Pike vs 36 on Giant Reign?

Hey Lee, love your book! I’ve got a Dilemma going on right now, I’m in the market for a new fork but I’m stuck at a crossroads regarding price vs. travel vs. quality.

I’ve got an ’05 Reign with 152mm rear wheel travel and I need a fork with a 20mm through axle to replace my QR Nixon. I’ve looked at getting a Pike for cheap but only 140mm travel. Then theres the big Fox 36’s and Lyrics but those are ridiculously spendy at $800-$1000+! I’ve had really bad experiences with Marzocchi stuff so their mid-range stuff is out to keep my sanity intact, how would you go, do I need that extra inch or will 140mm do me? I’m pretty much 50% pedaling and 50% shuttling mostly steep downhill trails, but the climbs are pretty steep too!

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Hey Josh,

Thanks re: the book. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m stoked it’s making a difference out there.

I have a lot of time on a FOX 36 TALAS and a FOX 36 FLOAT, both on Enduros, and they’re both awesome. I also have a fair amount of time on a Rockshox Pike, and that fork is awesome too. The Pike is smooth and stiff, and I like the progressive spring rate — the fork was supple on the small stuff but also resisted bottoming.

The Nixon your Reign came with had 145mm of travel and supposedly had one of the lowest axle-to-crown heights in its class. A 140mm Pike should keep your geometry close to stock, and it’ll work rip both up and down.

I say — for your bike and your budget — rock the Pike.

— Lee

10 replies
  1. Colin says:

    If you can find a deal on an ’06 or ’07 36 Talas, I’d try and rock that.

    You get 160mm for the downhills, which it sounds like you enjoy, and that extra 20mm will slacken the head angle and give a more stable ride, and then you can crank it down to 100mm for the climbs, which steepens the headangle and makes it climb like a mountain goat.
    I have one and it’s amazing!

    Granted, I haven’t ridden the Pike, and for the money it sounds like a pretty sweet fork.

  2. Don says:

    Hey, I have a reign and just replaced the nixon with a pike 454 air. I love the difference. I think a 36 would be overkill for the bike. Just my thought. Later, Don

  3. Chris says:

    RST just re-entered the MTB fork game with a range of forks that are super cheap. There is a single crown fork called the Storm that comes in 140, 160 or 180mm increments. Pros: it is cheap ($400 new!). Cons: It is cheap, heavy (7lbs), untested by consumers, ugly, has only the basic adjustments and is made by RST. Anyone remember Hi-5s and Mozo Pros? Of course their new forks might feel brilliant and be brilliant forever. I just thought you should know all your options. Price = Best. Travel = Most. Quality = risky. But think about it, you could buy two for the price of one of the others: one to ride and one to get fixed on warranty!

  4. Chay says:

    I have not ridden the Pike, but the Fox Float I have got on my bike is superb! I have got the one with the rebound/ lockout / compression adj. But I will say go with the Talas R instead. I found once I have set up the preload properly, you don’t really have to touch the Rebound/compression/lockout, and I much prefer the change in travel than the lockout.
    You should be able to pick up some 36 Talas R 2006 models cheaply on reputable ebay seller. There should discount on 2007 models as well since 08 models are already out and about!

  5. Anthony says:

    Keep the travel @ 140mm. I also have an ’05 Reign, I’ve ridden hundreds of miles on both Pike and Lyric. I ended up putting travel limiter in the Lyric to cut it down to 140mm. The bike handles better this way. It would push too much at 160. Plus my head angle was sub 67 at 160mm, that’s more DH bike than trail bike. It’s about 67-67.5 @ 140mm which is perfect for trail riding. I think they changed things on later model Reigns regarding head tube angle to better accommodate longer forks.
    that being said, the Lyric is great, more advanced damping, stiffer chassis, very reliable. The Pike is also really nice, much less expensive, also very reliable. I think it’ll give you more bang for your buck. I recommend the dual air version, you can tune the suppleness nicely with the negative chamber air pressure, plus it’s the lightest.

  6. Chris says:

    Lee, I agree. I would go with a 36 TALAS. Personally I would not choose RSTs since for me $600 is worth every penny for the extra goodness.

    I only mentioned them because of “…ridiculously spendy at $800-$1000+!”. Josh sounds like he is on a budget. The other thing is that the quality is unknown. Anyone know anyone with a set?

  7. Josh says:

    Thanks for the awesome input by all!

    After a little more research I’ve discovered the Magura Wotan. I really like the raked out Geometry I got from my old Marzocchi All Mountain 1, but don’t want to deal with the awful performance and customer service after it failed miserably on me within a few months. Anybody have any opinions about the Magura suspension stuff? I know their brakes are top notch and have read nothing but good stuff about their forks, but considering their recent lineage I’m concerned with reliability. I’ve found a really good deal on one is the only reason the Wotan is now in the game.

    Thanks for the opinions and Lee, I know I already said your book is great but there is a reason why it has a permanent spot on the shelf in the bathroom (yes I have a bookshelf in the bathroom, every dude should).


  8. tony says:

    I am also a faithful bathroom reader! Lee’s book, along with a couple year’s subscriptions to MBA magazine all tucked neatly next to cleaning supplies and extra TP in the vanity.

    Other than out on the trail, the bathroom is this man’s only sanctuary when sharing a house with his wife and 14 year old daughter…

  9. Paul says:

    Josh – be careful with the Wotans. I have a lot of time for Magura (still remember teh joy when their hyd brakes came out) but a good friend has been through 3 sets of Wotans and has now given up going for Marz 66’s instead. The Maguras look quality, and they are German which is usually a good sign, but have really basic reliability problems, leaking, locking up. For what its worth I ride a PIKE 454 (air) and its been perfect straight out the box – only thing I would say is that the remote lock out is a waste of time, I would go for the std version next time and save the handlebar clutter.

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