled with the knob and needle. Since the RC doesn't have adjustable HSC, I'm feeling disassitfied with the shim stack tune even when LSC is wide open.

    This is fascinating stuff.
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  163. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by eicca View Post
    So I'm guessing the shim path is the high-speed path, and the low-speed free bleed path on the RC damper is controlled with the knob and needle. Since the RC doesn't have adjustable HSC, I'm feeling disassitfied with the shim stack tune even when LSC is wide open.

    This is fascinating stuff.
    Yep.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  164. #164
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    Pulled stock PIKE RCT3 rebound shims out to shift to soft tune (running wide open) and found that a 14mm and a 16mm shim was missing. The worst part is I had assumed the shim stack was stock and did not pay attention to the configuration order I pulled out. In the end, there was 1 ring shim left over after loading the soft tune ...what gives. Wish there was an easy way to measure the results without a shock dyno. I may have ended up close to where I started. Anybody else see this and how much did you gain (clicks) between different tunes.

    Question for experts - why does RS only show rebound shim tune and not HSC shim tune? The service manual does not even dig into the compression piston, there must be a glide piston, but maybe never wears due to oil bath? The token thing is easy, but HSC tune would seem to be a better outcome, so why hide it? Is it just marketing to focus on the tokens?

    Tested new setup on my favorite trails starting at middlish rebound and opened the rebound back up, 1 click at a time. Not sure how many clicks in I ended, but I know I need to add a few more. I expected new tune and higher spring pressure would have me adding rebound not opening it up. I have a nose heavy bike and get sucked into the face of jumps pretty quick. I also removed the token I previously added and bumped the pressure up to compensate. Spring rate seems ok if not too stiff, but rebound is still not right.
    200# no gear @ 93 PSI ~ 18% sag standing on 150mm RCT3.

  165. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacubaya View Post
    You guys might want to hold on to your Pikes for a bit longer...

    An interesting upgrade is coming soon.

    Is this what you were talking about:

    Luftkappe Upgrade Kit for Pike and Lyrik - Press Release - Pinkbike
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  166. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post

    Oooooooh that plus shim mod should make for a suuuuuuper nice fork.
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  167. #167
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    It's amazing how many upgrades and changes the Pike needs to compete with a stock Mattoc!
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  168. #168
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    I followed Dougals advice and set up my 160mm RCT focused on first setting the sag by feel not % and then adding in HSC/LSC. I had 2 tokens in before and I left them in since I was lazy and just wanted to see if it was the right direction to go.

    Before (estimated)
    @20% sag
    82 psi
    LSC 2 clicks in
    HSC @ 2-4 clicks out

    Overly harsh except at high speed and drops. I was using low tire pressure to compensate.

    Now
    @25% sag
    75 psi
    LSC 1 click in
    HSC 4 clicks in

    Sooo much better and closer to the out of the box feeling. It's still not as supple as I think it should be in the initial part of the stroke and a bit soft mid stroke, but I'll refine it and see if I can improve it. It felt great running closer to 30% sag, but it made the bike feel way too steep and I was blowing through the travel.

    This thread has been a great help in just figuring out how they work.

    I'm 195lbs without gear.

  169. #169
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    Harryman
    Apology for silly question.
    What mean
    Click in
    Click out.

    Is that number of clicks from middle position (in=right direction, out=left direction).
    I try to follow good expirience.

  170. #170
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    I don't remember how many clicks there are total, so clicks in = how many from zero. Clicks out = how many back from max.

    Obviously, I didn't know what i was doing and the excess HSC and high pressure made the ride harsh. I could feel it once the sag was set right, even a click or two in either direction makes a difference now.

  171. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacubaya View Post
    You guys might want to hold on to your Pikes for a bit longer...

    An interesting upgrade is coming soon.
    Aaaaand the cat is out of the bag.

    Luftkappe Upgrade Kit for Pike and Lyrik - Press Release - Pinkbike

  172. #172
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    So it trades positive air chamber for negative. I.e. goes with the mantra of 'add tokens and decrease initial pressure,' but takes it a step further and adds negative air chamber volume.

    In theory it seems like it could help, but that general line of thinking that says 'just keep making the air chamber smaller so you can run less pressure!' also just seems retarded. When you're running 10psi in your golfball-sized air chamber, your fork is still going to suck.

    Why on earth would you want *slightly* better small bump at the expense of throwing away both the first and last 20% of your fork's travel? Why not just ride a 100mm fork?

    Not to mention that this spring mod is just going to make the Pike even more overdamped.


    BTW, I rode the Mattoc yesterday. It is night and day.

