RockShox Yari vs Pike – An In-depth Comparison

Anyone who has been out cycling on the trail understands the importance of having a reliable bike fork. Between RockShox Yari and Pike, which do you think is better?

Having been around for plenty of years now, it is hard to hear any negative news related to RockShox forks. This is why they are my go-to brand for all thing’s suspension.

While out in the rocky regions of my favorite hiking grounds, I slammed the front wheel of my bike into a large boulder and smashed in my Yari fork.

Since I had only tried Pike once before, I thought it would be a good idea to compare the two for more insight into their differences.

What is the difference between Rockshox Yari and Pike?

Model
Rockshox Yari
RockShox Pike
Wheel Size
27.5”, 29”
27.5”, 29”
Travel
160mm
140mm
Spring
DebonAir
DebonAir
Offset
51mm
44mm
Maximum Rotor Size
180mm
180mm
Damper
Motion Control
Charger 2
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RockShox Yari vs Pike – How they compare 

Stanchion

RockShox used the 35mm stanchion chassis in both the Pike and Yari forks to create a taller, stiffer, and precise steering system. 

The RockShox brand uses Torque Cap compatibility to increase sturdiness on both models by making use of end caps with larger hubs than others.

Due to this unaligned connection between the axle and dropouts, the standard hub is lost in between which makes the forks harder and stiffer.

Thankfully, there is no detected noise transfer that is perceivable through the handlebars.

Pike’s chassis is notably designed to maximize weight saving and increase in stiffness. This is evident through the range of travel available in its models being between 120mm to 160mm.

Air Spring 

The DebonAir spring system on Pike forks equalizes itself automatically and is superior to that found on Yari suspension which is stiff. 

Yari’s fork is uber responsive featuring the same coil-like DebonAir spring which lies on a 35mm chassis. The only drawback is that the travel in early riding seems to sink lower into the shaft giving it a consistent feeling in riding over small bumps and good grip around corners.

RockShox Pike has a DebonAir spring mechanism with quality crown and steerer components featuring an indentation on its side. This port is situated on the upper tube and allows for air travel between negative and positive chambers facilitating automatic equalization.

What’s even better about this fork is the fact that it is made with an aluminum seal, a longer foot nut, and a shaft complete with internal bushing.

The seal is designed to be hollow at the bottom which decreases the positive air volume and increases it in the lower leg to counter the drawbacks. Lastly, the Pike’s spring is compatible backward making it compatible with previous generation forks.

Damper

Pike is fitted with the Charger 2 damper which provides a wide range of stable low-speed compression better than Yari that struggles to keep the fork stable at high speed.

Holding the fork mid-travel, the Charger damper offers stability across rugged descents that are made worse by the increased sensitivity that leads to inevitable hand ache.

Pike shocks have the Evolved Charger 2.1 damper which combines with negative DebonAir springs to create coil-like suspension.

Pike forks are also available in two alternatives one being the RC2 which is embedded with the high-low speed compressor.

And the RCT3 features a low-speed damping lever with three available positions; Open, Pedal, or Firm (Open, threshold and Locked Out) and a fixed compression at high-speed.

The low-speed compression is tunable by the use of 11 clicks activated by the back dial provided.

The Yari damper also features low-speed compression adjustments made possible by the external rebound and aligned to the lockout system.

It is fitted with Motion Control damper and wrappers with sag markings for easier setup. Also, to determine how much travel you have used, the fork propels the O-ring towards the top of the chassis.

Even at that, it is difficult to use full travel on Yari because of the two-volume spacers that when combined with air pressure, limits the fork to a low travel

To gain access to full travel and provide more support, RockShox advises that you can remove the two spacers and increase the air pressure.

When weighted at the front, the fork feels consistently stuck to the trail and great traction is felt over small bumpy roads. This gives the fork turn-in grip because of the spring’s readiness to sink into early travel.

RockShox Yari vs Pike – A Comparison Overview 

RockShox Yari Review  

RockShox Yari RC Fork 27.5" 180mm Solo Air MaxleLite 15 x 100 Crown Adjust Tapered 42mm Offset, A1, Diffusion Black
  • Spring: Solo Air
  • Damping: Motion Control
  • Adjustments: External rebound, low speed compression to firm
  • Leg Diameter: 35mm
  • Upper Tubes: Tapered wall aluminum, Fast Black

Fitted with a super-responsive DebonAir spring that is hailed as one that provides users with a plush coil-like experience. Resting on a 35mm chassis, Yari is as stiff as they come.

Sag markings dot Yari’s wiper seals and a Motion Control damper system makes for easier assembly. The fork propels the O-ring towards the top of the chassis to help you determine how much travel you have used.

A drawback in Yari’s operation is that because it is designed with two volume-spacers, they can limit the length of the fork’s travel when combined with air pressure.

To handle this unfortunate inevitability, RockShox recommends that you get the spacers removed which will add to the needed air pressure.

Pros

  • Quality sensitivity
  • Large and capable travel fork
  • Upgradeable damper

Cons 

  • Damper lacks low-speed support

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Rockshox Pike Review 

RockShox Pike Ultimate 27.5in Boost Fork Gloss Black, 140mm, 37mm Offset
  • Travel: 130, 140, 150mm
  • Stanchion Material: Fast Black-coated aluminum
  • Lower Material: magnesium
  • Crown Material: forged, hollow 7050 aluminum
  • Wheel Size: 27.5in

This fork features a Charger 2 RCT3 damper which allows for multiple adjustabilities 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 

Yari has a damper with convenient marking on it for easier adjustments but it is limiting in the use of travel keeping you to a low level.

Pike suspension will allow you to make use of the full length of travel that helps them manage hits at high speeds.

Verdict: So, which is better? RockShox Yari or Pike?

RockShox Pike fork is better than YariThis is because Pike offers users the ability to absorb any hard hits while maximizing the entire length of travel. Pike, allows you to more easily adjust preferential settings which limit the depth of travel available.

FAQ 

If you would like to reduce travel on your Pike …

Drop oil into the bottom of each fork leg and slide on the lower brackets. Secure the bolts with screws and set the torque at 7.3nm and activate the rebound adjuster.

How does Motion control damper on Yari work?

This damper works by controlling the size of the oil flow port which is possible by turning the blue compression knob which is located at the top right leg of the fork.