Fox 34 vs Pike – Which is more superior?

When selecting a fork for trail or racing, you may be spoilt for choice with the variety available. Above the rest are RockShox Pike and Fox 36. Which of the two choices gives a superior riding experience?

A suspension fork sets bikes apart and helps to create plush or stiff riding based on user preference and expectations in trail and terrain.

I have been building my version of the best trail and enduro bike and I have reached a dilemma. Between the RockShox Pike and the Fox 36 fork models, I am yet to decide which one will offer me the best riding experience.

So, I enlisted the help of a pal of mine over at our local bicycle shop to help me get into their in-depth differences. Here is what I came up with.

What is the difference between Fox 34 and Pike?

Model
Fox 34
RockShox Pike
Travel Options
140, 150, 160mm
120, 140, 150, 160mm
Weight
1880 g
1860 g
Damper
High/low speed compression
Low-speed compression
Chassis
36mm leg, 15/20mm axle
35mm legs, 15mm Maxle
Ease of use
Technical
Simple
Ride feel
Taut
Plush
Availability

Fox 34 vs Pike – How they compare 

Build 

In terms of weight, the Pike fork is lighter than the Fox 36 by about 100 grams. 

However, in the application, though both models use post brake mounts, a 30g adapter is needed to run a rotor on the Pike while the 36’s rotor is directly mounted.

With this setup, the weight difference is lessened to 70g. By switching the axle from the 15mm to the 20mm option on 36, more weight is cut off.

Using the Pike fork, there is a great convenience in the Maxle chassis which beats all benefits associated with the 36’s stiff design.

Adjustments 

Both models are air-sprung and their spring curves are custom-tuned by using volume-reducers. If you like to ride fast, you will benefit from adding spacers to create more ramp-up and mid-stroke support. 

For less aggressive riding, use fewer volume-reducers which will guarantee the access of all available travel.

Riding steep technical trails on the Pike fork requires you to add an extra spacer to improve its performance regardless of the wheel you use or the travel you have.

If traversing through rocky terrain, you may minimize deflection by reducing the high-speed compression slightly.

Damping

Fox 34 offers no lockout or platforms and opts to provide users with high and low-compression damping that is fully adjustable. 

When it comes to damping, Fox 34 offers no lockout or platforms and opts to provide users with high and low-compression damping that is fully adjustable.

To adjust the rebound control, increasing it by three clicks lowers the height of the front end. You can go through the entire range of adjustments by shifting from the open to almost fully closed.

When your setting is at two clicks to fully closed, you will benefit more in comfort but nothing much will change in height.

Pike has the RCT3 Charger damper offering a variety of open pedal and locked modes that enable fine-tuned adjustability in low-speed compression in an open setting.

Using the Rapid recovery system, the adjustable rebound damping is present in the beginning strokes but gets more fixed as the rider goes faster and accesses deeper travel. This system affords users quick recovery from big hits.

While the Fox 34 fork doesn’t feature any choice in lockout modes, it offers independent adjustments of high and low-speed compression damping and rebound functionality through the RC2 cartridge.

Realigning the progression

Altering the progression of either fork is made possible by removing the top cap and adding volume spacers. 

Travel lengths are adjustable internally in 10mm for the Fox 36 and by setting the air shaft length to add negative air spacers. This effectively reduces travel from 160mm to 110mm.

Pike’s travel length can be adjusted from 160m to 120mm by replacing the air-shaft with a shorter item that is specific to travel.

Legs on Fox measure 36mm compared to 35mm on Pike fork. The Fox has an advantage in stiffness because it is designed with a through-axle held in place by pinch bolts fitted on either side.

Another plus to the Fox 36 is that is compatible in use with the 15mm on the adapter and the 20mm. on the other hand, Pike features a 15mm Maxle which is less stiff and much faster in changing the wheel with no tools required.

Fox 34 vs Pike – A Comparison Overview 

Fox 34 Review

Fox Factory 36 Float 27.5 Inches 160 Grip 2 Hi/Low Comp/Reb Black Gloss 15QRx110 Boast Conical Offset 44 mm 2021 Fork Adult Unisex
  • The 2021 chassis of this FOX fork has been completely modified to meet the requirements of the
  • An update was made to the Evol air spring and Grip 2 damper. As well as many innovations
  • Float Evol 2021 air spring offers increased sensitivity on small impacts
  • Grip2 cartridge allows you to adjust high and low speed compression and triggers with improved performance
  • Divers in 36mm with Kashima coating limit friction and have extreme resistance

This fork comes available for both 650b and 29” wheels. The only travel available is the 120mm with tapered steering and Boost hub spacing.

Fox 34 with tapered steering is the only available option and it may be found in either Boost or non-boost spacing.

The damper it rides on is the FIT4 which comes in a remote option even though there are dedicated tubes between them.

Three positions are possible using the FIT4 damper or the FIT GRIP 2 damper. Fox34 is considered an entry-level fork and it features black anodized upper legs.

With 34, you get a lightweight fork with angled-legs made of alloy aluminum which is an economical choice.

Pros 

  • Fast
  • Ride high travel
  • Excellent support

Cons 

  • Fewer clicks on external adjusters

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Pike Review

This fork features a Charger 2 RCT3 damper which allows for multiple adjustable possibilities to accommodate varied preferences and the ability to ride any terrain.

It uses the debonair Spring which smooths out trails and minimizes the need for hard gripping providing plush and comfortable riding.

Fit with 35mm stanchions, the fork is stiff enough to give stable rides to users as heavy as 250 pounds or more.

The RockShox Pike was built for boost spacing which enables the addition or removal of material to make the fork more or less rigid.

Finally, it accepts 180mm rotors directly mounted on the caliper which eliminates the need for adaptors.

Pros 

  • Great riding experience
  • Multi-adjustable
  • Lockout functions well in climbing
  • Stiff fork

Cons 

  • Expensive maintenance

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Conclusion 

Fox 34 on the other hand is great for automating the suspension by using the lockout function to initiate or disengage the fork.

RockShox Pike fork can handle anything you throw at it and affords users tons of adjustable options that make for a great ride across all types of trails.

Verdict: So, which is better – Fox 34 or Pike?

RockShox Pike is better than the Fox 34. Pike is stable enough to hold its form even in high-speed racing. Other than that, it offers fine-tuning functions that are not possible with Fox 34.

FAQ

How do I adjust Travel length on the Fox 34?

Travel lengths are adjustable internally in 10mm for the Fox 36 and by setting the air shaft length to add negative air spacers. This effectively reduces travel from 160mm to 110mm. To alter the progression, you can remove some volume spacers.

How do we set up the spring system on Pike?

In the air spring setup, Pike uses an alloyed seal head which is lighter and stronger than the plastic used before. These properties make the fork more resilient and minimize the friction that results from the squeeze of the o-ring.0