    I'm only running around 40-45 psi and it doesn't feel too soft. At low speed, it's squishy as hell, but when you're actually riding it seems plenty firm. Basically, if I get stopped dead (or very close to it), I get some awkward rocking and will probably come off the bike. But the other 99% of the time, I am WAY more confident because of the increased front grip...and the fact that every bump isn't knocking me off line.

    I can play it fast and loose down a sketchy hill, making large corrections and not worrying that my fork is going to fold sideways and send me OTB. And I can lean it harder into turns and kick the back end out without feeling out of control.

    My sole complaint is that it seems to mirror the Pike in one area- it gets harsher as you ride it. I tried to convince myself that this was all in my head, but it's not. After 2-3 miles of constant roots and rocks, it is definitely getting more spikey.

  173. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    So it trades positive air chamber for negative. I.e. goes with the mantra of 'add tokens and decrease initial pressure,' but takes it a step further and adds negative air chamber volume.

    In theory it seems like it could help, but that general line of thinking that says 'just keep making the air chamber smaller so you can run less pressure!' also just seems retarded. When you're running 10psi in your golfball-sized air chamber, your fork is still going to suck.

    Why on earth would you want *slightly* better small bump at the expense of throwing away both the first and last 20% of your fork's travel? Why not just ride a 100mm fork?

    Not to mention that this spring mod is just going to make the Pike even more overdamped.


    BTW, I rode the Mattoc yesterday. It is night and day.

    I'm only running around 40-45 psi and it doesn't feel too soft. At low speed, it's squishy as hell, but when you're actually riding it seems plenty firm. Basically, if I get stopped dead (or very close to it), I get some awkward rocking and will probably come off the bike. But the other 99% of the time, I am WAY more confident because of the increased front grip...and the fact that every bump isn't knocking me off line.

    I can play it fast and loose down a sketchy hill, making large corrections and not worrying that my fork is going to fold sideways and send me OTB. And I can lean it harder into turns and kick the back end out without feeling out of control.

    My sole complaint is that it seems to mirror the Pike in one area- it gets harsher as you ride it. I tried to convince myself that this was all in my head, but it's not. After 2-3 miles of constant roots and rocks, it is definitely getting more spikey.
    Eh, no.

    Increasing negative air chamber *drastically* reduces the initial spring rate, which is very high in non-HNV systems due to the rapid drop in negative pressure as the negative chamber expands. Think of this as an EVOL/Corset/Debonair for forks.

  174. #174
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    I might toss another shim re-stacking/oil tuning question into this thread, as my complaints/goals are pretty similar to what has been discussed.

    I much prefer the feel of my RCT3 pike with 0 or 1 volume spacers, but frequently bottom the fork out, so have to run 2, which makes the rebound tune screwy, as has been noted, and makes me want to run less air pressure so it gets too bouncy and wobbly. I'm 180lbs/82kg and i guess what qualifies as an "aggressive" rider. At the same time, the fork is harsh over small and mid size bumps even with the LSC all the way open. So i'm thinking of removing some preload to the shim stack to soften the "knee" of the digressive compression curve, and wondering about how best to address the HSC damping, which is currently inadequate for me and my preferred 1 volume spacer.

    Since I want to increase HSC while lightening LSC/MSC, I would need to stiffen the stack while decreasing preload. However, it's been noted that the charger compression piston has huge ports which contribute to the extremely digressive nature. Would it make sense to change to a heavier oil to effectively reduce the size of the ports? The flip side of the lower preload is that hopefully I'll be able to run the open mode LSC adjuster more in the middle of the range- so would the restriction of free-bleed alone be enough to reduce total HSC oil flow and offset the loss of preload by working the shim stack harder? I'm also worried that changing oil weights would introduce yet another variable to get under control.

    Thoughts appreciated- I get shim stacks and have played around on other suspension parts before but don't have near enough experience to make effective guesses on this stuff.

  175. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by briwear View Post
    So i'm thinking of removing some preload to the shim stack to soften the "knee" of the digressive compression curve, and wondering about how best to address the HSC damping, which is currently inadequate for me and my preferred 1 volume spacer.

    Since I want to increase HSC while lightening LSC/MSC, I would need to stiffen the stack while decreasing preload. However, it's been noted that the charger compression piston has huge ports which contribute to the extremely digressive nature. Would it make sense to change to a heavier oil to effectively reduce the size of the ports?
    I would advise to make 1 change at a time. just stiffen the stack a little with an extra .15 shim. If you thicken the oil, you will also affect the rebound and LSC behavior.

  176. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacubaya View Post
    Novy have had something on the market thats very similar for a long time in Europe.

  177. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    It's amazing how many upgrades and changes the Pike needs to compete with a stock Mattoc!

