Rockshox Pike & Monarch RT3 Shock: Rider Review

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for. 

In this review, one of our customers gets all-new suspension from Rockshox! With a Rockshox Pike RCT3 fork up front and the Rockshox Monarch RT3 rear shock out back, this Santa Cruz Tallboy just received quite the upgrade. Check it out!

Rockshox Pike RCT3 and Monarch Review

I have a 2016 Santa Cruz Tallboy that came with a Fox 32 120mm fork and a Fox Float Performance shock. I love the bike, but the suspension was always holding the bike back from being a true all-around xc/trail bike. I decided to update the fork to a Pike RCT3 and the shock to a Monarch RT3 with the Debonair can.

Rockshox Pike RCT3 and Monarch Review

The Fork:

The Pike has been a fantastic upgrade. I ended up increasing the original 120mm travel of the Fox up to 130mm with the Pike. The added stiffness of the 35mm stanchions compared to the 32mm stanchions on the Fox is very noticeable in fast technical sections. The Pike is also more adjustable than the low-end Fox. With rebound, low-speed compression and high-speed compression settings, the fork can easily be tuned to fit any riders needs. Volume spacers can easily be added to fine-tune the fork as well. I am still playing with small adjustments, but at this point, I feel like I have it pretty dialed in. There is a small weight penalty with the Pike, but it's negligible compared to the increased performance.

Rockshox Pike RCT3 and Monarch Review

The Shock:

The Fox Float Performance shock was an OK OEM shock. The shock was a bit harsh with the short 100mm Tallboy travel. I was looking for something that would be a little plusher so I purchased the Monarch RT3 with the Debonair can. There aren't too many choices for a 6.5" x 1.5" shock out there. I was excited to see that there is a Tallboy/Juliana tuned RockShox Monarch RT3 available, so I picked one up. Again, the shock is more adjustable than the shock it replaced. There is a rebound and a 3 position compression lever. With the Debonair can, it takes high psi to get the right sag. I weigh around 175lb, and I use approximately 275psi to achieve a 25% sag. I know that seems really high PSI, but the shock can take up to 350psi. So far the shock has made the bike feel like a 5" travel bike as opposed to the short 4" that it is. The Monarch feels soft and plush and really makes the Tallboy ride more like a trail bike. I still use all of the travel on every ride, so I have started to mess around with RockShox volume reducing bands to dial it in.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I am very happy with upgrading my Tallboy to a RockShox Pike RCT3 and Monarch RT3 w/ Debonair. I would recommend this upgrade to anybody looking to refresh or upgrade a bike.

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September 04, 2019

Customer Review › monarch › Pike › product review › Rider Review › RockShox ›

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