a Weekend Warrior
from Oakland, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 16, 2010
Strengths: Adjustable travel, Lockout, 20mm Maxle, Coil Spring
Weaknesses: Weight, only mentioned because Fox Vanilla is a full pound lighter. I suspect Rockshox could shave weight if motivated.
Pike 454 U-Turn Coil, with upgraded XFirm spring
This fork has amazingly smooth travel. I have owned so many older gen forks, that simply were not smooth. The Pike feels like a motocross fork with its linear feel. Maybe everyone is there now, but, from previous experience, it is the first fork to feel like a motorcycle fork.
Adjustable travel is pretty standard now. This is such a great addition to forks. Obviously, this is most important when trekking across a lot of terrain. Downhillers with 10 minutes runs could care less, but, if you are on a 4 hour epic, you may find yourself changing the travel many times.
The best part of the adjustable travel, is the change to the head tube (HT) angle. If it is flat and twisty, you only need 100mm of travel with a steep HT angle to manage the turns. If it is straight down, 140mm to soak up the hits. For the long climb, I love the front sunk as low as it will go so I can grind it out.
This fork is so sweet. I am re-enjoying mountain biking all over again.
Similar Products Used: Marz 55 ETA, Marz AM1, Fox Vanilla 130 RLC, Marz Marathon 100
Bike Setup: Turner 5 Spot, Pike 454, Fox RP3, Magura Louise, RP3, Mavic 819, Continental USTs
a Cross Country Rider
from Logan, UT
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2009
Strengths: Review of 2008 454 Coil U-turn 95-140mm: Stiff, coil spring, plush, motion control
Weaknesses: U-turn takes many complete turns compared to talas 3 clicks to adjust.
This thing made my bike so much better. Its stiff (compared to the talas). Goes where I point it. These things make alot more difference than 1lb weight to me. Good small bump sensitivity even with the x stiff spring in there (weigh 220 in ride clothes with a full camel back). Plush in technical rock gardens, and small drops. I like the motion control lockout. Also with the coil there is much less maintenance than with an air shock.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2009
Strengths: 2008 454 Coil U-turn 95-140mm:
Strong, stiff, plush, and versatile. I'm a fan of motion control, I think it works great.
Weaknesses: Needs to have a greater range of rebound adjustment, sometimes I need a little more rebound. This is a minor issue though I just like the feel of a little more rebound. When riding it does not affect my style or flow!
This fork does what I need it to do, as a dirt jumper. But also gives me the option to do many different styles of riding all on one bike, I have been very pleased with my Pike, it really is all-mountain. I would recomend it to anyone who needs a fork thats going to perform in a wide variety of riding situations. I find that it works the best on faster, smoother style trails. However i've ridden it uphill, downhill, through loose rocks, and never lost control unless I was pushing myself past my skill levels.
a Cross Country Rider
from Richmond, VA
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2009
Strengths: This is for the 454 AIR U-turn model:
Very easy to set up. Air pressure adjustment works well. U-turn works well. Compression and rebound adjustments are very responsive. The whole fork is set up with quality. The knobs are alloy. The 20mm Maxle works like a champ! easy on/off and make the front end track VERY well. Light and strong 140mm of real travel.
Weaknesses: I have had a bit of trouble with the maxle not wanting to come loose. Easy fix with a touch of grease on the threads and shaft. Twice in a year the negative pressure has been too cloose to the positive and the fork will loose 20 - 30 mm of travel. Not a big issue as it is is fix with a top up of air pressure in the positive chamber and the fork shoot back up.
This Fork seems to be made specifically for this frame from Ventana. The 20mm thru axle works just as easy as a QR skewer but with LOADS more front end stiffness. I can't believe what a good product Rock Shox has with this PIKE. I had tried Rock Shox in the past around 2001 and was not happy with their forks. This fork is 5 stars in looks, constuction, and set up ease. Set the pos and neg air chambers according to your weight. (Tip: Run the NEG at least 5 to 10 p.s.i. lower than the POS chamber to prevent bleed over.) Adjust the Compression and Rebound to personal taste and ride. It is just that simple. The AIR fork is as plush and any coil I've ever used and much lighter. The U turn works great for climbs. The front end stiffness from the maxle is VERY VERY good. A SOLID super plush very adjustable top quality fork. Light enough for weekend XC rides, Strong and plush enough for rough aggro All mountain 5" to 6" bomber sleds. Best fork I've ever used.