    It is. And everyone raves about how great a product is when it is released but is un-ridable once the new mod comes out. Flies to a flame.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  178. #178
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    video=youtube;][/video]...

  179. #179
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    moar chamberz!!
    video=youtube;][/video]...

  180. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    It is. And everyone raves about how great a product is when it is released but is un-ridable once the new mod comes out. Flies to a flame.
    I remember when I first got my new bike which came with a Pike. I was like "this is it? It's not even better than my Manitou Minute, what's the big deal?" Then again, most people were coming off Fox's crappy CTD forks or whatever crud Rockshox was using before so the Pike would've been a huge upgrade for them. For riders who were used to good suspension the Pike was average at best, and more like a minimum acceptable standard for its intended use.

  181. #181
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    Maybe I will say "screw it" and get a DVO Diamond after all.
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  182. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    BTW, I rode the Mattoc yesterday. It is night and day.

    I'm only running around 40-45 psi and it doesn't feel too soft. At low speed, it's squishy as hell, but when you're actually riding it seems plenty firm. Basically, if I get stopped dead (or very close to it), I get some awkward rocking and will probably come off the bike. But the other 99% of the time, I am WAY more confident because of the increased front grip...and the fact that every bump isn't knocking me off line.

    I can play it fast and loose down a sketchy hill, making large corrections and not worrying that my fork is going to fold sideways and send me OTB. And I can lean it harder into turns and kick the back end out without feeling out of control.

    My sole complaint is that it seems to mirror the Pike in one area- it gets harsher as you ride it. I tried to convince myself that this was all in my head, but it's not. After 2-3 miles of constant roots and rocks, it is definitely getting more spikey.
    I run my Mattoc around 45psi and I increase the LSC if I'm riding particularly steep stuff.

    Just be careful. Several riders I know have broken themselves after switching to Manitou. Their confidence and speed outgrew their ability!

    If you think it's getting firm with use then check the oil level in the damper. Easy to do from the top.

    The IRT kit is another very interesting upgrade for the Mattoc that lets you independently tune the second half of the spring curve from the first half.
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  183. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    I remember when I first got my new bike which came with a Pike. I was like "this is it? It's not even better than my Manitou Minute, what's the big deal?" Then again, most people were coming off Fox's crappy CTD forks or whatever crud Rockshox was using before so the Pike would've been a huge upgrade for them. For riders who were used to good suspension the Pike was average at best, and more like a minimum acceptable standard for its intended use.
    I've found the same. People would rave about a Pike RC as the best fork they've ever ridden.
    So I start asking them what else they have ridden. Often they are pumping rod marzocchi, fox CTD and motion control RS.

    Then I offer them a ride on my (stock) Mattoc or 12 year old Nixon and watch their reactions.....
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  184. #184
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    no IRT mounted? I'd like to try this fork.

  185. #185
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    Hmmm, dump money into my Pike or get a Mattoc?

    Once speeds pick up, my Pike DPA RC becomes a rock. I wonder whether replacing with a Mattoc or a custom rebuild would be more cost effective?
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  186. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    I've found the same. People would rave about a Pike RC as the best fork they've ever ridden.
    So I start asking them what else they have ridden. Often they are pumping rod marzocchi, fox CTD and motion control RS.

    Then I offer them a ride on my (stock) Mattoc or 12 year old Nixon and watch their reactions.....
    My old Fox TALAS from 2004 felt much better than the Pike. Actually my Marz Z2 on my 1997 beater bike feels better than the Pike.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  187. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    I've found the same. People would rave about a Pike RC as the best fork they've ever ridden.
    So I start asking them what else they have ridden. Often they are pumping rod marzocchi, fox CTD and motion control RS.

    Then I offer them a ride on my (stock) Mattoc or 12 year old Nixon and watch their reactions.....

    But this issue appears to be associated with the Pike RC and not the Pike RCT3, right? The Pike I spent time on in the past felt very nice.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  188. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    But this issue appears to be associated with the Pike RC and not the Pike RCT3, right? The Pike I spent time on in the past felt very nice.
    The RCT3 is pretty rare. I think I've only ridden one and seen maybe 3. Compared to probably a hundred or more RC's.

    All the OEM pikes I see are RC.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  189. #189
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    Here in Sram-Land, they're a dime a dozen. Most of my friends are on them.

  190. #190
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    I've got no complaints, last fork was a 36. My Pike is the RCT3 and works as intended.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  191. #191
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    Thanks two-one, that sounds like a good start

  192. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    The RCT3 is pretty rare. I think I've only ridden one and seen maybe 3. Compared to probably a hundred or more RC's.

