Trail Forks (no, not that one, the bouncy kind)

I’m considering upgrading the fork on my 2011 RIP9. Currently it’s a 29er RS Revelation RCT3 Dual Air with 32mm stanchions and 140mm travel. I’m looking to get something that’s stiffer that I can run at 150mm. Some of the options I see out there are:

  • RS Yari ($650)
  • RS Pike Select ($950) Ultimate ($1300)
  • Marzocchi Z1 ($950)

Any thoughts on whether a Yari would be much of an upgrade over my current Rev or would I be better off budgeting for a Pike or Z1?

What is the main issue that you are not pleased with on the Revelation you currently have? Stiffness? Ride quality? Harshness?

Any of the models you listed will be stiffer (torsional) than your 32mm fork since you are moving up to a 35mm chassis with the Yari and Pikes. Stiffer chassis = improved steering precision and control under hard braking and large impacts. So if you want to improve on those things than the Yari will definitely help that.

If your issue lies with the harshness and impact absorbing qualities of your current fork, you are going to be comparing the Dampers between the 4 forks you listed. The Yari has the same damper as you have now in the Revelation, so it’s not really an upgrade at all in the damping dept.

The Pike Select and Pike Ultimate will both have improved dampers over the Revelation and the added chassis stiffness. The reason for the price difference between the select and ultimate is the Different models of charger dampers inside. One (Ultimate) is a bled design with extruded bladder and the other (Select) is based on a spring backed IFP to account for fluid displacement. The bladder design removes any stiction that the IFP might have so should be a smoother ride. You should also get some additional adjustments with the high end damper (LSC/HSC are the big ones)

The Marzocchi is basically a Budget Fox 36 and has a Grip damper that will be very similar to the Pike Select (Spring backed IFP).


Thanks Josh,

Yeah the main motivation to upgrade is to reduce the amount of flex I get with my Revelation. I guess I was wonder if anyone’s had some thoughts on whether the fancier dampers are worth the extra cash, objective and subjective opinions welcome.

I swapped a Fox Float 32 out with a Pike last year and the difference is HUGE. I was trying to eliminate some of the very noticeable flex as my biggest issue and it did exactly that. I am a fairly large fella, 95 kgs or so without any gear thrown in. So, I was likely a bit extreme for the 32 but now have that problem solved anyway. Next problem is to drop the 95kg down to a more reasonable number.


I’ve been quite impressed with the Grip damper. And it gets high praise from online testers. I rode it for a year and a half on my Trance 29 with 130mm of travel and for the last six months on my Stumpjumper with 140mm. I also rode a Pike with 160mm of travel on a Sight for a few months while waiting for a warranty frame from Giant. Hard to compare the dampers with such different travel and on different bikes. The Pike on the Sight felt stiffer and definitely more plush but you’d expect that with 20mm of extra travel.


Get a yari. You won’t need/notice fancy damping on trails around here

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Never mind, a.mart’s post below is much better.

I would highly disagree with that. I have ridden all manner of dampers and there is a drastic difference in feel from a Rockshox Motion Control to a Charger or a Fox Rythym to Grip/ Grip2. Are they necessary to have a riot on your bike? No. Do they work better and give an improved ride? Absolutely.

The new Rockshox forks with 35mm stanchions use the same older style motion control damper, but it is now larger and does work better than the one in your 32 Revelation. All of the new Rockshox forks are using some form of the Debonair air spring at this point as well.

I will note that in the Rockshox world the Yari and Lyrik are the same chassis with different dampers and air springs and the 35mm Revelation and Pike are the same chassis with different air springs and dampers. The Lyrik/ Yari is a stiffer chassis and also heavier than the Pike/ Revelation. I’ve ridden both and the weight difference/ stiffness difference is negligible for anyone other than an EWS pro from what I can tell.

Upgrading to a modern Revelation or Yari is definitely going to be an improvement over your current 32mm fork from all aspect, stiffer more precise fork, better air spring, and even the modern moco damper is improved over the 2011 version. The charger damper in the Pike is definitely nicer and does ride better, but in saying that you definitely don’t need to spend the extra $300 on it as you are going to be drastically improving your suspension with the upgrade. And that extra $300 will buy you fresh rubber and new brake pads to completely refresh your ride.


Thanks replies everyone, it’s helpful to hear some different perspectives. Looks like we all agree that some beefier stanchions will be an improvement, at least on a trail fork. I couldn’t help but pull the trigger on a pike ultimate I found for under $1000, my order status is waiting on stock though :’(. Hopefully it’ll be faster than van we ordered last September that Toyota hasn’t even started building. At least there’s no microchips in forks, right!?!?:laughing:


That’s a solid fork and you will be more than happy with that! Just make sure you keep up on services. The newer forks work much better, but they rely on clean oil and won’t go forever on the same oil like the older forks did.

And the Rockshox flight deck suspension system uses micro chips as does the Fox live valve. I am just hoping the electronic actuators stay on the outrageously expensive niche dentist bikes and never make it to the mainstream bikes. I rarely choose to use lockouts and set and forget my suspension settings. I am not keen on a computer picking my settings for me on the fly. Especially not once the battery inevitably dies while locked out somewhere in the woods.


A yari with its burly chassis and tuneable air spring is going to feel light years better than your revelation. Advanced damping is great to fine tune ride feel on longer/steeper/faster/more technical trails of which there are virtually none in Nova Scotia. And it’s realistically as much as you want to throw at a 10 year old bike in terms of upgrade. Plus they’re relatively easy to find now vs that vapourwear pike which some contracted factory overseas will probably get to right after they finish assembling your van. Your call of course and the sparkly decals on them ultimates sure look perty but a yari will give you everything you need and can be had in time for spring

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Yeah I agree that I don’t want to invest too much in an older bike, which is sort of what draws to towards the Pike Ultimate especially at the sub $1000 price point as it’s a fork that can follow me to my next bike. Plus if it keeps me RIPin’ on my Niner for a few more years it’s money well spent! They gave me a 2-3 week ETA getting in more stock so :crossed_fingers: :grimacing: :crossed_fingers:

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Great fork, sounds like a good deal.

One thing… is it boost (110x15mm) ? If your Revelation is anywhere near as old as your Niner, its no doubt a 100x15mm axle and so is your front wheel. Some hubs can be converted, but you’ll want to check…

You’ve probably thought of this, but I’m bringing it up just in case it is helpful to avoid a costly mistake.


Thanks Lawrence. I definitely have been scheming a plan there. It’s a hope hub so there are end caps to convert it over to boost. I have to buy the 15 mm end caps where I currently have the 20mm ones and then buy the conversion end cap. I might just get the boost version of the hub as it’s not much more and lace that in there.

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I figured you’d have a plan Steve!
Handy when the hubs give options.

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