Straddling the space between downcountry and short-travel trail, we use the top-tier Pike Ultimate Charger 3 RC2 Fork for connecting alpine ridgelines on high-mileage routes. It's freshly revamped with an updated Charger 3 Damper and DebonAir+ Spring to further refine this 35mm stanchion fork's performance. The next key update is a built-in pressure relief valve to release unwanted air that can build in the lower leg over time from changes in altitude and temperature. The new Pike Ultimate still provides the same nimble trail performance that we liked so much about the last version of the Pike, perfect for clambering up slickrock formations and rallying flow trails. What feels new is the small bump sensitivity and tracking ability that RockShox attributes to their new ButterCups which absorb high-frequency trail chatter from things like braking bumps and loose over hard conditions. The next main on-trail advantage of this fork has to do with the updated Charger 3 damper, which utilizes a completely new Internal Floating Piston design that's intended to make compression and rebound adjustments completely independent from one another. This allows us to make adjustments that truly only affect one performance characteristic of the fork feel and effectively fine-tune our ride.