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Offset is the best bet.
The 51mm of offset in this RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air 120 29in Fork reduces the amount of wheel flop commonly associated with 29er handling at low speeds by reducing the bike's trail, which results in less "dead" space between the steering axis and the hub. The aim is to reduce handling issues so the wagon wheels stay 26er-sharp whether climbing, ripping, or navigating switchbacks and tricky terrain.
The Solo Air spring design ditches the adjustability of the Dual Position Air version in favor of a single travel option of just under five inches. That means it surrenders some all-mountain flexibility, but the lower weight and more aggressive power transfer of the Solo Air setup recommend it for cyclists after pure speed that can still tackle trail terrain.
The fork's design does come with some adjustability, manifesting as a three-position RCT3 damper. RCT3 lets you choose discreet amounts of lockout for big hits and fast roll-overs, rock gardens and root lattices, or locked-out speed for climbing and sprinting. While riding the fork open, the Rapid Recovery feature indulges the Pike's terrain-gobbling tendencies by keeping recovery short between hits, so you'll always have that cushion, even across successive bumps.
The axle is designed according to the Maxle Lite technology, which basically involves alchemy. While we don't understand exactly how they did it, the sorcerers at RockShox took a regular ol' axle and made it both lighter and stiffer. This means it requires fewer watts to move it, and the watts you do send its way are more efficiently transferred to going up. The Power Bulge feature reinforces the lower legs with oversized bushings, helping the front end maintain lines across terrain that pushes the limits of XC.
- Item #RSX002K
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Pike RCT3 on Niner Jet 9
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Beats my Fox 32
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I put this on my Pivot 429 and changed out my Fox 32. This fork is much more stout and you can feel the difference in how the bike tracks. The charger damper is as good as damper I've used before. It seems to work much better than the Fox in hard out of the saddle efforts. The fox used to seem to bog down and this stands tall. Also, notice that it far less active under braking. When pointed down hill it eats up terrain for a 120 mm fork. Like the additional offset also.