Similar Products Used: Marzochi mcr Z1 coil(2001), Fox Vanilla RLC 130 (2006)
Bike Setup: Ventana El Ciclon with all the good kit. Thompson, Hadley, Sram X.0 Fox RP23 rear shock and Quad bearings kit. Running a Hope Pro II front hub with this thru-axle fork.
a Weekend Warrior
from Los Angeles, Calif. USA
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2009
Strengths: Simple, no air, coil spring, dampening is excellence and set up is very easy.
Weaknesses: stock spring is for 130 to 160 lb riders.
came with light spring but still absorbed the hits really nice. Steering has improved at low and high speeds. The bike handle better at 140 mm even during climbing. It is still nice to have the U Turn feature to lower travel to 95 mm.
I will go up two steps on the spring. will order the black spring today.
Similar Products Used: Various Marzocchis, manitous.
Bike Setup: Evil DOC, long in black, Pike 454 Coils, XT F&R (2X9 with bash), XT shifters, Hope Tech M4s (200/180 floating), Singletracks on Pro IIs with 2.35" Panaracer rampages F&R, Easton bars, RaceFace stem and post
a Cross Country Rider
from The Wooded Hills of Western, MA
Date Reviewed: October 5, 2008
Strengths: Very Rugged, adjustable, great feeling xc fork. Maxle is the easiest to use, and most functional Thru-axle system to date!
Weaknesses: Air Pressure (positive and Negative) settings can be a little finicky-though the fork chart recommends equal pressure in each-I've found that unless the neg presssure is 10-15 psi below the positive, the fork loses about 5-10mm of travel (gets sucked down).
If you are looking for the stiffest, most adjustable, sharpest looking burly XC fork-well, this is it. Northeast hard cores-(where pitted rocks and deep root wells abound on every trail) this is your Excalibur. I've had no problems, the motion control adjustments (progressive compression dampening) works great. It's just a fantastic fork and a real testament to how far Bike suspension technology has evolved.
Bike Setup: Sinister Ridge Hardtail. Spinergy Enduro Wheels
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 2, 2008
Strengths: Coil forks, piece of cake to set up. Supremely plush, the travel is very smooth and small bump sensitivity is amazing. They literally eat up the trail, I'm yet to have them bottom out on me and they remained plush throughout. Wound down to 95mm is adequate for climbing, and opened right up to 140mm for DH - they're very versatile. I tend to run them at about 110mm all the time unless I'm hammering it down something rocky that warrants the extra travel. Maxle is stiff and very easy system to use.
Weaknesses: Compression circuit is noisy at certain settings.
Great value coil forks and better than Fox forks costing double.
Strengths: Handles like a dirt bike.Improved overall ride quality of my bike.20mm thru axle.Adjusts to any type terrain.
Weaknesses: Weighs 2175 gm before cutting steer tube.
Seven years as a Fox fan now I dont even want to ride one.Slight weight penalty offset by great performance.After setup ride taking a couple hours and tinkering with positive air 125 psi negative air 115 psi travel at 128.I have finished six more rides including weekly buddy ride (so called friends try to kill each other)I am so impressed.The fork and axle smooth downhill section.High speed cornering rails. I weigh 180 and bike weighs 26lbs even. Yes I am a weight weenie.
Posted this in the AM section but no answer. Guess i`ll try here.
Ok, so i`m going to Argentina in a couple of weeks and since 20mm hub 120+mm forks are WAY too hard to find in my country (i`m from Uruguay) i might as well take advantage of the trip and i´ve been lookin for a good fork to buy whe ... Read More »
Ok, so i`m going to Argentina in a couple of weeks and since 20mm hub 120+mm forks are WAY too hard to find in my country (i`m from Uruguay) i might as well take advantage of the trip and i´ve been lookin for a good fork to buy when i`m there.
Narrowed it down to 2 options:
1.- [B]This Pike 409 ... Read More »
Does anyone use the RockShox Pike 454 coil U-turn fork? I'm 240 right now & I'm trying to figure out a 140mm fork for a build next year. Is the coil fairly stiff i.e. standing up, it won't mash down too much? granted by the time I get everything together, I'll have lost more weight (summer '10) but ... Read More »
I had my fork rebuilt last fall and for the first ride and a half it was pure heaven, but apparently when my fork was put back together, a snap ring was not seated properly and it gave on my second ride. I brought it back and the snap ring was fixed, but the fork never worked right after that and th ... Read More »