In this review, one of our loyal customers talks about his new Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 mounted to a 2016 StumpJumper 650b. The Monarch Plus has been a very successful shock from Rockshox for many years and still performs with the best on the market. Let's read how the Monarch Plus RC3 sizes up in this detailed review.
The shock arrived in a well packaged Rockshox box and included the hardware necessary to install it. *Note that only frame specific shocks will come with the hardware, most shocks you will need to purchase the hardware separately. Also included was a rebuild kit. This is a nice touch because I won't have to buy one when I rebuild my shock after this season. Shipping time from Worldwide was very quick.
Installation of the shock was a breeze. I installed the bushings by hand, unbolted the yoke that was attached to my old Fox CTD and attached it to my new shock. Included was a washer to take up space if the bolt was too long, but because my bike had the updated yoke with the aluminum block installed, this washer was not necessary. The front bushings were a tight squeeze to fit onto the frame, but with some effort they slid into place and everything bolted back into place just like before. I initially setup the shock using the auto-sag, but just like my Fox shock, this left the shock soft for my riding style. I weigh 170lbs geared up and settled on 155psi and 5 clicks of rebound from slow. I'm sure as the shock breaks in these numbers will probably change.
The previous shock I had on my bike was a FOX FLOAT Factory CTD, AUTOSAG, Rx Trail Tune, Boost Valve, Kashima Coating. I didn't like this shock much from the get go, as it would blow through its travel unless I pumped it up high enough that I was sacrificing small bump compliance. It also seemed to wallow in its mid-stroke packing up on rocky and rooty descents. The other thing I noticed is there was very little difference in the 3 different CTD settings on the shock.
The Monarch has resolved all of these problems. Traction, small bump compliance, and mid stroke support are all much better. The shock feels much more confident in the chunder and on drops. The three settings are also distinctly different. Because I have a PIKE on my bike the Monarch has a more balanced feel with the front fork than the Fox ever did.
The first shock I received developed a thump in the initial stroke when it was in descend mode. I contacted Worldwide Cyclery who contacted Rockshox for me. They said it was a simple fix, but would need to be sent to Rockshox for servicing. Worldwide Cyclery offered to let me send mine in with a prepaid label, and they would just send me a new unit so I didn't have to wait on Rockshox to fix the other. That's what I call customer service!
Overall I would rate this shock a 5/5!
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