Customer Review: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Rear Shock

This review was written by one of our customers, Richard Ealy. He rides a Santa Cruz Hightower and was looking to get a bit more out of his rear shock, especially when charging longer downhill runs! The Santa Cruz requires a specific low rebound/low compression tune to get the ride dialed in perfectly. Check out what he had to say!


In mid-2016 I purchased a Santa Cruz Hightower S build that came spec'd with a Rockshox Monarch RT rear shock (200 x 51). The stock set up was perfectly fine for my riding style and riding area but I wanted something a little bit more plush and something that would maintain its level of performance during extended downhill runs etc.

RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Rear Shock Review

I contacted Santa Cruz to find out if there were any specific issues that I might run into and they advised me that I needed a unique tune to keep my bike set up as the manufacturer intended which is a  unique L/L tune. I checked multiple online retailers and was unable to find anything. I hadn't had any previous experience with Worldwide Cyclery, but was happy to find that they had exactly what I needed for a fair price. I ordered the proper shock and it showed up in a timely fashion.

Installation was a breeze as it came with all of the necessary hardware to mount right up. The whole process took maybe 15 minutes...Setup was super easy as well. I used the same baseline PSI setting as I had been using which I got directly from the Santa Cruz website. As with other RockShox products, the sag indicator listed on the shock shaft made the process essentially fool-proof. Next up was the test ride!!  I got exactly what I was looking for. The increased level of "plushness" was exactly what I wanted and the simple firm, mid and min settings worked like a charm while on the trail. I think of those settings more like the competition does; climb, trail and descend. My impressions of the different modes?  I'll start with the two extremes...When in firm/climb mode, the pedal bob diminishes almost completely. It seems to really firm up the ride but does not completely lock out the shock. The min/descend mode is exactly what you'd expect; super plush. It did feel a bit soft if I stood up to pedal, but this is to be expected. The mid/trail mode is where I found myself most often. It's the perfect blend of both; efficiency the majority of time and squish when you need it most. I don't like to spend too much time on unknown trails fiddling with the shock, so I would normally settle there. If I knew the trail well or the attributes were obvious I'd switch to firm or min as appropriate.

I'm glad I became familiar with Worldwide Cyclery. They had exactly what I needed when no one else did. They have become my new go to online source for anything/everything I need!!

RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Review

December 30, 2016

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