    All the OEM pikes I see are RC.
    I have a RCT3, although, like you said, it seems most OEM forks come as RC. I thought the only difference was the 3 position switch?

    At any rate, my RCT3 gets really harsh as speeds increase, particularly with small bumps. It seems to be smooth enough on larger hits, but if you go down a trail that's really chunky, it seems to lose it's composure and get really harsh. If you back off the LSC, it helps, but then the fork dives under braking and heavy cornering. Same if you reduce sag.

    I have an Avalanche dampener in now, so hopefully that helps some. It seems to make the range of LSC a bit more usable without major consequences.

    I hadn't considered a Mattoc until now, maybe next time around.

  193. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I have a RCT3, although, like you said, it seems most OEM forks come as RC. I thought the only difference was the 3 position switch?

    At any rate, my RCT3 gets really harsh as speeds increase, particularly with small bumps. It seems to be smooth enough on larger hits, but if you go down a trail that's really chunky, it seems to lose it's composure and get really harsh. If you back off the LSC, it helps, but then the fork dives under braking and heavy cornering. Same if you reduce sag.

    I have an Avalanche dampener in now, so hopefully that helps some. It seems to make the range of LSC a bit more usable without major consequences.

    I hadn't considered a Mattoc until now, maybe next time around.
    Your rebound is too slow.

  194. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post
    Your rebound is too slow.
    Yes, I would agree with this. Also, just make small adjustments. People often don't realize what a single click can do.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  195. #195
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    Another option would be a FAST cartdridge for Pike, it works in open bath like BOS suspension with 21 clicks for HSC and other 21 for LSC. A friend of mine is ysin one for Fox DH 40 and it works pretty softer, with a wide range of setting for damping.
    Combined with EnduroForkSeals dust seals would be a great improvement for the Pikes, even more for the RC models.

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  198. #198
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    Switching to a MRP Stage solved all my worries...

  199. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanMan View Post
    Switching to a MRP Stage solved all my worries...
    Ha, seemed like you were not that happy with your MRP on the ride I did with you and Zinger

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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    To the small end.

    That was a compromise based on what I had available, though. I.e. I decided to fiddle with it on impulse and had no other shims on hand.

    I'll probably open it back up and try to dial it in better at a later date (considering picking up a cheap hardtail frame to use the Pike and some other spare parts on). I think the best bet is to have spare shims on hand, and to better mimic the RCT3 or Boxxer shim stacks. It's not quite the same (pistons are probably different, for one), but I think it would be closer to 'right.'

    Here's the Pike RCT3 compression stack:

    6 x 18 x 0.1
    6 x 16 x .15
    16.2 x 18 x 0.3 Ring
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4

    Boxxer medium tune:

    6 x 16 x 0.15
    16 x 18 x 0.3 Ring
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 18 x 0.2
    6 x 16 x 0.1

    Boxxer Light tune:

    6 x 16 x 0.15
    16 x 18 x 0.3 Ring
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 8 x 0.3
    6 x 18 x 0.15
    6 x 18 x 0.2
    6 x 16 x 0.1


    So, basically: The other charger damper's stacks have less preload (.15 center shim vs .10 center shim; same size ring) and the main stack is (per approximate napkin math) like 30-50% of the RC's stiffness (one .20 shim is actually a little stiffer than two .15 shims...).

    Were I to do redo mine, I think I would try:

    6 x 18 x 0.1
    6 x 16 x .15
    16.2 x 18 x 0.3 Ring
    6 x 18 x .20
    6 x 18 x .15
    6 x 16 x .15
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4
    6 x 8 x 0.4

    ...but I'm totally just guessing at this shit.
    Lots of good info in this thread, it's very nice to have some confirmation that I'm not insane, & that the compression stack on this fork being quite stiff is not just in my head. Interestingly enough, thinking back to my previous gen(open bath) Lyrik, the MoCo-based RC had a much firmer tune than the MiCo-based RC2DH. But since the MoCo dampers had other problems, it was far more accepted that the damper just wasn't very good, it seems with the charger that people(including myself) have been convinced that both specs were the same, but it seems like RS has a habit of putting firmer compression tunes on RC models, even prior to Charger. Had I known that they were so different, I'd have either sold this fork without ever installing it (it came in a build kit) or retuned the damper. Well, now I scratched the stanchions & can't get any money out of it, so time to delve into the last thing I've not played with inside a fork: changing shim stacks.

    So questions:

    Where can I buy the Shims I need?

    second, phuchmileif, I notice your speculative tune really only deviates from the base RCT3 tune in the 2.0 behind the ring. I'm not sure what it is you're trying to accomplish with that, or alternately: what behavior of the RCT3 tune are you trying to change?

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