RockShox Pike 454 Air U-Turn review£479.99

The Pike is a great trail fork: it starts stiff but gradually smoothes out until you suddenly notice that all the bumps have gone. Positive and negative air springs balance stroke characteristics, with externally adjustable Floodgate platform damping

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Pike is a great trail fork: it starts stiff but gradually smoothes out until you suddenly notice that all the bumps have gone. Positive and negative air springs balance stroke characteristics, with externally adjustable Floodgate platform damping to control kick-off sensitivity. The Motion Control rebound damping is competent in all but the most mental situations, and U-Turn is still the benchmark travel adjust system.

With only 140mm travel, it's not a real big hitter, but the Maxle 20mm axle means it's very stiff for its weight. It's also short enough to not upset geometry on 5in (125mm) travel frames - although it'll noticeably steepen six inchers - and reliability is phenomenal, even in the worst conditions.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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